Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | November 30, 2010

follow-up appointment tomorrow

Tomorrow is our long awaited follow up appointment with the GI doctor at Children’s Mercy.  I am nervous and excited and relieved all at once.  I know that the first question he will ask will be, “So, how is she doing?”, to which, I’m not sure how I will respond.  She’s better in some ways, worse in others.  Her tummy is softer and smaller than when we went into the hospital both times but not as small and soft as when we left.  She is producing dirty diapers, just not as many as she should be, according to the doctors.  On the days when she doesn’t produce one, she is seemingly in a lot of pain and those afternoons/evenings tend to be the hardest for all of us.  Either way, she’s displaying some of the classic symptoms of colic, since coming out of the hospital, which have made it tough around here.  Long gone are the days of peaceful evenings and the ability to make plans after Russell gets home from work.  Rather, most (but not all, praise God) of our evenings consist of taking turns holding Hannah as she screams.  We’ve made a pact that we will hold her until we reach our limit and then pass her off, before getting angry or too frustrated.  Yet, in both of our attempts to serve one another, we inevitably hold her for too long, become frustrated, and the plan backfires.  We’re working on this!

The highlights of the day are when she is awake and interactive.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for these times.  But, I am learning to also be grateful for the times when she is screaming.  Because at least her screaming means that she’s alive and I don’t want to ever, ever take that for granted.  I’m only 7 weeks into this mothering thing but I can tell you what, I am learning so, so much.  In the beginning, I often looked forward to the times when Hannah was calm or sleeping so that I could get back to what I was doing or at least pretend that I was being productive.  Even now, the temptation is to hope for her to calm down for my own sake.  For my own plans.  For my own sanity.  Yes, my selfishness is being revealed in an accelerated manner!

I had a dream a few months before Hannah was born.  In my dream, I was putting Hannah down for a nap on my bed.  Yet, instead of walking out of the room once she was asleep, I stayed with her, cuddled up next to her, and just watched her sleep.  I was reminded of this dream the other day and have found myself wanting to do just that.  I’m not good at it.  But I want to be.  I don’t want to play babysitter.  I don’t want to just meet her needs.  I don’t want to fit her into my schedule for the sake of convenience.  I want to pour my life out for her and all the more, during this time.  I want to love her well.  Last night as I was holding her as she was screaming, and I was crying (what’s new), I tried something different.  We’ve read all of the techniques and tried most of them.  Normally, thanks to the “Happiest Baby on the Block” dvd, I swaddle her, hold her on her side, gently shake her (though I’m not supposed to call it that), and “shush” her loudly.  And normally, it works, at least for a little while.  However, last night, the more I did that, the louder she screamed.  So, I stopped.  I just held her as tightly as I could and I prayed.  And I waited.  And within a minute, she calmed down.  She stopped screaming.  She stopped thrashing.  She just let me hold her.  Sometimes the techniques don’t work and you have to improvise.  We’re learning this more and more.

Back to the appointment tomorrow.  The big question that we will discuss will be whether to keep Hannah on Elecare (easy to digest formula) or switch back to nursing.  If we had seen drastic changes in her while being on Elecare, I’d be all for continuing with it.  However, I’m not convinced.  Hannah’s pediatrician then surprised me the other day by saying that he doesn’t think that she even has a milk protein allergy, considering we’ve never seen blood in her stools.  And since she’s so young, they can’t definitively test for any kind of allergy.  IT’s all a hit-or-miss.  He’s hopeful that we can switch back to breastfeeding.  The problem with switching back, however, is that if we’re wrong, and if it doesn’t work and her belly becomes distended again, we have to go back to the hospital.  The only way to decompress her stomach is to stop putting food into it, and therefore she would have to be on an IV to get fluids.  We can’t do that at home.  So, what I keep asking myself is… Is it worth the risk?  Mostly, I’ve just been praying, “Tell me, Lord, what to do.”  I know that He knows.  And I know that He speaks.  It’s just that sometimes…. He waits until the last minute.  Alas.

We’ll write an update after the meeting tomorrow.  We’d appreciate your prayers for the meeting… but mostly for Hannah.  I’m convinced that we’re going to see a breakthrough in her.  It’s just a matter of time!




  1. Praying for you friends. Please, please let me know if I can come and give you relief. I am available. You are awesome parents, know this, but if you need help please remember to ask. Praying for healing and restoration to little Hannah’s body.
    I love you all much,


  2. Wow… what a mom you are. =) Great thoughts, feelings, and actions. Hannah’s a lucky girl!! I loved this post.

  3. Good luck tomorrow. I hope you things get easier from here. We’re thinking of you with love.

  4. God, we just pray that the appt tomorrow would go really well and that it would be YOUR decision that is made. Give Russell and EJ peace and heal Hannah’s little body. In Jesus’ name!

  5. Praying for you all today! I’ve still got that lasagna for you when/if you can do dairy again! =) Let me know!

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