Friday, March 23, 2012

Crisis Averted?

The feeding dilemma has only become increasingly complicated since my last post. The girls gave the soy formula the old college try, but it wasn't doing them any favors. So yesterday we decided we would go through with the GI test, which is precisely what we did this morning. (So funny how we were driven to desperation so quickly! A few days ago I was absolutely opposed to it, but by yesterday morning I was [tearfully] saying things along the lines of "we will do WHATEVER it takes to get to the bottom of this ridiculosity!!")

Also, the doctor thought we should try out Enfamil Nutramigen in the meantime, since it's a hypoallergenic formula - just in case the girls really are so allergic that they can't even handle soy. Since introducing them to Nutramigen yesterday afternoon, we've really had no problems. Now the first feed was a little fussy, but that's to be expected any time you switch formulas on them. Last night things went so well that we even considered canceling the GI appointment, but at this point, after everything we've been through, we thought it would be a good idea to go through with it just to rule out anything serious.

So we headed up to Kosair Children's Medical Center bright and early for some adventures in GI testing.
Arriving at Kosair this morning. Chris is adjusting Tamsie and Evie is watching me. We got drenched on the way in - thus the wet car seats. 
Tamsie was getting tired of waiting to be called back, and her sleepy mama forgot to pack pacifiers in the diaper bag today! Thank goodness Kosair generously gives out Gumdrop pacis... her favorite kind! We left with about 5 of them!
Tamsie in her little baby-sized hospital gown, waiting on her x-rays
The girls were placed under an x-ray machine and given some barium and Pedialyte to drink. Tamsie cooperated very nicely, but Evie fussed as soon as the bottle was put to her lips, so the nurse had to use a syringe to get it down her gullet. We watched on a TV as the barium moved through their tummies.
"Did you say I get to be on TV?" 
We had been told we'd be able to see any reflux the girls were experiencing. I kept watching, but didn't see any at all. In fact, as he went along, the doctor kept asking us why it was we needed the test and what our pediatrician was afraid the girls might have. He seemed very doubtful we should even be having the test to begin with, because everything seemed so normal. Sure enough, at the end of the test (three hours later, after waiting to take x-rays as the barium passed through their entire systems) he announced that everything looked perfectly fine and normal. When babies need to be medicated, he sees at least a little reflux, but in both girls he found none at all. "Now why are you on Prevacid again?" he asked. 
Tamsie thinks that GI tests are hard work!
Now we're thinking the girls must have a milk protein allergy for sure, since their symptoms certainly mimic those of reflux - so we're sticking with the Nutramigen for the time being. We're also going to try coming off Prevacid in case it's causing side effects that are causing them to act all crazy like they do during feed times! Plus, if they're not suffering from reflux, there's no need to be on it! 

Tamsie gave us a little scare at one point during the test today. After her initial scans, the doctor asked us if she's ever had a heart echo. (Yes, she had one in the NICU and it was normal.) He said he was asking because it looked like her heart was located more toward the center of her body than it should be. He decided to do a scan again, with nurses pinning her down flat, to make sure everything was OK - and thankfully it was! They decided the first scans just looked abnormal because she was twisting around on her side like she likes to do.

In between all the intensity of feedings over the past few days, the girls have still managed to have lots of fun:

Evie on one of my old baby blankets

That's one heavy head to lift up!

Chatting it up on their mat... seriously! They've started talking to each other and facing each other when we put them on their play mat. 

Tamsie always has lots to say!

Bathtime with Evie! See that little mohawk? We didn't even have to try to get it to spike up like that - it does it all on its own when it gets wet. She's our little rockstar baby!

Post-bath Evie, trying hard to warm back up again while her sister gets a bath

Her little hairs curl up after she takes a bath, which makes me wonder if her hair is going to be curly like her dad's when it grows out.

Big yawn! Sometimes it's hard to be patient and wait on your sister to take her bath when you know bedtime is coming very soon!

I just took this picture as I was working on this blog post! Evie was laughing and grabbing Tamsie's arm. I think they're already best buddies!
 I'm hoping the next few days just continue to get easier and that this is just a milk allergy that we're getting under control. For now, we're just rejoicing that everything seems structurally OK inside the girls! If the new formula does continue to work, the only trauma we'll be dealing with around here will be my emotional trauma of having to get rid of a freezer full of milk that surely contains loads of cow's milk protein, given the amount of cheese I consume! But I will gladly do whatever it takes for my girls to get some relief.

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