#‎NationalInfantandChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek 2015‬ Story 3

The moment you first get handed your child says it all, it sets the scene for what is your future, or at least that’s how it felt for me. My daughter seemed to come out fighting, boxing gloves and all, ready to attack this world; and as it turned out the burning inside her was literal.

Reflux seemed such a dirty word, whenever I spoke it people’s faces seemed to either screw up in pity or provide an expression of disbelief. The ‘stigma’ was the worst. Everybody seemed to either know it all and offer their advice which only seemed to judge and I felt like I was doing it all wrong, or they didn’t understand and shrugged it off as a non-issue so that I was made to feel as if I was making it all up. ‘Surely my baby wasn’t really ‘projectile’ vomiting, I couldn’t have possibly seen blood in her spills and of course there was no way she cried for hours and hardly slept’. The lifeline was an online community where my story seemed to ring true; and in the rare people who did understand from their own experience.

O’s GORD was severe. I felt like I was drowning. We worked hard on sleeping from the start and though I felt like we weren’t getting anywhere at the time, it really paid off in the end. Little miss independent had to deal with it on her own sometimes and developing some sleep independence was crucial for her because having a routine and knowing what was happening and when was her ‘safety blanket’. I researched everything and felt like I tried everything. She would cry anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour every night to get to sleep and if she woke screaming in the night it could take 2 hours to get her back to sleep. We were expected to just manage. We skimmed the line of ‘healthy weight gain’ but only because I was determined not to let the reflux win and did everything I could to make it from one day to the next.

There were many times I felt like I wanted to be the one to sit on the floor and ‘throw my toys out of the cot’. The hardest moment was when I realised I had forgotten to enjoy and have fun with my baby. The day when you hear them chuckle with another person and you realise it’s the first time they have laughed, ever and it wasn’t with you.

But, we found a way through and there were happy memories too. Those are the ones you remember more that the worst.

But, we found a way through and there were happy memories too. Those are the ones you remember more that the worst.

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© Erika, GRSNNZ Member and Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust June 2015