Monday, November 1, 2010

The C Word

"Tomorrow will come,
Today will be gone...
And so I put one foot in front of the other,
and just keep walking on."
-Jason Robert Brown, 13

First, a huge thanks to everyone who commented on my meltdown post. It means so much to me that so many people offered their support, advice and love on a week that was quite difficult!

Overall, we're doing better.

Liam started his Zantac last Monday and although it took a few days, I've seen a major change in his demeanor after feedings. He's still spitting up fairly often, but he's no longer arching his back and screaming after he eats. He also hiccups less than he did before. The major change is that he's napping again-- a surefire way to judge that he's feeling better.

While our feeding issues seem to be vastly improving, we noticed that he still seemed to have this unexplained long period of screaming and crying. Being the worrier that I am, I made an appointment with his doctor and took him in on Thursday morning.

I love our pediatrician-- I could write a whole post about how efficient the office is, how much I love that they have a separate newborn waiting room, how great Dr. Farr's bedside manner is (he calls Liam "doodlebug" and other pet names while examining him) and how I never feel rushed when discussing Liam with him. He takes the time to answer questions and discuss any/all of my concerns. I also feel like he goes out of his way to assure parents that they are doing a good job-- something that every sleep deprived, worrying, first time mom needs.

Our appointment included a full exam: weight check (Liam's up to 9.2lbs!!), a look at his ears, nose & mouth and a listen to his tummy and chest. Everything looked great. We talked a bit about where we've seen improvement since starting the Zantac and what problems remain:
  • periods of crying/screaming lasting from 2-9 hours
  • episodes always starting late afternoon/early evening
  • clenched fists
  • flushed face
  • clammy skin
  • legs bunched then extended
  • near impossible to comfort

This is not happening every day (in fact the past few days have been great, but tonight looks like it will be a difficult one) but it seems to be happening 3-4 times a week, randomly. As we discussed these symptoms with Dr. Farr, he got a knowing look on his face and I said, "I know, I know. I don't like where this is going." He gave me a sympathetic smile and said the dreaded C word.


So, there's good news and bad news.

The good news is that it typically peaks around 6 weeks, so we're in the middle of the worst of it. The bad news is that it typically lasts until babies are 3-4 months old. The good news is that there's nothing physically wrong Liam. The bad news is that if there's nothing to fix, there's little that we can do to comfort him when he has one of these episodes. We just have to go in to survival mode.

Research over the past few years has suggested that use of a probiotic has improved symptoms of colicky babies by up to 95%! So, he recommended that we use BioGaia Probiotic Drops every day. I've started adding this into Liam's nightly bottle, along with his Vitamin D Drops and he can't taste the difference. We may or may not see a difference in his colic symptoms, but either way they will improve his digestive health, so it's worth a shot (and $40/bottle!).

I know that every parent faces challenges and this is just one of many-- On the difficult days, I remind myself that all I have to do is get through today & that tomorrow will be better. And it's true-- Thankfully, he rarely has two really bad days in a row. I get a chance to recharge and enjoy him before we have another difficult night.

He's growing up so fast-- and while these nights seem so long, I know that soon I'll look back and wonder where the time has gone, wishing I still held such a tiny baby.


  1. awhhh, you can do this. i'm sorry to hear what you've been going through but at least you have some things to try now with those drops. hope they help!

  2. Aw, poor Liam! Poor Stef! I hope the drops help him out and you're over this bump soon!