It’s three months exactly from the day Lilly and I started her wean. She’s doing wonderful! In three months she has transformed into a completely different baby. Three months ago, she was a baby who vomited five or more times a day, cried through feedings, and could barely leave the house as we were hooked to a feeding tube all the time. Life wasn’t good back then. We made the best of it and were thankful for our little girl, but we were struggling and we weren’t enjoying life. Today, Lillian is happy, healthy, and social. She drinks milk happily, begs to eat anything I’m eating, never vomits, and is easy to take places. She has even graduated from her reflux wedge and sleeping flat like a normal baby. Her confidence level is remarkably different. At four months, she would cry if anyone other than mom, dad, or grandmas held her. She wasn’t used to seeing other people! Now at seven months, she “talks” to people, smiles at them, and lets people she doesn’t know hold her. When I take her to baby yoga or music class, she rolls away from me (she’s not crawling yet) and visits other babies and parents without looking back.
We have had a few setbacks since the last update. First, a couple weeks after I returned to work, sickness cycled through our household and Lillian caught a bad cold, just the second in her life. She continued taking bottles throughout, but her volumes went down. She lost weight, which was to be expected. But then two weeks went by without her regaining it. I started to worry, but just when I was really starting to panic, she finally rebounded. At her seven month weight check, she was back on her growth curve. What was interesting about contrasting colds while tube feeding compared bottle feeding is that even though we artificially kept her volumes up with tube feedings, she still lost weight during her first cold. Because she vomited even more than usual. During her cold while being bottle fed, she never vomited. She seemed to instinctually know how much to take in to stay hydrated without overwhelming her system. The weight outcome was pretty much the same.
Just as we were recovering from Lilly’s big cold, the her tube site got infected. Suddenly, her tube wasn’t just a benign inconvenience we tucked into her cloths and didn’t use. It became a serious health threat. Lillian was miserable from the discomfort, not wanting to roll on her tummy or be held up with her tummy against our bodies, and she unleashed a screaming crying when we cleaned it. She was on antibiotics for several days with no improvement, although luckily the infection didn’t spread and she never developed a fever. Finally we brought her into her gastroenterologist’s office to have the infection looked at. He confirmed it wasn’t responding to antibiotics, declared it was likely an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, and prescribed a different antibiotic. Now over a week past her last antibiotic dose, and even with several doses of probiotics a day, her digestion still hasn’t recovered from the two courses of antibiotics. But the silver lining is that while she was at her gastroenterologist’s, he confirmed Lilly had met the requirements to get her tube out and put in the order. The procedure is scheduled for November 22nd. So just another week and a half from now, Lillian’s tube feeding days will truly be behind us.