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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Nancy
Nancy
14 years ago

Don’t forget that at about 3 weeks their little digestive tracts kick into high gear (= GAS). Baby mylicon drops (we use the Target generic) are awesome. You can dose them up to 12 times a day, which means you could do it every other hour throughout the day. It doesn’t get absorbed, so use it liberally. Made a big diff for our BabyA who inherited her daddy’s gassy GI system.

Tracy
Tracy
14 years ago

hmmm…i had a spitter-upper, but i fear dylan’s sounds a little more dramatic. For the gassy issue (and i know you’re a 2nd time mom so i’m probably stupid for suggesting this) but have you used Mylicon aka the wonder-baby-drug-that-maybe-i-used-too-much-but-never-felt-the-least-bit-guilty-about? I really dont have any good advice so i’ll just say he’s adorable!

shal
shal
14 years ago

OH, I just SKIMMED the comments and there are forty different suggestions, aren’t there? Here’s my experience: my first son, well, he had the COLIC. Oh my god, he was a pain in the ass. But no spitting up. My second son, he had the spitting up AND the colic. He was put on Zantac and it helped with the spitting up but only about half the fussiness. Ask your pediatrician, and if you don’t believe her, ask for a second opinion. I HATE almost all medicines, but would I put that baby on Zantac in a millisecond again? YES. It helped at least with the piece of mind.

In the Trenches of Mommyhood

I concur with the Zantac suggestions. I quit breastfeeding at 3wks and switched to Enfamil with Nutramigen (thankfully insurance covered this for a full year!) His symptoms sound exactly like what my Middle son went thru. Everything got a bit better at 4 months once I started him on cereal and by the time he was eating solids, Pukefest ’04 had ceased.

liz
liz
14 years ago

All good advice so far. If you’re appointment isn’t for a week or so, why not call the ped and ask them over the phone if the baby can have infant Mylicon drops. They are usually well-tolerated and effective for breaking up gas. It’s worth a shot. If the baby is going to need Prevacid or anything similar for GERD the doc will need to see the baby. Those kind of treatments are usually short term with kids-they tend to outgrow the problem.

Sort of ironically, I was given a copy of my 2yr old daughter’s medical records from the ped back in Jerz. In addition to office visits, they had documented every phone call from little fevers, the pink eye, the pneumonia, to the possible peanut butter reaction. What I’m getting at is, the doctor and his staff work for you and your family so if it seems intolerable just call. They’ll tell you over the phone if Mylicon is ok.

Well, if that didn’t turn into assvice then I don’t know what…

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

ohmigod I am so jealous. My hubby could never do that. Not jealous of sir-pukes-alot. #2 had GERD, tiny tummy drops worked for a while, then he was on the prescription stuff. he grew out of it, but I wasn’t sure the hubbo would (sympathy puker…it was almost comical) We had #2 around the time The Incredibles came out and #1 son was very into it. We started calling #2 Baby Yak Yak. Hang in there…..hopefully it will resolve quickly. We had to actually put him through a horrible procdure where they made him drink this bottle of crap, then papoosed him and scanned him while turning him in all kinds of freaky positions….IT WAS NOT FUN. And the wonderful result…your kid pukes a lot! REALLY? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TELLING ME THAT! Hold fast to the this too shall pass thing!

Kay
Kay
14 years ago

My 2nd grandkid was a puker. My Mom said my brother was and she ended up diluting his formula for a little while (more than usual). Results were he ate more often but puked far far less so I am all for starving the child if you don’t have to deal with puke. (j/k he actually GAINED weight because it was finally staying down).
I was spoiled I had a child that was tolerant of the first formula given to him and never ever spit up. Seriously, never. But when he was 6 we had the bologna incident and, well, we don’t talk about bologna around here anymore.
My baby is 20 now.

Anyway,..I went through all of this to say as long as he is gaining weight and you own stock in carpet cleaner, it should be fine. No. Really.

Leah
Leah
14 years ago

Sara Moon,

Just so you know, I’m 22 and I’ve been allergic to milk my whole life. Also allergic to soy. AND pretty much everything else that normal people find edible. Trust me, it’s a real thing

Buckeye Mommy
Buckeye Mommy
14 years ago

Mine had GERD and a milk protein intolerance- very specific symptoms that went away when we found the right combo of medicine and hypoallergenic formula. I won’t go into the whole story here on how we figured it out, but if you’re interested, drop me an e-mail and I’ll be glad to tell you about our experience.

serror
serror
14 years ago

Mariah- Check out Sundry’s milk and cookies for your question

http://workitmom.com/bloggers/milkandcookies/2008/03/01/how-to-take-better-pictures-of-your-kids/

Charlise
14 years ago

The whole spit-up or puke or what the fuck is that baby doing thing happened here – 3 times with three of the 4 kids. We switched to soy formula and things improved a lot. One had to move to Nutramagen (amazingly expensive) but all of them did much better after.

Sara
14 years ago

Your family is massively cool — repetitive puking and all. And have you considered investing in some Mylicon? My son went through pretty much the same thing Dylan’s experiencing, and Mylicon helped immensely. Sometimes all it did was give us pink puke, but even that was a help; pink puke is infinitely more interesting than that silly beige-ish stuff. And when it didn’t give us pink puke, it gave us many puke-free hours. All hail Mylicon.

Anita
Anita
14 years ago

Commiserations from a long time lurker- I can totally relate to everything you’re going through. I think I googled long into the night with my second child as my daughter would throw up all the damn time. I recall a lovely Christmas day gathering where she was being introduced to my extended family where I ended up changing her half a dozen times in the space of the first hour- by the time the rest of the family was there she was wearing nothing but a nappy and bib (Australian summer, so somewhat appropriate!) and I stunk like vomit. Such a good impression was made. Not. Basically it sucked and her dr diagnosed her as a ‘happy chucker’. Yeah she may have been happy but I was most definitely not. She stopped sometime around the 6 month mark when she started solids. I guess all I can really say is that I know it doesn’t feel like it right now but one day you’ll be past this and things will be much easier. Hey maybe the dr will find some easy cause of the problems Dylan’s having? One can hope! Good luck!!

Emily
14 years ago

Soooo as apparently I’m the only non-mom in your comments section, I will say, for the record, Good Luck With That. And: Stain Stick will get that puke off of your shirt.

mixette
mixette
14 years ago

OOhh…I think that “pudgening up” is a new favorite. I will have to alternate it with “flufferpotamus” which is current old favorite.

I watched an interview with Bode Miller’s parents during the last winter Olympics. They said he would climb up and then jump off everything in the house when he was little. That was totally what I thought of when I saw the pictures of Riley. What with the ninja fence-jumping genetics from his Dad and all.

Dylan is more cutie-pie by the day. Hang in!

Jennie
Jennie
14 years ago

Hey there!
I Love reading your blog adn i can relate in so many ways. i just had my daughter via c section on Feb 7 and i go through amny of the issues you are.
My daughter had the same spit up problem and your son, only she would projectile spit it EVERYTIME she ate. the doctor put her on Enfammil A.R. Lipil formula(red can) and its HELPED so so much. she doesnt spit up anymore. Maybe you can switch formulas and try tha tone and see if it helps him. she also had the red face poop issue cause i had been switching her formula to try and figure out what was wrong with her and it has resolved itself!!
Good luck!!

anonymous
anonymous
14 years ago

It sounds like your little one may have Reflux. My daughter was the same way and after her doctor put her on Axid she was completely different baby. She didn’t fuss any more and stopped projectile vomiting. After a year we were able to take her off the meds and she is perfectly fine now. Plus we would have been able to take her off sooner had we discovered her milk protein intolerance sooner.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

Just wanted to second (third?) the advice about baby Mylicon drops. Expensive but so worth it. Things will get better, I promise!

Sarah M.
Sarah M.
14 years ago

As someone who had one child with severe GERD and has another one who seems to have it (we see the ped on Wednesday…sigh), I have to completely disagree with whoever said above that GERD doesn’t exist ;) Maybe they can try him on Zantac and see if that helps?

You have my sympathy. I have the same thing going on here (fussy, inconsolable, spitty baby). Hang in there…

Also, the book ‘Colic Solved’ by Bryan Vartabedian was really good, and I’ve had the Fussy Baby book by Dr. Sears recommended to me, but I haven’t read it yet…

Joanne
14 years ago

My first was fussy for no reason (colic) and my second has reflux (which just means she spits up). She has been taking Zantac for 4 weeks (she’s 7 weeks now). I bf her, so there’s no changing the consistency of her milk, so we’re trying 1 ml of Zantac 2x a day. A good test to see if they’re just fussy or if there’s really something paining them is to run a blow dryer while they’re freaking out, a la Harvey Karp (happiestbaby.com). If they stop crying, it’s just fussiness. It sounds like Dylan is really having some issues – some kids spit up and it doesn’t bother them, but some it does, and as my ped says, the babies aren’t talking so we have to err on the side of caution. I’d call the ped and see if you can get in early. Try the Zantac and it won’t stop the spitting up (which is a pain in the ass, I know) but it should stop the acid and pain.

I had a colicky baby and trust me, everyone wants to blame every damn thing on it, which is maybe why some people say there is no such thing as GERD. Of course there is, some babies aren’t as developed, digestion-wise, as others. Hopefully the Zantac will help but maybe if he is a little fussy too, a swaddle, pacifier, and Babies First Blow Dryer CD blaring (sleeplullabies.com) will help, too.

Linda, I hear every word of this post and the last one, loud and clear. It SUCKS, this beginning part. I tell myself two things – one is that I will NEVER do this again (I don’t know if that’s true but it works for me at 2 in the morning) and two is that I am not pregnant anymore. Hang in there, sister.

experienec
14 years ago
Kristin
Kristin
14 years ago

I hope your doctor’s visit is soon so you can get some relief!
My sister’s baby was diagnosed with acid reflux. He also did the spitting up thing pretty regularly and was pretty fussy non-stop, until he was diagnosed and given some acid reflux medicine. After that, he was much happier!
Keep going! You can do it!

Nikki
Nikki
14 years ago

My son Trevor had an iron intolerance that made him do many of the things you describe Dylan doing. I switched him to Low Iron formula and he changed overnight. It only took me 4 months of trial-and-error before I figured out the problem though, poor kiddo.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!!!

Lara
14 years ago

Another minority non-mom here with no advice whatsoever. I have a friend who had a screamy baby and I took care of him once for a couple of hours and nearly lost my mind…you all are amazing and much stronger than I am. Hope things get easier real soon Linda.

Victoria
14 years ago

I’m not sure which photo I like best.. the wrinly kissable feet, the toddler jump or the MASSIVE air over a fence. What.. the.. he(double hockey sticks)!

Victoria
14 years ago

OH, and *hugs*

Canadian Coco
Canadian Coco
14 years ago

Had enough advice yet? If not, Pyloric Stenosis is my contribution. My son was operated on at 8 weeks… hope it’s not that. Seems as though he’s gaining ok though? You’re a really trooper Linda, hang in there, you’ll clear this hurdle in no time {{hugs}}

Josh
Josh
14 years ago

Sorry I got nothing. I have no kids. (thanks the gods) Hell I’ve never even had a pet that needed much care. None that survived anyway. but despite my complete lack of understanding, let me assure you I am at least half way trying to muster some empathy. Honestly, I have the flu, so feeling sorry for other people is harder than usual, and I’m gender handicapped anyway, but at least I’m trying.

Tell me Riley jumped off the couch. Cause if he cleared that off the ground, you just sired fucking Spider Man!

Daren
14 years ago

Assvice from Pittsburgh, like you don’t have enough already. My daughter was a spitter upper too. When I eventually gathered my cajones to ask the pediatrician, he diagnosed her with reflux. A month of baby zantac, constantly propping her in the bouncy after feeding and wedging her matress and she was a new baby. Also, someone else mentioned Wiessbluth’s book – total freaking lifesaver. Schedule is like the tablets from Mount Sanai with that child.

Good luck. Also, hugs from the Burgh.

christen
14 years ago

Oh Linda…

I just read the “Elimination Communication” comment on your other blog.

I really, really, really had to refrain myself from saying something snarky because 1) eeew have you ever seen those people on tv and 2) I don’t have kids so really, I have no idea – maybe it’s the most amazing idea ever, but no way in hell if I have kids will I be walking around carrying a toilet under one’s butt all day like the freakos I saw on 20/20 or whatever show it was.

I’m such a bitch; it was SO difficult to refrain from the typing of the snark but I didn’t want to start a brawl up in your blog – I think you’re a little too frazzled for that lately, yes?

Get some sleep, woman! And some ice cream!

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

Dr. Brown’s Bottles!!!

You need them. you will love them.

The colic and spitting up will STOP!!

MotherGooseAmy
MotherGooseAmy
14 years ago

I scoured the previous posts and nobody mentioned pro-biotics. Here is a link to a study about colicky breastfed infants where one group was given simethicone (Mylicon) and the other pro-bioitcs. The results are convincing enough that I would consider trying pro-biotics even if I had a colicky bottlefed baby. http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?n=73215-biogaia-probiotic-reuteri-colic

By the way, I know it’s a bit inappropriate and possibly tacky to say, but every time I see the photo of JB and the fence, I think “what a cute butt!”

Kristi
14 years ago

Firstly, awesome photo comparison.

Secondly, I agree 100% w/everything Sara Moon said above. Exact situation here w/daughter (my son didn’t spit up one single time) and she just kept right on spitting up until she was 14 months old. I lived round the clock in burp rags – very fashionable and does wonders for the self-esteem. Up to that point I had tried everything (thrush treatment, eliminating EVERYTHING from my diet that was a trigger through breastmilk, standing on my head and holding my breath, burping the ABC’s, etc.) and nothing worked except time. The ped wasn’t worried about it because she kept right on growing and gaining weight and was happy except during and immediately after eating.

The hardest thing for me to accept was that SOMETIMES THEY JUST HAVE TO GROW OUT OF IT. Period. The end.

Christine
14 years ago

As a non-Mom I have nothing in the way of advice (or at least in the way of advice that hasn’t been said already).

BUT it sounds like a crazy freakin’ time and I guess you can take solace in the fact that while he may puke like Linda Blair, he at least doesn’t look like Linda Blair. He is so cute I can hardly stand it. Hope you get the little Vomitron to give you and your washer a break so you can spend more time squooshing him.

Good luck!

Laura
Laura
14 years ago

I’m sorry I don’t have any great advice for you – hell, I’m still trying to figure out why my little guy was a fuss-bucket for the first 7 months of his life! And the other thing I wanted to say is that for me, one of the hardest parts of parenthood is 1) wanting to run away from my life and 2)absolutely loving my life all in the same minute. Makes me feel more crazy than I already am!

Oh, I guess I do have one thing to add – my doctor was pretty laid back on most issues and looking back, I wish I would have gone to get a second opinion on Ben’s issues (he had exactly what you are describing with Dylan). Not that the next Dr. would have said anything different, but I would have at least felt better about not “giving up” so easily.

tanya
tanya
14 years ago

If you haven’t tried massaging the tummy in the direction of the digestive tract, it’s supposed to help the GI development of infants. WIth tips of fingers, up the right side of the bell, across just under the ribcage and down the left side, light pressure, just encouraging. Maybe his digestive tract just hasn’t caught up yet, you know?

tanya
tanya
14 years ago

belly I meant, not bell.

Kelly
14 years ago

….sigh: so get where you’re coming from! Sorry no advice to offer…. just support…. :)

Love that pic of Riley jumping. Wow!

stan
stan
14 years ago

It’s a long time ago now, but my younger son had reflux. He needed thickened feeds which took an age to prepare. I remember frequently catching his puke in my hands in an often vain attempt to minimise the collateral damage, and then saying “I never ever thought I would do THAT.” And yet it almost became second nature. We laugh about it now so HANG IN THERE!!

Danielle
14 years ago

I didn’t read all the other comments, so sorry for if I am being redundant: my now 1yr old had very similar symptoms, except for the spitting up part. He would arch his back after eating, during eating, he wouldn’t settle down while eating at least. He just seemed to be extremely uncomfortable. At 6 weeks he was put on Prilosec and it was like a different kid. Besides the impossible task of giving him the medication (roll baby in blanket burrito and sit on him while shoving medicine syringe in mouth) he really seemed happier and ate better. So def. ask your ped & hang in there! I found that a lot of the message board sites about GERD & intestinal issues made me so freaked out that I had to stop reading them. Good luck!

Jess
14 years ago

This has nothing to do with this post specifically, but I just saw this article about a six-legged octopus (“hexapus”!) and, of course, thought of you. Have you seen it?

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/03/04/octopus.uk/index.html

g~
g~
14 years ago

Both of mine had GERD–was worse with my first. Zantac didn’t help but I didn’t push it and I wish I had. Eventually, I had to put them both on soy milk–which made it better but not 100%. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily grow out of it…well…my son’s almost five and we’re still waiting for the GERD to disappear. I would welcome anyone to take care of a baby who has GERD and then dare to say it wasn’t real. The sour milk stains on their clothing should be enough…
Good luck–as long as he is continuing to fatten up, it isn’t critical…just exhausting.

LJ
LJ
14 years ago

And who said white men can’t jump?!!!
My daughter had similar problems with the puking – sad to say, she just finally outgrew it. I remember we did change her over to real milk quicker and had to start with 5% and work our way up to whole milk and then back down to 2%. I don’t remember what age this was though – probably 7,8,9 months. And we should have bought stock in Mylicon drops – we used that by the gallons!
None of the baby clothes I saved from her are stain free. Good luck!

ang
ang
14 years ago

Obviously from all these different comments there are 101 possible solutions. I had to use lactose free formula (premixed only!) to stop my rugrat from horking all over the place. At the time it was the most expensive stuff on the market and I just cringed every time we went grocery shopping.

Good luck, Linda!

Aimee
14 years ago

I know I might have said this before but your situation sounds ALOT like mine—do yourself a MASSIVE favor and cut through all the red tape and go to a gastro specialist (GI)…I am telling you they understand spitting up and have reasons and things that ACTUALLY work. DO NOT listen to the “all babies spit up” blabber—you know your kid–if something is wrong—it is wrong.
I too had to push and advocate for my Rylan who was diagnosed with GERD more then anything else I had ever done as a Social worker or a teacher. People are ignorant about it. We tried 8 formulas (i told you before we ended up on the one from London at $500 a case), and 5 medicines…he is now 20 months old and still battling it and the only thing that worked from him was Dr Brown Bottles, Prilosec, and sleeping on a wedge.
Good luck and if you need any help from the Reflux Queen I would be more then happy to share with you further info. :-) Aimee

Erika
14 years ago

Linda! (whine) you’re scaring me! (whine) the second baby is supposed to be easier! (whine)

I just wanted to comment about how you seem to have an ungodly amount of natural light in your house. Your photos are always so perfectly lit. What’s your secret?

omu
omu
14 years ago

I’ll eleventy billion the possibility of GERD. It’s real. It’s not fun. It’s even worse when it’s coupled with a milk allergy. My guy had both. Zantac and soy worked for us. Thank god.

Also, we ended up letting my son sleep in his papason chair every night, so he was propped up. If we didn’t his reflux kept him up and spitting up at night. That wasn’t so fun.

Magnolia
14 years ago

I wish I had some great piece of advice that would totally help you out..but I don’t. My son was a nightmare to be a baby with..colicky had thrush forever didn’t want to be held, wanted to be held blah….

It’s amazing how much we love those little pains in the rumps.

I hope the doc helps you and if not, I hope he gives you some xanax!

Chrissy
Chrissy
14 years ago

My 7-month-old did the whole arching his back, red-faced grunting, crying routine after every feeding, to the point that my husband and I made up a song to sing to him:”I am Captain Poopy Pants, I push and push and push, I push and cry and wonder why it won’t come out of my butt.” (It made us feel better to sing to him, and I swear it made him feel better, too, even if the song is ridiculous.) Turns out that he was allergic to cow’s milk protein, and when I drank milk or ate ice cream, it was hard for him to digest (we found this out when we eventually gave him regular formula and he broke out in hives). He’s on soy now and doing much better.