Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Really Reflux?

"No more fussin' and a-fightin', baby, hold me tight" ~ Johnny Nash

My poor baby bird. While she has taken to breastfeeding beautifully, she has not taken to digesting breast milk quite so well. Fussing after many feedings, especially in the evening. Forceful spit up, sometimes up to an hour after she's eaten. Shrill crying and squirming as if in pain. It breaks my heart to see her suffering.

Healthy cheeks, yes?

I now realize how easy we had it when Q was a newborn. He hardly cried and was content to snooze almost anywhere. And breastfeeding him was fairly simple, despite my forceful milk letdown and oversupply issues. We got through that rough patch once I understood what was happening and then it was smooth sailing. Essentially we were spoiled by his serenity.

So, I'm now in the process of trying to figure out if she just is extra sensitive and needs some time to let her digestive system mature or if it's GERD or if it's a milk protein allergy. I've been trying to not eat dairy, but whoa mama, that is not my bag, baby. I'm already a vegetarian, so being a vegan (except for eating eggs) while nursing is no fun at all. I'm a hungry hungry hippo as it is. And all of this stuff that shouldn't have dairy in it does (wheat bread made with nonfat milk? really?), so I've "cheated" quite a few times. She seems a little better, but again, is her system gradually maturing or is it something more serious? I just can't figure out what it is and I have a couple of weeks until her next doc appointment.

Oh, and I did call her pediatrician a couple of weeks ago about all of her spit up and discomfort and she didn't seem too concerned since Z is gaining weight well. She said it could be that I have a forceful letdown, which is true. I mean, my milk can gush like a fire hydrant and I hear her gulping and gasping sometimes. Apparently that creates gas and bubbles and can be pretty uncomfortable for her. So, I've taken the doc's advice on dealing with that and perhaps that's helping.

But then she has a rashy face and that could be a sign of a milk protein allergy. Or is it just a heat rash? It's been pretty warm in the Bay lately.

I've talked to a couple of experienced mamas who have had babes who shot milk across the room after nursing or who were medicated for reflux, and it was something they just grew out of. So, is my baby really suffering that much? Is this just par for the course? Am I torturing myself by taking a major food group out of my already restricted diet?

Yeah. It's so much fun being indecisive me. 

I just want us all to be healthy and happy. A baby who ceases with the binge and purge and a mama who isn't starving herself trying to figure out what she can eat. And a daddy and a big brother who aren't distressed by baby's cries, for that matter. For now we're keeping her upright as much as possible. For now we're doing a lot of babywearing, which she seems to love (shout out to Baby K'tan). For now I'm assuming that she will grow out of this phase and her system will mature. Please let that be the case. Mama's having pizza tonight.

Mamas, have your babies had reflux or a milk allergy? Please share your story and tell me everything will be okay. Tell me I'm just on minimal sleep and maximum worry, as is typical of the mama of a newborn.

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