Monday, April 4, 2011

A Reflux Tale

Josie had horrible reflux. It was our first big parenting lesson when she was about a month old. Trust your instincts - when something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. We didn't know much as new parents, but we really felt like our little girl was in pain.  After a couple of weeks of watching her writhe in agony after she ate and after cleaning up lots and lots of projectile baby-spew (sorry), we finally got a diagnosis of acid reflux from our doctor and started her on zantac.  A year later, when we found out that Josie had a peanut allergy, we deduced that all that vomiting and agony was an allergic reaction to the peanut proteins Josie was getting through my breastmilk. (Peanut butter and trail mix were almost daily staples.) 
We hoped and hoped that Bea wouldn't have to go through the same thing.  But... pretty quickly after we got home from the hospital little Bea started to show the telltale signs of reflux. At first we weren't sure if it was just a leftover problem from all the suctioning and stomach-pumping after her birth. But, it wasn't long until there was no denying it. This time, we intervened right away.  By Day 11, Beatrice was on zantac.  It definitely helped, but (like Josie) didn't eliminate the problem all together.  We did loads of research and talked to lots of people and (this just in) we think the problem with Bea is dairy!  Three days without dairy and her symptoms are almost completely gone! Note this doesn't mean Bea will have a milk allergy. Most infants have trouble tolerating cow's milk. In fact, it was the first thing we tried with Josie as well. I cut back then eliminated dairy for several weeks but it made no difference for her - likely because I kept pounding peanuts.
Sooo... to wrap this whole reflux tale up... no more dairy for Carri!  That's the bad news.
The good news is that 1) Bea is in less pain and much happier, 2) We figured out the reflux much sooner this time - before she grew to hate sleeping as much as her big sister did, 3) Having gone through all of this before, we know all the tricks and they come naturally. 
Speaking of all the tricks - don't put Bea on her back.  She hates it. If you ever get a chance to hold this little darling, she likes to stay vertical and get the super-fun over-the-shoulder view of the world.  It makes for some great cuddling!

So, let it be known - we have learned a few things in the 3 1/2 years as Josie's parents.  And that feels really good! :)

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