Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Precipitous Drop

Dear Reader,
Please do not be unduly alarmed by the news I have to share. Josiah was admitted to the local children's hospital last night. This is what happened. Over the weekened, I began to think that I should take him to the Ped for a weight check. He just didn't seem to be gaining any weight. At his two week exam, he had gained a full pound, but I just didn't see him plumping up. He looked as scrawny as ever to me. After going around in my head all weekend about it, I called the Ped on Monday to bring him in for a weight check. I took him in on Tuesday afternoon. I couldn't believe my eyes when the nurse put him on the same scale as two weeks previous and it read 5lbs. 10 oz.! His birth weight had been 6lbs, 14oz. What the hell happened? He was a beautiful and robust nurser. He peed and pooped continuously. How could he have lost 2 lbs in 2 weeks and I not notice??? I couldn't even go home and pack, the Ped sent me to the children's hospital and gave me 20 minutes to get across town and admit him. I looked at my beautiful little boy. I so didn't want this for him. I felt like I had failed him. The Ped, a handsome young man who looked young enough to be one of my kids (my regular Ped was off yesterday), tried to comfort me by telling me I had done what I was supposed to do- I thought I saw a problem and brought him in. I knew he needed to go, but I confess I didn't want to take him to the hospital. I called my husband, and then headed in. My husband met me in admissions and we took him up to his room. All the rooms are private and quite lovely. (we're quite fortunate to live near such a first rate children's hospital- its a real show place) It held a crib for Josiah and a daybed for me, a bathroom, a small fridge, a closet a rocking chair, and lots of space for visitors. I settled Josiah in, and made a list for my husband of my things to bring me, especially my laptop. My husband went home to take care of the other kids, while I silently vowed not to leave Josiah's side. Whatever procedures he had to endure, I would be right there with him. The team of doctors (this is a teaching hospital, I've probably seen about 12 residents already) ordered lots of labs that have to be spread out over a couple of days, as he can only spare so much blood. He's a very difficult stick since he's so skinny and dehydrated besides. Its taken multiple sticks for each blood draw (poor baby). The last nurse finally just drew from a vein in his head and got sufficient blood. They also started an IV in his head as well. The upshot is the weight problem is either due to insuffient milk supply/calories, or inefficient metabolism. He nurses well, pees and poops, has no vomiting or diarrhea, and no fever. I would hate to think that my milk supply is the problem, but thats better than a metabolic disorder. Of course the docs wanted right away to supplement, I told them no. If milk supply/caloric intake is the problem, then I should work to correct that. The lactation consultant along with the nutritionist put together a plan, that the docs grudgingly will go along with- for a day or two. I am boosting my supply with more frequent feedings, post feeding pumping, domperidone pills, fenugreek tablets, and mother's milk tincture. This regimen should have me swimming in milk. If we don't start to see weight gain, then we will move to fortifying the expressed milk. We also discussed using human milk from a milk bank. I have liked working with a multidisciplinary group- and they all are agreeable to letting the lactation consultant lead the way- for now. The labs so far show nothing, except a little dehydration, but most are still out. They've taken blood, stool, and urine and seem to be leaving no stone unturned. My friends have been priceless. They gathered the domperdome, funugreek and tincture and got it to me at the hospital. The lactation consultant was very impressed that I could get my hands on these items, and so quickly. I simply told her, its all in the network! Those meds passed through many hands coming across town to get delivered to me. What wonderful friends and family. My mother-in-law is with the other kids so my husband could go on to work. Tonight, my job is to feed and pump, and rest when I can. I feel blessed that Josiah is recieving good care and that I can be here with him every step of the way.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with that right now. I am praying and hoping that the answer is a simple one. Prayers and hugs to you! What an awesome network and group of friends you have!

Ashley said...

I am praying for you and Josiah. I enjoy your blog and hope that you will keep us updated. Keep doing what you are doing. Only you know what is right for your baby.

Laborpayne said...

thanks guys,
your prayers and encouragement mean so much.

emjaybee said...

Poor little baby. Has he had any jaundice? I hope the mystery is cleared up soon for you both.

Is there no way to test your milk to see if that's the problem?

Cami said...

Hi I stopped in to read your birth story and read the news so sorry to hear about the troubles. I hope it is all resolved quickly. Keep doing what you're doing!! I've had 2 sickly newborns at CMH in the past. As I look back at my time spend there with my precious ones, I remember it fondly in the way, it was just time for me and that little one to bond. And I prayed and prayed and prayed. I encourage you to use this time as a sacred special time with your newest blessing. And may he grow up to be as great as King Josiah.
Isaiah 38:19
The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children
about your faithfulness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sherry, our thoughts are with you guys at the moment! it sounds like you are doing all the right things.

Lots of love

Lucy and Larry

Laborpayne said...

he did have a little jaundice that has since cleared up, which may account for his slightly elevated liver enzymes. I don't know of any milk analysis as a diagnostic tool, nor do I know what they would be looking for. I don't think my milk or its volume is the problem.

What lovely thoughts. I do love this time alone with him. My only job is to make milk and feed it to him. He was named for the biblical king, Josiah (a little known "good king" of the old testament). Thank you for your reminder of God's sovreignty.

Mimi said...

Yikes! Lord have Mercy. Prayers.