The truth? Over the last few years I've heard story after story about babies with reflux, and I...well, I was skeptical.
Seriously, how is it that infants are suddenly suffering in droves from a condition one normally associates with 50 year old men with an addiction to spicy bratwurst? How could so many tiny little babies need acid-blocking medication, and can that POSSIBLY be good for them? Isn't it possible that some parents need to learn how to soothe a newborn a little better?
Ha ha ha ha ha. I'm funny when I'm all hubris-y. Ha.
Monday I took Sophia to the doctor and plopped her down for him to inspect. "She cries," I explained, "every night. During the day, too, but she stops sometimes during the day. But every night she cries and cries and cries. Sometimes until one or two in the morning." There was more, of course, including the eye-bulging way she wails after spitting up, the way she stops breathing sometimes when she spits up, the endless spitting up, but mostly there was the crying.
He agreed, it looked like reflux. There were things I hadn't connected, like her runny nose, and the arched back posture that is apparently classic in infants with reflux. He wrote me a scrip for Zantac, and that was that.
Monday night she had her first dose. The doctor had warned me not to expect results immediately, so we weren't surprised when she started her usual cry-fest a few hours later. Clay went to bed eventually, and I walked and bounced and...well, you know.
It wasn't actually a heavy crying night - just about 50% crying, I'd say. But Sophia just couldn't stay asleep. She'd drift off, red-rimmed eyes finally, mercifully closing, and then I'd put her down or lay down with her, and after a minute or two she'd wake up screaming. In retrospect I suspect that any posture other than upright allowed that stomach acid to leak back into her enraged esophagus...argh. I hate to think about how she was feeling.
About three in the morning, I thought I'd gotten her down for real. She was in her bed, and I crawled gratefully into my own. Soon her wail filled the room, and I crawled out again. Clay asked if I was okay, and I said sure, fine. She'd let me sleep for a whole seven minutes. I scooped her up, and as I headed for the door, a thought popped into my head.
I could throw her.
It wasn't that I WANTED to throw her, or that I thought I should. It just...occurred to me that I could. I stood there, at the threshold of bedroom, and pondered that thought. Then I turned around, and shook Clay awake. I handed Sophia to him.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I just can't anymore. Will you take her?"
And of course he did.
The next night, after her third dose, Sophia fell asleep a little after 8. With hardly any crying. She woke up a few times to nurse during the night, then fell back to sleep, emphatically. She slept until 8:30 the next morning. Ever since, things have just plain been better. She cries a million percent less than she did (although she's crying RIGHT NOW, as Clay walks her and tells her an inviting tale of sleep). She sleeps. At night.
And now all of you who have dealt with infant reflux can have a hearty chuckle at my expense because I, mother of four? KNEW NOT WHAT I SPOKE OF. I have been soundly pride-checked, and I promise (AGAIN) to stop judging others.
Now we're sleeping more, I've been humbled, and best of all...well, here's the best of all:
I've never been happier to be wrong.