August 25, 2013

Finding Calm Amongst the Chaos

When I imagined motherhood, I never thought it would be a walk in the park but I never thought it would be this challenging either.

 Image sourced from RISA

Last week we found out our 5 week old baby has reflux or GORD. This explains such a lot and why we feel like we've had a more difficult time lately than other first-time parents we know. I really wish our antenatal classes had gone over reflux, so we weren't left so in the dark about it. Some of the symptoms he's displaying include:

- throwing up after feeding
- arching his back when being burped or generally in pain
- having clenched fists most of the time 
- not being able to settle during the day
- screaming as soon as he's put on his back
- falling asleep in the bouncer or baby bjorn (anything vertical)
- needing to be held
- not gaining weight at the rate he should be (still not back up to birth weight) 
- hiccups 
- wanting to feed all the time, as the milk is soothing

Our little one has been put on losec twice a day but it only seems to give him brief periods of relief. I wish the relief was longer for both him and us. I feel like I can't even get one task done before he'll crack it. I started this post for instance last night and am only trying to finish it now, while he's sleeping. 

Unfortunately it seems most people just have to wait out the reflux, which on average ends around the age of 6 months. I also didn't realise how common it is, with up to 1 in every 5 babies or 34,000 babies affected each year ( The severity of it differs in each child. The reflux organisation also states that infant sleep problems are associated with post natal depression and I must admit in the first few weeks, I felt quite emotional and would cry for no apparent reason. I think it largely stemmed to not being able to settle my child and his screaming. I thought I was just a bad parent and had no idea what I was doing wrong. Thankfully there was a reason and I am glad I found out now and not later on. 

If you are a new mother and experiencing any of the above symptoms in your child, do yourself a favour and get your child looked over by your local GP or paediatrician. Remember you are not alone, there are other mothers going through this and there are organisations out there to help such as RISA. 

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