I have been playing a festive internet game of Colic, GERD, or Perfectly Normal Baby?, which involves typing up random google strings like “baby spitting up like Linda Blair”, and “infant appears to be attempting to shit a large pinecone” and seeing what kind of results I get. I have of course now diagnosed Dylan with many, many afflictions, including housemaid’s knee, infection of the blowhole, and perhaps most accurately, Mother’s Complaint.

I thought I had the spitting-up thing figured out when we switched to a smaller bottle nipple size, but we’re back to the endless laundry cycles, and now there’s these other things going on, like the writhing, turning-bright-red-and-screaming, stiff-bodied thing/drawn-up-legs he does during a feeding. It’s like he’s horribly gassy, but burping produces little results. It seems like he eats all the time, but only takes an ounce or two at most at each feeding, and every meal involves such an exhausting amount of fussing/spitting up/thrashing around I can’t imagine it’s very pleasant for him. It’s certainly unpleasant for ME, and since I feel like I’m feeding him at least every couple hours around the damn clock (not consistently true, but true enough) — well, I’ve been in cheerier states of mind, I’ll just say that.

He also seems to have a hair-trigger gag reflex, which seems entirely unfair. I mean, who ever heard of a baby who gagged on a binky? If he sort of chokes on his milk, he gags. If his nose is all plugged up and he inhales wrong, he gags. One gag, and it’s all over — I’ve learned to scoop him up and aim him over the sink, because otherwise I’ll just be scrubbing curdled stomach contents out of the couch again (sorry, were you maybe trying to eat lunch?).

I know mothers are supposed to bond with their children during feedings but if there was some sort of Roomba that could take care of this child’s nutritional needs I would buy it in a heartbeat and not feel bad for one hot second.

He’s got a 1-month checkup coming soon so I’ll see what the pediatrician says, although I’m guessing I won’t hear anything like “You have a crabby, fussy baby who’s a pain in the ass to feed? Yes, this is indeed a unique and concerning situation for which I have just the right miracle pill.” Maybe we’ll try switching formulas again. Or maybe this has been part of the famed 3-week growth spurt and he’ll get his shit squared away soon. Or maybe I should just buy equal stock in Tide, Valium, and Red Bull.

Other than the whole draining-Mama’s-will-to-live thing, Dylan’s thriving quite nicely. He’s pudgening up a bit and losing some of that spindly tiny-baby look, he appears to be actually trying to look at things instead of staring blurrily at nothing, he does the funny marching-legs business I remember Riley doing when he was in an active state. Oh, and he’s also started perfecting that sneaky baby technique where they clutch the top of your shirt without you noticing and so when you go to lower them to a carseat or stroller or whatever one of your boobs pops out and says howdy.

I love this kid and I know things are going to improve, we just have to motor through this rough period and eventually we’ll get to some easier days.

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(I want to also say that I am so grateful for your presence and comments and support right now, and I cannot tell you how much it helps to be reminded I’m not alone with these parenting struggles. Thank you for listening, and enduring all this baby blather.)

Lastly:

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The boy can’t clear a fence yet, but he’s well on his way to following his father’s footsteps.

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Swistle
14 years ago

Every time you post that picture of JB, I am freshly impressed. I think of it often. …Probably TOO often.

Sara
14 years ago

I hope the intestinal issues resolve themselves soon. You write so honesty and humor; it’s always appreciated!

Angie
Angie
14 years ago

Ass-vice from Hawaii: I went through something similar with my daughter, and it turned out to be thrush. Once we treated it, she was like a different child. We also switched her to soy formula because she had a terrible time digesting lactose (projectile vomits, knotted legs, painful gas).

It’s simply no.fun with a screaming, unhappy baby and I hope you can find some answers soon.

annie
annie
14 years ago

My son just walked by and saw the pic of Riley and said “whoa, that baby is floating!”

Good luck with the puke-alooza. Hope the ped. does, in fact, have the magic answer.

NMK
NMK
14 years ago

I spy a mei-tai:) Yay for babywearing and WAHM’s! hehehe

Sara Moon
14 years ago

Hi Linda,
I’ve piped in before on this issue. My daughter had pretty much the same issues as Dylan. I read a book by Marc Weissbluth that changed my life. He actually has 2 books I swear by: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and YOUR FUSSY BABY!!! When I saw the YOUR FUSSY BABY book I nearly peed my pants with glee. I was breastfeeding and he assured me (through his writing) that Lily’s puking and fussiness was not from “bad milk” or “colic”. He actually doesn’t believe there is such a thing called colic. He just says babies are on a scale of easy to difficult. They develop differently and will work themselves out. I just can’t believe babies are “allergic” to milk and need soy, or have GERD. My doc put Lily on an acid reflux medication and it didn’t do diddly. She was just a puker until she could sit up properly and her digestive system had developed. She was also just terribly fussy which I chalked up to the baby scale I mentioned above. She settled down after 4 or 5 months of crankiness. It’s rough, but just know, as we all tell you – it’ll get better and don’t jump through too many hoops to “fix” Dylan. They don’t call the first 3 months the 4th trimester for nothing. They’re still just developing. Hang in there!!!

Sonia
14 years ago

Oy! I remember those days soooo well. My son is now 7 and still has a hair trigger gag reflex. He was treated for GERD starting at about 6-7 weeks old, and while it helped, wasn’t a cure. ANY improvement over the crankiness and barfage my boy produced was welcome. We tried several different formulas too, and had the best luck with Carnation Good Start. BUT, that was 7 years ago, and I’d imagine there are a lot of newer formulas that are gentle on the kiddo’s tummy. My son did that painful kicking, writhing thing while he ate too. Oh! Also helpful; keeping him tilted in a more upright position while eating. If it is GERD, that acid will burble up if the baby is laying too far back while eating. Good luck!

Jen O.
14 years ago

Thanks for writing so honestly. It’s kind of sickening to read only the happy-go-lucky parenting stories (lies). Kind of makes us normal folk feel like we’re doing something wrong.

I have #2 due in early July and I’m scared witless. Reading your real-life stories (as opposed to those other fairy tales we read elsewhere) makes me feel like ‘if Sundry can feel frustrated and exhausted and overwhelmed, it will be ok when I do too.’ Because I know I will.

anna
anna
14 years ago

Oh, the technique!
JB totally reminds me of a slow mo good-cop-chasing-criminal action shot on an early 1990’s cop show. Very NYPD Blue…..

JennB
JennB
14 years ago

Good luck! I think asking your ped isn’t a bad idea – and if s/he gives you the “tough luck this is a fussy baby that doesn’t want to eat” then tell him/her you want a 2nd opinion. Your worries and anxiety aren’t because you’re a dithery flake – you’re intelligent, and if you’ve exhausted your own resources, then ask for more help. I hope you can find some peace soon, too.

http://www.opaqueprintproduction.com/jbblog

Andrea
14 years ago

You’ll probably get loads of assvice, including this:

Has anyone mentioned to you anything about adding prune juice or dark Karo syrup to his bottles? My son was incredibly gassy and a combination of switching him to soy formula and a teaspoon of prune juice in every bottle made a night and day difference in his fussiness and ability to expel gas and poo. He had prune juice in every bottle in graduated amounts until we were able to switch him to regular milk a year later.

My daughter is also of the fussy, squirmy, leaky variety and some feeding times are particularly troublesome with the trying to expel the gas and/or butt mud. Prune juice hasn’t worked as well for her, and we only just switched her to soy formula, but I don’t see much improvement. Sometimes it’s a crapshoot. Geddit? CRAPshoot? Sorry, that was terrible.

The only other thing I’ve found that helped was those Dr. Brown’s bottles. It really made a difference for my son that he wasn’t drinking bubbles because that internal vent was magic and made them disappear. Go to http://www.handi-craft.com if you want to read how the internal venting system works. I won’t take up any more of your comment section.

Solidarity, sistah. I’m right there with you on this since my daughter’s only a month older than Dylan.

tulipmom
14 years ago

I have to echo Sonia’s comments. Good Start also made a difference for us as did Zantac and eventually adding some oatmeal cereal to his bottle (when he was a bit … although not much … older). Feeding in an upright position (and this is even more important)keeping him in an upight position for 30 minutes post feeding was very helpful. Our feedings took forever so this was a pain, believe me. Just to clarify, the bouncy seat and carseat were NOT upright enough.

Good luck!

Amanda
14 years ago

My daughter developed a horrific allergy to dairy about two weeks after she was born. I couldn’t figure out why she would scream bloody murder after every feeding and then it turned out it was all those post-partum bowls of ice cream I was mowing down. Took us over a month to diagnose it and the pediatrician was clueless. I was nursing, so I had to go on this evil non-dairy diet which involved giving up things like BREAD for months, not to mention ice cream. Anyway, is he on a dairy-free formula? I might try that if I were you. I have this weird theory that over half of all cases of colic are really dairy allergy. My daughter’s allergy magically disappeared at around 4 months, which is exactly how long most colic lasts.

Good luck, man. I feel your pain!

Ellen
Ellen
14 years ago

If your doctor had that miracle pill, though? Then you would have to beat him up for withholding it from the tired, spit-up-upon parents of the world. Being the awesome multitasker you are, though, you could probably do that with one hand while taking a picture of JB being silly with the other, holding Dylan and giving Riley a count of 3 to jump off the couch.

Rayne
14 years ago

I’m not sure if you are looking for advice at all but . . . here it is! One of my girlfriends has a baby who threw up everything and seemed uncomfortable during feedings. She started putting an dosage of gas medicine in every bottle and now he just throws up a normal amount and the tummy trouble has lessened. Just a thought.

Someone Being Me
14 years ago

I am so sorry. I was pretty lucky with the spitting up thing. We used the Munchkin tri-flow bottles where you can adjust the amount coming out of the nipple to make for an easier feeding. I’ve also heard feeding them upright such as in a car seat helps. Either way this too shall pass.

Pam
Pam
14 years ago

For the record… all FOUR of my kids gagged on the pacifier. Oh and they hated the swing too.

Bunny
14 years ago

You are SO not alone. My second baby was WAY more work than my first. She was fussy and grumpy and cranky and I think I held her for the majority of her first year. Hang in there. I’m here. I made it through…though now we’re entering the twos. God help us.

telegirl
telegirl
14 years ago

I feel for you, Linda! I remember the first couple months being horrible with the feeding. Because my little guy was preemie, I’d feed him for 20 minutes, then bottlefeed (because for God’s sake I was obsessed with “Did he get enough? I dunno! Maybe? I dunno! Feed him more!”) and THEN I would pump for another 20-30 minutes, then clean up the bottles/pumping equipment. Just in time to start the whole process over again. He didn’t have huge spew-age issues, which I guess now that I’m reading your post, I am so thankful for. But, the first several weeks aren’t the most fun. We all feel for you and if we were there we would help, give hugs, make drinks for you…

Leticia
Leticia
14 years ago

I love JB’s expression in that last picture. Its as if he’s making sure that Riley really hit the mark…like they are in a contest and he’s making sure Riley did in fact jump farther than he did. Hysterical.

AndreAnna
14 years ago

I’m sure you’re going to have a slew of comments with their personal experiences with fussy/colicky babies, but in my case, it did turn out to be GERD. There was the constant crying, the projectile vomiting (and I mean clear across the room), but what gave it away from me was the gasping and choking DURING a feeding. It was so painful for both me and my tiny baby to have feeding time – which is supposed to be relaxing – to be so stressful. She’d gasp and gasp, turn purple, stop breathing for a second, then begin the screaming. Eventually, about 6 weeks in, she was diagnosed with GERD – the gasping was her throat closing off passageway to her lungs, so that what was coming back up in her reflux would not land in the lungs.

She was put on prevacid and things got a better on that. Then as she got older, and could sit up more, it got even better. It was never perfect and she never ever liked her bottle. She gave it up completely at 12 months.

I felt like no one believed me and all thought I was a crazy new mom. Until I brought her in the pediatricians office during a feeding time, where I made the doctor watch how she ate, and then she proceeded to hit the doctor with her exorcist spew from 4 feet away. That was when they put her on meds. I was getting ready to video tape it and bring it in because I felt that despondent.

Anyway, I know this was long but I hope my story helped. I’m not saying Dylan has GERD but if you suspect it, it’s worth discussing with your pedi. Moms always know best.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

I love the picture of JB jumping the fence, that’s CRAZY!

Reading your posts makes me feel so much better. I felt totally overwhelmed when I had my son and I thought something was wrong with me. It’s so good to hear the truth and reality about having a newborn.

jen
jen
14 years ago

assvice here…

don’t wait a week, call and go in now. My son had reflux and he screamed for a good portion of the day, contorted himself, appeared to have heartburn and gas. I was all fired up, with printouts from the internet to back my case and prepared to be pushy if I had to be, but as soon as I said the magic words “I think he has reflux or something…” and they perked up and asked me his symptoms, we were on drugs that fixed the problem almost completely, in about 2 doses. He was an entirely different baby after that.

I’m not saying it’ll be that simple for you, but hey, you might be surprised, and it doesn’t HAVE to be that way.

Oh, and I learned just how to lean so the spew would go over my shoulder on to the floor where the dog would lick it up and I wouldn’t have to change my shirt!

Christina
14 years ago

Baby gas x? It worked for us but he still spit up like a little fiend and ewwww but it did go away eventually.

Love that fence clearing photo – it makes me envy his ability… as a child I was a bit of a tom boy and always wanted to jump like the boys could but seriously I am 5’2″ and even with serious vertical I would never be able to clear a fence like that!

kalisah
14 years ago

heh “pudgening.”

Jessica
14 years ago

It sounds like what my son went through when he was Dylan’s age. My little boy, Dylan, was first put on Zantac by his ped and then after 5-6 weeks of that not working (talk about frustration), he switched him to Prevacid. It worked…and unfortunately after a period of time after he was off of it (probably from 10 months to 15 months), he had to be put back on it. He’s had issues with textures, and also gagging because of the reflux, but the Prevacid worked wonders for us. I hope you get everything figured out soon. The constant spitting up/laundry/etc gets wayyyy too old when you have other stuff to worry about…

erin
14 years ago

I’m so sorry you’re still going through the yuckiness with Dylan. I hope the doc can help figure out what’s going on.

And I’ve seen that picture of your hubby jumping the fence a few times now, and yet it still amazes me. That man can jump. Gracefully, I might add.

laughing mommy
14 years ago

I had a spitty uppity baby too, and I really feel your pain.

My daughters pediatrician would not hand out the GERD meds. Now that I look back I wish I would have pushed for meds… for the poor babies sake!

With our second baby we let her sleep upright in the swing or carseat for a few months and that seemed to help… I’m sure you’ve already thought of that.

beach
beach
14 years ago

My kids def could not tolerate formular with iron….ended up putting them on soy based formular(prosobee i think…..but this was 15 plus years ago)….plus there were these drops(you could get at the pharmacy)over the counter…..give to baby prior to feeding….less gassy….cant think of the name of it….but was an anitgas drop!!!seriously…..these things SAVED my life….and made such a difference ….good luck

Francesca
14 years ago

Hehehe, that pic of JB reminded me of that part of Hot Fuzz. “Never taken a shortcut before?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVVuUibGjxc

Hilarious!

Marie
Marie
14 years ago

I think I would look into the dairy allergy thing, too. Maybe soy formula would be better? Or some baby gas medication? I really have no good advice, but I feel for you, really.
Good luck.

Sabrina
14 years ago

Not that you havent gotten enough opinions already… but I’ll add to it. I’m gonna go with a lactose intolerance. Our son was always very gassy (in the gut pain, farting way) and then one day it got horribly worse (the worst gut pain and constipation). We eliminated cow’s milk completely and he was finally normal (though it took about 3 weeks to get it all out of his system, it seemed). I would just recommend making a switch before he gets worse.

nanann
14 years ago

I just have to say: the way you feel about your comments section is the way I feel about your blog.

It is so easy for us all to feel like we’re the only ones who have ever felt a certain way, and it’s so great to read your stories and know I’m not alone! I really was looking forward to you having your 2nd child just for that reason! (I have 2 children — one the same age as Riley, and the other was born mid-December — so your stories ring very true in this household.)

jonniker
14 years ago

Oh man. That just sounds miserable, and I’m sorry you’re going through it.

Incidentally, JB looks SO PROUD of Riley in that photo, like dude, you’re finally making it, grasshopper. Now on to the fences!

Sarah Lena
14 years ago

So you’ve got eleventy billion comments already regarding this and mine is not going to be any different. Try switching formulas. My pediatrician practically disowned me because I A) dared to quit breastfeeding (I cannot even BEGIN to tell you the horror/guilt/desire to gouge my own eyes out) and B) TRIED DIFFERENT FORMULAS. Soy worked well; Nestle Good Start/Natural Cultures worked best. It doesn’t hurt to try, and when you realize how good it CAN be, you’ll hate yourself for ever putting it off.

You are lurved.

GJR
GJR
14 years ago

Like others have said, I think it sounds like reflux or GERD. My nephew had similar symptoms to what you’re describing and he was diagnosed with GERD. The docs put him on Zantac (I think) and when he was a few months old, his parents started mixing cereal into his (super-expensive-special) formula. He has mostly grown out of it now (he’s 2), but he might still be on antacids.

Maxine Dangerous
14 years ago

No kids here, so no assvice. Just wanted to say keep your head up and OH MY GOD WHAT CUTE KIDS! Gratuitous baby and spousal booty shots! LOL.

Calgon-ly,

Max

janet
janet
14 years ago

Double-ditto Andrea’s comments:

“Has anyone mentioned to you anything about adding prune juice or dark Karo syrup to his bottles? My son was incredibly gassy and a combination of switching him to soy formula and a teaspoon of prune juice in every bottle made a night and day difference in his fussiness and ability to expel gas and poo. He had prune juice in every bottle in graduated amounts until we were able to switch him to regular milk a year later.”

My friend’s son was given Prevacid for his similar issues and the problems really leveled off for him. There is hope !

Janet in Miami

Christina
14 years ago

i’m going to vote for reflux. My son also did the eating alllllllll the time (oh, my poor breasts) and the arching during feeding.
The eating all the time is because milk (formula) is a antacid, so it makes it feel better.
According to my dr, the arching and screaming during a feeding is a classic reflux a sign. An allergy makes itself known later with gassiness and poop issues.
I would go in sooner than later. Zantac helped us a lot.

Peggasus
14 years ago

Oh, my first did that too, like every twenty minutes, for the first…well, I won’t tell you how many months it lasted. The pediatrician just told me that, well, some babies just do that, and there’s some…plug or valve or something in their esophagus that doesn’t develop as early in some children. There were days when the entire house was covered in burp rags, and many, many changes of clothing, both mine and his. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was also sleep-deprived. I barely remember much of that time.

And then one day, it just stopped. Totally stopped. The End.

(Ha, that kid is now 21 and goes to bars, so if he throws up now I’m guessing it’s for an entirely different reason.)

Hang in there. It will get better. Reading some of the other comments, man, it’s a lot different now that it was back then for me.

And like Jen above there said, after a while I wouldn’t wipe it up at all, I just let the dog take care of it.

renmen
renmen
14 years ago

I had a spitter/squirmy eater too… I’m feeling your pain! I wrote a long comment and then deleted it because other commenters have covered our situation already. I just wanted to say that it gets better finally, but man alive, it *sucks* for the first several months. It sucks in a way that only people who have had fussy babies can understand…

Lauren
Lauren
14 years ago

Oh, that sucks. I don’t really have any other advice than the other posters, but you may try surfing around for free samples/coupons to help offset some of the cost of trying ten billion types of different formula. I know we sure used those coupons a lot when Margot was tiny… I found most of them on Ebay.

Good luck!

cath
cath
14 years ago

Mine was always spitting up too much, but also would not sleep lying on her back – only when she was being held, which not coincidentally was always in a more propped position in addition to the other “colic” stuff – fussy, we were always walking her around, etc. First we switched formula – didn’t help, but FINALLY prevacid seemed to help a lot- and almost as importantly – holding her upright helped- like on our shoulder for at least 20 minutes after eating. I also did the Mylicon drops (even though a lot of people say they don’t work…) My #2 is on the way & I have NO idea how I’ll find time to hold the baby up half the day with crazy toddler if we have the same trouble…..Good luck!!

Danell
Danell
14 years ago

Yet another Zantac user here…I didn’t breastfeed (entirely because I didn’t WANT TO! Take that, internet! I am a selfish whore and I know it! Also, I lend my son out to cosmetics companies for testing purposes just to make extra cash!) and Cameron acted pretty much just how you describe Dylan. Our pediatrician didn’t hesitate to give baby Zantac a whirl and we went from frustrated, seemingly painful feeding times to much more tolerable ones. He didn’t need to stay on it long, a few months at most?

Mymsie
14 years ago

Awww – he really has grown since the last pics. Those cheeks!

I applaud you for being so honest and forthright about your experiences. It’s so refreshing and ultimately hopeful.

Kelsey
14 years ago

I don’t have any advice, but want to send my wishes that all is resolved soon!

I am in the hospital on bed rest with our number two and remembering those newborn days through you is helping me try to “enjoy” the relative relaxation of being stuck here!

SemiDesperate Housewife

Eli was SO fussy for the first month or so. Every time he was the least bit hungry he acted like he was dying, and as soon as he was fed, he acted like he was dying all over again, I assume from gas. It was very taxing, especially after having an unusually easy baby the first time around. Eli gradually got better after a month or so, and we had a good spell, then another bad spell, and right now he seems okay again. I was very worried about there being some kind of allergy problem, but since he was exclusively breastfed, I had to evaluate everything I was eating and start cutting things out one by one. That really sucked. Caffeine seems to be a big trigger, but since that can’t be the issue with your Dylan, all I can offer is my sympathy! Hopefully it’s just some sort of growth spurt and his tummy will catch up with the rest of his body soon!

Kaire
Kaire
14 years ago

I just got off the phone with my niece who had to handle the projectile vomiting my great nephew did … it was awesome, I heard it through the phone. It sounded like his blow hole exploded. He’s not quite 3 mths. yet and gets quality distance when he spews! So really, no help, just wanted to let you know it happens all over! (and gives new meaning to “can you hear me now?”)

sara
14 years ago

I had same problems with Alex, like to the point that I seriously a few times thought about throwing the towel in and felt increditably lousy, and even :( laid him in bed to scream the fuck out while i blasted music and tried to ignore it.

Eventually I started putting digestive enzimes in his formula and letting it sit a bit until it was paritally digested already and then give it to him. Cured the fuss fuss and turned him into the sweetest quietest happiest baby ever.

hang in there

mariah
mariah
14 years ago

I know you’re asked this all the time, but I must know what kind of camera you have — your pictures are PHENOMENAL!

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