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May 8, 2009

He Has His Uvula! (The thing that hangs in your throat…)

Filed under: Our New Baby,The First Month — Little Mommy @ 3:30 pm

Unusual title? We’ve had an unusual experience! :P

During all of the screams of pain from reflux the past week, we’ve seen quite a bit of the inside of little boy’s mouth. Something caught my eye a few days ago though…

As I was walking him, holding him out in front of me, I guess I walked under a light. Something in his throat looked strange, I didn’t see that little thing that hangs down in the back of your throat. In fact, his throat looked really weird….

Each of our children has a different type of congenital issue, so we’ve been keeping our eyes open for anything unusual on baby boy. Genetic tests haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what’s going on, but we have to at least be on alert for DS1′s heart problem showing up in another child.

DH and I have since spent time trying to look into baby boy’s mouth with a flashlight, then comparing his throat to the other children’s. We didn’t think much about it, but decided we would keep his 1 month appt. next week – just to have him looked over.

Well, yesterday I remembered to search online for what this might mean. I found out that the little hanging thing is called a uvula. People CAN be born without it and have nothing else wrong whatsoever. BUT, other symptoms are cleft palate (really glad I didn’t take that steriod from the ENT now), heart abnormalities, or other congenital defects.

This raised my eyebrows. Though none of our children have cleft palate, it can fall into the genetic category of things the genetics dept. has looked into with our crew. Then, we DO have heart abnormalities already, along with other issues.

Then yesterday, baby boy began gagging – a lot more than normal. He has started choking when he nurses (also a sign of reflux – might have to pull that nursing shield back out to slow the flow a little). But we could have him propped up on our bent knees and he would choke.

Last night, he really scared us – he began choking/ gagging in his sleep. We both jumped up and lunged for the playpen. I had already moved it directly beside our bed (to help hold his paci in the other night – I’m lazy), so I was able to grab him up pretty quick.

Well, since I had read that the uvula helps close your throat so food doesn’t go up your nose, I thought it would at least be worth calling the pediatrician about and letting them decide the importance. Maybe he wasn’t dealing with reflux, but a true health matter that would need medical attention. (It can also cause chronic ear infections that lead to hearing loss.)

A million thanks to my parents for changing their ‘off day’ plans today to come watch our older 3 – because the dr. did want to work us in this morning. After over an hour wait, we finally got to see him. He did a very thorough exam, saving his throat for last.

I couldn’t believe my ears when he announced that he HAD an uvula! Yeah! Yesterday, I didn’t have a clue what this was, but today I’m so thankful God gave him one! It’s nothing important (as far as we know), but my concern was in it that if you don’t have it – other ‘big’ things could be wrong.

So why didn’t we see one? Well, when a baby screams his head off cries, the muscles in their throat tighten up. This causes the uvula to pull upward into the throat. But with the tongue depresser, we were able to see that he did indeed have a uvula – YIPPEE!

Heart sounded good – more good news. He didn’t look in his ears… guess we got distracted. Since this was a sick baby visit, they didn’t do all the measurements, but he weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz (with a little onesie and socks on – no diaper).

We’re good until his 2 month check-up, which I haven’t set yet. We’ll be going back sometime for sure, just to keep tabs on his heart. DS1 was 4 months old when they first heard his murmur. I myself never knew I had a murmur until I was a late teen, but mine is just mitral valve – nothing major.

How am I doing now? Ha – laughing at myself, but glad things turned out the way they did. I feel like a 1st time mommy all over again, getting panicked over nothing. The doc was so nice, saying it was good to have it checked out. I do still feel that way with our family’s medical history.

We came out with a RX for Zantac, but really, he’s doing much better since I’ve adjusted my diet. I’m just dropping weight like crazy now. Doc did have a good twist on peanut butter – I can try almond butter. He just wants me to be sure I’m getting plenty of proteins and fats (not my diet exactly).

We’re probably going to wait a little on the Zantac, since it only treats the symptoms – not the problem. Of course, I won’t put my baby in unnecessary pain though. If he’s really in a pain a lot, we’ll be giving it! He only has an hour or more of crying each night, which the doc said could be colic.

Hmm… I didn’t think that was a term that existed anymore since reflux was diagnosed. Apparently, it strikes around 3 weeks of age, and presents itself a night. Not sure about anything else about it – can you treat it? Just have to live with it? Didn’t think to ask.

“Little Mommy”

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