Alex has a congenital intestinal condition called intestinal malrotation. I refuse to call it a birth defect because Alex is not defective. This means that his GI tract does not function in the way it should. His intestines do not rotate the way they should and other elements of his GI tract are not placed in the correct spots. Untreated, it can be a life threatening condition.
Alex, in the beginning of his little life, just wasn't eating as well as his brother. In fact, he was barely eating at all and not making a dirty diaper. He was fussy at feedings and seemed to always draw up his legs after spitting up. Ever the nervous new mom, I mentioned it to the doctor at a checkup, after he lost over a pound in two weeks.
|At his smallest, Alex was just 5 lbs.|
Alex took the upper GI like a champ, but it showed malro and would need surgery before things got too far. He is not symptomatic, beyond a few warning signs, so we had some time. Though, every single time he makes a dirty diaper, spits up or vomits, my stomach falls, as each time could be a warning that the malro has cut off the blood flow to his lower gut. Every single time means part of him could be dying.
|Thankfully, now he's gaining weight, however, it bothers him to eat, so he's usually a little extra fussy at times.|
We are so incredibly lucky to have caught this early, but my tiny little man still has to have the surgery to correct it. And that scares the hell out of me.
Every malro story is different, and I am very, very lucky that we are not one of the "bad" ones. As a dear family friend, whose little girl was an emergent malro baby, told me a few days ago, "Scary is scary. You have the distinct challenge of anticipating this and worrying ahead of time; we didn’t have to do that."
My prayer tonight and tomorrow and every day is of gratitude. Thankful that I had this little voice I listened to when people told me, "babies spit up; it's normal." wasn't right for my baby. I'm thankful I can talk to Anne, because she's right, there are no pain Olympics, we've still got a mountain to face, even if hers might have been bigger. I'm thankful for modern medicine, Dr. Heiss and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, because as their tagline says, they are dedicated to "all better."