Monday, January 24, 2011

Life With A Reflux Baby

After almost 9 months, its about time to put my experiences out there. Baby "S" has Acid Reflux. Here is our story.

At three months old, she started crying inconsolably. We couldn't lay her down flat for play, diaper changes, sleep or anything. She couldn't sleep at all...she'd wake up screaming within minutes. She started to get so tired you could see she wasn't getting enough sleep. Eventually, she started sleeping with us because it was the only way to keep her comfortable and for all of us to get any sleep at all. So, like any of you, I took her right to the pediatrician. He told me she was probably teething but she also had a lot of wax in her ear. After 5 days of giving her tylenol and oragel to no avail, I called back. The pediatrician gave me a prescription for ear drops to get the wax out, which I used diligently for the 4 required days. Nothing. So I called back. The nurse told me that it was just colic and not to come in. I told her she's crazy because I know my daughter and there was no way it was colic. Long story short, 3 weeks after the inconsolable crying started, I took her back to the pediatrician. Bless his heart, he told me that moms know best so he'd work with me to find the cause. He was guessing it was either reflux or lactose intolerance so we came up with a plan of action. He was guessing reflux because she spit up more than normal for any baby from day one. He thought lactose intolerance because I am. One week after starting Step 1 of The Plan (Zantac 2x/day), she was my little baby again! Now of course, we still keep her bed elevated on one end and she's still on Zantac, but at least she's no longer in pain!

Life with a baby with reflux isn't difficult (after you get them on a medication to ease the pain and heal their little bodies). She still spits up constantly. Some days are worse than others with the spit up, but its manageable. We just have a towel or large burp cloth (or even prefold diapers) in each room to clean up the mess. I've learned kitchen towels are the best for soaking up a big spit-up. We also have come to terms with changing our cloths and hers multiple times each day due to spit up. Even the dog has become used to getting cleaned up after she spits on him. Honestly, it doesn't seem to bother her at all anymore....just something that happens I think. We're told she'll probably be on Zantac until 12-18 months. As long as she is spitting up a lot, she still needs the medication. With the way she's been spitting lately, I'd be surprised if she gets off the medication around 12 months. I'm betting it'll be closer to the 18 month mark.

Life was so difficult before we figured it out. Starting at 3 months old Baby "S" would cry and cry and I could hear she was in pain but I had done all I could do to help her besides simply hold her. She spent many nights with us in bed and many days strapped to me getting carried around. It was such a long and tiring 4 weeks before we figured it out and the Zantac started to work. I'm so thankful each and every day that we figured it out and my happy baby is back. Thank goodness for good pediatricians and great medications!

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