Hannah’s First Stomach Bug

Last Sunday, in the very early morning, Pete woke up to the sound of Hannah coughing…and vomiting. We cleaned her up, changed her clothes and the crib sheet, and put her back to bed, all for her to have round two an hour later. She slept soundly the next few hours and woke up wicked hungry around 4:30 so I fed her a small bottle of formula. Instant throw up. Another wardrobe change and Hannah fell asleep. When she woke up hungry at 7, I mistakenly tried formula again with the same results.

The rest of Sunday was spent trying to entice Hannah to drink Pedialyte and checking to see if she had a wet diaper. The pediatrician’s office was incredibly unhelpful, telling me that Hannah would surely have a wet diaper when she woke up from her nap. Well, after nine hours without a wet diaper we called Grandma’s friend who’s a rock star nurse and she suggested taking Hannah to the children’s hospital. Apparently Hannah just needed a little motivation because as I took her upstairs to pack a bag she gave us the wet diaper we were waiting for.


Unfortunately we repeated the waiting game again in the afternoon/evening but another call to the pediatrician’s office had better results. The NP said we could try any liquid at that point, even formula since Hannah hadn’t been sick since the morning. When I mentioned that Hannah was going more than eight hours without wet diapers the NP said that timeframe is a guideline but we should follow our gut and take Hannah to the hospital if/when we were uncomfortable with the situation. I gave the formula another shot and Hannah kept 2 oz down at 8 pm and another 2 oz at 11 pm. At that point I felt better that Hannah had some fluid in her and decided to see how she was in the morning before making a trip to the hospital.

The next morning, thinking Hannah’s belly was back to normal, I gave her a small bottle, which she chugged and threw back up. Thankfully Grandma was able to watch Hannah and meet me at the pediatrician to check Hannah for signs of dehydration. The doctor said Hannah looked fine – her mouth was wet, lips weren’t dry or cracking, and her capillary refill time was good. This doctor said a wet diaper every twelve hours is acceptable and warned us that the stomach bug they’ve seen starts with vomiting and ends with diarrhea. He suggested offering Hannah white grape juice or watered-down Gatorade since she absolutely hates Pedialyte, and then binding foods like applesauce and bananas once her appetite was back.

Even though she hadn’t been sick since Monday morning Hannah stayed home with Grandma on Tuesday too because she still wasn’t eating or drinking much. She was back on formula, starting to eat more food, and back to being a happy girl. When I got her home Tuesday evening I thought we were finally back on our normal schedule…and then the diarrhea started.

Hannah had to skip daycare again on Wednesday and we lost our backup childcare because Grandma caught the stomach bug from Hannah. I called out of work to stay home with the poop princess, which wasn’t too bad because it gave me a chance to fold all the laundry produced over the last few days. Hannah seemed to be feeling alright until she would eat or have a bottle. Thankfully I learned the schedule quickly and was able to minimize the number of dirty pants.

That smile = up to no good

By Thursday morning Hannah was 100%. She was eating and drinking her normal amounts and the vomiting and diarrhea stopped. Grandma was feeling better and said she could watch Hannah (since she should be out of daycare 24 hours after the bug stopped). It was a good thing Grandma was free because Pete and I were both sick with the same bug. I tried so hard all week to contain the messes and wash my hands but there was no escaping it. At least we learned that Hannah knows how to share and we’re all healthy for the Easter family gatherings today.

Important Milestones You Won’t Find in Baby Books

Baby milestones are a big deal, regardless of how many boxes you check off on a medical history form at the doctor’s office. They’re a big deal because your child is learning, growing, and transitioning from a dependent baby to an independent toddler. In our house, this transition will take extra time. The learning and growing happens over weeks or months only to reach one stepping stone of a milestone.

It’s almost impossible not to focus on Hannah’s progress when I can’t go a week without someone asking me if she’s crawling, walking, dancing, or talking yet. I’ve finally perfected my response, which was previously a gaping mouth and deer-in-headlights stare. Now I simply say “No, not yet” and when the other person gives a concern look I follow up with “Hannah’s on her own schedule.” Anyone who knows Hannah understands my response and for everyone else, well…I don’t owe them an explanation.

Typically, I try to stay away from any social media links or stories about milestone schedules; however, I came across one the other morning that piqued my interest. The picture on Pinterest showed the words “Important Milestones You Won’t Find in Baby Books” written across a diapered bum. The list included a few moments we have experienced and a few I hope we can avoid.

The first time you get pooped on – Hannah pooped on me while we were cuddling post-birth. I can’t wait to tell her that when she’s older and being sassy.

The first time you cry when your baby cries – Not yet, surprisingly.

The first day all the other moms seem to know what they are doing – The first day? How about every time I go out in public, sporting yoga pants and dirty hair, struggling to balance the carseat, diaper bag, and whatever else I was silly enough to bring. Then I look up and see another mom dressed like a functioning member of society with 4 well-behaved kids in tow, buying craft supplies to do some crazy Pinterest project. Yeah..I’m not the least bit jealous.

The first tantrum – Let’s call this a meltdown instead. It was 3 weeks after Hannah’s surgery and we were at our friends’ house. Out of nowhere Hannah started screaming and crying. She didn’t want the bottle or pacifier. She didn’t want to be held or laying down. She didn’t want gas drops of Tylenol. She and I were sweaty, exhausted messes when Pete and I finally decided to leave, which was exactly when Hannah stopped crying.

The first time the baby throws an entire plate of food – The pediatrician recommended letting Hannah play with her food or hold a spoon to see if she can find her mouth. Well, let me warn you that a spoonful of applesauce travels farther than you’d expect when thrown by a 1 year old.

The first time she figures out how to remove the diaper – Thank goodness we aren’t at this stage yet! Our wiggly little girl is starting to learn how to evade a clean diaper by rolling over.

The first night you literally get no sleep – I can’t even blame a restless baby for this since Hannah slept through the night at an early age. The week before I went back to work was plagued with anxiety dreams and very little sleep.

The first day you realize you’re amazing – The first day, a good week after she was born, that Hannah and I were home all by ourselves and we both survived.

And I’m adding this one to the list…

The first time your heart explodes with love – The first time Hannah saw me and reached out for me.

Hannah’s First GI Consult

This morning Hannah finally had a GI consult because she’s still spitting up bloody stuff occasionally. The pediatrician was under the impression that the issue stopped back in October/November when we stopped using the nasal aspirator but I told her during Hannah’s 12 month checkup that it was still happening every few weeks. She suggested keeping track of it and we could revisit the topic at the 15 month appointment. Then last week when Hannah was sick she threw up one night and it ended with some of the bloody mucous. Finally, the pediatrician said she’d submit a referral for a GI consult!

First we met with a nurse practitioner and discussed the history of the spit up, Hannah’s eating habits, and her persistent constipation. The NP didn’t seem too concerned by the spit up but honed in on Hannah’s weight gain plateau and disinterest in thicker food. I tried to explain to her that Hannah hated baby food at first and loves it now, and that it doesn’t seem like she has texture issues but more like she doesn’t know she has to chew the food first.

The NP suggested prune or pear juice to help Hannah move things along. She didn’t give me a straight answer when I asked how much because she doesn’t want Hannah’s liquid needs to be filled by sugary juice. The other option she mentioned was a prescription for lactulose, a synthetic sugar that’s absorbed directly by the large intestines. We’ll try the prune/pear route first and see how Hannah does.

When the doctor arrived the NP gave him a run down of our discussion and asked for his input. He said the spit up is not a GI issue at all because the consistency is mucous-like, which means it’s an ENT issue (who told me it was a GI issue). His opinion was that it’s a broken blood vessel in the nasal passages and shouldn’t worry us too much since it’s happening so infrequently. He also didn’t seem concerned by Hannah’s slow weight gain or food apprehension. He proposed a visit with the nutritionist (who I strongly dislike back from Hannah’s pre-surgery days) but I’d prefer to give Hannah the original 6 weeks the pediatrician suggested to catch up.

Overall the appointment wasn’t worthwhile. It seems to be the running theme with Hannah’s specialist visits lately (inconclusive hearing test, and “come back in three months” ENT visit). I did enjoy the extra snuggle time with my little love bug, who was fighting a new cold and a low fever.