The update.

April 25, 2008 at 9:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Comments

So. As you can probably tell from my last post, Baby O has been screamy lately. About 10 minutes after eating, he’s usually crying and arching, regardless of whether or not he’s burped. And the gas drops, which he actually likes, stopped working too.

So yesterday, after two full days of this pattern, I finally called the pediatrician’s office; we went in for an appointment yesterday afternoon.

Seems he’s got a touch of mild reflux.

Before they gave us any meds for it though,* the doctor wanted us to try and help alleviate the inflammation by trying some non-medicated options. He suggested that we keep Baby O as upright as possible as much as possible by having him sleep in the carseat or a swing. We are to burp him more often and feed him less of an amount with more frequency (which frankly won’t be hard to do – Baby O is more of a snacker than a lusty suck-down-5oz kind of baby).

But last night was a tough one. Baby O hates the carseat (unless he’s moving in a car or a stroller, or someone is swinging him back and forth), and thus far can only tolerate his swing for about 10 minutes at a time. J and I finally compromised and put some blankets under his cradle mattress, making a bit of an incline.

But because he was so uncomfortable, he was up for about three hours in the middle of the night last night.

And. As you can probably tell from the tenor of my last post, it’s been a few really tough days for me emotionally. Baby O has such a pitiful cry; it almost kills me to hear him in pain and know that I can’t do anything to help.

And I think, too, that the post partum hormones have really hit me in the past couple of weeks. Combined with the sleep deprivation and the absolute utter lack of control over anything in my life right now –
I barely have the ability to shower these days! – well… let’s just say I probably overreact.

I could handle an angry cry like my nephew had when he was an infant. But Baby O has such a mewling cry; it’s like he’s saying “mommy help me… please?” And that’s the cry that I can’t handle; it makes me want to protect him and FIX whatever the problem is.

Of course, when I don’t really KNOW what the problem is – it’s tough to fix.

Anyway. The good news from yesterday’s appointment? He’s now 8lbs, 5oz – and solidly into the 10th percentile (whereas he was in between the 5th and 10th a WEEK ago!).

So all the worrying I’ve done about my supply? Pretty stupid. Because, fussiness aside, he’s thriving. And he hasn’t had any formula for more than a week now… and gained a half pound from last week.

My supply is FINE.

And during yesterday’s exam, he squalled and kicked and batted at the doctor. But when I picked him up after he was done? Calmed right down and lay quiet in my arms, staring at me.

It’s moments like those where I actually feel that maybe I can DO this whole mommy thing. Those are the moments I need to remember when, at 2am, he’s arching and kicking and crying in pain against me. Because I might not be able to fix everything for him, but he knows me.

And in those moments…

I really think that he loves me just as much as I love him.

*I want to go on record and say that I really LIKE the approach my pediatrician’s office is taking. As much as the momma bear in me wants anything possible to make my baby feel better, I do think that, in general, children are overmedicated. I do want to try other ways of making Baby O more comfortable before we try medication. That said, the doctor told me yesterday to call immediately if his symptoms get worse – or call next week if the steps we take doesn’t ease Baby O’s fussing. Which I will do if I have any doubts or worries.



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  1. I’m totally with you on the non-medication approach as the first step. My pedi is that way and I really respect that she admits that medicine is given to children when it’s not needed. We always try it out and work together if we feel we need to intervene more with actual medications.

    I’m sorry to say your hormones are kicked into high gear. That I do know gets better. At least you can acknowledge it. Keep reminding yourself that you’re doing the best you can with what you have. The beginning is the hardest and I believe it gets easier as time goes on. New Mommy challenges continue to creep up, but newborns are tough!

    Hope you can get to enjoy the sun today …and maybe a nap. 🙂

  2. If it makes you feel any better, the stickies’ fussiness is also peaking. I had a total ‘I’m the worst mom ever because I can’t soothe my babies’ breakdown this week. (ah, sleep deprivation…) From what I’ve heard, though, this is the age where fussiness peaks (around 5-6 weeks). so, my hope for you is that the reflux-combatting tricks coupled with another week old will make the nights better…

  3. I’m sorry about the reflux!! I hope something helps out soon.

    Glad to hear he’s gaining well, though! 🙂

  4. Your story sounds like mine. At around 4 weeks my son Nico was crying and screaming most of the time. I felt to weak and impotent. It started to become a vicious cycle, the more he cried the more anxious I got and so on. I finally went to my peds and described what was going on and he dx him with reflux. Because this had gone on for a few weeks we decided to put him on Axid and do all of the other stuff too (raise the bed, hold half hour upright post feed, etc). The Axid did not work so off I went to a pedi gastro. He is now on Prevacid and what a difference I am starting to notice. The pedi gastro said that its all about quality of life and if we don’t fix it we will all be miserable and miss out on this wonderful beginning. He pedi gastro said that reflux is something to manage and not fix so we kind of have to live with it until he outgrows it.
    Good luck to you.
    Ps…. I know that after my son got dx I kind of got worse emotionally. All I did was cry and feel lost. Now my hormones are just starting to get better (he is 9 weeks old) and I feel a bit better.

  5. I hope you feel a little better knowing what the problem is and having a few ideas of how to fix it. I also like your pediatricians approach. I think all new mommy’s just basically have to “fake it”–where can you get any practice in advance?

  6. I hope you don’t have to call the pedi back about this, but I do know from experience with reflux that sometimes no matter what you do, other methods cannot help. 😦 I hope that no matter how it happens, Baby O can get some kind of relief soon. And the good news is that most kids outgrow it naturally by about 6-9 months as their systems mature (even though I know that probably feels so far away right now!).

    You’re doing a great job. Don’t question your supply…that’s when you start getting into trouble is when it’s questioned. You’ve got proof that he’s thriving, so I say go with it. 🙂


  7. Aaah, they both had reflux so I feel for you. I think weeks 6–8 (and for some people they fall earlier and some later) are the hardest. And then at some point, it calms again.

    I just looked down at the Wolvog and said, “you know when you were Owen’s age you screamed and cried a lot.” He just smiled at me. It sucks how cute they are so you can’t get too angry.

  8. Of course try the methods of non medication, but please dont suffer and dont let him suffer in the name of no meds.

    My youngest was a terribly refluxy baby. The gas drops didn’t work. He was miserable all the time, and we were doing all the none medicinal things we could. The thing with reflux is it is damaging to their inner throats. My son has a quick gag reflux because of it. He just pukes often. No reason other than it hurt his throat.

    When the Pedia put him on his reflux meds I felt so guilty giving it to him. He hated the taste and I had to sneak it in and shoot it to the back of his throat to get him to swallow. I cried so hard and was sure that it was a bad choice to be medicating him.

    Two days later I swear someone changed out my child. He was smiles and giggles. He didnt scream and arch from discomfort. He didnt spit up near as much. He slept. Peacefully.

    We tried a couple of times with Drs suggestion to remove him from his medication. Most children this isnt an issue. They outgrow the reflux. My son happens to have GERD, and at two years of age still needs his meds. If I happen to forget to give it to him at bedtime a couple of hours later he calls for me and asks for it. The reflux bothers him laying down.

    Im sure your making the best choices with baby O. We tried everything we could. But please for your sanity and his dont hesitate to call and say this just isnt working. We are both still miserable.

    Oh and a question. Are you using a bassinet? Does anything you have for him have vibration? My son didn’t care for the carseat much either. We would put the seat in the bassinet and turn on the vibration. It made his carseat have that same hum as when traveling in the car. He slept much more peacefully that way. Mind you it was in my room next to my bed so I didnt worry about him falling or anything of the such. I dont know what your arrangments are, just suggesting finding a way to make his seat buzz:)

  9. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews on the Amby baby hammock for babies with reflux – but don’t have personal experience. You might see if anyone around you is selling one cheaply on craigslist and try it out…they seem to really hold their resale value if it doesn’t work. Good luck! You are doing great!

  10. My son (now seven months) had terrible reflux (caused apnea episodes & a hospital trip). We had great success with keeping him upright for 30 minutes after each feeding and adjusting his crib mattress. Based on my pediatrician’s advice, I lowered the mattress settings on one side – creating a funny slant and then used rolled up receiving blankets covered with a thin blanket to make a block U-shape for little one to sleep in (so he wouldn’t slide down – I learned this at my local Children’s Hospital). It wasn’t a dramatic angle, but it did help him sleep much better.

    One thing you can try when he arches (if it’s been 30+ mins post-feed), is lay him down and very gently push his little legs up toward his face. It sounds kind of out-with-the-bad-air-in-with-the-good, but I swear this is the only way I could get my little one to pass gas.

    Beyond that, swaddle, cuddle, bounce, rock, hum and go easy on yourself! You can do this, eventually, he WILL sleep, and you will too. I promise!

  11. You’re doing the right thing. It is so hard to hear them fuss, but it will pass very quickly believe it or not. Hang in there!

  12. One thing that saved my arms in the early days of reflux was a baby carrier. I used a mei tai one, but any of the upright ones will do the same thing. That way I could keep the baby upright for .. well, forever after a feeding, and have my arms free.

    Even now with meds we spend 2-3 hours holding him at night, and I just clean up piles of spit up all day long (he now hates the carrier).

    Good luck!

  13. Sleep.



    As much as you can.

    As often as you can.

    I know you’re worried about co-sleeping, but maybe you can prop up Baby O a bit in the crook of your arm and doze with him during his naps (while your husband is out of the bed).

    Here’s another secret — we *all* “fake it till we make it” in this motherhood gig. There are times right now (w/a 3-y/o and an almost 2-y/o) that I still wonder what the heck I’m doing, and feel like I’m doing it all wrong. We only pretend like we have it all together, because we’re “supposed” to be like this. Then slowly, gradually, we become what we have only play-acted at before. It clicks. But here’s the thing — your baby knows you are mommy, and mommy makes everything good. You are your little guy’s world, so take care of yourself so that you can take care of him.

    Oh, and “bicycle” his little legs to help him pass gas — make his legs go through the motions as if he were pedaling a bike.

  14. Do you have a bouncy chair? dd loved hers and at that age, I didn’t have to worry about her squiggling about too much for it to be a danger. She slept beautifully in it and loved the vibrations. Chin up mama!

  15. Talk to your doctor about RES-Q Wedge, or contact the Pediatric OT Co-inventor and find out more by following this link:-

  16. I’m sorry Baby O is in so much pain. Gio was/is like that. The Za*ntac is helping a little, he definately smiles more now and the episodes of reflux are less than they used to be, but it’s hard to watch them look at a feeding as a time when they feel lousy. Plus the more he grows, the more he understands that. He looked at the bottle the other day like “I really want the formula but it makes me icky sometimes” …
    however, he and Jake sleep sitting up in their car seats and their swings. Over last weekend, both of them slept in their swings and we decided NOT to go up to bed because they slept in them from 8pm to 6am for Gio and 4:30 am for Jake. WHO-HOO. I’ll sleep on the couch, near them for that kind of sleep time.
    They also didn’t like the swings at first either, but now , they are so happy in them and sleep little hall.mark commercials. Eventually things work out.
    you’re doing a great job with Baby O. Your gut will tell you whatever you need to do. Intuition takes over when you’re sleep deprived and frustrated.
    Hope you and Baby O are feeling better soon.

  17. I was going to suggest the wedge that a friend of mine had great success with, but looks like you’ve already got a reference.

  18. Oops that went too fast. Was going to also sympathise and tell you that you’re doing an amazing job. And he is gorgeous!

  19. Something that might help the inclined sleep – use one of those bath tub ramps (obviously covered with a nice soft blanket for bedtime comfort). They are designed to keep a baby elevated, and the angle is perfect for what you are trying to achieve!

  20. I never had heart burn or reflux of any kind, until last week (thanks 2nd trimester). I totally feel his pain. Poor thing, I know he must be just miserable.

    I hope you find a sleeping way that works. No assvice here. You are doing a great job, you are such a good mother.

  21. You CAN do this, in fact, you ARE doing it! Hang in there!

  22. If he is uncomfortable with the towels under the mattress, maybe try a couple of 2x4s (short ones) under the front legs of the crib? We did that for Monkey when her little nose was stuffed. This keeps the mattress flat and firm and just elevates his head/torso. HTH.

  23. Sounds like a rough patch. Good luck getting to the other side.


  24. TBB had reflux as well, I know the hell you’re going through. We tried everything, all the massage techniques, all the uprightness, all the meds, nothing worked. Homeopathy and cranio-sacral therapy provided a bit of relief, certainly more than anything else.

  25. The F!sher-Pr!ce Soothing Motions Glider is wonderful for reflux. It keeps the baby slightly elevated, and it gently glides back and forth. It does make a fairly loud mechanical noise, but I think that that sound actually helps the baby sleep. Our baby slept in it for about six months. It was amazing. The batteries last for a long time. We even took it on trips (car trips – the base is fairly heavy). We left it on all night. has lots of interesting reviews of the glider. Good luck.

  26. Serenity,
    I know that you are doing a great job, and am wowed by Owen’s weight gain, he is obviously thriving, regardless of the reflux. I do want to add my experience regarding when to advocate for medication. Reflux causes stomach acid to be splashed up into Owen’s esophagus and it is this chemical burn that can lead to the pain, crying, arching and pulling away during eating and afterwards. Hence the keeping Owen upright to prevent the burn in the first place. Eating can become painful, just like when we have a sore throat. If Owen begins to act as if the act of swallowing is painful than he may have a chemical burn and he may need medication to heal it. Of course you don’t want him to be on unnecessary medication, but you also don’t want him to suffer with something that can cause him pain and could cause him further damage. If you have any other concerns, I second taking him to a pediatric G.I. Doc. I can speak from experience, we see many people in the ER with pain so severe with reflex that they believe that they are having a heart attack or pneumonia, or some other severe illness. It can be that painful. Take care.

  27. I have a res q wedge I would like to sell if anyone is interested.
    please leave a reply.

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