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.