At 3 months old Harper started having problems with her bowels. She stopped going for days, which soon turned it a week, the week became a week and a half. Being exclusively breastfed I was concerned but not too concerned as my second daughter somehow went through the same thing. I became extremely concerned when she finally had a bowel movement and it left her covered in her sweat and tears due to the amount of her efforts. ‘This can’t be right’ we’re my only thoughts.
She turned four months and I thought the opportunity of getting more fiber in her diet may help her. I mentioned this to her doctor also and was advised to try oatmeal and prunes to help her. As we dove into the ‘solid’ food journey I soon found that I was only able to feed her food covered in prunes otherwise her voice would be filled with screams as held onto me tight while having a bowel movement. It wasn’t until a bowel movement produced blood in her stool I decided to remove ‘solid’ food from her diet completely. Though her doctor recommended to continue with solids despite the blood my ‘mommy intuition’ told me to stop.
I went back to exclusively breastfeeding and everything returned to normal for her. She was no longer constantly uncomfortable. She would have bowel movements at least once a day, she was happy. Even the problems she had before with only breast milk were gone. Maybe her stomach just needed more time to mature. At six and a half months I tried again and she became constipated again, even with prunes. Though I had stopped the ‘solids’ her problems continued into her seventh month. I begin to wonder if her bowel issue was related to her vascular malformation.
Part of Harper’s port wine stain is on her stomach. This has been a concern of her vascular team since they originally evaluated her in May, in addition to her legs and spine. As her legs have begun grow disproportionately I do worry about her internal organ growth being effected. I can only hope I am overacting and looking too deeply into her condition then I should.
Her flatulence became stronger and the length between bowel movements continued to grow. Concerned she was becoming impacted I visited her pediatrician yet again and expressed my concerns. At this time a referral was finally put in to see a G.I. Specialist. Though her doctor advised to try to continue ‘solids’ as her gut may need time to mature with their introduction. Despite feeling uncomfortable I continued the ‘solids’. After visiting with G.I. he recommended the same however did schedule a barium x-Ray to ensure there was no obstruction in her intestines especially since she has vascular malformation already.
That’s what we did today. That was our morning. It was described to me as a quick procedure. She would not be put to sleep and there was no need to fast. It would be a enema. I dressed her with the thoughts hopefully it won’t be that bad and she can still have a good day.
It wasn’t until I was dressing my 7 month old in a hospital gown sized just for her did I question pushing for a visit with a G.I. specialist. As I assisted in holding her little body down that was fighting for my embrace I felt low, unsure of my decision and the ones that will come with her condition. I had always been so sure of my ‘mommy intuition’. I was confident and certain but in the moment as I listened to my daughter’s screams I questioned everything about my being. So funny how kids will do that to you. As I now lay beside my sweet sleeping girl, I just hope the test gives me answers and a direction I should go in. It definitely was not the best day ever for her I am just glad she won’t remember any of this, tomorrow will be better. I promise…