Silent Reflux

Aviana became a different baby the day of her 4th week birthday – overnight she went from Jekyll to Hyde.  I have already written about how tough that week was until we learned that she might have silent reflux. Poor girl couldn’t help it and we felt helpless until we went to our pediatrician.  She confirmed that the symptoms we had seen in Aviana were indeed silent reflux and that it sounded like the medication she was going to prescribe would work a treat.  Aviana was prescribed Zantac (an antacid), she was weighed (a staggering 7lbs 8oz – remember she was 5lbs 1oz at birth! I apparently have super calorific -ex-pi-ali-docious milk!) and her dosage calculated because it is determined by weight, not age – which worked out at 0.6ml twice daily.  We picked up the prescription and earnestly waited for the right time to administer it.

That evening Aviana slept very well, and we slept a little better.  It wasn’t until two days later I noticed a new baby.  Our happy baby was back.  I got several smiles during the day, she slept well and ate well.  She can now lie happily on her back.

She still has gas and struggles to get the poo out, waking herself up after a few hours and trying hard to let it all out (which is apparently very normal in newborns as they learn to use their bowels) – considering she is an IUGR baby, this isn’t overly surprising that she finds it particularly tough to get the poo out (she’s not constipated though).  Hoping this changes soon!

Unfortunately, we have noticed the past few days when it comes close to giving her next dose you can hear the reflux gurgling away in the back of her throat and she starts to get wheezy breathing again.  So back to the pediatrician again on Thursday to discuss change in dosage and frequency.

It’s all certainly manageable, but it is so tough to see Aviana cry when she is clearly in pain and there is very little I can do to help her.  I discussed this with my doula yesterday – what do parents do with babies who live in countries where they don’t have access to medications like we do?  Do they go insane from the psychological torture?  I always wonder what our diets are doing to breast milk and the impact it has on our babies guts…

A tough few days

Last Wednesday evening Aviana decided that she didn’t want to go to sleep and rather fuss, and this trend then continued through the day and night Thursday, Friday and today.  What I mean by this is that she no longer wants to lie down in her crib, she wants to be held.  When we finally do get her down she will eventually wake up screaming the house down because she either wants to poo, fart and more often than not, shart.

It was taking us a couple of hours of soothing her in anyway possible before she would consider to stop crying.  Of course, the more tired she gets, the harder it is to get her to stop crying.  There is no one way to stop the tears, but generally requires her falling asleep upright in our arms.  I have also been spending all day carrying her and trying different ways to console the tears (thankfully I discovered the wrap works sometimes to help get her to sleep which saves my back).

sling

Moby wrap to the rescue!

The cries aren’t continuous, but rather they would stop after a minute or two, then she would fuss again, I’d get her into another position, calm down, then she’d fuss and so on.  Each day she will have an hour or two of good sleep because she has exhausted herself from crying.

Yesterday Chris called me from his work to say that someone he spoke to recognised this as potentially being a sign of silent reflux.  All of Aviana’s symptoms match.  She has been doing other things over the past few weeks that individually didn’t concern us, but when they add up together they could be silent reflux.  We don’t have a diagnosis yet, we need to see our pediatrician next week about it before we are sure.

She is in pain when she poos/farts, arching her back, screwing up her face crying and then stops crying once it has been released.  Sometimes she will stiffen her whole body out straight as if she is a flying superwoman.  More often when she is breast feeding she will cry and cling onto my nipple and pull her head away fighting my boob – it’s very difficult to explain to a newborn not to do that, it happens so quickly that it is difficult to unlatch her in time – and it bloody hurts, she actually has a very strong neck for a newborn.  She rarely spits up, and is difficult to burp.  She gets incessant hiccups, it happens roughly 3 in every 4 feeds, and they are exhausting for her so she gets frustrated at them and cries more.  Sometimes a pacifer gets rid of them, or even getting her to drink a bit of breastmilk can help.  She has a slight wheeze and congestion that is noticeable when she sleeps. At first we thought it was just newborn-ness and was endearing, we even nicknamed her little goose because she sounds like she is honking like a goose.

Even right now as she sleeps in her bassinet that we have tilted upright I’m listening to her cough, splutter and cry for a few seconds,  then she goes back to sleep instantly.  It’s upsetting to hear her like this.

She was such a happy easy going baby until now.  Today we went to a baby massage class (despite us only getting about two and half hours of broken sleep last night) and lets just say it was very noticeable how cranky and upset she was compared to the other newborn babies.

So until we get some answers from the pediatrician we are keeping her upright after her feeds which is helping a bit, letting her sleep upright as much as possible so she does get some sleep and not get too overtired which then perpetuates the problem.  I am also going to arrange a after we see the pediatrician a consult with an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) to have my latch checked and get advice on what we can do to help her when it comes to breastfeeding.  We also have the name of a specialist doctor in the local area referred to us by a friend just in case we don’t get answers from our ped.

Whatever is going on with our baby girl she really isn’t comfortable right now and it is tough watching her feel like that, and tough on us, especially as Chris has gone back to work.  Fortunately, we have a post partum doula to help us out a bit more next week.  We may need her for more help than we originally thought, but we shall see!