Monday, September 12, 2011

Projectile Vomiting, Umbilical Hernias, and Possible Allergies, Oh My!

OK, so something is up with Sir Finn and I can't figure out what it is.  All of a sudden over the last week, he's had a really hard time sleeping at night, which is coinciding with him swallowing LOADS of air when he's nursing.  I have a distinct feeling that the two are related and that he's super uncomfortable when he tries to lay back down after a meal.  I've tried burping him for upwards of 45 minutes after he eats, but more often than not, I can't get a single burp out of the little stinker.  It's SO frustrating to be able to hear the air being sucked like a vacuum into his little belly and to be able to do nothing to help.  I've tried burping him immediately after he swallows it, but to no avail.  This week has also heralded the onset of a new talent by the little man - projectile vomiting. All of this has occurred during a week bookended by two weekends full of unfamiliar people and places, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it.
I also have another hunch that I think may be playing a part in his ongoing digestive dilemma...his belly button.  This little dude has one heck of an umbiculus.  For the first few weeks after he was born, it was "normal" - the little stump fell off all on its own (and was then consumed by our dog, but that's another story), and then all of a sudden, kaboom! It explodes into what Chad is calling "Ziggy's nose" after the comic strip character.  It completely dwarfs his poor little penis, and I would totally post a photo here, but man this poor kid is already going to have to go to therapy for me blogging about him on a national stage. I don't need to put him through that, too.  After googling umbilical hernias (what did we ever do before google???), we realized that it's totally normal and will likely resolve itself within a year.  We asked around, we actually know a mom who's son had one that went away at 3 months and another who still has one.  Our medical provider assured us that it's no big deal unless it becomes hot, hard, and oozy.  So far, so good.  But you know, the more I think about it, the more I think it must disrupt his little digestion.  I mean, think about it - you're a brand new person in the world and that's hard enough, but then to have some of your intestines bulging into a little space that they're not supposed to be in...I don't know, I think that would bother me.  Sometimes, I notice that when I push in his belly button, it seems to relieve his crying and sometimes he lets some gas out.  Now, this may just be coincidence, but I find it really hard to believe that it's not causing some sort of hiccup in his digestion.  I certainly don't think this happens to every child who has a herniated belly button, but I really, really think it's the case with Finn.  Not that there's anything we can do about it - it just gives me a little bit of comfort that maybe we have an answer for SOMEthing.
In the meantime, I think I'm going to call a lactation consultant to try to solve the mystery of the sudden penchant for swallowing huge amounts of air.  It's not a good time for mommy when, after a blissful five hours of continuous sleep, the rest of the night is broken up into 1 hour unhappy chunks.
I'm pretty sure that he may also have some allergies brewing, but I'm going to take one step at a time for now and hope that his watery eyes, sneezing, and stuffy nose are all figments of my imagination.


  1. I was told by my grandma to wrap that region to help with pain and discomfort. I also received hand-me-downs from an Asian family that had bands of fabric and a velcro fastener to place over the belly button. They may be old wives tales, but I did notice a decrease in crying when I used them. Good luck!

  2. Hi Sarah!

    Make sure Finn's getting a good suction all around the nipple, no space for air to sneak in! I know a local woman who is finishing up her lactation consultant certification, which means she's meeting with people for free right now to get her hours in! Please let me know if you want me to pass along her contact info.

    I really hope this doesn't sound to stalkery, but I absolutely loved your writing on the NPR blog. I'm also from Maine (with a husband from Islesboro!) and live in Lincolnville - our family experienced a home birth turned hospital birth as well last year.
    I wanted to reach out because I know it's tough finding families our age with children to socialize with. If you ever want to get together or chat, please feel free to email me! I really hope all is going well for you and your new family!