Are you excited?
I wrote about Harlow's digestive issues a few weeks ago. At the time, I wasn't sure what could be attributed to normal newborn fussiness and what was an actual problem. For some reason, I refused to say she had colic.
Every time I explained my situation to someone, they would say sympathetically, "Oh. It's really tough when a baby has colic…" to which I would irrationally respond, "SHE DOES NOT HAVE COLIC! SHE IS NOT CRYING FOR THE SAKE OF CRYING! SHE IS CRYING AFTER SHE EATS BECAUSE IT HURTS HER!!!!"
On some level, I thought saying Harlow had colic meant I was stuck with a "dud". A "lemon baby" if you will. I'm also really bad at accepting sympathy. I like to pretend I can handle anything.
Harlow was diagnosed with acid reflux at her one month check-up, when "she didn't gain as much weight as we would have liked" and the doctor put her on Zantac.
At the previous check-up, I had told the pediatrician that Harlow was spitting up a lot. She said it might be because my milk flow was too heavy or she was getting too much milk. From that point forward, as soon as Harlow started spitting up, I would stop feeding. Harlow would cry which I attributed to indigestion. But, I now think it was a combination of indigestion and hunger.
Since she was put on Zantac (just before Christmas), Harlow's reflux has improved greatly. Whether that can be attributed directly to the medication, I am not sure, because we have made numerous changes. We got the Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper (update: sadly, that product was recalled yesterday), we switched to a more straight-jacket like swaddle (anybody that says their newborn doesn't like being swaddled— it might be that you are not swaddling ENOUGH; try the Miracle Blanket
or the Woombie), and I stopped eating dairy (a really tough thing to give up when you are living on cereal and ice cream).
As of last week, Harlow began to resemble the cute little peaceful newborn we brought home from the hospital. Her baby acne cleared up (she would get incredibly red and rashy whenever I fed her), her tear duct problem went away (from massaging her inner eye as often as possible) and she doesn't look quite so pissed off all the time (an expression she clearly inherited from her father). She is also sleeping for a pretty solid stretch at night (from 10pm-2am and then again from 2:30am to 5am) which makes everybody happier.
The only negative is she still spits up constantly. She spits up if you lie her flat on her back, she spits up if you put her in any sort of a sitting position (stroller, carseat, bouncer or just on your lap), and she spits up as soon as you tighten the straps on a carrier or wrap (which gives your cleavage an especially nice treat).
THERE ARE NEVER ENOUGH BURP CLOTHS.
Although, we did find these nifty burp cloths/bibs from aden + anais that snap in the back of the neck.
The spit-up makes it almost impossible to leave the house. Every time I feed her, I have to wait until she spits up before I put her in the carrier or the stroller, which really narrows my window of time before I have to feed her again. Feeding her out of the house is pretty hazardous as well, since she makes no distinction between the couch that we have at home and the couch some poor soul is about to purchase at Room & Board.
If you want to line your house with plastic like it's Dexter's kill room and invite me over, that would be FANTASTIC.
But I can deal with spit-up (which doesn't seem to bother her) as long as I get to see an occasional smile on Harlow's face. A few weeks ago, if she was awake, she was unhappy. She cried after every feeding, she grunted through the night and seemed generally distressed at all times.
I don't know if this was colic but it doesn't matter because I think it's over.
Now, in the small window of time between feedings and spit-ups, I can plop my baby in the bouncer and enjoy her.
She copies my smile.
She coos the most delicious sounds.
She is the polar opposite of a "lemon".