Colic & Reflux

Let the sick commence!!

At the end of May 2014, we were blessed with a little man we call the Bear – also known as Monkey, Nut-job and oh Charlie.  He was perfect in every way, pink and wrinkly with big eyes and a tongue that seemed to stick out all the time (and it still does).  We brought him home and I genuinely felt the most amazing wave of emotion I have ever felt – true, unconditional, unbreakable, love.  After about 2 weeks of feeding, sleeping and changing we had started to get into a little routine and then…..well let’s say then the Exorcist vomiting and screaming (me and him) started.

Now, before I go on, I am not in any way a healthcare professional or have any medical knowledge I am a mum who made it through and want to share with you.

Our little Bear was about to take us through around 10 weeks of colic and reflux (silent and otherwise).

How did it start?

Symptoms?

Screaming (he’s a newborn that happens)
Vomiting (he’s a newborn that happens)

Our little man went from sleeping for about 3 hours at a time, throughout the day (about 18 hours a day) to sleeping for as little at 6 in 24 hours! He would arch his back, scream after every feed and of course throw up the milk I had just given him (breastfed).  I was a little emotional after giving birth, which is of course perfectly normal, but I wanted to be able to do it all. I wanted a happy baby and the ability to do everything I used to, like read a book, watch a film, cook dinner or simply get dressed!  When this didn’t happen I began to feel like I was failing, so throw in a sicky, screaming, unhappy baby and I was bordering on madness.

I am ashamed to admit that one day while I was out I thought what would happen if I just let go of the pram – please don’t judge me on this, I am sure millions of mothers around the world think about things they would NEVER EVRER do when they are feeling low, but simply do not say it, because if you do you are frowned upon or considered to be failing.

You paint a smile on your face and get on with it.

I wont go off on a tangent here but I was suffering with mild Post Natal Depression and did not realize, so did not ask for help with the constant crying, vomiting and lack of sleep.  I just cried to myself, worried to myself and kept a firm smile on my face for visitors.  Where was my husband you ask? He was working incredibly hard to make money to support us as he is self-employed….so no paternity or holiday pay for him. Plus his business was new so he had to get himself established.  The way I saw it was mothers cope without their husbands all the time, so why couldn’t I?

He was so wonderfully supportive and most days came away from work to take the baby for a few hours and he spent hours and hours (3-6 hours most nights) burping the little man who just would not bring up his wind.  One day the baby woke up at midday and did not go back to sleep until 11pm – he cried and fed and cried and fed. We had all settled on the sofa and my husband said to Charlie:

“If you don’t stop crying, I will take you to A&E.”

And, well he stopped and we all went to bed, exhausted.  This was at its worst and it wasn’t until I admitted to myself that I actually needed help and did not have super powers, that I finally felt like I could cope.

A trusted friend came to see me and I broke down in tears about how terrible being a mother was. I felt so awful because I was tired and just wanted my baby to have his milk and keep it down so he would sleep.  She said had I spoken to anyone – no I said through tears. It must be my fault, I said.  I must be doing it wrong, I said.  She said, call your health visitor.

So I did.

I also asked for advice from other mummies on Facebook and they all said – it sounds like reflux and colic!!

But….what the sick on a muslin, is reflux?

So I went on to lots of websites to try and find out what I could and both reflux and colic have very similar symptoms so what did we have?  We went to the GP and she said we definitely had reflux as Charlie’s symptoms matched and he had a white tongue where it was becoming coated with his stomach acids.  We also went to a friend who is a chiropractor and he said that Charlie had colic.

So treatment

Infant Gavison – to be given before and after every feed (that’s a LOT)
2 x a weekly craniopathy sessions

Did it magically go away?

Well, no – sorry!

The reflux was kept at bay with the Gaviscon but it made Charlie constipated so he has a really full and uncomfortable tummy.

The craniopathy did help however and the colic seemed to get better, but skeptics would say that is because the baby simply got older.

All I can say is we saw a difference.

The time did come when we had to try and take Charlie off the Gaviscon as his tummy was really bad – but we knew that he would be sick again.  We were brave and did it, and the sick came back, so the Gaviscon came back.  But slowly, slowly we took Charlie off the medicine and now he if he is sick at all it is a shock as he simply doesn’t throw up any more.

He is much older know and of course as babies grow their tummies grow so they get better and can cope with milk, solids and all the grubs they pick up.  At the time, everyone we spoke to said that it will get better, and time will make it better and wait until he gets to 12 weeks – it will all go away! That is great advice when you have gone through it but while you are in it, it seems never-ending, upsetting and hard-blooming work!

So what do I want to say to you, the parents who may be going through this? I want to say….stay strong and do what you need to, to get through.