Monday, August 16, 2010

Prayer Request

I will do a weekly post tonight or tomorrow at the latest. For now, so that my weekly post isn't the length of a novel, I wanted to do a separate "prayer request" post.

Whenever I was still breastfeeding/pumping, if we ever supplemented with formula, I gave Brendan a Sensitive formula (Similac Sensitive or Up & Up Sensitive (which is the Target brand)). I did this because he had a lot of gas issues as a baby and a lot of things say babies have trouble digesting milk protiens so the sensitive formula helps with that. Anyway, when I stopped pumping, we originally continued giving him the Sensitive formula. I decided I wanted to switch him to an organic formula because I was under the impression that they used a different process than regular formulas to add DHA/ARA into the formula. By the way, thats a WHOLE other post that I plan on doing. *Stepping off my soap box* So, we switched him to Earth's Best Organic formula, which is not a sensitive formula. I figured that he wasn't having the gas issues anymore because his gas had decreased dramatically and I talked with the doctor about how to gradually introduce the regular formula.

After trying the Earth's Best for a few weeks, I noticed that Brendan's gas had come back with a vengance. He wasn't seeming like he was necessarily uncomfortable, but he had A LOT of gas. Then, I found out that the process Earth's Best uses to put the DHA in the formula is the exact same as non-organic formulas. Also, while he was on the Earth's Best, his poop turned completely black. I had read before and learned during a class when I was pregnant that formula-fed babies often have black stool because of all the iron in the formula. I figured that the regular formula had more iron in it and that's why his poop turned black on the regular formula when it wasn't like that on the sensitive. But, Tim was uncomfortable with his poop being black all the time because he felt like we wouldn't know if something ended up being wrong with Brendan (like internal bleeding, which can manifest itself as black poop). Because of these things, I decided to switch him back to the Sensitive formula.

When we switched back to the Sensitive, his poop initially went back to the way it was before the Earth's Best (which, in case you really wanted to know, is brown and/or the color of whatever solids he ate that day). Then, it all the sudden turned black again. Oh, and I'm not talking sort of black. I'm talking black as night, the color of tar, the blackest thing you can think of black. We felt like something might be wrong because he hadn't had black poop since switching back to Sensitive and he had been really fussy that week, which isn't usualy for him, so I called the doctor. The nurse called me and told me to go ahead and come in just in case, though it probably would turn out to be nothing. When I originally went in last Thursday, they didn't tell me I needed to bring a poopy diaper with me and Brendan hadn't pooped on the way over there. They have to have a dirty diaper because the way they test for blood is to test the actual poop. They ended up just telling me to go home and bring a dirty diaper back on Friday.

When he woke up Friday morning, he had pooped sometime over the course of the night. It wasn't nearly as black as it had been earlier in the week and the day before, but I went ahead and saved it and then decided to wait a couple hours to see if he would go again. When he hadn't gone again, I called and asked if I could bring in the diaper from overnight and they said 'yes.' I brought him in, they tested it for blood, and it came back positive.

The doctor had me go over the whole process of switching formulas and about how fussy Brendan had been. For the first time the night before, he had actually had a lot of trouble sleeping and kept pulling his legs up underneath him and putting his arms on his tummy like it was hurting. I told the doctor all this and he said he believed that the regular formula had irritated Brendan's stomach and caused a bleeding ulcer. He knew the bleeding had to be in his upper intestines or stomach because if it was in his lower intestines, it would have come out the color of blood instead of black. He told me to try two different hypoallergenic formulas (Almenium and Nutramigen), figure out which one Brendan liked and give him that for two weeks instead of the Sensitive formula. In addition, he told us to stay away from cheese and yogurt for the next two weeks and he prescribed us Prevacid to help neutralize Brendan's stomach acid and allow the ulcer to heal. He also told me to make an appointment with a Gastroenterologist (sp?) for Brendan but that he felt there was only a 10% chance we would make it to that appointment because it usually takes awhile to get in and he thought the measures we were taking over the next two weeks would solve the problem. If the black stool went away in the next two weeks, then we would try going back on the sensitive formula. If nothing happened, his stomach just got irritated and we healed it and everything is fine. If the black stool returned, then we would know he had a milk protein allergy and we would have to take measures to watch what he eats.

Of course, Brendan wouldn't drink either one of the hypoallergenic formulas unless I put juice in them. So, I called the doctor (before I figured out he would drink it with juice) and they said to use soy formula. I looked online and found out that a lot of kids that have milk protein allergies also have soy allergies. Also, I was worried that the soy wouldn't be as effective in solving the problem since the doctor hadn't recommended it in the first place. In addition, Brendan has been having trouble sleeping and doing the same stuff like his stomach hurts since Thursday night. Because of that, I went ahead and called the doctor again this morning and asked about the soy being as effective, told them he would drink the hypoallergenic only with juice, and told them about his sleeping problems. They also called and asked me about how he was eating (which, he hasn't been eating as much since this happened) and I told them about that. They called me back and told me it would actually be better to give him the hypoallergenic formula with some juice instead of the soy and they also told me to take him off of ALL solids, except I can give him rice cereal.

I was able to get him an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner at the Gastroenterologist THIS Thursday at 3:00 so we aren't having to wait as long as we thought.

Anyway, after all this, I just wanted to ask that y'all say a little prayer that everything is okay and we figure out exactly what the problem is, get it fixed, and that it is not too serious. Oh, and that he doesn't have a whole lot of trouble not being able to have any solids because this kid LOVES food and loves his solids.

Hope y'all had a great weekend!


YaYa said...

Lauren, Brendan will definitely be in my prayers...I am sorry the little fella is having all these issues, but hopefully they will get them all worked out and he will be fine!!! I don't know how you young mothers these days keep up with all the variety of formulas anyway. Please let us all know the results and we will keep him in our thoughts and prayers....

Sara said...

Good luck today at the doctor! Hoping to hear good news soon.

Ashley said...

Wow, you've had a quite a few weeks. I'll be saying a prayer for your little man that he gets some relief and you get some answers quick.

Bobbi Janay said...

Wow, i will def. be praying for him.

Natalie said...

Definitely praying for your little guy! Hope everything works out... I've heard those special formulas are really expensive so hopefully you won't have stick with that too long (esp. since he doesn't like it).