Back on track – I think

by DaniGirl on March 4, 2008 · 24 comments

in Baby days, Lucas

Okay, I think we’re back on track (touch wood) with the feeding thing. As of Sunday, Lucas was back up to 10 lbs even, which means he gained four ounces in four days. Not stellar, but certainly an improvement over the nothing of the previous week, and it brings him within spitting up distance of his birthweight of 10 lbs 1 oz. I suspect at my appointment this morning, we’ll see him hurdle over that milestone, too.

To what do we attribute our newfound success? All the latching techniques in the world don’t make up for a good prescription for zantac when baby is suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Lucas had been spitting up a lot since birth, but in the week he didn’t gain any weight and the few days when I ramped up the feeding efforts, I could see that he was spitting up way too much — both in the quantity and the frequency categories. There were times he would spit up five, six, even eight times after a feed, and sometimes enough to soak through two layers of blankets and a sleeper. Not your average newborn spit-up, and there is nothing more heartbreaking than keeping baby latched on for an extra 10 or 15 minutes in the middle of the night to cram in a few precious ounces and then see it come spewing back out again two minutes after you pull him off the breast. That, and he’d been incredibly fussy in the evenings, crying inconsolably and arching his back, obviously in pain or at least uncomfortable. When I told the ped this on Friday, he prescribed a zantac equivalent. Both Tristan and Simon were also diagnosed with reflux around four or five months, although they were both old enough to take it with food, as opposed to the drops Lucas is getting.

It has made all the difference. I don’t have to change his sleeper four times a day because he has soaked through the bib AND sleeper with his spit-up…. some feeds, he doesn’t spit at all, much to my delight. The evening fussiness has been toned down, if not eliminated entirely. (Anybody care to offer insight into colic? I’m beginning to wonder, and I’ve never dealt with it before.) And the best indicator of success is of course those four ounces he gained over the weekend.

Once again, I have to declare my love for our ped, who read the letter from the midwives with their concerns about the weight gain and listened to everything I’d been doing through the week and everything I’d talked to the midwives and lactation consultant about, then reassured me that he thought Lucas was doing fine, and opined that in a year we’ll have forgotten all about this. And it seems he was right (again with the touch wood.) Reflux does seem to have been the main problem, although the improvements to the latch and extra feedings have certainly helped.

So far, so good. And the great irony is that now that I don’t have to set the alarm to wake him up every three hours (not fun, not for him and not for me!) the baby who would formerly sleep up to five hours at a stretch now wakes every three hours — sometimes every two hours! — on his own and asks to be fed. Sigh.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Not So Little Sister March 4, 2008 at 10:18 am

Glad things are going well! Sounds like you got some magical drops from the ped. 🙂

2 Chantal March 4, 2008 at 10:27 am

I am so happy to hear things are looking up. It is such a stressful thing to go through.

3 Mad Hatter March 4, 2008 at 10:32 am

I’m relieved that things are a bit better. Those early days of breastfeeding are intense at the best of times. When things don’t go well they can be devastating.

4 Mac and Cheese March 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

It sounds like everything is working out just fine now. How did they do it in the olden days?

5 Theresa March 4, 2008 at 10:56 am

My little dude (the oldest) had colic when he was little…..still a mystery….but my next one, who didn’t have colic, took great advantage of the-exact-moment-mommy-sat-down!!! Didn’t matter whether it was to eat, or to watch evening tv……my (almost) saving grace was learning how to swaddle the way nurses at the hospitals do!!! Very snug!! You create a little hood (some how……ask your midwife) and swaddle from head to toe!! Some babies don’t like this at all – but most appreciate the feeling similar to being in the womb. If you don’t already do that – it’s worth a try. For evening (before bed) feeds I would swaddle him up tight and then nurse (like nursing a solid little bundle). He would fall asleep and I would burp him and set him in his bassinet with out him even waking up!!!

6 MomOnTheGo March 4, 2008 at 11:28 am

Oh, happy news! Well, it’s not good that Lucas has GERD but it is good it is being treated. The fact that the ped listened to you and the midwives bodes well for future visits, too.

7 Annika March 4, 2008 at 12:05 pm

You’re doing a great job!!!!

8 mespetitesabeilles March 4, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Great to hear you are both doing so much better! Your ped sounds amazing – to take the time to actually listen, and read that letter. He should give lessons.
Our Bee #1 had VERY fussy evenings. We assumed it was colic, as he was our first. We read tons of things on it, but found that we really liked the books by Dr. Harvey Karp. So many great tips, and they ALL work. Bee #1 slept better, ate better, and was so much happier! We used it from the beginning with Bee #2 and she is always happy. It’s a quick read, and reference. We also have a copy of the DVD, that I’d be happy to lend to you. It has great testimonials on it – amazing. Or so we think…and it worked for us!
Good luck!

9 valerie March 4, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Both of my babies loved to be carried. #1 in a baby bjorn, #2 in a sling (didn’t have for #1 but LOVED it for #2). Cuts the crying way down.

Glad to hear you seem to have figured out the big problem.

10 Amelie March 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I’m glad you’re doing better.

11 Dal March 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Hey Dani!

Glad to see that Lucas is doing better 🙂 As for colic..I have a little experience in that department. If Lucas does in fact have colic (has lots of gas and brings his legs up to his chest etc.)…try eliminating dairy from your diet. It took me almost 2 painful months to figure out that my dairy intake was giving Gabrièle very bad gas. Turns out that she was lactose intolerent, according to my ped anyways. Now she eats a little bit of cheese and yogourt at 9 months and she is fine…so hopefully it was just a temporary thing.

Dal 🙂

12 Mom On The Run March 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm

OY – those early weeks are tough aren’t they? {{{HUGS}}} Good for you for keeping with the nursing!

13 smothermother March 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Wonderful news that Lucas is finally gaining weight! Max had GERD as well and the Zantac was a god send. Now he is 10 months and 24 pounds! As for colic, don’t know if it’s your thing, but chiropractic care works miracles. Make sure you go to a chiro that specializes in children. Dr. Debra Dunlop on Beechwood does.

14 mamaloo March 4, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Yay! So fantastic to hear this news. What a relief for you and Lucas that the problem was finally diagnosed and treated (well, being treated).

And, colic, it’s a five letter word that means “I don’t have a clue”. We go through phases of the screaming meemies in the evenings from time to time. If you can get your hands on it, find the book “Wonder Weeks”. It is really brilliant for decoding what baby is going through developmentally that causes periods of fussiness and habit changes.

Keep up the great work!

15 Chantal (Bread Crumbs) March 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Oh yes. We did the reflux thing with two of our little buggers! #2 took a medication that is no longer prescribed, but it saved our lives and our sanity! Eventually, just plain old zantac did the trick. She’s still on it to this day, at almost 10, but we’re told this is by far NOT the norm. #4 just needed a little nip of the z-tac until he was about a year old.

It’s a WONDERDRUG, isn’t it!?

16 Reluctant Housewife March 4, 2008 at 9:45 pm

My kids both spit up quite a bit. I used to have to change my oldest’s sleeper after every feeding too. I was told it was “overactive letdown” of my milk. Hun. Now I wonder. Sure, blame the breasts!
Congratulations on the baby’s weight gain and the reduced spitting & laundry.

17 Cait March 5, 2008 at 9:07 am

Hey new mom, there was a pretty funny bit on 22 Minutes last night on pregnancy and new motherhood. See if you can find it online, titled “The Mom Show”.
Glad things are going better!

18 alison March 5, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Glad to hear things are back on track. He’ll be 20 lbs before you know it.

19 BeachMama March 5, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Glad to hear Lucas is gaining his weight back. Reflux is really not fun. As for colic, I haven’t tried this, but Boiron, the same company that makes the Camilia for teething and Coryzalia for colds (both of which work wonders on my kids) also make stuff for colic. They sell it at Loblaws.

20 Javamom March 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Colic: (ours wasn’t diagnosed that way but sure seemed like he had something similar!)

Swaddle tight, no movement at all, then, sit comfortably in front of a noisemaker (kitchen fan, get someone to vacuum, hairdryer, that kind of thing) and the baby will listen to that noise intently. I read someplace that the equivalent noise level from what they’re used to in the womb is that of a vacuum cleaner. So, go ahead, vacuum to your heart’s content!

Also holding him facing down (tummy position in your arms) may do the trick.

As much as they all say don’t put a newborn on his or her belly, I have to say that miy second, a girl, would not go to sleep on her back. Refused. She’s wiggle and be cranky till I’d place her on her side, then she’d wiggle some more and end up on her belly. I didn’t sleep well knowing how she slept that way, but she did! Seems tummy position sometimes helps control the screaming….who knows.

Good luck!

21 Sharon March 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Oh I’m glad things are better. Poor wee thing. Poor You.

22 christina b March 5, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Glad things are ok now!

23 Miche March 5, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Ours had reflux. She needed to be carried upright (in a sling) pretty much all day. The car seat didn’t keep her upright enough and voila, spit up.

I’m glad that the medication is helping all involved!

24 Sheila March 5, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Our son had GERD as well. Not fun at all. If Lucas has only been on the meds since Friday, he will probably continue to improve over the next couple of weeks, as his poor irritated esophagus heals. Sounds like you are on the way to a much happier baby, and a much happier whole family.
Did they give you other classic GERD advice, like sleeping with the head of his crib/bassinet elevated a few inches? Sitting propped up at a 45′ angle for 20 to 30 minutes after a feeding? And also smaller feedings, perhaps more frequently, so he doesn’t get excessively full. Those things helped our son.
Good luck. Sounds like your doctor is great!

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