Wretched Reflux

I can guarantee that if you've had the utter misfortune to have a baby who suffers from reflux you will agree with this post. In fact I bet you know someone who has a baby with it or knows someone who knows someone, blah blah blah so I can guarantee that you will be able relate regardless.

It's the worst. Worse than having a baby in hospital because although you still feel helpless and useless, people just don't believe you how bad it is. When your child is in hospital people get the message that it is serious, but when you explain reflux to them and how you have to watch your child in pain and beg and plead with countless doctors and medical professionals to believe you, they still don't get it unless they've lived through it with a child of their own. Doctors think you're exaggerating and question why they need this medication and why that medication isn't working. People assume it's just a bit of heartburn, a little uncomfortable pain or worse, that your baby is just a whinge. 

Yes, sounds silly having a blog called 'Hey Whinge' then complaining about people thinking she's a crank. But the annoyance is that sometimes her cries are screams of sheer agony and discomfort of the dreaded R word. This is my big EFF YOU to reflux. 

Eff you reflux. How dare you harm my baby girl after everything she's been through. After everything she's conquered and overcome, you come along to make her life harder. You mask her loving and cuddly nature with screams and cries of pain. You make nurses, doctors, family, friends and ever her mummy and daddy think she's a naughty baby. You make us cry and scream at her through the endless sleepless nights, through the projectile vomiting, coughing, choking and squirming. You disguise yourself as griping pains and colic but don't disappear with treatments such as Infacol and Dentinox drops. Eff you reflux for causing my baby such upset without reason or resolution. 

You appear any time to ruin our day with our precious princess. You've stolen our joyful time with her. You prolonged her hospital stay by making her not want to feed because she knew it'd make her sick. All the bouncing, rocking, cuddling, shushing, singing and will in the world cannot console a baby with reflux. Our 3 a.m feeds are not quick and easy, our baby girl is wide awake arching her back, kicking her feet, crying through hunger but refusing her bottle. Pushing her milk away then screaming for it back, struggling to breathe and swallow then when she finally gets the hang of it and feels safe enough to drink, she gets the horrific reflux cough. Coughing so harshly you can hear the liquids stuck in her throat before it projectiles out of her tiny body across the room like a volcano erupting. Wasting babygrow after babygrow because no bib or muslin square is thick or big enough to catch all the sick she brings up. We have sometimes resorted to putting a bath towel down to save our couch or bedding. 

So many nights you keep my poor girl from resting, forcing her into fits of crying, choking, retching and vomiting that she can only take for so long until she falls into a short lived restless slumber before the cycle starts again. Why us? Why any family? I know people will be thinking 'there's much worse things happening than a baby being sick' but it's the feeling of being totally alone in it. That no one understands. The feeling that we cannot help her and the more we complain the more people think we're exaggerating. The feeling that we can't do anything for her and what little we can do, like keeping her upright or lying her on our chest or shoulder, is just not practical at 3 in the morning. It's the not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, not being able to listen when people say she will outgrow it or the medication will help. It's the feeling that it just wont get any better. 

Eff you reflux. You make us seem like clingy parents when we don't put her down for a whole day when the reality is that she just wont settle unless she's held over a shoulder. You make us feel guilty when other people say we need to let her self soothe but we know she just can't. You have stolen our lovely settled family time and replaced it with streams of tears and feelings of sheer helplessness. Endless doctors phone calls, appointments, new medication prescriptions of Gaviscon and Ranitidine that we need to remember to collect and reorder, dosage changes and calculations when we should just be enjoying our baby girl. But you steal our enjoyment and make us all suffer and worse, watch you hurt and upset our girl. 

Eff you reflux.

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