Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reflux Relief in Arendelle

There are many aspects of parenting that are impossible to prepare for...most aspects, in fact. Even the parts that are common sense can turn out to be far from what was expected. Teething, for instance, is obviously uncomfortable. I've heard that babies can be fussier when they're teething because they're in some pain. So you give them some Tylenol and something to chew on and move on with your life, right? Oh no. It's oh so much more dramatic than that. The thing about teething is that it causes increased salivation. It doesn't seem like this wold be a very big deal, but actually, salivation is the first stage of digestion. If you have increased saliva, the digestive enzymes in your mouth are increased and the chemistry throughout your entire digestive system is completely thrown off. For some babies, this wouldn't even be noticeable. For some, they may have some increased gas. For others, it's a total disaster.

So when I saw you start to do this:

...and this:

...I had but one thought:

There was more drool than I could have ever possibly imagined. It was endless. I'd say on average, you went through about six bibs and three outfits per day. You were still acting like your usual self, so I just kept you dry, gave you Sophie to chew on, and didn't worry about it.

Last Saturday night, when you were 16 weeks old, you had an episode like nothing we had ever experienced. Your Auntie Sara was over because Mommy and Daddy were heading out to our neighborhood's annual wine tasting. She was playing with you downstairs while we were upstairs getting ready. You had spit up quite a bit earlier that day, but I didn't think anything of it. I found out later from Sara that you had spit up a pretty substantial amount when you were downstairs with her.

When I turned my blow dryer off, I heard you crying. The crying went on for a while, and I could tell that Sara was having a tough time soothing you, so she brought you upstairs for me to feed you. Since you had gotten rid of so much of your food earlier, it made sense to me that you might be hungry. Eating only brought us momentary relief, however, as you kept breaking off and crying. In all of our history of eating issues, it's never seemed painful for you. But that sure was what it looked like. By that point, you had cried so hard that you were having trouble breathing through your nose. I used the snot sucker to clear it, which you hated per usual.

You were already so upset, and eating and blowing your nose had only snowballed the situation. You were crying pretty hard, and nothing was soothing you. You seemed pretty tuckered out from all the crying, so I put on the Ergo Baby and hoped that wearing you would help to rock you to sleep. You had some pretty bad hiccups though, and that made it difficult to sleep. Thus began a pretty nasty cycle: you'd cry til you dozed off, then the hiccups woke you up, then you cried harder. This went on for almost an hour until the crying turned into screaming.

Your daddy made the brilliant suggestion that he take over. You're usually a very happy baby, but if you are upset, nursing can always soothe you. You wanted to nurse because you were uncomfortable, but nursing was only making it worse. It was best for me to leave and take that option away from you. Then Daddy had another brilliant idea: he distracted you with Frozen.

Daddy played "Let It Go" on repeat and you were instantly calm. As soon as it was over, you'd start to fuss again. But your breathing calmed back down, your hiccups disappeared, and eventually you were able to go to sleep.

We don't let you watch tv or play on the iPad or iPhone quite yet, so I thought it was just the novelty of the screen that distracted you. But other material does not seem to have the same effect. There's something about that song that just chills you out! Disney really is magical.

Fortunately, we haven't really had any other serious reflux episodes since that awful night. I felt so helpless. The worst part was that I couldn't explain to you why you were feeling that way. It must have been so scary and confusing for you. I have lots of mom friends who deal with reflux regularly, and I can't even imagine what that's like. That night certainly helped me to gain some empathy, and I'm so incredibly grateful that (so far) we haven't encountered any health issues.

I called the pediatrician the next week to ask if they wanted to check you out. They agreed with my theory that teething was to blame for the sudden GI issues. Who would have thought two (oh yeah, did I mention you have first TEETH rather than a first tooth?) tiny teeth could cause so much trouble!

No comments:

Post a Comment