Reflux: 1 Billion. Me: Zero.

Okay, this will teach me to brag about how well things are going! I think that’s just how life goes with a baby, though– you get the hang of one thing and another thing pops up.

Poor Caroline’s reflux is totally out of control. If you remember, her reflux was the reason she was in the NICU for so long, because she got aspiration pneumonia from it. Well, it’s been sort of up and down ever since, but lately I feel like it’s taken over our lives! She spits up multiple times at every feeding. We go through at least 8 outfits per day. Often I can’t even get her from my boob to my shoulder to burp her before she’s spewed at least half an ounce all over herself, me, the couch, and the dog. Her medications (Prevacid and Zantac) have made her more comfortable with the spitting up– it doesn’t burn her little esophagus anymore– but they don’t reduce the sheer volume of it. I would be okay with it… I mean, I can do more laundry without a problem, and she seems comfortable… but she went in for her 2-month appointment on Friday and this is how it went:

Doctor: Is she nursing well?
Me: Yes, she nurses really well, but she does spit up a huge amount.
Doctor: Well, she’s in the 5th percentile for weight, but that might just be her growth curve.
Me: …I’m sorry, the what?
Doctor: The 5th percentile.
Me: WHATINTHEFUCKINGFUCK?!?!?!?

Okay, no, I didn’t drop an F-bomb on the pediatrician. But I wanted to. Because AARRGHH!! I worked so hard to breastfeed exclusively, and don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I do it– but it’s so hard not to feel like it’s your fault when you’re the sole source of nutrition and your child isn’t gaining weight. (When she was born, she was somewhere around the 40th percentile. A drop to the 5th is no bueno.) The pediatrician didn’t seem that concerned at the time since she had gained over a pound since her last visit, but then later in the day she called me back and interrupted my obsessing to tell me that she wanted Caroline back on weight checks to “make sure she’s on the right track”.

It’s never what you expect it to be, you know? I used to be afraid of losing my supply or some other common problem, but my supply is super-awesome– she just can’t keep any of it down.

And as if that wasn’t enough…

The very next morning, I was holding Caroline in bed and passed her to Tyler to reach for my Boppy. This was maybe 2 hours after a feeding. Suddenly, I heard Tyler say in a terrified voice “what’s wrong with her??” I looked over and spit-up was coming out her nose and mouth and she had such a scared look in her eyes, and she wasn’t breathing, and she had a bluish tinge around her lips. I FREAKED OUT. I flew out of bed and down the hall to get her booger sucker and suctioned her little nose and mouth like crazy until she was breathing again, while Tyler whacked her on the back.

There is nothing more terrifying than having your child not be able to breathe. I swear. Nothing can possibly compare to it. You can’t breathe, you can barely see, you can’t think, you feel like you’re drowning. It seemed like it took hours to get her airway clear… I’m sure it was under a minute. I’m certified in infant CPR but that does not matter in that situation because you are too petrified to even remember your own name, let alone the sequence of CPR.

So now I am afraid to go to sleep because I’m scared that she will choke on spit-up and I’ll wake up to the unthinkable. And of course Tyler is in Canada this week– awesome. I’m taking her to the doctor today and demanding a referral to a pediatric GI specialist because clearly this reflux is not under control. I’m also contemplating demanding a monitor, even though I hated the monitor in the NICU. I suspect they will put her on one even if I don’t ask, because airway issues are so serious.

I just want my little girl to be safe and feel better. Oh, and reflux? I hate you.

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  1. by Lyndsay

    On April 20, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Oh my god! That paragraph about her spitting up and not breathing stopped my heart when reading it, I can’t imagine how you were feeling in the moment. I wish you luck and I hope Caroline gets better quick!

  2. by Becca

    On April 20, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I hate reflux too! I can totally relate to the spitup out the nose and mouth and the turning blue. Absolutely terrifying. We went to the GI specialist and he basically said that because Jax is gaining weight, all they’ll do is keep him on his medications (which have yet to take away his pain…). I just want him to outgrow this! The pedi is predicting 4 months…so we’re only halfway through?!Good luck to you. I really hope the GI specialist can get some answers for you and that poor lil Caroline stops spitting up so much and packs on the pounds! PM me if you ever wanna chat/vent!Becca

  3. by Ashley T

    On April 21, 2009 at 10:31 am

    That just stopped my heart so I can’t imagine what you felt actually living it. I think you’re making the best choice by going back to the doc amd demanding the referral. Good luck and hopefully that sweet baby girl of yours is better soon!

  4. by Anonymous

    On July 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Just found your blog while blog-hopping. I've gone through the reflux thing, luckily it's in the past now for us! But I know how frustrating it is, as a nursing Mom, to feel like you're not helping your child.It's been some time since you've updated, hope all is well…and maybe she's outgrown it.