Riley’s Story Part 2 – Problem discovered…and solved – or not?

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Yesterday we covered Riley’s relatively normal pregnancy and childbirth.  As I said then; for the first three months everything went smooth – except that she had to sleep propped up in her carseat.  She would not sleep lying down at all.  Ever.

At three months old, I went back to work.  I took a part time evening job waitressing at Bob Evans.  The first week of work, things got crazy at home.  I would leave and Riley would scream all night until almost 10PM.  This was beyond colic, this was intense, pained screaming.  Archie blamed it on my return to work the first couple of nights…but then he told me something was wrong.

Archie’s instincts have a way of being right.  So, when I had to leave work early (in my first week) to come home because she was so horribly bad off, we determined that we’d call the pediatrician.  We were told that if it didn’t improve to make a sick appointment in the morning (it was a Saturday). 

The next morning we called and made the sick appointment, not wanting to wait until Monday.  We took her in and learned that she’d flatlined in her weight gain.  In the month since her previous appointment she’d only gained about 3oz. 

Listening to our descriptions of what was happening the ped suggested that it was likely GERD (reflux), and perscribed Zantac.  He told us to try giving her some formula after breastfeeding  to weigh down what she was eating (a directive I regret following…but that’s another story).  Then he scheduled some tests for us to get a confirmation of the diagnosis.

The next week we were at the children’s hospital with her in the X-ray department having a fluoroscopy performed.  I was standing there watching as she swallowed the barium right up.  I watched it go down, and stared in shock when it shot back up VERY quick, stopping at her throat before going back down and shooting back up again.

Our diagnosis of silent reflux confirmed, we followed another of the doctor’s directives that I regret….adding cereal to the formula we gave her. 

Over the next few weeks she went in for weight checks constantly, but her weight gain didn’t rebound.  So, under my (supposedly) BF supportive docs suggestion I pumped and switched exclusively to formula w/ cereal added.  He said that we would get back to BFing once her weight came back on an even keel.

But the weight never came back, and neither did the breast feeding.  Despite the treatments for GERD working in other ways (she would lay down to sleep, the screaming stopped)…her weight couldn’t seem to come back where it was supposed to be.

Eventually it got to the point where her weight was in the -25%.  She was at least a pound beneath the lowest line on the growth charts, and we had no idea what to do about it, where to go next.   She was one year old and weighed 15lbs to her 29inches.  She was a beanpole – skin and bones. Her hair was thin and practically non-existent.

It was around this time that we ended up switching pediatricians for many reasons.  With the new pediatrician came a new look into the weight issues Riley was having.  A pair of fresh eyes that would help us try to find an answer.

In came Dr. S.  She has been our joy, our savior, and just the best damn pediatrician ever.  She started the two year search for answers…


I’ll continue on Monday with the first stage of our search…from bloodwork, to the specialist and our introduction to Early Intervention!

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