Abigail will be 5 weeks old Thursday. The first week was pretty rough with all the adjustments, but by the second week I was convinced we had the coolest baby in the world. She was so calm, laid back and sleeping so much that I didn’t know what to do with all the free time. The only issue we really had was that she seemed to have reflux (like Jacob did) so the pediatrician had prescribed Zantac and it seemed to be working like a charm.
Then we entered her third week of life.
All hell broke loose.
It started one day with unexplainable, inconsolable crying for about 3 hours one evening, and continued the rest of the week with very similar behavior. We knew what we were in for….colic. Jake had it to some extent, but it wasn’t every night, not even every other night.
The Mayo Clinic explains colic as follows:
Colic is often defined as crying more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. This frustrating and largely unexplained condition usually starts a few weeks after birth and often improves by age 3 months.
You can find more information from the Mayo Clinic here: Mayo Clinic – Colic.
As she turned four weeks old, the three hours a day in the evening had turned into extremely random times throughout the entire day. She stopped sleeping for much more than an hour at a time and was turning my husband and I into zombies. We returned to the doctor in order to evaluate her and find out if there is anything else that could be done to ease her pain. It turns out, the long thought cause of colic, which was essentially that no one knows, may actually be right in front of our noses. Gastrointestinal Reflex (or GERD) has been thought recently to be a possible cause of colic. In our case I believe it to be true, and so does the doctor.
The Mayo Clinic discusses infant reflux here: Mayo Clinic – Reflux
At our last visit on Friday we learned that the good news is that Abby is eating well. She’s gained over three pounds and is now 10 lbs 9 oz. She checked out medically for everything else so all we have to do is regulate the reflux. They switched her prescription to Prevacid, another antacid and if it does not work by Friday there is another medication we can try. It is stronger than an antacid and the pediatrician uses it as a last resort because it can have minor side effects. I believe it is called Reglin. Jake was actually on both Zantac and Reglin and the combination of the two really was what helped his reflux, and at the rate we are going, it’s likely she’ll end up on both as well.
The switch to Prevacid has not been uneventful. We started it on Saturday, and there was no change in her behavior. On Sunday I was thinking this Prevacid stuff was a miracle drug because she slept all day and into the night without having a colic episode. Monday was awful. It was the worst day we have had with her. She screamed incessantly when she wasn’t asleep, it took hours to get her to sleep, and she wouldn’t sleep in her crib (where she’s been sleeping very well generally). Our New Years Eve for all of us was spent asleep…finally. Today is a lot like Sunday was so far. She’s napping very well and is on her second long nap of the day. She is crying a little bit, but not nearly as bad. The worst part of all this is that instead of being able to enjoy this time with her, we are spending it just “getting by” and yearning for the time when she’s 6 months old and will likely start to outgrow the colic and the reflux.
I knew almost from the first couple of days we were at home that she had reflux because I had gone through it with Jacob. The first sign was that she would whimper when she ate meaning she was getting heartburn and it HURT. The next sign was the spitting up. WAY too frequent for a breastfed baby. The third sign was the burping, especially the “wet” burps. Again, way too frequent for a breastfed baby.
Additional signs were as follows:
Not simply latching on and nursing until full. She would start and stop and take breaths in between.
Squirming something terrible while nursing to the point where she was hurting me.
Moving her tongue like she had a bad taste in her mouth.
The doctor gave us recommendations, such as making sure she is not flat when eating and making sure she sleeps on a slight angle as well. These seem to help a little but not fully. Especially when she ends up sliding down to the bottom of the angle sleeper thing and sleeping flat again. We also put her down on her side to make sure if she spits up it doesn’t end up choking her.
So, we are anxiously awaiting Friday when we can call the doctor and get the other medication. I am hesitant to give her anything at all, especially something that may have side effects, but the pain and discomfort she is obviously feeling is overwhelming. Especially from a parents perspective…when you see your child in pain and can’t do anything about it, it is the most helpless, guilt-ridden feeling in the world.
I want my cool, happy baby back!
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