J’s Dad Stories last week had me remembering… shall we say, the ickier aspects of babyhood. I’ll tell you what, a number 3 is never a good thing, but at least they were fairly rare. Constant spew on the other hand… its pretty gross too, but it’s the frequency is what really drives you mad.
Unfortunately for us, Nahla had reflux. I must admit, while I definitely knew there would be hurdles in our first months of parenthood, reflux was not one that crossed my mind. I was totally unprepared, and baffled. I didn’t understand how this was happening to her when we did everything we possibly could to help her. We changed the teats on her bottles to slow-flowing, and it seemed to make things worse if anything. No matter the position we burped her in, it was always difficult. I (vaguely) remember nights spent awake, trying to burp her for hours on end.
We could not pick her up without a towel over our shoulders. At the beginning, when she and I lived in bed as much as possible, I changed the sheets multiple times a day. The carpet beside where I fed her stunk like stale milk. All the cute clothes I bought her as an infant hardly saw the light of day, and if they did, they were always covered with a bib. I’d also like to mention that 90% of my wardrobe is black, so you can imagine how put-together I looked (and smelt) back then.
She was never as bad as her father, who apparently projectile-vomited as a regular thing, but it was enough that we were worried about how much formula she was actually managing to keep down. We asked for a whole lot of advice from all over the place. Probably half the people we asked recommended changing the brand of formula, while the other half… I can’t even remember the exact opinions, but it was definitely to not change the formula brand. I don’t know what the alternative was. Wait it out? That seems harsh – let me know if you know the alternative.
Anyway, we made the decision to put her onto the anti-reflux version of the formula she was already on. The effect was almost immediate. The amount of puke dramatically reduced, and then completely disappeared. Burping became easier. I don’t know what they put in, or don’t put in, to anti-reflux formula but thank God they make it. And after a long time – a really, really long time, as in we were too scared to try it any earlier – we pulled her off the anti-reflux formula and back onto the normal stuff for her age range at the time. She must have been about 1, 1 ½, and she was just fine. She’d obviously adjusted to whatever it was giving her the problem by then. Unfortunately, the vomiting issues have not completely disappeared, as now she has motion sickness… but that’s an entirely different, hackles-raising story.