Rhianna is a young mother of two gorgeous girls. Jaeclyn is 3 years old and Kaydee is one! Until recently a stay-at-home mother, Rhianna is now a photographer and also a volunteer cheerleading coach. Rhianna enjoys writing, being outdoors and animals. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs.
This article consists of two parts...one was written when Rhianna was at her wits end with her baby Kaydee throwing up everything she drank. She was diagnosed with GER. The second part explains what was really happening!
When Kaydee came into this world 3 weeks early, we were truly blessed that she did not have any serious health complications. She was just a little under six pounds and could breathe (and scream!) just wonderfully. She was released from the hospital on time, and she was a perfect little bundle of joy.
I was put on bed rest at 29 weeks pregnant, due to early labor which landed me in the hospital. I was put on Magnesium Sulfate, and anyone who ever had to take it, knows my pain! She was due on Thanksgiving, and came on Mischief Night, if that explains her personality at all! She was such a quiet newborn, except when it came to sleeping. Every time I would lay her on her back to sleep, she would scream so loud, you would think I was driving a knife into her! Putting her on her belly was out of the question, for she screamed even louder. She wound up sleeping in her Boppy next to me in bed every night. That was one can of worms I never wanted to open!
Around 3 months of age our little angel disappeared. At first we thought she had developed colic, since all she did was scream for hours on end. I started noticing that every time I fed the baby, she would spit up many times after. Babies spit up, so I didn’t think much of it. That is until she started the projectile vomiting. It would literally shoot across the room, like a scene our of a horror film! I finally brought it up at her 3 month check up and we got sent to the Children’s Hospital immediately for an upper GI.
The upper GI was really neat. They laid her under a big X-Ray machine and had her drink Barium out of the bottle. On the computer screen you could see the Barium entering her esophagus, then into her belly. As we were watching, you could see the liquid go down a bit, and then shoot right back up. She was diagnosed with Reflux, or GER on the spot.
We tried all different things to help her be more comfortable, since there is no cure. First she was put on Zantac, which her body outgrew pretty quickly. We switched her formula four different times. This is also not easy on her belly and would result in bad belly pains, and you guessed it, more screaming! Now she is taking the highest dose of Prevacid, which is not FDA approved for infants. It seems to work pretty decent, if she isn’t screaming for a bottle when she wakes up. This is a rare occurrence. The infant must take the medication on an empty stomach for it to work as it should. They are then allowed to drink/eat 15 minutes after. This may happen once or twice a week.
We were told she should outgrow this sometime soon. But, as of right now, she is eight months old and shows no signs of ever outgrowing it! We always have to have a rag handy for those fun clean-ups after her bottle, and we have a written warning for anyone who wants to hold her!
“WARNING: THIS CHILD PUKES CONSTANTLY. HOLD AT YOUR OWN RISK. CLOTHING WILL NOT BE REPLACED.”
One good thing is she is still my happy baby girl. She is crawling, clapping, says 3 words, and doing everything right on time. Hopefully she does grow out of it soon, because I am simply tired of being a human burp rag!
Here are some tips if you have a baby with reflux:
1. If the child is still taking formula, add cereal to the bottles. The thicker the better for their little bellies.
2. DO NOT bounce the child after a meal. In fact, don’t even touch them. Let them sit upright for at least a half hour. (I warned you!)
3. Talk to your pediatrician about trying new formulas. The added rice starch ones seem to work the best for Kaydee, plus you don’t need to add your own cereal. Just remember, the thicker it is going down, the thicker it is coming back up!
4. Incline the crib with a pillow UNDER the mattress. Also, letting them sleep in their swing or car seat is OK. Kaydee still falls asleep in her swing every night. Don’t worry about the bald spot on the back of their heads. The hair will come back!
5. ALWAYS have a burp rag nearby. Invest stock in carpet cleaner and Dreft laundry detergent.
6. Provide warning for any relative, neighbor, or friend who wants to hold the baby. Have them sign a contract that they are aware of the puking issue.
7. Take a break as needed, when needed. Reflux babies scream a lot. It will test your nerves to no end. If your neighbor sees you standing outside taking deep breaths, explain to them that if they have a problem with it, they can go inside and take care of the little vomiting monster themselves.
Lots of luck to you and your entire family!
Update on my Vomit Monster
Kaydee is now almost 11 months old, and boy have things changed!
After countless medicine changes, dosage changes, and many sleepless nights, I decided to start doing research of my own. I started out by typing her symptoms into a search engine, and the only thing that would keep coming up was “Milk Allergy”. After reading the signs and symptoms, I was convinced. I brought it up to her specialist who insisted that if her big sister didn’t have a milk allergy, she wouldn’t either. I didn’t buy it!
I decided to turn my child into a human lab rat. I began keeping a diary of things she ate, how long after she vomited, and so forth. Well, after 3 days, it was plain as day: She only spit up after eating ANYTHING with milk in it. This included her formula.
I went to the store that afternoon and invested in Soy Formula. That night she slept almost 8 hours straight through. The next day I began her new diet. She wasn’t allowed to have anything that contained any milk ingredients. We have been on this diet for about 3 months now. Kaydee has turned into the happiest, most loveable baby you will ever meet! She is a completely different child. Her skin isn’t scaly anymore, she has had less ear infections, and her allergy symptoms have disappeared. The best part is, she no longer needs any kind of medication!
Everything isn’t perfect of course. Her sister is allowed to eat anything she wants, which usually turns into Kaydee finding her food places. We still have incidents of spit up, but usually only after she eats anything with milk, and usually after she finds her big sisters stash. It is very tough finding foods for her to eat, but thank goodness for soy! She is one of the few lucky kids who can actually have soy because most babies who are allergic to milk are usually allergic to soy as well. She has finally gotten passed 20lbs, and is growing very quickly! She began walking at 9 months (someone help me!) and plays all day long!
My message to parents: FOLLOW YOUR GUT! If you feel like something just isn’t right, get on the internet and find answers yourself. Just because the doctors have medical degrees does NOT mean they are going to know EVERY answer!
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