Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2 months of Parenthood Experience

The little guy is now 2 months and 1 week old! I can't believe how big he is getting and so fast! He seems to be bigger everyday that goes by...every morning that i pick him up from his bassinet he looks bigger than the day before! My hubby and I are enjoying it so very much! We are turning the corner and my little guy is outgrowing his digestive issues. From 3 weeks to about 8 weeks it was rough! What we all thought was all colic related issues, turned out to be acid reflux. I never knew how hard it would be to hear your child cry in pain and feel soooo helpless! I really believe the hardest part of being a mother is feeling so helpless! There were nights where i cried alongside my son. A few times my hubby would come home from work to find us both in tears! I have often felt bad for my godchildren, nephews, and nieces when they cry in pain, but it doesn't compare when it is your own child! It isn't easy taking care of a child, but in my opinion the great feeling of helplessness is the toughest! That is what made me cry. I am his mother, I am supposed to be able to make it all better!

It was a little easier once we had an official diagnosis of acid reflux...at least now i knew that there could be some relief that could be offered. When I realized my son might have acid reflux and not just colic, I searched the world wide web to learn a little more about it, since he wasn't displaying the usual symptoms of reflux I was familiar with..like the projectile vomiting or weight issues. THat is when I found out that my little one was what is known as a Silent Refluxer... no spit up/vomiting... but worse. He was swallowing his spit up/vomit back down, so the poor little guy was getting burned with it coming up and going back down! So i took him on a Saturday to an after hours pediatrician service his pediatrician's off ice works with. The pediatrician on call agreed that all the symptoms he had were due to Reflux. My poor little guy was also starting to choke more and more during feedings, crying through his feedings and would wake up at 4 am withering in pain. I was glad that the pediatrian agreed that it couldn't just be colic related. I tried EVERYTHING for colic...all of my mom and mother-in-laws home remedies for colic just was not working AT ALL! So the pediatrian prescribed some medication to help. I really did not like the thought of putting my 5 week old on medication...but if it offered him any kind of relief, I certainly would give him medication. I did my research and therefore i knew what he was getting and how it could help ease his pain and discomfort of his constant heartburn! The first medication for his reflux did not help, I noticed it made it worse. So after a week and he was only getting worse, and by worse i mean he was more stomach acid was coming up and he was swallowing it back down and he would cry and cry after each time.

After a follow up with his pediatrician, she consulted a GI specialist and was told i could give my son upto 1/2 teaspoon of over the counter anti-acid medication when he was extremely fussy and his pediatrician also suggested a change in formula to one that was thickened by a rice starch. In my research I knew that sometimes thickening the baby's formula would help with acid reflux..for a really bad case in a baby, rice cereal is used before the recommened 3 month mark. Well we had to play around a little with his medication since the typical medication wasnt helping. THe formula helped a great deal but wasn't enough. Around 7 weeks i noticed that he was getting better, but stil in some discomfort. He had his 2 month check up and we switched to a different medication since the OTC anti-acid i was now mixing into his bottle wouldn't offer relief longer than an hour. I had taken him off the prescribed medication, and although I felt he was turning the corner and outgrowing his reflux issues, 4-5 weeks still seemed too much to let my little guy still suffer! I am happy with the new medication as he is in less pain.

He is going 3 hours in between feedings and he is a happier baby in between feedings most of the day and almost everyday now. We are now able to include play time into his daily routine and we are enjoying it a lot! He is exploring the world around him and so I am taking him out more and more... i was intimidated in taking him out by myself, but i'm slowly getting over that. Fortunately, my son has always been a good sleeper and he started sleeping through the nice since he was 8 weeks old. He started sleeping 5-6 hour stretches before waking up for a bottle and by that point he was 11lbs and had been told and i had also read that babies at 11lbs+ could last through the night without eating..so i tested it out. Instead of his usual 4 oz, i would only give him 1-2 oz and he would fall right back to sleep. While I wasn't going to force my child NOT to eat in the middle of the night, I didn't like to feed him because i was so deathly afraid he would spit up and choke on his spit up. A few times, after putting him down after feeding and burping and keeping him upright for almost 30 minutes after a mid-night feeding, he vomitted as i laid him down. Other times, it would aggravate his reflux that he was in pain after burping that he would be up for over an hour. Fortunately, he takes in enough formula during the day since then that he now doesn't wake up to eat once I put him to bed. I know i am very lucky that my 2 month old sleeps all night! He eats his last bottle between 9 and 9:30 and he is in bed by 10-10:15 and doesn't wake up to eat until 6 or 7 the next morning!

He is still a little fussy and he has great days and bad days, but i am so happy that the worst days are behind us now. I have never experienced the pain of watching my child in so much pain! It really did break my heart. The frustration and pain i felt feeling so helpless is really indescribable! To me that was truly the hardest part of being a parent. Forget the lack of sleep, or the initial pains of breastfeeding, or even childbirth, it didn't compare to the feelings of great helplessness while cradling my crying son in my arms all those days, evenings and rare mid-nights. I would trade it for nothing in the world... for when he smiles, coos and his eyes light up when i talk to him, everything else doesn't matter anymore!