Like a drum baby don't stop beatingLike a drum baby don't stop beatingLike a drum baby don't stop beatingLike a drum my heart never stops beating for youAnd long after you're gone gone goneI love you after you're gone gone gone~Philllip Phillips Gone, Gone, Gone I'm convinced my children will teach me more then I will ever be able to teach them. I was confident I had this newborn thing down, after all, I had a firecracker for a first born and almost 3 years later, twins who helped me build my Mommy resume. And then came Vincent. Sweet as pie. Calm. A mellow baby. A mother's dream.
And yet, something wasn't quite right.
The second day of his little life I started struggling with nursing him. Confused, I asked for help from the nurses, the doctors, the lactation consultant. Anyone who walked in the hospital room, I calmly explained Vincent's trouble with latching and how when he finally did, it was so painful for me. Nobody seemed overly concerned. So I ignored things, struggled with getting him to eat and would grit my teeth through the pain.
Vincent, just like his Great-Grandpa he was named after, is a strong and determined little one. Despite all the trouble with nursing, he continued to gain weight. He spent most of his first weeks of life in someones arms. My mom was visiting so we spent our days snuggling and holding him. So loved, so wanted, neither of us wanted to put him down.
And yet, something wasn't quite right.
My mom left and eventually Vincent had to be put down. It was around then I noticed he not only had trouble latching, he seemed to be in pain after eating and when I would put him down. He went from sleeping wonderfully at night to being restless, unsettled and it was then, around 4 weeks old, I started holding him upright so he could sleep. All night long. I figured it was the trade off for him being such a sweet baby. So I found a comfortable chair and I'd hold him upright because whenever I dared to put him down within an hour he was up.
My intuition told me something wasn't right. And so did google. And my mama friends.
I'll be at your door tonight if you need help, if you need help
After a rough weekend and days of no sleep and having to hold him upright while walking the house, I called his pediatrician early one Wednesday morning. She patiently listened as I explained how sweet Vincent never cried unless he was eating. How he would get so frustrated, unable to latch on and how when he finally did, I was in pain. "Maybe he's tongue tied? Maybe it's silent reflux? I don't know, something just isn't right and I need help figuring things out. I was hoping by 4.5 weeks we wouldn't still be struggling. But we are. I need help".
I was so thankful she didn't dismiss me with 'he's just acting like a newborn'. She examined him and discovered he is indeed tongue tied. After a visit to an ENT, and lots of tears from me, Vincent was no longer tongue tied. He was nursing better, without trouble latching and without pain for me. I was so thankful. Relieved.
And yet, something still wasn't quite right.
I told Chris we might have to try medicine to help Vincent. But I had my reservations. Medicating my newborn just didn't feel natural. One weekend Chris got to see Vincent writhing and screaming in pain first hand. He had four words for me which felt like the permission I needed to hear from someone, anyone: Get him on medicine.
I'll shut down the city lights,I'll lie, cheat, I'll beg and bribe to make you well, to make you well
A few days later I was back at the pediatrician's office. This time explaining how nursing was better except he was still screaming in pain during and after eating and still needed to be held upright all night long. Again, she listened quietly and nodded in agreement as I quietly asked, Do you think we should try medicine to help?
I'll share in your suffering to make you well, to make you well.
Vincent was diagnosed with silent reflux. He also has lots of food sensitivities. I've cut out all my favorite foods to help his delicate tummy. I've learned that a mother will do anything for her child. We have good days and bad days. We are figuring all this out together. And though I would give anything to take away any sort of pain he has, I can only do my best by giving him his medicine, holding him for long hours and having patience.
When you fall like a statueI'm gon' be there to catch you
Put you on your feet, you on your feet
My confession is having a baby with reflux is hard. Harder than newborn twins. Harder than my colicky firstborn. But I have such a supportive team: Claire, Madeline and Max have been so patient, with me. More than I deserve. I am humbled by the patience they give me during this time when I haven't always been patient with them. And I have no doubt that I would not be surviving without my Chris. He's take on so much at home, without thinking twice and without complaint. They say it takes a village and it is certainly taking my sweet village to help raise Vincent. And Vincent. Despite all the troubles we've had with reflux, you are perfectly perfect. A mama's dream: my snuggly, sweet, Mama's-boy.
And if your well is emptyNot a thing will prevent meTell me what you need, what do you need
For you, for youYou would never sleep aloneI love you long after you're goneAnd long after you're gone gone gone