It sometimes is hard to make sense of things when your baby has the reflux. I don’t even know where to begin.
How are we coping with Squirt’s reflux situation so far? We are hanging in there; some days are good, some days not so good. And as a mother, it is extremely frustrating to watch my baby scream in pain after a feed.
More than 4 weeks on since the diagnosis, and we now have been prescribed another medication called Omeprazole after Air-X and Antacil. It apparently is the big gun of all reflux meds there is. It is a common medication prescribed for infants with severe reflux condition to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease and other conditions caused by excess stomach acid. It also is used to promote healing of any damage to the esophagus caused by stomach acid.
When our Pediatrician recommended Omeprazole to us, we were told that it would take at least 7-10 days before the medication takes effect. Squirt has now been on the new medication for about 2 weeks, and as much as we hate to medicate – especially an infant, I have to say that there has been some improvement to his behaviour after a feed. For a start, he does not retch, gag, cough and scream all day like he did before.
He still gets the reflux, though and they come in bouts. Sometimes, I could hear the swishing and swashing of the acid from his stomach to his throat. He still cries a lot when that happens or when he cannot get his burps out. He still spits up and then sometimes, swallows it all back in.
Our nights are still broken, and he does wake-up more than three times a night when he has the reflux (usually at 4 am!). Just the other night, he woke up every hour again and spent most of his time in his cot coughing. In that sense, we are still in a bit of a roller-coaster ride. However Squirt, does not appear to be in constant pain like he did before Omeprazole. Even at night, it usually takes us a much shorter time to settle him. It still is not all a bed of roses, but there are now windows of moments where we would see a happy and a very, very smiley baby who seems so keen to interact!
That being said and all things considered, in this case, I have no qualms about medicating my baby if it means that my child becomes a much happier baby.
We are taking some measures in trying to make him as comfortable as we can. Apart from the Yoga Ball and making sure that we keep him upright for at least 15 minutes after a feed (They recommend 30 minutes, but this has become an impossible feat at night!), we also make sure that he does not lie flat on his back when sleeping or when being changed by elevating his cot with a wedge.
I have yet to embark on the elimination diet (bleahhh! – which probably make me an irresponsible parent since I feed him breast milk), butI did cave in on giving him a soother (i.e. pacifier) – something which I have an unnatural hatred for.We are crossing our fingers that whatever it is that we are doing, we hope to somehow ease up his pain and discomfort. We certainly do not want to medicate him on a long term basis and at this stage, really hoping that this is a phase in which Squirt will soon outgrow.