Mothering and Life in General
GERD (Silent) Part 2
I was informed more on what Silent GERD was and given home remedies first. From keeping her upright a minimum of 30 minutes after every feeding to keeping her on an incline at night. To keep on Breastfeeding because that was the best possible thing for a child in K2’s condition. All of this gave me a comforting feeling, then, because I felt K2’s Pediatrician was not going to be a pill pusher. I was however, given a prescription for when I felt that she was in too much pain to wait the month. Then we where off, K2 to get better, and me to research the medication.
K2 was asked to be seen on a monthly basis, so for the next visit (Age: 6.5 months, 5.5 months corrected) there was improvement but not enough for the ulcers to heal and her crying did decrease greatly. She was still sleeping on my chest, but I was able to lay her down when she fell asleep as long as she was elevated. Instead of waking up instantly I was given at least 15 minutes of not being touched to do what I needed to do, like a washroom break or a VERY quick bite to eat.
I was given the go ahead to start the Ranitidine also known as Zantac, along with the continuation of oral exercises to do for dissociation. Within 3 days I saw an improvement in her actions, but most of the symptoms were still there. Within those 3 days she was able to latch on properly more often. So I kept up with the exercises to try to get her to understand that not everything going into her mouth hurts. We had to re-teach her that nursing was good.
For the third visit (Age: 7.5 months, 6.5 corrected), she weighted K2 and followed up on how she was with the medication. Even though at this time I saw great improvement, her diapers kept making her bum raw instantly, her breath was sour, but at least her crying stopped. The doctor and I discussed what other tricks DH and I did to help K2. I think the main thing we did was to get her before she cried and before she woke up, since crying would start the vicious circle over again and her being in the in the Moby Wrap majority of the time. The doctor asked how she was doing on solids, and I said that we had not started her yet. The doctor was totally shocked because she was living for 7.5 months.
Here is where things get into the hate part of the relationship. Before I introduced anything to K2, I wanted to know that she was feeling better. Since breastmilk digests faster in her body, this reduced the chances of her refluxing. If I were to start her on the solids without her problem being solved and bearable, she would go back to where she was, since our food takes hours before exiting the stomach. All of the time I spend working with her oral exercises would have been a waste. I also told the doctor that since she was premature and she corrects age for everything it should be done with foods too. That was then she remembered about K2’s prematurity and said I was right on the corrected age and encouraged me to introduce solids.
So we waited until the weekend we had K1 so she could be the first to start K2 on foods. Turned out great, but the draw back was the rest of the visits to the Pediatrician to focus on her weight gain rather than the reflux, which IMO was the reason of her weight issues (and introducing solids before she was ready for them). K2 actually started loosing weight or sustaining it for months. I was told to add butter and oils to everything she eats including the baby cereals to increase the calorie intake. I was told that I was not feeding her enough solids, I was even told to decrease the amount of times I nurse K2 in hopes she would take up solids, even though breastmilk has more calories than our foods ever would. The one baffling thing was to be informed that K2 needed to have 1600 calories per day to gain anything. I don’t even think I eat that much in a day, and here a child who just started eating is excepted too.
I started hating going, but went because I had too. I hated going because it became not a visit to see how K2 was doing with her Reflux, it became a ‘well K2 is on meds so reflux is no longer the issue, so it must be something you are doing’ sort of appointment. Then came up with expressing or using formula, adding cereal and giving it to her. Which really did not make sense because she was eating only cereal with her milk once to twice a day.
K2 was close to 9 months, 8 months corrected, and it started again. The horrible screams. I cried, because it was around Christmas and everything was closed, including the doctors. Again, I was in the situation where there was nothing I could do to help her. I often cried when it was just her and I, because I felt I did something to make her in this much pain. Again, DH and I where at each others throats, not because of K2, but because we did not know what to do, and you can’t get mad at a baby. DH and I blamed each other, DH started spending more time away from the home and I felt alone, just like I was in pregnancy. I felt that some how I made this problem for everyone and I needed to fix it. It was awful, it was awful for all of us. I wore K2 in the wrap from the time she was awake to the time I laid her down. I was on my toes for any noise she made thinking is this the start of her pain. I felt I was not a good mother, I felt that I should give her away, after all, mothers are supposed to be the magic make-everything-better. I was not. I was not good enough.
Story to continue here.
Find Part 1 here.