We have had a silent struggle pretty much since birth. I wanted to write about it because I hope to help someone else in a similar situation.
When Landon was born he seemed to suffer from colic. He would cry and want to nurse all afternoon and night. I thought all the things breastfeeding moms do and doubted my natural abilities to nourish my baby. I began to place blame on every cause I could think of. I felt as if I had thrush and Landon’s tongue was white, so the doctor treated us for thrush. Landon also had a tiny mouth and horrible latch. I checked him and he did have a lip tie. I made an appointment with a pediatric dentist and had it corrected. Dispite my burning doubt, I continued to nurse.
I was tender from nursing so much and Landon still was colicky. As most moms do, I searched and searched the internet for possible solutions to the most colicky baby I had ever dealt with. Landon was gaining weight well, in fact, he had shot to the top of the percentile charts for his weight. He was not spitting up, but every once in a while he would puke everything he had consumed. It was a lot. He screamed when he had to burp and just wanted to comfort nurse all the time.
At this point I made a doctors appointment with Landon’s pediatrician and talked about possible silent reflux. He was about 6 weeks old. She was reluctant to prescribe anything because he was had no issues gaining weight. I begged her for some relief and she finally gave in. This was based off of symptoms alone. She ran no tests. We gave Landon Zantac for about a month and I can’t really say if I noticed much of a difference. I called for a refill when we were done and never received it. I just kind of dropped the issue.
Something crazy happened, at 3 months old, Landon was sleeping pretty much through the night. He went to bed around 10pm, woke between midnight and 2 to nurse, again between 6am and 8am, then slept until 10am. I held him to nurse him, but put him back in his bassinet for him to sleep. I never made the connection to the Zantac and that he had possible relief form reflux while taking it.
When Landon hit 4 months he started waking five or more times per night crying to comfort nurse, burp, squirm. It was exhausting. We had moved to Illinois during this time. Three days after moving he was hospitalized with RSV and was dehydrated. I just kept putting him to the breast because it was the best way to soothe him and of course it helped with dehydration.
We found a pediatrician shortly after leaving the hospital. When we visited we not only had a follow up from the 5 day hospital stay, but also our six month well check. I brought up the sleep, colic, gas issues with the doctor, but we both agreed that since he had above average weight gain we would hold off on medication.
I swear it was one possible cause after another each and every month. Landon continued to throw up, but since he was exclusively breast fed and we didn’t get serious with solids until his first birthday, I often doubted my motherly instinct believing he suffered from reflux and passed it off as a ton of spitup.
After turning a year old we started offering Landon a diet with more solids and moved him to sleep primarily in his bed. My hopes were if he was not with me, he would stop waking so many times at night to nurse. I immediately noticed him puking several times a week. I know knew it was vomit from the distinct smell. Putting Landon to sleep was a 3 or more hour struggle most nights. Even after turning a year old Landon was cranky in the afternoon and evening. It seemed like he was still a colicky baby. Aren’t babies supposed to grow out of colic?
I finally went to Facebook with my nighttime frustrations. I even posted a video on Snapchat of Landon dozing off and waking crying within 1 minute. This was at 11pm. He was clearly tired. I also added for no cry it out recommendations. The couple times I had tried to allow Landon to cry himself to sleep resulted in a horrible vomiting episode. The last time, I actually teared up while holding my baby as his entire body heaved to get the vomit up. Never again will I allow him to cry. However I felt like an exhausted zombie.
After reading my frustrated post on Facebook my friends immediately suggested that Landon suffered from reflux. They each gave stories of their own child who suffered from reflux and there were many similarities. Some of my mom friends also suggested a lavender bath routine, or later/ earlier bed time. Some even suggested nursing him to sleep.
The suggestions of my Facebook friends all made since. I felt strongly that Landon was actually suffering from reflux and comfort nursed since he was 4 months old to help soothe his burning pain. I called the doctor in the morning and explained. She agreed to start him on Zantac and follow up at Landon’s 15 month well check.
Landon has taken the Zantac for two full days so far and slept through 2 nights. We also added lavender to our night time bath routine to help Landon relax a bit. So far, our bedtime routine has been cut down to one hour and Landon has slept through two full nights in his own crib. I am ecstatic. I finally got eight hours of sleep for the first time since he was born. I feel so bad that Landon may have been suffering from reflux for so long and I did nothing to help relieve his pain. He still has not had any tests to confirm reflux however I will be asking for those at his 15 month appointment in a couple weeks.
Has your child suffered from reflux? What was the treatment plan like?