But through it all, Chris and I have been strong. A unified front. Lovebirds with our own little duckling. And not a day goes by that I don't thank God for everything we have. We are blessed with a happy baby that will endure just about anything. In his 22 weeks of life, our little Nugget has had chronic reflux, three colds, an ear infection, croup, a stomach virus and a cough that just won't stop. And you'd never even know it.
Since he was about six weeks old, he's been on at least one medication for the reflux (for the past several weeks, it's been two medications). I know that not everyone agrees with pharmaceutical intervention for infants. But I don't believe in infant suffering when there are medications to help. The pharmacy techs know us by name now and tease us about "another med for Bryan." Whatever. I want my son to be healthy as badly as I want to NOT fill a prescription for several months in a row. And we'll get there. Or at least we hope we'll get here.
I don't know if we just got lucky, if we did something very right or if he's just learned to roll with the punches, but Bryan is the most amazing baby. Through all this, you'd never even know there was something amiss. He smiles and coos and plays and puts everything in his mouth like a very typical almost-six-month-old should.
Last night we had to start nebulizer breathing treatments for him and it's heart wrenching at the least. We both know that these treatments will help (eventually) and at this point, we are willing to do just about anything to help our little Nuggs stop coughing. We know he does not have CF but have no idea why he coughs to the point of waking (all of us) up several times each night. His crib is elevated on one end. We use a nasal aspirator with saline every night and every morning. We've switched his formula to help control the reflux and to be gentle on his sensitive tummy. And one variable at a time, we have eliminated everything except allergies and asthma. Chris and I both have allergies, and Chris has asthma.
Bryan sat peacefully with the fish mask on his face for 15 minutes last night and this morning too. With his momma in tears and his daddy making funny faces and rattling toys, Bryan smiled behind his fish mask. Especially during peek-a-boo. Who does that? How is it possible that he's OK with all the medications I've shoved in his little mouth and now this crazy fish mask I hold to his face? Regardless of the how and the why, I find it all downright amazing.
So does Chris. Last night, after the first breathing treatment, I gave Nuggs his splish-splash (that's what we call bath time), rocked, read and put him to bed. When I got downstairs, Chris was obviously upset about something. He said that seeing Bryan with the fish mask on, and hearing the nebulizer turn on brought back some horrible memories of his childhood and his own breathing treatments. He was upset the he had "given this to Bryan." How do you convince him otherwise? I tried. And I think he's OK. But you could still see the sorrow on Chris' face when we gave Nuggs his treatment this morning.
It's going to get better. We all know that. And we are in very capable hands with our pediatrician who is prepared to send us to any specialist necessary to get Bryan well. In the meantime, we will just keep our happy faces on, go about our daily routines and continue to be amazed by our little Nugget.