In 2005, I gave birth to my first child at a whopping 9 lbs., 13 oz., and 22 inches long. Let’s just say she was one big, healthy baby. For the first year of her life, everything went according to the books: She nursed easily; I was staying home, so I was able to make her baby food from scratch; and I followed my pediatrician's guidelines about introduction of foods exactly.
A little before her 18-month check-up, she got a really horrible diaper rash. Three visits to the doctor, 3 weeks, and a lot of special products later, it cleared up. During this time, she threw up once or twice in the middle of the night with no other symptoms. Because it was summertime in Texas, my husband and I passed it off as her being too hot and took measures to help her stay cool at night.
As the days went on, the occasional vomit became a nightly event, and we contacted the pediatrician right away. Allergy medication was prescribed because the doctor thought nasal drainage was causing her to vomit. Over the weekend, we tried the allergy medication and had success on the first day, but not after that.
My instinct told me that something was wrong with my daughter’s digestive system and this was not related to nasal allergies. I gave my daughter some Tums and that seemed to help. The next Monday, I told my pediatrician about my experiment. She sent us directly to a pediatric gastroenterology and to a neurologist because her symptoms now were mimicking that of a brain tumor... vomiting in the morning with no other symptoms.
To make a long story short, a lot of blood work was done on my daughter, and an MRI was ordered but was 2 weeks out. During that time, my daughter began to vomit more often, and my husband and I became experts at cleaning that mess.
On the day of my daughter’s MRI, I received a phone call with the results of her blood work. I will always remember the exact words, "We can cancel the MRI. We know what is wrong with your daughter, and it's not a brain tumor." She then proceeded to tell me that my daughter has celiac and would need a biopsy to confirm it.
Having never heard of celiac, I resisted the biopsy until I spoke with her regular pediatrician. She confirmed that a biopsy was needed in my daughter’s case, and we spent the next week giving her 1 saltine per day. I called it "the poisoning." This had to be the hardest part of the process, knowingly giving something to make my baby sick.
By her 18-month check-up, my daughter had gone from the 98th percentile in weight to the 50th, and her actual diagnosis from the biopsy reads: anemic, dehydrated, malnourished due to the onset of celiac disease. Her biopsy was scheduled exactly 1 month after she first vomited - we caught this extremely early.
Three months after her diagnosis, she had another check-up and was back in the 98th percentile for weight. She has been doing great.
My daughter started kindergarten this year and is one of the tallest girls in the class. She is even able to eat the occasional school lunch.