Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Live from the Vomitorium

Peeper seems to have what the pediatrician's office is referring to as, "that stomach virus that's going around."

They tell us that we can expect 24 - 48 hours of vomiting, and up to 5 - 7 days of diarrhea.


She seemed fine yesterday, then it hit her out of nowhere last night. (The pediatrician's nurse said that's what they're seeing, across the board. It comes on very suddenly.)

She had a nap (which I'd hoped was bedtime but, alas, it was not) around 9 pm, and then played and bathed and played some more, just like normal.

She was yawning around midnight, so we lay down to nurse, and she went to sleep without much trouble.

Around 12:30, I was trying to make my escape. She'd flopped over to snug Shrike's pillow, and
I was patting her butt, about to try to get out of bed, when I heard her coughing? Whining? Gagging? Spitting Up?!?









Okay. Whew. I think it's stopped.

I picked her up, and comforted her - although I might have been more upset about it than she was - and called for Shrike.

When she came into the room, I had her turn on the lights and - OHMYGOD, that was a mistake.

Puke everywhere. Bed. Baby. Baby's clothes. Baby's hair. Mama's clothes. Everywhere.

I took Peeper to the bathtub (where she got her very first solo bath because I just wasn't up to getting in with her) and showered her off, and washed her hair (who know how hard it would be to get mostly-breastmilk-puke out of a baby's hair?) and got her rediapered and rejammied, while Shrike stripped the bed and remade it.

I'm really not sure what the point of that was, though, because we certainly weren't done for the evening.

We got back in bed, and although I wasn't sure it was the best thing for her tummy, I let her nurse, to settle back down and go to sleep.

It didn't take long for her to throw up again.

That's when we called the doctor's office.

The nurse told me not to give her anything to eat for a while, and when I explained that we're breastfeeding, and that she was nursing at the moment, she told me, "Well, don't give her a full feeding, then don't give her any more until morning, so her stomach can rest. In the morning, just give her a small amount of clear liquid, then wait a couple of hours to see how she handles that, then give her more every couple of hours."

Um, okay. Yeah, we'll see how that goes over.

When I repeated the instructions, to make sure I'd understood everything, I just changed all that to "So, nothing but breastmilk until at least tomorrow evening, right?"

At that point, we can start her on a "BRAT" (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet. Which, according to the nurse, includes dry Cheerios, so we're good to go.

Other than that, we just have to watch for dehydration (make sure she's crying real tears, and peeing at least once every 8 - 12 hours), and if that's all good, she doesn't need to actually see the doctor.

While I was on the phone, Peeper was dozing off in my arms, while I rubbed her tummy, so after I hung up, we laid her down and took turns petting her while she fell asleep.

She wasn't asking to nurse at that point, so I wasn't going to encourage her to. However, I certainly wasn't going to turn her down, either. Luckily, she went on to sleep with out it.

I got up to put diapers in the dryer and - believe it or not - eat, and I heard her over the monitor, throwing up again.

Another towel under her, more comforting, and right back to sleep.

I went to bed, and Shrike and I got settled down to go to sleep - and she threw up again. And again. And again.

Pretty soon, there wasn't much left in her tummy, so there wasn't any clean up to be done. We'd all sleep for a while until we heard her, then I'd make sure she was on her side or tummy, in case she actually brought anything up, then when she finished, I'd comfort her and she'd go right back to sleep.

It was actually kind of spooky how fast she was falling back asleep afterward, especially when I had picked her up and was holding her.

I guess she was in a deep sleep when it hit her, so she never really got good and awake.

I may have lost count along the way, but I think she'd thrown up (or dry heaved) about ten times by around five o'clock. That matches with my memory of the clock telling me that it was happening every fifteen to twenty minutes.

She finally stopped, and I didn't hear anything from her until around 7:30 am, when she nursed quite enthusiastically. I was a little worried about that, but figured that even if it came back out, she'd absorb something and hopefully stay hydrated.

It did stay down, and she went back to sleep. Then, from about 9ish until 10:30, she did a lot of whining, and whimpering and flopping around. I was able to settle her with a bit of nursing, and patting and snugging, but never for very long.

At 10:30, she wasn't settling, so I picked her up and was rocking her when Shrike came in to check on us. I said, "Well, she hasn't thrown up since five . . . " and she immediately started throwing up.

She was laying on her back in my arms, so when she threw up a tiny bit, I picked her up and held her to my chest - where she promptly threw up huge amounts, all over both of us.

That's the point at which we both just stripped down to our respective underwears, put yet another towel under her, and washable blankets over us.

We slept another couple of hours, and the next time Shrike checked on us, she was nursing again. Shrike said, "I wish we could just turn them off, so she could suck without getting all the milk in her tummy."

I told her that, "Well, she does know how to comfort nurse, sucking lightly so she doesn't really get much. . . ."

. . . and she threw up again.

She had not been just comfort nursing.

A little later, she got up and played for a while - and threw up in the floor. While having a little bit of diarrhea.

Later, she had more, and while Shrike was changing her diaper - even more.

But she also peed during the diaper change, so she's not dehydrated.

Then, when I tried to put a onesie on her, because I was cold, she threw up on it before I even had the crotch snapped.

She seemed to feel better for a while, and played and drank water from her sippy cup (her idea) and read some books, then started yawning, and nursed right back down to sleep.

I would tell you that she's asleep now, and that it's been two hours since the last puke, but you've seen what happens when I say things like that, so I won't.

I will say that the second load of laundry is in the dryer, and the fourth load is in the washer (and a load of wet stuff is waiting in between) and the comforter is on deck.

Here's now things looked in the bedroom a couple of hours ago:

And here's now things look in there right now.



  1. Poor baby! (And mommies.) Is there anyway to teach her the concept of a throw-up bowl? Probably still too young. I think #1 was two or so when he learned. Just be glad she hasn't been eating Chineses food. Or popcorn and orange soda.

  2. Because I didn't breastfeed I'm not sure how it works but when Deion's had that '24 hour it comes on suddenly throwing up everywhere' bug I stopped giving him milk altogether because that's always been the culprit. Is there something you can give her (like a pacifier but NOT a pacifier) so she can settle herself down without actually nursing, possibly causing her to throw up? Or does that completely go against what you believe in doing? I ask because I'm genuinely curious. I have a friend who is a HUGE breast-feeding advocate but would only give her sons water/pedialyte/clear liquid when they got such a bug.

  3. Since breast milk is a natural bodily fluid it is easier on the tummy than even Pedialyte and is considered to be a "clear liquid" for those purposes. Whatever it is that is in cow's milk that is harsh on the tummy for humans is not there.

  4. Cow's milk makes big, tough curds in the baby's stomach, whereas breast milk curds are small and soft, and much easier on an upset tummy. My doctor was always concerned about dehydration when my kids were puking, and told me to offer sips of liquid every few hours, ex. a bit of diluted ginger ale on a spoon,(very tummy-friendly) or even licks on a popsicle. I hope she's feeling better really soon, and I hope you guys don't get it!

  5. Yeah, I'm pretty much the human 'fro-up bowl right now.

    And, what-she-said, re breastmilk is being a clear liquid, which will keep her hydrated as well as nutriated (Yep, I just made that one up. What of it?) while comforting her at the same time.

    On a related note - After changing another poopy diaper, by the way, it occurs to me that perhaps she's not having diarrhea at all, just baby-poop, because all she's getting at the moment is breastmilk.

  6. Update - It's not exactly a throw-up bowl, but she evidently can puke right into a shape-sorter, full of um, shapes.

  7. Poor baby. Poor everybody. Just keep watching for the dehydration. A little pediolyte in addition to breastfeeding might help. Full of the appropriate electrolytes as well as water. I'm not sure that milk has the electrolytes one needs. At least in the quantity. It is miserable for all of you, but she will get past it. I know ya'll are watching closely.

  8. The doctor's office said that as soon as she's crying real tears and peeing, she's hydrated.

    So far, so good on that one. She's probably not peeing as often as usual, but definitely more than the once in 8-12 hours that they told us to look for.

    She's still vomiting up a good bit, but has kept it down for a while after nursing several times, so I'm hoping that's given her time to absorb a decent amount.

    Don't let her hear me say it, but she nursed to sleep about 20 minutes ago, so I've got my fingers crossed that she - and the milk - stay down a while.

    Shrike is scheduled to leave work in about 45 minutes, but I think she's trying to get away a little sooner. She's also going to pick me up some dinner on her way home, and after I eat, I plan to take a shower.

    I kind of have vomit all over me.

  9. Got it! Breastmilk = clear liquid!! They just call it milk to fake people out? LOL I realized, in my quest to find answers, that I didn't wish Peeper a speedy recovery. I'm with Anyonymama... been there, done that. No fun. It's the worst when they're babies b/c they're so little and throwing up isn't pretty.. and looks painful. Poor Peep! I hope she's back to normal very, very soon!!!

  10. I'm surprised Anonymama didn't tell the story about the time I threw up inside the back of her dress. I don't remember it, but I hear tell it was a quite an event.

  11. Since you ask: Ladykay was less than two, but toilet trained and talking pretty well. We had been to visit grandparents in East Texas and were en route home when she sat on the little potty and informed us that "I had a water bim(her euphemism). Sure enough she had diarhea. That was before car seats or back seat belts and she was soon after standing on the back seat and leaned over and threw up down my collar and all down my back. We stopped and cleaned her up and i ween into a little store where they let me use the employs rest room that was so small that my dress fell in the toilet getting it off. It went from bad to worse in the car and we soon just unpaacked the suitcase andput everything washable in the backseat where I sat with her head in my lap. Vomiting, diarhea, fever, everything. She wound up spending 48 hours in the hospital getting IVs. That was before pediolyte. She had been out of diapers for a while and resented wearing them, but no choice. That goes down as one of my worst memories. The worst part was that in those days parents were NOT allowed in the Pedi ICU, even though I was in and out dozens of times working. Because anonydaddy was a medical resident, he was allowed in and he was with her. The world has learned a few things since then. Babies need parents! Thanks for reminding me. Nearly fifty years ago and still vivid in my memory.

  12. DToo late to edit the previous post where I mispelled diarrhea all the way through. Sorry!


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