Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Those rosy roses..

Up from the ashes of disaster grows SUCCESS!

My sister asked if I had journaled about the whole reflux experience with Holly here. While I know I have written some about it, I have necessarily shared the whole story. Here goes:

To begin with Holly was diagnosed with reflux at one month old. This was after an event that landed us in the emergency room. I can't quite say what happened, because we got not clear answer from the hospital. Except to describe: she was drinking her bottle and coughing and choking. Then everything stopped. She stopped. She didn't hold her breathe, or turn red. She just went blank. Stopped breathing, eyes glazed over. Everything stopped. I stopped. Fortunately my sisters were her and yelled at me to put her over my shoulder and pat her one the back. That worked. She breathed again. And we went to the ER.

Two days later she was diagnosed with Reflux. Prescribed 3.5 mg of Prevacid. That didn't seem to help much. We switched formulas to Hypo allergenic Nutramigen. That helped some more. But still, lots of crying, spit up and little sleep.

Around March I asked to increase the Prevacid to 7mg. That helped some more.

But not until May when we finally got a referral to a GI doctor and he prescribe 15 mg did I see any drastic changes. Spit up stopped, sleep improved slightly. She didn't cry as much in the car, seemed a little happier.

And we got a Tucker Sling. That helped too with sleep. We bought ours on ebay to help keep the cost down.

Loved the advice on this website Crying Over Spilt Milk, especially now that Holly is becoming a toddler.

Other things I have learned:

  1. Colds, ear infections and stomach virus can increase reflux symptoms alot! I mean alot. During these times the doctor has increased her Prevacid once more to 30 mg, temporarily.
  2. All the websites recommend feeding the baby less but more often. What that has meant for Holly is that she is still on almost a new-born feeding schedule. Up every four hours, drinking 4 ounces. Recently, I have figured out that 5 ounces is ok. But over 5 ounces and
    and all the symptoms return. Coughing, spit up, no sleep, congestion, crying.
  3. Food: Bananas and Rice are out. She doesn't like either one, probably because these two cause gas, and therefore more acid is stirred up. Oatmeal is ok but doesn't help with the sleep issue or reflux at a-l-l, so that's just another choice on the menu, not really a mainstay.
  4. And then there's sugar. When we were at the worst days, either before Prevacid or during colds and that nasty virus, the only thing that seemed to give her a break was 1 tbsp brown sugar and 4 ounces water. And for that matter karo syrup (clear has fewer ingredients than the others) helps too. I don't know why. And at this point I just am glad I know something that works.
  5. If you think you just can't figure out what is wrong, its probably reflux. Like why isn't the prescription cough medicine working? Or why is she waking up all night again, I thought we were past that? I call it chasing ghosts. Turns out the ghost is reflux.

One more thing I have learned is that I am an incredibly hopeful person. Spongebob-like even. Yesterday, I felt quite defeated and without options for a full nights sleep any time soon. By full night, I mean more than 4 or 5 hours. When you limited to 5 ounces at a time..what can you do? She is gaining weight and growing. Just waking up for those extra bottles.

Today, however, I have starting humming that great Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song and am slightly optomistic that tonight will be different. I am trying to feed her at different times to get to one bottle at night and will hope for the best.

Those rosy rose, those rosy rose, those rosy roses! Up from the ashes of disaster, row the roses of Success!

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