Posted by: Elizabeth | June 11, 2009

A Day at Children’s

What a day we have had!  We started off with another check-up at the pediatrician, and we got some good news: Caroline has gained some weight!  She’s still not back up to her birth weight, which is concerning, but she actually put on 6 ounces in the last week, which is really good news.  It tells us that she CAN gain weight – now we just have to keep it up and hope she keeps gaining without such aggressive feeding (because the feeding plan we’ve been on is just not sustainable for any mom!).

We also talked to the doctor about her eye, and we got some ointment to put in it, which is good… and she has this new ugly rash and the doctor said it mostly looks like an allergy and it should go away on its own… [So she looks TERRIBLE right now, but none of it seems to bother her…]

And we also talked to the doctor about the frequency and volume of Caroline’s spit-up and/or vomit, which has increased exponentially in the last week.  She sometimes spits up like a normal baby, and sometimes it’s like she opens her mouth and a fountain of milk starts pouring out.  And sometimes, usually when I’m holding her, it’s projectile: this morning she got it to fly at least a couple of feet.  The doctor guessed that it’s probably reflux, but wanted to rule out any kind of physiological problem, like a twisted intestine or a blockage somewhere or something.

So around noon today, Caroline and I ventured up to Children’s Hospital in Seattle to get an ultrasound of her belly to see if there are any problems.  We made it to the hospital just fine, got checked in quickly, and actually got finished with the ultrasound within an hour of arriving there – I was so excited by our success!  But the ER doctors wanted to run some MORE tests to make sure we ruled out everything, because at this age (3 weeks today!) it’s tough to know what’s going on…

They did an upper GI scan during which Caroline had to drink the nasty stuff that shows up on the x-rays.  They added cherry syrup to it and put it in a bottle, and she drank it, but she puked it back all over me within about 15 minutes.  Nice.  Good and sticky.  That test came back just fine, too – except that they noticed while they had the dye in there that she has serious reflux.  Good thing we already have a Zantac prescription!

Then they wanted to rule out any kind of infection, so they took some urine (with a catheter – kind of traumatic since babies can’t just pee in a cup), and then they tried to start an IV to do a bunch of blood tests.  Two different nurses poked my sweet angel a total of three different times and got ZERO blood.  Of course, all the while she’s screaming and crying harder than she has ever cried in her short little life.  I’m not sure who was traumatized more: her or me.  I definitely cried, too.

After the three “pokes” and zero blood, I told the nurses that I wanted to take her home, with or without blood tests.  It’s not like she’s a sickly child – she’s just not gaining weight as fast as they’d like, and it doesn’t help that she’s been spitting up half her food.  So I didn’t think the blood tests were absolutely necessary, anyway.  After five hours at the ER, they finally told us we could go, and our pediatrician might do the blood tests when we check in with her next week.  That is a plan I can live with.

So we’ll get Caroline’s prescription tomorrow and get her started on the medication – and we’ll also stop letting her lie flat on her back EVER.  We’ve got to put some books under one end of her bed to make it slanted and keep her propped up in the car seat, the bouncy chair, or on the boppy pillow as much as possible.  No more lying down.  Hopefully that will help.

Here are some photos I took with my cell phone at the hospital…

Under the heat lamp

Under the heat lamp

The baby exam table in the ER was under a heat lamp.  Caroline loved it.  I’m wondering if we should get a heat lamp for her room… Perhaps the same kind that they use for reptiles would work?

Tuckered out

Tuckered out

After the needle-sticking, blood-drawing fiasco, I finally got Caroline calmed down enough to eat.  Then she was completely tuckered out and sleeping in my arms.  Gotta love the chubby cheeks and wrinkly neck in this shot. :)

Five hours later...

Five hours later...

The clock, as we waited for our discharge papers after five hours of drama…

Two other tidbits that I heard in NPR in traffic on the way home: 1.) Seattle has had 23 consecutive days without “significant precipitation.”  I call that “perfect weather.”  The weather guy on the radio was super-concerned that all the grass is going to die.  2.) The best-selling car in America for the last 30 years is the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, which I called “Big Ole’ Car” when I was a wee one.  It has barely changed in thirty years, with the biggest change being the recent addition of cupholders.  They produce one of these every minute, 24/7.  They sell for $49.99 and are totally good for the environment.  450,000 were sold in the US last year.  Just a bit of trivia for you.

Let’s hope tomorrow is a bit less exciting.  I am hoping to make a run to babies r us for more bottles and burp cloths, etc… but hopefully no hospital visits.  Then Saturday is my birthday and my mom is coming back to Seattle to help with Caroline for a couple of weeks.  Hooray!



  1. What sweet pictures! I hope the Zantac works. Like I said before, Allie’s reflux meds did wonders for her and made her a different baby. She was the same age as Caroline. We also put books under her bed and stopped having her lie flat although the car seat seemed to make her spit up even more – go figure. Allie is a wiggler but I think it would happen regardless – we sometimes found her at the bottom of her crib thanks to the angle of the crib with the books :) Keeping my fingers crossed that this helps Caroline!

  2. The bottles that worked best with Jonah’s reflux were the wide mouth Dr. Brown’s. Also Shannon T. found a great sleep incline/swaddling bed that helped with her 2nd kid’s reflux. You may want to e-mail her and see exactly what it was called. Supposedly it did wonders and also helped with preventing ear infections.

  3. Between you and Steven, there should be plenty of thick books hanging around for this purpose. Thanks so much for this blog – what a great way for those of us who are 3000 miles away to walk alongside of you in this journey. Caroline looks so sweet – I hope the ranitidine does the trick and you don’t have to move to bigger guns. Love to all of you!

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