Sometimes we have just a great story that’s worth sharing. One of our moms, Erin, a patient of Dr. Wagner, was kind enough to provide this blog entry to encourage moms of babies that have a rough start – the ones that don’t live up to the Baby Story/People Magazine dreams of a calm, blissful introduction to motherhood. It’s worth sharing that sometimes it’s hard. One of our most satisfying experiences is partnering with parents to figure out when something just isn’t right. It’s a process and a team effort. Here’s to Erin, and here’s to parents taking one day at a time to get to a better place. Here’s Erin’s article:
It gets better.
My whirlwind started seven months ago. I was operating totally in survival mode. My newborn baby boy started having tummy troubles from week 2. This was not the angelic and calm baby I was hoping for, but I did my best to keep up. He started crying a lot, and it just kept getting worse as the weeks went on. Being a first time mom, I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and there wasn’t much my husband or I (or even my mom – a seasoned mom of seven), could do to soothe him. We tried everything; rocking, the swing, car rides, slings, you name it. I could tell he was in pain by how hard his cry was, but that was all I knew. I finally realized that cradling him tight to my body and bouncing him started to work. However, at his worst we were literally doing deep knee bends to counter his hard crying. By the end of a cry session I would be sweaty. He would barely sleep morning or night. I’d never been more sleep deprived in all my life. It killed me too because every now and then I could see a sweet baby in between the crying and pain like he was trying to escape the misery. My doctor thought it sounded like reflux, so for weeks we tried different medicines and doses. It was so exhausting. I kept praying something would help my baby and give us all some relief. Unfortunately the medicine wasn’t helping enough.
I was nursing at the time and he started to pull off and scream then try to eat ravenously and then pull off and scream over and over again. And when I say “scream” it’s not an exaggeration. He was down to nursing for only 2 min and then pulling off and screaming, when I finally cracked. I thought to myself, this just can’t be right. I contacted my doctor and tried to get more help figuring it out. I went through weeks of trial and error with what I could be eating that might make my baby intolerant to my breast milk. I had cut out spicy foods, most spices, dairy, chocolate, citrus fruit, most gluten and beans until finally the doctor suggested cutting out soy. It was just too much for me. Soy is in so many foods! How would I ever be able to really cut out all soy? I made the hard decision to stop breast feeding and try formula and crossed my fingers it would give him relief. It was many more weeks of trial and error, lots of crying and sleepless nights and many phone calls back and forth with our wonderful doctor’s office until we finally were able to settle on a formula that worked well enough and didn’t upset his digestive system more. We figured out he is dairy and soy intolerant, which required a special formula for infants with this issue – and that is when we finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. Slowly things got better and started to work. We also went back and tried some reflux medication which actually worked this time. My son’s discomfort ended up to be due to more than just one tummy issue. Soon, we saw a happy baby start to emerge. I couldn’t believe it. Finally.
Everyone kept telling us it would get better and as much as I wanted to believe them, most days, I didn’t. It seemed like we were going through all that for such a long time. I didn’t know when it would end. But I’m happy to say, it ended. My little boy is now one of the happiest babies I know. He’s always smiling, very smart and he’s got a very laid back personality. He’s growing well and eating well. He’s even sleeping through the night and going down for naps and bed time without needing to be bounced. (Thank goodness, because my knees couldn’t take much more!). So for all of you out there struggling in some way with your little one, hang in there and keep at it. You will figure it out and it will get better. I look back now and it doesn’t seem as crazy as it seemed at the time. And I would do it all over again for this sweet little boy!