I go up and down on days, trying to convince myself that Blake had a “good” day, or a “bad” day. I think just because I’m new at this whole mom thing, that I must have everything wrong. That babies MUST cry this much. This has to be normal, because I don’t want to be that mom who thinks there’s always something wrong with her baby. I feel like we’ve been to the doctor enough as it is. (Four times in 6 weeks, plus one visit to the ER. His doctor told me to go to the ER, I didn’t make that choice on my own.)
So if you aren’t caught up on the rest of the readings here, Blake has been diagnosed formally with GERD and a dairy intolerance. He’s been prescribed Zantac, which he gets twice a day. He was diagnosed with colic, then they took that diagnoses back, now they’re saying colic again.
Daytimes can be up and down. Yesterday he had a fabulous day, with very little crying occurring. Today was awful, except this morning when I caught on video his first smile and coo! Soooooo adorable!!
He had an appointment with his prediatrician at noon, and by noon he had already had two full blown screaming episodes. The third one occurred in the doctor’s office. I made an appointment because he screams from 5PM to 9PM like clockwork every single night. He has times where he’ll rest for about 5 minutes, but then he starts back up again. This is the one time of day that the yoga ball really doesn’t help that much. Very little seems to help. I’ve tried going down the “calming list” that I made, but there’s been no success. Last night was brutal–for Blake, for my husband, and for myself. Michael and I both reached our frustration level. I made the decision to call the doctor first thing this morning. I first spoke to the triage nurse and asked her if this was normal (What do I know?), and of course she said no. So she gave me an appointment for noon.
I always feel the need to apologize when I go to his pediatrician because, being a new mom, I never know if I’m going in for some stupid reason that is totally normal. Babies fuss. That’s just the way it is. My thought was that surely a baby crying for THIS long and THIS hard isn’t standard?
He assured me that my reasons for visiting were valid.
Dr. G asked me if I was happy with the Zantac and his formula, Nutramigen, to which I said yes. He said this surprised him, since I was in there complaining about his crying and I was in for the same reasons when they prescribed his meds and switched his formula. Good concern, I thought. But I explained that his crying was different. Before, he would contort his body telling me he was in pain. This seems to be….well, I can’t figure it out.
Dr. G increased his Zantac dosage from .9mL to 1.1mL. He told me to feed Blake less food. (He’s eats between 2 and 4oz each feeding.) He said that while he is pleased with his weight gain, he’s concerned he may be gaining weight too quickly. (He is just over 6 weeks and is 10.4 lbs.) He told me to take his feedings down to 3 or 3.5 oz and said to add oatmeal (not rice) to his bottles by putting them in a blender so they’d pass through the nipple. In 10 days if I don’t notice a difference then we will reevaluate. He seems to think that Blake has a weak stomach, and by the end of the day the contents of the day’s intake are traveling back up his esophagus causing discomfort in the evening. The purpose of the oatmeal is to coat his stomach. He’s placed him on oatmeal rather than rice because he said he’s done a lot of research and rice tends to contain small levels of arsenic, depending upon where it’s imported from. Dr. G admitted to me that I am one of the first patients that he’s trying the oatmeal out with so he wants me to tell him how it goes.
I decided to try the oatmeal idea out on his afternoon meal. I mixed 3oz of water, his formula, and a teaspoon of oatmeal (as he suggested) into the food processor, which I’d just purchased for Michael the previous week.
He cried the entire time I fed him because bits of oatmeal that didn’t blend very well were getting stuck in the nipple and he couldn’t get any food out. It was the worst feeding I’ve ever experienced with him because he became so frustrated that he couldn’t get anything out that he started this high pitched scream that I have NEVER heard from him before. It was difficult to get him to take the bottle again because I think he was convinced there was nothing coming out. I took a spoon and fished the large chunks out, then gave him the rest.
An hour and a half later he started crying loudly again, giving me the hungry face. I was hesitant to feed him since it had been such a short time but he was clearly hungry, and was getting angrier by the second. That feeding didn’t go well either.
When Michael came home he helped to mix the oats a little better by switching to a different mixer container. Thankfully we have a Ninja that has a lot of different options for mixing, slicing, and blending. Michael made one of the holes of the nipple slightly larger so the oatmeal could fit through. I kept a closer eye on Blake during the feeding to ensure nothing was coming out too fast for him to choke. The oatmeal was a lot finer and he took the bottle a lot easier than the previous times.
At 5:00, his fit started. I would rank tonight’s rage as one of the worst ones he’s ever had. He was crying/screaming so much that he started sweating. At our wits end, we put him down in his swing while we ate dinner and just let him cry. I might have said a few swear words, too. =/ Okay, maybe more than a few…
He finally started to calm down about 9. I’m sure he completely wore himself out from being so upset. I decided to place him in the bouncer in that bathroom with me as I got my shower. Just as I was about to set him down he jolted awake, made a really strange face like he was choking, so I placed him over my shoulder and he threw up everywhere. It had been an hour and a half since he’d eaten, and I gave him his Zantac. I know it’s normal for babies to throw up but it just frustrated me because I feel this is why he’s crying so much. There’s something going on. Something that I feel the formula and Zantac should be fiixng, but they aren’t.
Once he threw up he was totally fine for a while. He cried again about 10, but I think he was just fighting sleep.
All told, he cried for about 6 hours today. Colic is defined as a baby who cries for at least 3 hours, for 3 days, 3 times a week. Even Dr. G admitted he exceeds that. So we’re back to the colic diagnoses again. I can accept that, but I also feel there’s a REASON my kid is SCREAMING for FOUR HOURS EVERY night.
Or maybe this is normal and I’m just losing my patience over it. Maybe I’m supposed to ride this out. Maybe I’ll get a set of really good headphones.