I follow some awesome moms on twitter. They’re amazing and open and so honest with their experiences as a parent that I love reading what they have to say. I feel like I’m always learning from them.
One topic I see a lot of moms talk about is reflux. From the stories I’ve heard, it can get very intense! I never thought my baby could have it. She doesn’t vomit all the time. She doesn’t scream when we lay her down. She doesn’t fuss every time she eats.
You see, I never realized that these moms’ experiences encompassed extreme cases of reflux.
Moms with babies like mine don’t talk about their little ones’ reflux as much because it isn’t as impactful. I get it. Those moms who have babies with really really bad reflux, they’re troopers. They’re amazing, honestly! And I’m glad they share their struggle and turn to each other and other moms for support! I love the online mom community I’ve found.
But, in this post, I want to talk about the not so extreme reflux. The reflux my baby has. Because she needed medicine, and I’m glad she got it. And maybe your baby has reflux, too, and you just don’t know it yet because they’re not throwing up all the time or constantly miserable (bless those babies’ little hearts!).
Here are the signs that led to her diagnosis. Some of these things I didn’t even consider to be reflux! I just thought it was her being a baby.
She Threw Up A Couple Times
I mean, projectile kind of throw up. The kind that didn’t get on her at all, but got all over my couch. I know what you’re thinking:
“Your baby had an Exorcism of Emily Rose kind of moment and you didn’t think to take her to the doctor?!”
Well, one, thank you for your concern. And two, yes I did think of taking her to the doctor. It was the weekend the first time it happened, so our doctor’s office was closed. But, we called the after-hours pediatrician.
They assured me that it’s perfectly normal (and it is!). They said sometimes babies over eat, or they get an air bubble trapped under all the milk, and when they burp, the bubble pushes it all back up.
So, mind at ease, I hung up the phone and continued on my way. Until it happened again three days later.
She was coughing/ gagging in the middle of the night
This was terrifying! Yes, again, “Why didn’t you take her to the doctor?
And again, dear reader, I did. Well, I called the doctor. This is when the conversation that maybe it could be reflux started. They told me not to worry about it too much, though, and just keep her upright for 20 minutes after every feeding.
I can’t tell you how much fun that was in the middle of the night when I was already half-asleep.
She was constantly wiggling in the middle of the night
Her little legs would kick and she would grunt and make all kinds of noises. But, as soon as I got her her paci, she was right back to sleep. So, I didn’t think anything of it.
Yes, she woke me up a dozen plus times throughout the night. But, she only ate once. I mean, babies make noise right?
Yes, they do. And some babies are very noisy sleepers. But it was the grunting that gave it away. It wasn’t just that she was cooing or babbling. She was grunting. That’s the key.
She was starting to pull of the breast and fuss half-way through feedings
Sometimes it was just fussing, other times it was straight up screaming.
Was she full? Babies get more efficient with eating as they get older. They don’t need to feed as long. Is this just her way of telling me she doesn’t want anymore?
Yes and no. Norah does pull off and get grumpy when she’s done eating. She also pulls off and gets grumpy when her reflux is bothering her. So, it was a symptom that on it’s own didn’t mean much. But combined with everything else, pointed to only one thing: REFLUX.
She was burping constantly
You pick her up and– BUUURRRPPPP. Not little ones, either. Again, babies burp. Sometimes when they cry, they swallow air. Burping on its own doesn’t mean reflux. Burping mixed with all the other fun stuff that was going on did.
She was starting to spit up a lot more frequently
It wasn’t just after feedings. But, randomly throughout the day, as well. This was one of the last symptoms that really convinced me to stop calling and just take her in.
And I’m glad I did.
The Thing Is…
These things on their own aren’t that abnormal. Babies are babies, and they will cry, fuss, burp, and spit up. They’ll even have the occasional projectile vomit episode. What made this all worthy of our concern was that it was all happening at once. And it was happening more and more frequently as the days went on.
It was after her second projectile vomiting event in the span of one week that we decided to take her to the doctor. It was there that they began to ask us about the above mentioned symptoms. I had honestly never pieced them all together until then.
Everyone was telling me, “babies spit up. Babies cry. Babies make funny noises at night.” And yes, it’s true. They do all of those things. But if your baby is doing all of those things a lot, and all together, maybe they have reflux.
Norah has been taking her reflux medicine for about three weeks now, and we have seen an improvement. She doesn’t wake up nearly as much throughout the night. She still coughs, but it might also be from teething (she’s constantly sucking on her hands and has slobber everywhere, so I’m thinking she just gets a little carried away with that). She hasn’t projectile vomited (knock on wood) since, and her spit up has decreased significantly.
We still have a couple issues that need addressing, but overall, the medicine has been helping. We will follow up with the doctor in a couple weeks, and I’ll be sure to let all you lovely mamas and papas out there know how it goes.
In the meantime, do any of you have experience with reflux? Any tips or tricks you can share about getting through it? Any and all help is always welcomed!
One last thing: I am not a medical provider. I am not a doctor. I’m simply a mama sharing my experience. So, don’t take any of this as actual medical advice. If you think your baby has reflux, consult your pediatrician. Get someone with all those fancy letters after their name to check out your little one. They’ll be able to tell you what’s really going on.