Flannery turned eight months on the 30th of December.
As of her eighth month birthday, Flannery has been enjoying life, including her first Christmas (well, the first half of it, anyway.)
She is still a little peanut with hardly any hair, though there is more hair now than ever, and every day her peanuttiness gets a little bigger.
But the whole issue with her weight became more complicated this month with her first-ever stomach bug.
I have never had a baby so young get the tummy flu! But it was going around, and it went through a few of us, though not all of us, thankfully. Flannery was one of the unlucky victims, however.
dealing with the stomach flu in an infant
Flannery never really let on she wasn’t feeling well. Just one day she was playing out in her play yard, and I heard her making funny noises. I looked over to see what was the matter. She seemed fine, but the noises continued, so I went over to pick her up. As I did, she vomited, but immediately sucked it back in through her nose. After a moment upright she expelled it from her nose, but it was a terrifying moment for both of us.
Because Flansie still had a serious aversion to solid food, all her vomit was just milk. I was thankful for that, because it didn’t smell, and the only thing I could think to do was to keep her upright so she wouldn’t aspirate her vomit again if she did throw up. So she and I spent the next twenty-four hours sitting in my bed, surrounded by towels, making sure she didn’t throw up while lying down. And she did throw up over that next twenty-four hours–a lot. I could catch in all with the towels, which Jeremy would take and wash and bring me new ones.
I called the on-call pediatrician first thing, just to ask what I should do with her. Thankfully I got the most no-nonsense pediatrician we seem to have in town–as a side note, if I ever talk to him on the phone he always sounds like he’s on the treadmill and trying to –and he was very direct. She’ll be fine–just keep nursing her–give some pedialyte if she seems like she’s dehydrated. Grandmaggie went to get us some pedialyte, and I settled in to keeping her upright for as long as it took.
At first she would throw up within 10-20 minutes of nursing. She seemed to throw up everything she had just taken in, though I’m sure that wasn’t the case. But she was completely unfazed by the vomiting. She would just kind of look around while doing it, as if there wasn’t anything strange about it. The breastmilk throw up didn’t smell at all, though, so it wasn’t really gross to have her doing that over and over again.
I sat up all night with her, keeping her upright against me while she slept. I watched a few long, serious movies that I can’t exactly watch with the bigger kids around. She would sleep fine, then sometimes wake up and throw up again. I tried to feed her often, but not too often, so that she could sleep too. By the next morning she had gone several hours without peeing, so I started the pedialyte with her . She wasn’t too happy with that, but she did get some down, though she threw it up again 10 minutes later. After a little bit she peed, though.
As the 24 hours wore on, more time started passing between nursing and vomiting. She started to show her first real irritation–she was tired of my holding her, and tired of sleeping in my arms. The girl likes her own bed for sleeping! I started putting her down beside me on the bed for short periods so that she could stretch out like she likes to do. By late in the evening she hadn’t thrown up for several hours, so I put the poor thing in her own bed to sleep. Boy, was she glad to be in there! We both got some much-needed sleep that night.
finally overcoming the solids hurdle
After that sickness, my main concern was of course her losing weight when she was already so low. But she bounced back from her sickness pretty easily, and the week after her sickness, she finally ate her first real solid meal–eaten with gusto, no less, and without any spit-holding or funny faces. The food she found so palatable? A hash brown casserole. I can’t say I blame her–it was pretty good.
Since then she seems to have turned a corner on eating. She doesn’t spit food out, rarely makes funny faces, and will even yell (sort of) at me if I’m eating something and not sharing it. Her very, very favorite thing she’s eaten was the Christmas ham.
noises of all kinds
She became extra, extra vocal this month. She’s always been giggly and likes to coo, but this month we went into full-on babbling, shrieking, squealing, and the sound I have affectionately referred to for years as The Happy Dah-Dahs. Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-DAH-DAH!! Always with more emphasis and expression as the phrase goes on.
She’s very particular with when each sound is used. The Happy Dah-Dahs are for playing alone (happily of course), squeals are for when she’s really pleased with something (for example, Beatrice’s doll with the eyes that open and shut got lots of loopy-squealy-sounds). Shrieks and yells for when she thinks she’s being left out of something (like when I’m holding her with arm and taste-testing the cooking chili with my other hand, and she is put out that I haven’t offered her any yet.) Crows and gurgles for when her siblings come to play with her.
She really, really likes Elvie. Elvie can always make her laugh. She also really likes Aurick, but Aurick is not quite as sure of her. This is because he has a harder time coping with her grabby hands, which are always going after the toy he’s playing with. (She does have very grabby hands, and because I can’t keep up with how fast her fingernails grow, they’re often scratchy hands, too.) But so long as she’s not toy-snatching, he’s fine. Eldore and Beatrice are also frequent favorites, as they’re the ones most likely to come and stick their faces in hers and make funny noises.
At the beginning of the month, I set up the full-size crib in the living room so that she had a place to play where she was protected from wayward feet or toy-snatchers or Beatrice, who likes to hang over her and talk to her and sometimes loses her balance while doing so. She sits like a queen in her little crib, watching the goings-on, singing her Happy Dah-Dahs. When she’s tired, she starts to fuss, and I pick her up and put her in her bed, where she promptly throws her “my” over her head and goes to sleep.
Because of her affinity for all things rattly and crinkly, most of her Christmas presents have been rattly and crinkly toys, which she has loved! Our Christmas isn’t over yet, though, so there’s more to come for her. (Spoiler: it is more rattly/crinkly things.)