Reflux redux

06/23/2011 at 8:21 pm | Posted in baby sunshine | 16 Comments
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So here we are again. Three years later. Trying to comfort a baby whose stomach has decided to stage a revolt.


Silent reflux, actually. But there is very little silence about it. Baby girl can scream. The good thing is that her cry sounds like a sweet little trill compared to Lily’s piercing shriek (that is forever burned into my psyche). The bad thing? She’s uncomfortable and fussy, and on occasion, difficult to console.

The last few nights have been a marathon relay, Marc and me (and sometimes Auntie Julie, who left her nice, quiet home in Ohio to visit us), handing off a crying baby, each bobbing and swaying and rocking and burping until, exasperated, we pass her off for a break.

It’s frustrating to be back here. And, even though we’ve been through this before, it’s still confusing and mind-numbing.

Should we increase her medicine dosage? Is the gripe water doing anything? The gas drops?

And, of course, the ever-frequent questions: is she hungry? tired?


I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent doing squats in the bathroom with the fan blaring, a squirming Sophie in my arms, thanking God that I’m properly medicated this time around.

The funny thing is that this caught us by surprise.

At around five weeks old, she started writhing and screaming just a few seconds into a breastfeeding session. I thought it had something to do with my supply, and even Marc, sweet as he is, scoured the Baby Center boards for information about “over-active let-down.”

After a few days of this, frustrated and convinced that my milk tasted like jalapenos, I called the advice nurse at our pediatrician’s office. Ann asked me a series of questions, and as I said “yes” for the billionth time, she got quiet. Then, gently, she said, Suzanne, you know what this is.

You see, Ann coached us through Lily’s reflux. And here she was, three years later, informing us that we’re facing the beast again.

I want to share the checklist, just in case there is an exasperated mom (or dad) reading this post, struggling with what you think might be reflux. These are Sophie’s symptoms, but there are more. And what makes her reflux “silent” is that she isn’t spitting up frequently.

Here goes:

– pulls off the breast or bottle after beginning a feed, screaming and thrashing
– frequent bouts of hiccups
– rapid weight gain (surprising, no?)
– gas
– the sound of a burp, but nothing comes out of her mouth
– irritated during diaper changes (from being flat on her back)
– wakes suddenly screaming
– unhappy after feedings
– feeds better at night when she’s half-asleep

Also, a major factor in our case is family history. And age. Apparently, the acid begins at about five weeks of age, which is exactly when little Sophie first started showing these symptoms.

After the conversation with Ann, we started Axid. We also elevated one end of her changing table and sleep her at an incline, too. We burp her often during feedings (which she hates) and we give her gripe water, which especially seems to help with the hiccups.

After a few days, she showed signs of improvement: eating better, sleeping better, generally being more peaceful.

But then, in the last few days, things started to nosedive. Thrashing on the boob, screaming fits, silent burps, and most telling of all, when I’d hold her, her little body would jerk her awake in a fit of pain. I called Ann again and we’ve switched medicines to Prevacid, which is a different class of drug than Axid.

Tonight was our first dose.

Fingers crossed.



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  1. Oh man…this post gave me the shakes. I almost couldn’t keep reading. My son had silent reflux, treated with axid for 2 years…then a year of craptastic sleep issues due to being held so much for 2 full years. Hang in there. As you know, it does end. It does get better.

  2. Oscar had this too and it was miserable! We were all miserable for 4 months. We did the elevated sleep thing too and he basically slept in his swing for a good 2 months. I hope that I will recognize it with the new baby if it happens again, but there is just so much to try and remember. You are doing an awesome job and she will get through it and be awesome, just like Lily. IN the meantime, just get back into survival mode and let anything go that isn’t a complete need. I don’t know what you have that is inclined, but we got this for the new baby in case he also has reflux. It might help you guys too.

    • That is exactly the sleeper we’re using! It’s miraculous. So glad you have one for new baby. Sophie hasn’t slept in anything else yet.

  3. I totally sympathize with you on this! While Jackson never had any reflux issues, Esme’ had tons! It was a tough 1st year (especially since I had zero help), but as others have said, each day is better & this too shall pass & faster than you think. Good luck & hopefully, we’llmeet Sophie soon.


    • Thanks Cat. We’re all looking forward to seeing you on the 9th!

  4. Blah, I’m sorry you’re having to go through this again but super happy that you’re properly medicated.

    Our second was a nightmare in the beginning through no fault of his own. He had severe double ear infections the likes of which the doctor had never seen on a 1-month-old baby. His screaming would have done me in had I not been medicated.

    (((hugs))) hoping your reflux experience pays off in the end 🙂

  5. Hope the new medicine works for her sake & yours & Marc’s too!

  6. My daughter had terrible reflux until she wad 12 months. She also threw up everything she ate which burned her esophagus.
    I will never forget the endless hours it took to feed her, the lack of sleep, the drs, the crying, her being in pain, and my ppd on top of it.
    It’s no fun for either party.
    But luckily it gets better.

  7. Oh, poor baby! =( And poor parents too. I hope that the new medicine works!

  8. man, that blows. Poor Sophie & momma!

    Prevacid was amazeballs for Harry. Here’s hoping it’s the same good luck charm for y’all!

  9. Hang in there! I know that this too shall pass.

  10. Sending many good energies your way. I hope you are all able to overcome this challenge soon! Thinking about you guys…

  11. Oh my. I’m sorry you are going through this again. I know it seems like this phase lasts forever. We “shooshed” in her ear until we wanted to pass out. Never even thought of inclining her changing table or using a bathroom fan. I hope her little battle ends soon.

  12. Just catching up on your blog…not surprisingly, we are living the same ordeal with L2, down to the on the Axid, off the Axid part. He’s got a PH probe scheduled for next week. So it’s prevacid solutabs, sleeping in a papasan chair and mylanta as needed until the results come in. UGH.

    Thinking of you, sister. xoxo

    • Poor little guy –and mama. So sorry you’re going through this. I’ve been unable to keep up with the listserv … feel like I’m in a time warp. Please keep us posted on the ph probe. Hugs!

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