So last night Ashlyn vomited. This is a big warning sign for babies with shunts so I was very concerned. She spits up quite a bit, but this time it was different....greater in quantity and more projectile in nature.
Immediately, I grab my cellphone....but I realize that upon discharge from the NICU, I never got a number to call in case of suspected shunt malfunction (among all the other things they failed to explain at discharge...Strong was awful with their discharge instructions!). I ended up calling my pediatrician office where I speak to a secretary who tells me the nurse is busy but to leave her a message on the answering machine. I leave a message and expect a call back ASAP. Two messages later....no reply.
I also made a call to the neurosurgeon's office (the only number I had for him) and got his secretary who was borderline incompetent but assured me that he would page the on-call neurologist. Again, no one called me back.
An hour after making the unsuccessful calls, I decide that I either have to take Ashlyn to the ER or watch her closely. Since she only vomited once and exhibited no further symptoms, Chris and I decided to stay home and keep a very close eye on her overnight. We already had a pediatrician appointment scheduled for this morning so we were comfortable waiting overnight.
At her pediatrician appointment, our doctor was satisfied that she did not throw up again and her fontanel remained soft. She does have some fluid accumulation that is increasing in quantity around the shunt valve that I was concerned about. She told me that she would contact our neurosurgeon and make sure this is expected. Good news is that Ashlyn's shunt is most likely operating completely normally.
Bad news is that she lost 1oz since her last appointment over one week ago....She is down to 9lbs (9lbs 7oz at birth, 9lbs 2oz on discharge from NICU, 9lbs 1oz at last visit). She eats every 2-3 hours, has tons of wet and poopy diapers, and appears to be thriving so I could not believe she is still losing weight! It is very frustrating and makes me feel like a bad mom....my supply is great and I thought breastfeeding was going wonderfully. Boy was I wrong....She does spit up a ton so I wonder if like Braeden she has an issue with acid reflux that will require medication.
Since Ashlyn's first week of life was a stressful one, our pediatrician expects that might play a role. So even though she is over 2 weeks and not back to her birth weight, she is giving us a break for now. We just need to go back on Monday for another weight check. If she continues to have problems then we will discuss formula supplementation.
In the meantime, we will increase the frequency of our feedings. And I plan on just using one breast at each feeding to assure that she receives sufficient quantity of hindmilk. Plus, I have a huge let-down reflex at first so this will eliminate the amount of spitting and sputtering she does before my flow settles down. At least that is my plan......