Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fighting Reflux

Several of my babies have struggled with reflux. Caleb was particularly nasty--he could spit up sweet potatoes! Zantac helped him. Malachi was the crabbiest baby ever. And by the positions he loved to sleep in, I was convinced he had Sandifer's syndrome (my doctor also suspected it). Thankfully a chiropractor helped with the positioning, but the crabbiness turned out to stay. We didn't continue with his meds--they never seemed to help.

Tirzah definitely has reflux. I was SO reluctant to be going down that road again. But there I stood, someone asked me the question that everyone asks, "Is she a good baby?" And I blinked, and thought, and replied, "Well, she's a baby." What a flashback to Malachi! It was hard for me to see the doctor and finally agree to try some meds. I knew they were going to taste awful, and I had my doubts about how they would work. But she was obviously very uncomfortable. She would smile through the pain. She would often spend a lot of time gulping and swallowing AFTER she had finished eating--all that was coming back up into her esophagus. It isn't uncommon for her to aspirate and then have to gasp and cough. :( The one big relief is that she isn't as crabby as Malachi--she doesn't cry ALL time time, she isn't overeating, and she has always slept long hours at night. It so happened that she saw the doctor at her 2-month checkup just after eating. Dr. Tjaden listened with a stethoscope and declared, "She is very gurgly in there, Steph." So with hesitation I took home the omeprazole and began treating her.

Here we sit a month later (she's 3 months old now!!!). She has improved *some.* There are 2 days that I missed dosing her, and the subsequent cries made me decide not to ever do that again. No matter how late in the day I finally remember. She still spits up ALL the time, and it's increasing in volume, sadly. But she's happier. Yeah, I know that it's normal for babies to spit up. If you want, you can come hold her after I feed her and happily wear the results of her baby issues. Let me tell you, it's no small laundry problem when you look at it that way.

Anyways, I will confess that due to reflux (and maybe partially to personality), my baby has been happily sleeping on her tummy for most of her life. We didn't start out that way. I think that I fell asleep feeding her a few times (so she was laying on her side), and a couple times I woke up and found her on her tummy. When I would put her on her back, she couldn't sleep well. So eventually I put her on her tummy on purpose. At first I only did it during the daytime where I could check on her constantly. At nights she was often in my bed--we would just start out the night nursing and sleep together all night. The thing was, she would easily sleep a 5, 6, or even 7-hour stretch at the beginning of the night, so eventually I started putting her to sleep on her tummy in her own bed. It has helped SO much. Especially when I compare her to Malachi. ;)

She is a "stronger" baby too. She LOVES tummy time, can hold her head up really high, and often rolls over (on accident, I believe). Her legs are incredibly strong and the other day she was scooching herself forward in an army crawl--it was crazy to see MY baby doing that!

So is she a good baby? Well, she's getting better all the time as we continue to fight this nasty reflux thing. It's not her fault, and it doesn't appear to be her personality either. I wouldn't trade her for nuthin'. :)


  1. I feel your pain on the reflux issue. Daniel spent time in the hospital for his projectile vomiting, did the whole barium thing with the scan, and he was on Zantac and Reglan for seven months. He was very very fussy, had trouble sleeping, and we ended up finding out that Zantac is notorious for keeping babies awake at night and causing fussiness. The possible side effects that we read were 100% evident in Daniel, so just watch out for that. And pray like crazy! lol

  2. {{hugs}} My first two had AWFUL reflux. Ian did time in the hospital and had to have the barium scan after aspirating spit up while sleeping(on his back). It was scary. Audrey cried for MONTHS before the doc put her on something, Zantac I think. I personally will never again put a baby to sleep on it's back, that's for sure.

    I feel so bad for all those babies who were said to have "colic" and actually had reflux causing them so much pain. :(

    Hang in there, before you know it she'll be sitting up on her own and things will continue getting better.

  3. Both of mine did that at first. I don't know if it was reflux or not but both would do the whole projectile vomiting thing right after eating. Then they were switched to Soy Formula. This didn't happen with Meyrick until he was a few months old but with Jennilee it happened in the hospital the day after she was born. The difference was like night and day. I know you don't use formula but... still wanted to share my story.

    I'll praying the meds start helping her more. Love you.

  4. My doctor told me to take out all acidic things out of my oranges and tomatoes while nursing with Arianna also It really seemed to help quite a bit with the spitting up. It might help to be able to get her off meds sooner.