Monday, December 3, 2007

At least there's a reason

So, it turns out that Alli has reflux. I didn't understand why she would cry the second I placed her on her back. Now I know.

The doctor was quick to diagnose her at our two week appointment today.

I explained that she had been spitting up a lot lately. I would hear her gurgle and gasp, then she'd spout loads of warm bubbly white wherever gravity preferred. Jerry and I have been reaching for blankets, tissues and even our own sleeves in the past few days.

The change happened very suddenly. She went from never spitting up to mimicking an active volcano practically overnight. And, of course, I blamed myself. I assumed it was the spicy chicken I had for dinner. Or maybe I overfed her. Or maybe I should just give up on sleep completely and hold her upright 24/7.

Having just gone through months of horrendous reflux while I was pregnant, I commiserate with her completely. It's no fun feeling your meal creep back up your esophagus.

On the other hand, I feel fortunate to at least know what the problem is. Granted, there isn't much we can do other than feed her smaller meals at more frequent intervals, try to get her to burp more rigorously and put a pillow under her mattress so she isn't laying flat. But it's something.

I also started reading "Good Night, Sleep Tight" -- a book about how to get an infant to sleep -- because I keep blowing through my "Newsweek" and "Entertainment Weekly" magazines during those early morning feedings. The book was a gift from another new mother, so I figured it must have some golden nugget of advice that had worked for her.

Now I think she's crazy. Because I want to douse the pages in gasoline and watch them burn, burn, burn.

It's written by a woman who coined herself "The Sleep Lady." Well, I think she should just be put to sleep by a veterinarian.

In the chapters where she starts breaking down advice by the child's age, she advises parents to start a routine by two weeks old.

Excuse me?

My routine is a lack of one. I don't know what day it is, let alone what hour of the day it is. I'm catching quick naps in the afternoon, crashing at 7 p.m. if that's when Allison decides to cooperate, then I'm back up pacing the upstairs hallway from 4 a.m. until 8.

Schedule at two weeks old. Right. I'll schedule a trip to California just so I can slap that author.

Thankfully, the doctor calmed my growing neurosis that I was doing our daughter a disservice by not timing her every move with a stopwatch.

"You will learn as she grows," he said.

And she already is. She grew half an inch in two weeks. Amazing.

Now imagine how much she'll grow if I can manage to help her keep her food down.


Tiffany said...

My oldest niece had reflex, and the doctors actually put her on prevacid when she was a month old. It worked wonders for her. Hopefully, Alli won't have to do that but I can sympathize with her pain- it's no fun.

And, although I'm not a parent, I've found that what "they" say is true... YOU know what's best for your child. If she needs to be held at 4am, then by all means, hold her. Screw the schedule. :-)

Glad to hear she's growing as she's supposed to, hopefully the new changes will make a happier Alli!

Janice said...

Awww, at least you know now! Good luck and I hope things get easier!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with everything with Allison. My brother had really bad reflux as an infant (so bad he had to have surgery for it) so I asked my mom if she had any tips for you. She said it sounds like you're doing everything you can but you might want to talk to your pediatrician about an Apnea monitor-it monitors her breathing when she sleeps to make sure the reflux doesn't cut off her air. My brother was on one for five years and it saved his life many times. Better to be safe then sorry, you know?

Ellysa said...

My daughter had reflux too (unfortunately, unlike you and Jerry, we did not get it diagnosed until much later.)

She slept in her car seat (at first between us in bed, and then, crazy as it sounds, car seat in the crib) until she was about three months old. By then, she was able to transfer to regular sleep mode.

Like I said, I didn't know she had reflux. I just knew she wouldn't sleep lying flat. Might work for Alli too. While back sleeping keeps kids safe, it is a nightmare for moms of kids with reflux.

Good luck! It sounds like she is doing terrific, even with the reflux! said...

It is nice that you know what the problem is! A Boopy might help


Ray/ said...

I totally agree with the schedule at two weeks. That's just a load of bull! Two weeks?? I mean come on NOW, having an infant on a schedule so small is an IMPOSSIBILITY! And whoever does have their baby on a, "working" schedule that young, "I'd like to meet them!" Seriously they need to be on Oprah. LOL! =P

I mean that would be awesome if that were actually possible, but it's not reality. So don't feel bad that Alli's not on a schedule.

Like some others have said, "You can read all the books that you want, but it's different for everyone." So don't feel too bad. You'll make your schedule the more you get to know Alli.

That sucks about the reflux thing, I mean when they have the hiccups it sucks, so I can't imagine how much worse that is. I hope it goes away soon, and that it's just a stage. Just her learning how to keep the food down.

And wow half an inch in two weeks, that's great. You're a great momma already Kelly. Just hang in there. Things should GOD willing get better throughout the days/weeks/ (a few) months. =)

Take, care.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will help, and I could be wrong, but maybe putting her to sleep on her back but on a slanted pillow so that gravity will not play havoc with her gastric system. Good luck, and I hope things become easier for you as time goes by.

mercurial scribe said...

A routine. By two weeks.


I'm with you, honey. Do what you can when you can because that's what she'll let you do.

And I so didn't know babies could have reflux... what do they do for that? Medication? Does it go away?

Jen said...

Routine IS very important, but at 2 weeks old, thats a bit early. You do your best to stay on schedule but its not always easy. I haven't read the book but I can only hope she meant to loosely have a schedule and TRY to fit into it. No one in their right mind should think you can get a 2 week old to conform in ANY way.

I will admit, getting the schedule part down is a lot easier with child #2 than it ever was with child #1. You are still learning and throwing a schedule into everything else can be tough. Do what your instincts tell you and you'll be just fine. As long as she's gaining weight and progressing normally, you are doing just fine.

Sorry to hear about the reflux. It tough when they are so young and there is little you can do to help them. Burping the baby was always tough for me, even with baby #2. I never quite had the knack for getting out a burp like my husband or mother could. Its one of those mothering skills that I just never learned like I should've I suppose.

the_plainsman at xanga said...

The sleep lady author may just have had the one baby who seems to be the exception so she therefore thinks all babies are the same. As some have said already, the best is to do what works the best for Allie and you.

I laughed yesterday at the suggestion of using vacuum cleaners (understand they may work) but how are the parents supposed to get to sleep with a vacuum droning on in the next room?

Oh! I get it, you are supposed to stand there watching baby and listening to the vacuum yourself until she goes to sleep. I think I'd rather listen to fingernails on a blackboard. I absolutely HATE the sound of a vacuum (unless I am using it myself!)LOL

But the reflux seems to be the reason for her discomfort, so releiving that would be best.

The suggestions for maybe sleeping more elevated like in the car seat suggested seems to be worth a try until her system balances out.

Kriston said...

My Ian has reflux really bad from being a preemie. I'll try to tell you as many tricks as I can think of.
First of all the propping up at a 45 degree angle thing is good. They make a wedge you can put on the bed for reflux and I bought mine at target.
Some nights we had Ian just sleep in his rocker. You can teach your baby good sleep habits later...right now you just need her to sleep!
Ian did that for about six months and he sleeps all night in his own bed just fine now.
They make a bassinet thing that pretty much has them sleeping standing up like they are still on the inside. That always looked good too.
Mostly what helped is medicine for reflux that they can give you. Right now of course you don't want medicine if you don't have to have it. But if she starts to not want to latch then you know she is starting to have oral aversion. Ian actually quit feeding at all for a while. Babies can figure out the whole...if I eat then there is pain....thing really fast... At that point DEMAND the medicine. It's magical! A combination of Reglan and an antacid like prilosec.
I hope just propping her works for you guys.
Good luck and get any sleep you can!

Marsha said...

You will never and I repeat never regret holding your child. You may (and will)regret the times you resented it LOL, but never the times that you did it!(And I'm still in the trenches, so I have cred LOL)
My youngest had reflux and was on zantac until a littl e over a year. She never spit up but had the gurgles, coughs, waking up, etc. I coslept so I propped her up on one arm kind of. It may level once your milk supply/demand thingie gets regulated. Usually takes about two months or so for that to happen.
Good luck! And seriously, if this isn't helping, ask for the youngest was a serene child..unless she wasn't. So I KNEW there was a reason for the screaming. She wasn't diagnosed until around 4 months old and was having ab out 3-4 inconsolable screaming fits per day, about the time they should be mellowing out a little.
You are a great mom to listen to your love for your child instead ofa stupid book!

Gamermommy said...

Our daughter suffer from reflux for almost 18 months. It is a terrible thing for everyone to go through. We went through many outfits, bibs and burp clothes a day. Once we saw a specialist and started her on Prevacid it helped so much! Keep her upright for at least 30 minutes after each feeding. Once she is old enough for a Bumbo those work well on keeping them up too. My daughter HATED the infant seat and would spit up every time I put her in. Once she was bigger and was able to be in a larger carseat that helped as well. Good luck!

Gamermommy said...

Ooh one more thing: place some receiving blankets under the bassinet mattress so she is not lying flat. Or if she is in the crib, they sell special wedges that go under the mattress.

Beth said...

Definitely use the Boppy. Betsy was in hers for a lot of early naps because she was so very small (about 5 pounds and 18 inches) that if I swaddled her and nestled her into it, she slept as if she were still in the womb. And it did hold her more upright--we didn't have reflux issues but did have breathing problems (adenoids,turned out...) and she was just more comfortable.

Allison is so beautiful. I mean, I knew she would be, but oh my...and for all that she looks like Jerry--she looks like you, too.

She is a lucky baby to be blessed with such parents. I'm happy for all of you.