Thursday, February 3, 2011

Late Night Mothering

It's about 4:30 am and Jack stirs, wanting to nurse. He must have slept a long time, because I'm pretty sure we're in the same position we were in when we fell asleep. That's good and bad. I'm wide awake from all the rest, but I'm engorged. I know he's going to cough when I feed him.

Sure enough, he finishes eating and it starts.  The medicine is helping, but not fast enough for anyone, and his last dose was about 8 hours ago.  After the first couple times, we move to the couch where I can keep him on my chest, close to my heartbeat, and in a more upright position.  It seems to help.  What else can I do?

I want to change his diaper, but putting him on his back would make it worse.  He's so tired, fighting so hard to go back to sleep.  Daddy gets up and holds him while I make myself comfortable.  We'll probably be out here for the rest of the night.

I check my email to distract myself from his pain.  When he coughs I rub his back and whisper words of comfort, "I'm here.  Mommy's got you.  You're ok.  It's going to be ok.  Just relax..." as he strains.  Even though it must hurt like hell, he doesn't cry.

I think of all the other moms who might be awake tonight.  I think of my friend whose baby just got out of the hospital, and another who is out of town on business and missing her boys, and especially a brand new mommy who is waiting to find out whether or not she's having a miscarriage.  I send little prayers to each of them, wishes sent through the darkness for comfort, peace, health, safe travel, and for a tenacious little embryo who will beat the odds. 

It's so hard, I hate to see my little man in pain.  I wish so much that I could take it away.  All I can do is keep him upright and whisper words of love to him.  I hope it's enough.  I think of all the other moms and dads out there who are up right now, doing the exact same thing.

He's quieter now.  I'm going to close my eyes and try to rest.


Amanda Westerlund said...

if the medicine doesn't seem to be helping enough, zantac didn't help either of mine. They needed omeprizole, which they mix and it goes in the fridge. Made SUCH a difference. And then also remember as they gain weight you'll have to up his dose.

Amy said...

Our doctor said that if this doesn't work we're going to have to do some kind of scope to see what's going on (yikes!) so I'm really hopeful that this will work. Good point about the weight gain - I'll remember that!

angel0199 said...

I know you haate to put him through any more, but we did the scope. It was actually kind of neat to see. They don't have to put them to sleep and we stayed with him the whole time.

Have you tried changing your diet at all? I know when I ate a lot of tomato products it seemed to make it worse. I also really recommend finding away to keep him more upright to sleep. They actually recommend a 30 degree elevation. Maybe you prop a port-a-crib somehow so he could still be with you. At this age you could also put him in his car-seat to sleep.Just take the straps off or buckle them loosely so he doesn't get tangled in them. Isaiah use to take a lot of naps in the carseat or swing.

Amy said...

The Kellymom website that I've used for years for breastfeeding advice said that he'd have other symptoms (diaper rash, etc.) if it was a food allergy. If the medicine doesn't start helping soon, I'll start changing my diet. I think caffeine will be the first to go, then gluten.

I hate the idea of a scope - I can barely handle shots. :(

Carmen said...

My first (4 years old now) had reflux as a baby and the medicine helped very little. The only thing that helped much was just keeping him upright and cosleeping with his little head on my arm. We propped his changing pad up to a 45 degree angle and never put him in the swing that everyone swore by because it made things so much worse. I remember him waking up screaming in pain and rooting to nurse. He nursed so much in the first 3 months that he looked giant compared to other babies.

It was so heartbreaking. So many people asked is he was sleeping through the night and I had to say "no" and feel like a failure and he cried sooooooo much. I realize now that he was just in pain, nursed to soothe, and I was doing the absolute right thing by nursing him and sleeping with him and just loving him through it. I wish I had known that then.

My second didn't have reflux. He liked to nurse and cosleep but it just wasn't like my first was. And it wasn't in my head like people like to assume b/c he was my first.

You feel so helpless but you are doing a wonderful job. Andrew's reflux was almost nonexistent by 5 months. It will get better!!! I've been there and it sucks! Good job mom for being so loving and nursing and loving him through this!!!

Carmen said...

Oh and I second the sleeping upright in a bouncy seat or something. I propped his head up with a rolled wash cloth under the side the head was tipping towards (if that makes sense). The second we tipped him back at all, even to cradle him, he'd start hiccuping.

Momo Fali said...

I hate to tell you this, but it took us almost nine months before we got Adam's reflux meds "just right" so that he wasn't in pain. We also found out he was allergic to breast milk (still hurts my heart to say that) and we had to play around with formulas too. It was a tough year! I'm telling you this so that you will know there IS something out there to help him, but it might take time.

Amy said...

The meds are really helping - we've been on them a week and a half now, and he's coughing very rarely (usually when he's due for another dose).

I feel very grateful that we found something that worked on the first try. I can't imagine what you must have gone through, Momo, dealing with months of this on top of everything else you went through with your son!