I am sooooooooooo sad. My poor poor POOR baby . Thank GOODNESS for our pediatrician and thank goodness today was his four week visit.
Within the last four or five days, Jack has become SUPER cranky. I mean, extremely cranky...more than usual. He was always cranky at night...which I wrote off to over-stimulation or possibly being extremely tired. But within the last week, he became like, an angry baby. If he could talk, I felt like he'd be yelling at me. I thought, what has happened with my baby? Is he going to be a happy kid? He seems so angry. Will he ever smile? I was getting frustrated. Also, in a previous post I explained how in the evenings when we put him down, he goes through a bout of crying...but for the rest of the night when he wakes up to feed, he goes down without a hitch and no crying. In the last several days, he not only has been waking up sometimes up to every single HOUR, but crying for sometimes up to 30 minutes each time I put him back down after eating. I just didn't get what had changed.
So today I went back to the doctor and of course asked for reassurance on the sleeping. She said (and this is a different doctor than the one who told me something similar at the last visit) that yes! Babies who learn to sleep this early are developmentally better off (they get better sleep), happier babies (they get better sleep), with happier parents (they get better sleep). She also said all these women who ignore their husbands when they have a baby and kick their husbands out of the room...then decide later to stop ignoring the husband...it doesn't always work that way and the husbands don't forget it. Anyway, she also said she suggests sticking to a feeding schedule (like, every 3 hours) instead of on-demand. I actually do not agree with that at all...and I dont mind nursing! It's relaxing and I'm on maternity leave so if my baby wants to eat, I'll feed him! But I said, well my baby eats constantly. Because he does! Especialy in the late afternoon/evening. I'm literally bound to the recliner...he does NOT STOP!!! She said, well that could be an indication of reflux b/c they don't like their stomachs to be empty as its more painful...so they eat all the time to keep their stomachs full. So...reflux explains...
1) The incessant eating.
2) The angry and constant crying which has progressively gotten worse and worse. A couple of weeks ago it started just in the evening (I thought was him being tired)...now it has progressed to first thing in the morning and all day. In fact, he'll finish nursing on one side, and instantly start crying (painful crying), I put him on the other side, he finishes, and instantly cries. It's just so sad now knowing its b/c he is in pain.
3) Posturing. John and I laugh b/c if you're walking around holding him, he will push off of you, arch his back and push his head back so he is practically in a "u" shape. Apparently, reflux babies do this as its a little more comfortable. Before the reflux, he was SUCH a cuddly baby. Now, that doesn't help him feel better at all. Nothing does.
4) Coughing. He coughs a lot now.
5) The wheezing. The raspy cries.
6) The gagging. A few times I have completely panicked b/c he'll finish nursing and all of the sudden start this gagging/choking thing. And I panick and start patting his back desperately and it always ends. That has happened several times. I read that babies breathing is always strange as they are still learning to breath through their mouths, etc...so I wrote it off to that. I didn't even tell the doctor that today although meant to.
7) Crying WHILE nursing.
8) Maybe even his extreme gas and discomfort is due to reflux.
9) Why just about the only way I can hold him or the only way he can sleep now is on his left side so I put him across my stomach resting on one arm with his left arm hanging down below my arm, head on the crook of my elbow, stomach to my stomach, and bounce him slightly. Apparently left side and the slight bouncing is actually very soothing.
10) This afternoon I DESPERATELY needed a nap (he wakes up all night now so I'm exhausted) and he was crying (of course) so I laid down in bed with him next to me on his left side (stomach to stomach...me on my right side)...and he cried for about 5 minutes but then slept for two hours right next to me. Unfortunately he can't sleep on his side in the crib.
I just feel awful for Jack. Just awful. The poor little guy. Babies are just so helpless and they can't tell us anything! I'm just so relieved I had that appt scheduled for today and must have mentioned just enough that the doctor made the connection that this could be reflux. I guess I just thought this is how babies are. So she said I could eliminate all acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus fruits, etc) from my diet if I want to be conservative, or she could write me a prescription and we can see if that works. Well I don't eat acidic food too often b/c I have always had bad reflux myself...I guess over my life I've just adapted my diet...so I decided what the heck I'm going to the pharmacy. I had to go to a different pharmacy b/c my normal pharmacy was out of the Pepcid...and since it was my first time at the new pharmacy, they gave me 2 lbs of fresh salmon for free! Score!!! So we have given him two doses now...but of course it hasn't kicked in yet (I read it can take up to a week)...and now that I know he isn't just a dramatic irritible baby (like I said, I thought he just took after me), it breaks my HEART to hear him cry, and to see his mouth turn upside down.
John propped up the crib matress about 30 degrees which seems to have helped in combination with the medicine b/c he did not cry too long at all before settling into slumber. I'll keep you posted on the progress...I really hope the medicine works and fast. I read online a lot of peoples babies responded right away and were much happier babies! Before this reflux became an issue...mornings were such a happy time for Jack! His face would just look so happy and peaceful! (They can't smile yet)...but now he never looks happy and peaceful. I can't wait to see happy Jack again.
Poor baby :) Who knew being a mom could break your heart like this!