Jessica’s Story

This story is a member’s personal experience and opinion, and is part of their healing process. Please be aware that some of the stories on Crying Over Spilt Milk are of more severe or complicated cases of Gastric Reflux. Serious or complicated cases of Gastric Reflux are rare. If you think you may be disturbed by some content, please visit this page before deciding to read further: www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/InfantGastricRefluxStories

Jessica was born on the 25th August 2001, one week over due!!!!!! Right from the start I had a miserable baby who cried all day. I found her hard to settle down for sleeps. I also had problems feeding her, not latching on etc. When Jessica was two weeks old off to the Plunket Family Centre we went – at this stage mainly to get help with the feeding and getting her to sleep. I would be feeding her for about one to one-and-a-half-hours at a time, as she would doze on and off during the feed. She would vomit during, straight after a feed, and also after a sleep right before the next feed. It would take her at least one to one-and-a-half-hours to go to sleep, and then she would only sleep for one hour. When she was four weeks old, one day she spent the whole day vomiting. By 7 pm that night she was so hungry, but was too weak to feed off me and I rung my midwife. She got us to go straight up to the hospital. Jessica was admitted that night and spent two nights there, as they were trying to diagnose what was wrong and to rule out anything more serious. We were told that she had gastric reflux and were sent home with Gaviscon and instructions for us to raise the cot. We persevered with the Gaviscon for about six months. It worked all right for the first month (if that) then seemed to do nothing. At three months we went to the Doctor and she suggested that we double the dose. Because Jessie was a big ‘bonny’ baby and was continually putting on the weight I felt that we were not being taken seriously, and the Doctors and Paediatrician treated me like I was a neurotic, first-time Mum. I wasn’t and they didn’t have to put up with the most miserable, unsettled baby. It’s quite sad – I never bonded with Jessica till she was close to a year old. I could think about her dieing and feel no emotion, not get upset by it (it sounds terrible, but I couldn’t help it). To top it off I had post-natal depression and was on medications for about three months till I had an allergic reaction to them. The doctor took me of the medications “cold turkey” – oh boy that was awful. When Jessica was only weeks old I had some people tell me that it was my fault Jessie had reflux – it was my milk that was the problem – that was so hard to take even though I knew that they were wrong. When Jessie was four months old we had weaned her onto a bottle and formula, and I noticed a bit of an improvement with the reflux. When Jessie was 9 months old we finally got our appointment to see the Paediatrician. Jessie wasn’t quite as bad then as what she had been, but she was still really unsettled, miserable, and still hard to settle down to sleep. But the same old story because she was putting on weight he wouldn’t JessieBWgive us anything else to help her. GRRRRRR. She is now 22 months. I think at around 12 – 14 months I noticed a huge improvement with her spilling, but we still had a miserable girl. She would for no reason that we could see, lots of times during the day make this funny noise (like a whooping sound) and throw these tantrums, and after a few Jessie2yearsweeks I put it down to silent reflux. She has pretty much outgrown it now; it seems to flare up if she is sick or teething. I am pregnant with number two. My Hubby and I have got our fingers crossed that this one won’t have reflux, but the statistics are really low, especially seeing I have heartburn/reflux, as do my mum and paternal dad. But here’s hoping anyway.

© Donna and Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust 18/06/2003.