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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reflux Sucks

I guess bits of Katie Beth didn’t get the memo that she wasn’t supposed to be a preemie.  We have been struggling with acid reflux since the day she came home.  Reflux is common in babies nowadays, but it’s worse in preemies.  Their little gastro-intestinal systems just aren’t ready for the real world, I guess.  I wonder why it’s more common now than before.  Or maybe it isn’t really more common; maybe we just know what to call it.  Maybe thousands of babies who were called colicky just had reflux.  That would make sense considering that reflux rears its very ugly head at about 2 months, peaks at 4 months, and is over around 6 months.  So to all of you who were called colicky, you may have gotten a bad rap!
For over a month I tried Zantac and it never worked.  A lot of times I think it made her spitting up worse.  To test that theory, I stopped giving the Zantac on a Sunday, and she didn’t spit up again until Wednesday.  Even though she wouldn’t spit up, there was also the problem that she wouldn’t eat enough.  Poor Katie Beth went from eating 3 – 4 oz every 3 hours to only eating 2 oz. And let me tell you, those 2 oz were a struggle. 
Every meal was a fight.  She’d push against me, arch her back, scream, cry, and turn away from the bottle.  And that was just meal time!  She had to sit up-right for at least 30 minutes after every meal or she’d spit the entire thing back up.  But that really didn’t matter because you couldn’t lay her on her back anyway or she’d get the hiccups within 1 minute.  So she did a lot of sleeping in her bouncy seat, and when I was so exhausted I couldn’t take it anymore, on her tummy.  Yes, it’s true that babies aren’t supposed to sleep on their tummies.  Babies with severe reflux, however, are sometimes only able to get any sort of relief on their tummies. 
The night after I had finally convinced her pediatrician to give her Prevacid, she slept for 5 hours.  The next week she slept for 6, from 12:30 to 6:30.  The night after she did that for the first time, my sweet baby finally slept all the way through the night!  People kept telling me how one morning I would wake up in a panic because I hadn’t heard her.  I thought it was a myth that veteran parents tell us newbies to give us hope.  Nope!  It really happened!  I jumped out of bed and scrambled for her crib to find her sleeping soundly.  I placed my hand on her back to make sure she was breathing and she arched and squirmed.  She was annoyed at me for waking her up! 
She’s been on the Prevacid now for 3 weeks, and she’s doing a lot better.  She’s back up to 3.5 – 4 oz for every feeding, which is age/weight appropriate.  Ah, weight.. I have been obsessing over my daughter’s weight like a mad woman.  In the 4 week span where she wasn’t eating enough, she only gained 1 lb and 2 oz.  That is not enough for a baby as young as she is.  At her age, she should be gaining 1 lb every two weeks or so.   Her rate was roughly 4 oz a week.  Since then, however, we’re up to 5 oz a week.  At her last appointment she weighed in at 8.15!  So we’re getting there.. one Prevacid solutab and bottle at a time.

1 comment:

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