So I haven’t posted in a week….again. Not my fault this time, but rather we were very busy with Max last week. Last Monday, P and I were at home starting to prepare ‘Turkey Pho’ (yup that is right, pho made with turkey broth). I was playing with Max on his activity mat and he had three small really weird spit ups that were slightly projectile in nature….no big deal. About half an hour later as I was holding him, I noticed that his diaper needed changing so we went upstairs to his room. Max hates diaper changes and screams and hollers through most of them. He was starting to cry as I was taking off the soaked diaper. When I put the clean one on, I noticed that his eyes had slammed shut, his mouth sealed and foaming and he was shaking his head back and forth. It looked as if he was choking. I looked at him for a couple of seconds, realized it was not right, and yelled at P to come and check him out. We met at the stairs and P looked and him and said that he wasn’t breathing. P is a former firefighter, so luckily he remembered the infant choking first aid sequence better than I did. Max was not crying, turning blue and very rigid. After a couple of back-blows, he became a bit more limp, but still no crying. I called 911 and they sent an ambulance and basically told us to keep doing what we were doing. After about a minute or so, Max starts to wimper but still looks like he is struggling. By the time the ambulance got there, he was back to normal colouring, breathing and was alert. We opted to take Max in ourselves as we don’t live too far from the Children’s Hospital and we didn’t want to tie up an ambulance. We went to CHEO and were seen rather quickly. We waited in a special area just for newborns as to not get sicky-germs from all the older kids (there were tons!!). At first we thought he was chocking, then maybe thought it was a seizure (P’s nephew has seizures)…but when the doctor explained how baby seizures look, we ruled that out quickly.
What Max had was an ‘Apparent Life Threatening Event’, abbreviated to an ALTE. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, most commonly acid reflux. However 50% happen for no reason that can be detected. However, Max had to go through a ton of tests, including blood tests (which had to be done multiple times), urine samples, an ECG and a chest X-ray (soooo not cool…baby goes into a tube with his arms up and basically freaks out). All the tests came out good, so Max falls into the ‘unknown’ category. We think that he might have spit up again, and didn’t know how to cough….freaked out and closed his vocal cords (it does happen). However in the barrage of tests, I noticed that his weight was almost the same as it was 2 weeks ago. I told the Med Student and ER doc that I didn’t like the number. They were too worried at first, but I told them repeatedly that I wasn’t happy about that number. We had to be admitted as per standard procedure (ALTE’s are followed by a 48 hr observation period). The doctors the next morning confirmed that they were not happy with Max’s weight either and he then had to have more tests to figure out what was wrong. We were in a room with 3 other boys, 2 of which were teens. It was super loud and I never got more than a few hours sleep. I also had to use a pacifier with Max as it is kinda hard to calm an infant down when you can’t do your regular ‘fussy time’ routines like walks, putting him in the Moby, that sort of thing. After all the tests, we figure that Max really likes his food and that I am not producing enough milk (yet) for him. So after a few different feeding schedules…we put him on a diet that consists of 30 minutes of boob time (limited because he becomes lazy and uses me as a pacifier), followed by pumping whatever is left and giving that to him, followed by a bottle of yucky-ass formula. He is now starting to gain weight…yay! The formula is just a bridge to get him where we want him too and that will be nixed as soon as it is possible. Formula poops = god awful!!! We noticed that he is much more happy during the day and his freak outs in the evening are not happening as much.
We did start giving Max a pacifier to help his sleep the week before this incident. He ends up spitting it out after 5-10 minutes and doesn’t cry when he wakes up. We also gave it to him when he has his moments of “all I want is boob”, but not actually eating. When I introduced the pacifier, I did not notice any ‘nipple confusion’. If Max is hungry, the pacifier will not help. However….the whole bottle thing: Hello nipple confusion! His latch almost immediately began to suck (haha) and it became a bit more of a struggle. I purchased Medela’s Calma Nipples which make him work for his food and requires him to open his mouth wide as if he is actually breast-feeding. These are pricey little things ($20 each), but I think they are working. He hated it at first, but after I angled it right and figured out where his lips should be, he got the hang of it. We also purchased the Medela Freestyle Pump which I’m having more success out of than the hospital grade one (it is all about the nipple cups I think). We were going to start introducing a bottle in February anyways, so we just started a bit earlier. Breast pumps are freakin expensive and P’s drug plan doesn’t cover them 🙁
So that was last week. We are at home now and everyone is fine. We are going to the doctor’s in for our weekly check-in. I’m thinking that Max is finally back up to his birth weight now as he feels heavier. I’m hoping that we never have to go to the hospital for a very long time!
*Edit: Should also add that P and I need to go get our CPR and First Aid re-done. It is funny, again P has loads of training from his volunteer firefighting days as well as he used to be a First Aid instructor and I’ve done CPR courses several times and have a big interest in the medical field……yet both of us forgot key things in the heat of the moment. P forgot to do chest compressions and I forgot the first bloody thing they tell you: Check the ABC’s!! P has seen several dead bodies and treated many people…yet he said it is different when it is your own kid.