I had heart burn almost the entire time I was pregnant.
It started at 6.5 weeks. I was on vacation, and really thought that I may have caught some sort of Mexican fire breathing disease while on our cruise.
After that? I started sleeping in the big comfy chair in our living room. Sitting up like the elephant man. For the next thirty weeks.
No amount of Tums Smoothies could tame the fire breathing dragon living in my uterus (but those things taste like candy and sometimes I still eat them because they don't have very many calories and my thighs are YOUGE and don't really fit in pants).
So I'd like to think karma is biting Olivia in the ass with this whole reflux thing. And normally I'd be really excited to see someone Get Theirs. You know, like when someone rides your ass for 20 miles, passes you, then gets pulled over. Stuff like that.
Knowing what it feels like to have a burning in your chest and throat as soon as you lay down? Makes it so sad to watch your baby writhe in pain while eating or trying to sleep. Many desperate visits to the pediatrician with little to no sympathy left me shaking my fists at the heavens and swearing like a trucker.
And threatening to shove a bottle of Mylanta directly up the pediatrician's ass.
It is possible that you have landed on my blog via Google (and Oh.My.Sweet.Baby.Jesus people come here from the CRAZIEST google searches. I need to do an entire post on that soon - an example? Big Clown Underwear). Perhaps you have searched for one of the following:
-My Baybee Breathes Fire: HALP!
-Why Does My Baby Have Reflux, Does God Hate Me?
-Is It Weird To Be Sexually Attracted to My Pharmacist?
-Will I Ever Sleep Again, If Not Can I Main Line Coffee Straight From My BUNN?
-Mylanta is Bullshit
-My Pediatrician is Useless
-Silent Reflux Is A Stupid Name Because It Makes Babies Scream
-I'm Getting Drunk, Who's With Me?
-Why Can't Dr. Google Prescribe Me Some Prevacid?
I did all sorts of desperate Google searches and found all kinds of really great information. And since I have so many important things that I don't feel like doing, I will sum it up for all you lazy whores out there...
Reflux doesn't necessarily mean ungodly amounts of spit up.
Olivia has silent reflux. She rarely spits up. Instead, the acid comes up her throat and then she swallows it. Because she loves to burn her throat twice?
So. If your baby arches her back and cries while eating (and for hours after), and refuses to sleep laying flat, but doesn't spit up? Be suspicious.
You know how you barf in your mouth sometimes? Olivia would kind of do that, make a sour face, then scream her freaking head off.
Get Thee to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist!
Much to my disappointment, I've found that doctors aren't really brilliant and caring. I mean, if you expect to go to your pediatrician and encounter some person who agonizes all night long over your babies issues? You're stupid. I know this, because I am stupid.
Your pediatrician is probably useless.
Pediatricians know the basics about reflux. They can give you limited solutions, and then will most likely give up, claiming that they've done everything and that it will pass when your baby starts to sit up or eat solids. OR TURNS ONE. And you will just have to deal with the crying (your baby's and yours) until it passes. (Vodka, anyone?)
My experience with my pediatrician ended when I was told to let my 3 month old cry it out because there were no other treatment options outside of Zantac or Pepcid. I had been asking for a prescription for something like Prevacid or Prilosec for over a month and was repeatedly told NO. "NO! Those aren't any more effective than Zantac!" Sensing my rage and fearing for his very life, he then made a call to a pediatric gastroenterologist and got me an appointment the next day.
If loving the pediatric gastroenterologist is wrong? I DON'T WANT TO BE RIGHT. More on my infatuation later...
Zantac is an Asshole.
There are a few ways to treat reflux.
1. The first line of defense: Mylanta and Rice Cereal. The Mylanta is supposed to coat your baby's throat, the rice cereal is supposed to hold the food down.
(Psh. Whatever. I'd like to know if this ever worked for anyone. It gave Olivia HORRIBLE stomach cramps.)
2. Next! Zantac or Pepcid.
These types of drugs are H2 blockers - they are supposed to block the acid from shooting up your baby's throat and causing Screamapalooza.
I've found that this is a temporary solution to a somewhat permanent (in the short term) problem. They are really weight sensitive and need to be increased with weight gain. And they tend to become less effective when your baby takes them for an extended period of time.
Olivia was on Pepcid for a week with ZERO improvement. We switched to Zantac, because we love futility, and that worked for a week, then quit working. Then we'd up the dose, which would sort of work for a week, then stop working. When we finally quit using Zantac, her dose had quadrupled over a month. Stoopid.
3. FINALLY! Prevacid or Prilosec.
Mmmm...the good stuff. Like tasting Grey Goose after living on the $3 bottom shelf vodka.
These are Proton Pump Inhibitors. They mean business. They stop the production of stomach acid altogether. Which makes sense, right? Just shut that shit down! Nip it in the BUD!
We've been giving Olivia Prevacid for a few weeks now, and things for her have dramatically improved. We did have to up her dose once already, but she has gone from eating 13 ounces of formula per day, to 18-20. And she almost never screams and arches while/after eating.
We have also been trying to transition her to sleeping on her back. And I'd write about that now, but I think that it would be better with pictures, which I don't have because I am too busy and important to have taken them already. Plus it's so much more fun to write blogs with impossibly long sentences.
(She was also switched to Nutramigen AA Lipil formula - AKA The Lexus of Formula - and that helped too. More about that later, too, because if this post gets any longer, people will probably come set my house on fire.)
**Next post will finish this up, and will have lots of linky goodness.**