Yeah. Ya know the Johnson and Johnson commercials with a smiling, laughing mom sweetly massaging her beautiful smiling baby with baby lotion - in an all white bedroom, sun streaming through the spotless window? My lotion must be broken.
For some reason, when I attempt this, I am wearing sweats, my hair completely disheveled, and Greyson is either screaming, or spitting up Linda Blair style - in a nursery with a toxic smelling diaper genie and burp cloths on every surface. I demand a refund.
The truth is - as I have mentioned numerous times before - parenting is HARD. Rewarding beyond measure, but HARD. Its even harder when your child has issues that you don't understand and, quite frankly, scare you to death.
Take the latest development in Greyson's short little life: tracheomalacia. Google it. Basically my kiddo has a floppy trachea. I like to put it that way because it just sounds less serious than "a condition characterized by the flaccidity of the tracheal support cartilage which leads to tracheal collapse, especially when increased airflow is demanded". Wouldn't you agree? Poor little Grey was recently diagnosed with this condition after his persistent mother demanded someone explain why my child was experiencing all of these symptoms.
No one likes to be "that" mom. The one who calls the pediatrician all the time with concerns that their child is all but dying. I did that with MC. I was determined to be more laid back with numero dos. HOWEVER, when you know something isn't right, you just KNOW. Grey's breathing was growing increasingly concerning (high pitched gasping sounds, or low, deep congested rattling) and he was choking every time he tried to eat. Factor in constant spitting up because he is sucking in so much air when he's choking and you have the recipe for a crying mom scouring the Internet for answers.
I had mentioned these symptoms to his regular pediatrician, but, again, not wanting to be "that" mom, I tried not to make a big deal about them. When she didn't seem concerned and said it was probably just his reflux, I tried to put my worries aside. She was a doctor - she would tell me if I should be concerned. However, that little mommy voice just kept saying "something isn't right!". I listened and after stumbling upon tracheomalacia in my late night crying fit, I knew I was on to something. Greyson had every listed symptom and when I played a video of a baby with the condition, Adam (who was sitting next to me on the couch but unable to see the screen) asked if I had video taped Grey to show the doctor. I told him that wasn't Greyson and we were both amazed that this baby sounded so much like him.
The next day I called the pediatrician office on a day I knew our regular pediatrician was out and scheduled an appointment with a different doctor. After describing Greyson's symptoms and showing her videos of him when he was making odd breathing sounds, she said it sounds like tracheomalacia and referred us to a pediatric pulmonologist. She said that if it was just noisy breathing she probably wouldn't do anything, however since he is having such issues feeding we need to explore it further. She said the pulmonologist would probably want to do a swallow test where they will put dye in his formula and then do an x-ray to ensure he isn't aspirating liquid into his lungs. I am PRAYING his case isn't severe (most children simply outgrow the condition between 18 and 24 months once the trachea has a chance to harden appropriately) and we don't have to do any further testing or treatment.
With that being said, Greyson now has tracheomalacia, thrush, and acid reflux. Parenting is HARD. The Johnson's didn't succeed in turning my life into a happy, smiley commercial but maybe it will at least make the stink smell a little better ;)