Monday, February 25, 2008

Reflux, don't do it

(Apologies to Frankie Goes to Hollywood for the title of the post).

The problem with babies (other than copious amounts of poo - see earlier posts) is that they are completely incapable of telling you what it is that they want, or what is wrong. It all gets translated into a scream of varying velocity and, sometimes, even once the problem has been solved they keep screaming because they forget what it was that they were screaming about in the first place. In this respect they are much like an English tourist in a French hypermarket. In the absence of someone understanding what you say in a calm and considered voice, speaking more slowly and loudly, raising to a shout if needs be seems to be the natural progression of matters. In fact, now I think about it, perhaps this behaviour is cemented as babies.

Anyway, after the respite of the jabs and the sleep it brought, we have had two days of sustained screaming. Added to this, Eve started screaming halfway through feeds and vomiting lots. There is nothing quite so depressing as having your own child choke, then scream and then vomit on your nipple. I've had people vomit on my shoes, hair and even bottom before (I had very colourful teenage years), but never on my nipples.

She then was ravenous but couldn't or wouldn't take the breast again, so would scream even louder because she was hungry. Only carrying her around upright for half an hour would calm her, and even then she would only sleep for 45 mins before the whole miserable process (for her and me) would start up again. The more observant of my readers will, at this point, realise that this has two consequences. The first is no sleep at all for me, and the second is very little sleep for Eve. We both got a bit grouchy as a result.

Today, after the third feed of the day when the same thing happened, H and I conferred that Eve needed to go to the doctor.

After an in depth examination, including giving Eve water until she threw up so the doctor could see what it looked like (ick) and a super poo (not strictly required but Eve was on a roll with the bodily fluids by this point), the doctor decided that Eve has reflux.

Unlike colic, reflux is actually known to exist. Eve has excess tummy acid and her immature tummy value (excuse the lay-man terminology here) means that when her tummy gets near full it all comes up and burns her throat - hence the choking, screaming, and refusal to eat even though she was starving hungry.

She will grow out of it in a few months (grrr - all childhood problems seem to resolve themselves with time) but in the meantime I have to change how I feed her and she has been given a powerful acid inhibitor to reduce the tummy acid.

The combination of these should mean she is fine. Until whatever challenge Eve sends my way next.

1 comment:

Sabina said...

Am sure you have already been told, but just in case not: have you tried raising Eve's mattress where she rests her head? I had couple of friends who found use for the Yellow Pages in this regard - seemed to work a treat in reducing the problem. Not sure the publishers had this in mind though...