The Princess and the Puking

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Surviving the trauma of your 3 week old baby needing a new heart is one thing…trying to make her take several drugs a day is another.  As you know, Addison does not play coy.  There is no poker championship in her future.  Her feelings are pretty much written all over her face and when she doesn’t like something, boy do you hear about it.

Unfortunately, Addison is not quite old enough for the talk about life-saving drugs, keeping your new heart strong, preventing infections, etc etc.  And drug manufacturers haven’t really tapped into the market for yummy-tasting medications for infants.  That means mommy and daddy get the stink eye a few times a day as we try to coax her teeny mouth open to accept another round of drugs.  I can deal with dirty looks, crying, kicking, wailing…it’s the projectile vomit that makes me feel particularly bad.  Addison looks so sad and miserable when she’s puking, though I don’t suppose it’s a picnic for any kids.  Aaron and I have gotten quite good at catching the contents of her stomach in a towel before it hits us, the chair, the pillow or the floor.  Then the worst part – if she has upchucked within half an hour of getting her meds, we have to do it all over again.  Keeping my fingers crossed because she’s never puked twice in a row, though twice in a day has happened.

On top of that, we have to manage prime puke times in between the 8x a day feedings, which if you do the calculations (average feed time at 45 minutes) means Addison only has a 2 hour window when she isn’t supposed to be eating.  Now as parents, we have taken a few liberties with the schedule imposed on us by dietitians and the medical team, but we also have to balance that with the need for her to put on some pounds.

I know lots of kids and babies are prone to puking, but really I find this to be the most difficult thing to deal with so far. I admit, I had a little breakdown last night thinking about how we were going to have to force feed Addison her medications for the rest of her life, poor little baby!!  Yes, a bit of drama.  After I calmed down, I thought if this is the worst part of my day right now, I’m doing pretty damn good considering where I was just a few weeks ago.

And to follow-up from our first transplant clinic at Children’s Hospital on Wednesday…Addison’s new ticker is doing great, her lungs are working even better, she is now over 4 kg!  Her Tacrolimus levels (the most important anti-rejection drug) are at good therapeutic levels and if those numbers continue to do well, we can lower her dose of Prednisone.  On Monday morning, she’ll be finished with the special formula and it’s back to breast milk, which may also help with the puking.  All good signs for our little princess.


Elaine, Aaron and Addison

6 thoughts on “The Princess and the Puking

  1. Addison, angel bean, you listen to your Mama and Daddy and take your meds like a good girl!
    We have fought this battle many times over. Here are some ideas; 1)Compounding pharmacies can make most any drug taste delicious (this shouldn’t be an issue since she is taking Ranitadine and it is “mint” flav). They will give you a seperate little bottle of concentrated syrup and you can add it to the drug. She is wee so it may only take a wee bit. 2) Make sure she has burped before you try and give her the meds (if she will give it up!) 3) After you give it to her, make sure she stays upright for 30 minutes after. I am sure you have heard all these things but I had 2 power pukers. Cayden was upwards of 25 times per day.
    Gooooooooood luck! Keep the towels handy and in a few weeks you will be out and notice there is vomit on your shirt and shrug “meh”.
    Lisa xoxo

  2. Oh and get the little syringe as far back in the corner of her cheek as you can. Less taste buds. If she starts to look like she won’t swallow. . . blow gently in her face. Sounds cruel but it is great in a pinch for those stubborn wee ones 😉

  3. We have mastered giving a bit of medicine in the teat of a bottle – the baby thinks she is getting a feed and sucks it down. Just thought it might work !

  4. Tee hee … the puking! Given all that you have been through you really shouldn’t have to deal with puking, but it’s such a normal baby thing I’m so glad you’re experiencing it! Cole just opened his mouth and a wall of puke would come soaring out. On planes, at the dinner table (most memorably at Club Med, all over me, with the G.O. watching in horror ) in the car, try getting that stink out of the carseat cover! This too shall pass …
    btw your baby girl is beautiful …love the pics! jill

  5. Come on, little Addison!!!!!!!! You can do it, little princess!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck with the meds, Elaine. You are doing an amazing job…. don’t forget that!!!! We all love you soooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Ok, I know it’s not funny, but it made me laugh. Elaine, you have witnessed the many times Adam puked. Remember the old Chinese lady at dim sum? I’ve had friends watch in astonishment as I cleaned up the puke off floors at coffee shops. Eleven changes of clothing in one day (7 for Adam, 4 for me)! Addison, at two months you have had many “firsts” – no need to top this record!!!! Hopefully the breast milk will keep everything down.

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