Monday, December 2, 2013

oh how i hate thee, acid reflux

I guess some people would call it "colic." I call it "hell." Poor sweet Myla has acid reflux and it is bad. We've done so much research trying to find out how to best help her, but she is still in a lot of pain and it just breaks my heart to see her so unhappy. For those who don't know, infant acid reflux is when a baby can't keep her stomach contents down and so it comes up her esophagus and she either spits up or swallows it back down. Myla swallows hers and so it is referred to as "silent reflux." It is worse when babies swallow it because then they have to feel the burning on the way up and on the way back down. So, on a bad day Myla refluxes after every feeding and screams and screams for 30 minutes to sometimes 4 hours after she eats. Nothing soothes her for long. We do the "elevator" as much as our arms can take it because that seems to work the best, but even that doesn't work all the time. Eventually she realizes that she is not refluxing anymore and relaxes or she just gets so exhausted that she falls asleep. It is heart breaking and sometimes we just cry together... definitely not something I envisioned with my newborn! But, I guess that's how life is - I am learning a ton of patience, that is for sure. Not every day is like that - I'd say an average day has her doing that after about half of her feedings. She is pretty good in the middle of the night and usually goes back to sleep right after eating (and sleeps through the reflux!)... so that is definitely a blessing!

It feels like we've tried everything! We hold her upright after feedings, have the head of her crib elevated, I eliminated a bunch of things from my diet (didn't seem to help), burp her like crazy, etc etc...

The doctor started her off on Zantac and it seemed to help a little at first, but not drastically and Myla was still so uncomfortable. We took her back in the Friday before Thanksgiving and got a new prescription for Prevacid. It seems to be working better and she has had some really good days. Some days, however, (like today) she is extremely fussy and inconsolable. She finally went to sleep about 30 minutes ago and I am so, so glad. Happy for her and happy for me! They say to give it 2 weeks to see if it is helping or not, so I'm still crossing my fingers that it will be a miracle medication for her! If not, there is one more med to try. We've had a few people suggest going to an infant chiropractor. I am going to do more research on that.

Anyway, just felt like I needed to vent. I am so grateful for our good days (like yesterday!) and the times that she is happy during the day. I love it when I can successfully calm her down. I know that she will eventually grow out of this problem, so for now I am going to take it one day at a time. Brian went back to dental school today, so now I'm on my own. Egads!

Hoping to see more and more of these smiles :)


  1. Rachael, you know I have to chime in here. So all of my four children have had pretty bad reflux. My 2nd child is now 5 yrs old and tells me all the time when she STILL refluxes! My 3rd little one suffered the worst. I, too, have done a lot of research and spoken with a lot of people who have been in our shoes. What have I learned? Giving Zantac alone is like giving water. I don't even waste my time on it anymore. Zantac and Prevacid can help. I prefer the Prevacid solu-tablets to the liquid. I think they work better, they have a longer shelf-life and giving them is easier on the baby. They are so easy to split in half drop into the barrel of the syringe and suck up a little water to dissolve it in. The liquid form requires you try to get poor baby to gag down so much liquid. With the tablet, you can control how much water you add...less than 1 mL even. You can give 7.5 mg of Prevacid to a newborn--that's 1/2 a Prevacid solu-tab. Erythromycin for gut motility can really help. Some think it is not really proven to be helpful, but for me, I noticed a huge difference in getting the gut to move the food along rather than reflux it back up. I even noticed when I had forgotten to give the dose! But, many pediatric gastroenterologists actually suggest giving over-the-counter Gaviscon prn. I tried it with my fourth baby and voila! So beautiful. Get the extra strength. It is white and minty smelling. For a newborn, give about 2 mLs. My friend and I joke that it is a sedative because every time we give it to our baby, they fall asleep about 5 minutes later (probably because they are just so exhausted from the pain). Seriously though. It is a wonder. It is safe and recommended by many specialists and you can give it prn. Give it a try tonight. I ended up using that on top of the prescriptions and as my baby grew older I just had her grow out of her prescribed doses and continued the prn Gaviscon until she didn't seem to need it any more. I feel your pain, girlie! Hang in there!

  2. You are such a sweet and patient mommy for Myla. The comment above sounds very helpful - everything will work out. I can hardly wait to see you again soon.

    I love you forever and ever


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