April 9, 2014
I love this picture of the Hutt man.
I love it because It’s one of a few pictures we have where he’s almost smiling.
Why doesn’t he smile a lot, you ask? Because reflux and RSV and whatever viral complication from RSV he currently has.
This is how he’s looked for about 70% of his life so far.
It’s really sad, I know.
Between normal reflux and exacerbated reflux from the 2 viruses (thank you, kids at Beckett’s preschool), his 9 week existence on planet earth has been a rough one so far.
He eats, he spits up by the bucketful, he cries. Repeat.
Sometimes he naps restlessly in-between.
A lot of reflux babies have trouble gaining weight, but not in Hutton’s case. In fact, he weighs more than 97% of the other babies his age. (Yes, 15 POUNDS of delicious chubbiness.)
So, that’s a win.
You know what’s not a win? Everything else.
When you prepare for a baby, you prepare for the sleepless nights, constant feedings, and indecipherable fussiness. You can totally do it for a few weeks. (Ok, months.)
But then by a certain week you’re kind of just over it. It’s hard to keep up the energy after a while – both physically and emotionally.
That’s how everyone in the Brooks household feels about this reflux business these days, especially our sweet chunky punkin, Hutton.
These are our 10 least favorite things about reflux, in no particular order:
Every set of photos of our little man includes at least one of these.
I actually had to decide which ones to use above I have so many.
Every cute outfit is adorned with a gigantic bib cape. Not the tiny little matchy bibs that catch drool, but the massive 360 degree bibs that catch entire contents of baby stomach.
The spit up is projectile. Like, unbelievably aerodynamic.
After Hutton eats, we have to keep him upright for a while until he gets through his 5-7 massive spews.
And it doesn’t matter how many precautions you take to preserve your own person, like turning the burpy bib into a bowl that covers his face, the spit up will still shoot high and far enough to soak you.
It’s like the saddest and grossest of all Super Soakers.
It is impossible for any member of our family wear spit-up-free clothing for an entire day. It’s also impossible to keep enough burp cloths clean, even though we have about 412 of them.
So we have a new an unspoken rule: unless our clothes have more than 3 different wet spots, we don’t change. And unless the burp cloth cannot hold one more drop of liquid, we don’t get a fresh one.
Even then, we each still go through about 3 outfits and 6 burp cloths a day. We cannot cannot keep up with laundry.
Also? We’ve already agreed to burn the house down when reflux season is over. It’s really the only option at this point.
Beckett does such a good job of being patient while I’m feeding Hutton. He is awesome at “taking turns”.
The hard part is that Hutton’s “turn” doesn’t just involve the actual eating part, but all the 30-minutes-upright-afterward, consoling, and cleaning associated with reflux.
And, unfortunately, reflux is contagious. Almost all of Beckett’s toys and animals and cars now have it. As he’s playing, I hear a lot of, “Oh, no. He ‘pit up. Let me get a tiny blanket to wipe it up. Oh no, now he’s crying. It’s okay, buddy. Here’s your paci.”
Like this baby doll. He ‘pit up during our entire run.
In a breastfed baby, the mom’s diet is the baby’s diet. So. In an attempt to lessen the effects of his reflux, I’ve switched to a strict diet of disappointment. Specifically, a dairy-free, caffeine-free diet.
It’s helping. Minimally.
It’s just too bad we have to declare bankruptcy after buying those stupid vegan butter sticks.
I mean, I’m glad they make antacids for babies, but trying to get an infant to swallow 1/2 teaspoon of liquid that tastes like grape-flavored butt is next to impossible.
We basically have to hold his head at a downward angle so that when we shoot the meds into his mouth he choke-swallows it. Then we pray he doesn’t vomit it all back up immediately. And then we do it again later that day.
Cleanliness lasts for about 0 seconds. We usually can’t even get clothes (or a bib) on him before this:
9. Tummy Time.
Most babies hate tummy time, Hutton loves it. He likes the pressure on his stomach. Buuuuut pressure on his stomach means more spewing which means rubbing his face in a pile of spit up.
No, thank you.
I’ll spare you the picture on this one. (…as if I didn’t already make a collage of mid-vomit baby photos…?)
Obviously, the pain factor is the worst part.
Reflux burns, and burning makes babies cry. (It made me cry as a pregnant adult, too.)
All that crying makes for a sad baby, a heartbroken momma, and an annoyed older brother.
Reflux officially sux.
I feel terrible for Hutton. Well, and Beckett. …ok, and for myself and Taylor and all of our forever-disgusting textiles, too. It’s really just a beating all the way around.
The good news is between the medication and the diet changes, he’s been acting like he feels better. In fact, he seems a little happier every day, which makes me ecstatic.
On a positive note, if you have a refluxer, here are my 3 most favorite things in the entire world:
1. That guy. Just kidding. The only thing that guy is sporting on his top half (?!), the Baby K’Tan Wrap. It instantly soothes a sad baby. Plus, who doesn’t love wearing a baby? Especially shirtless.
2. aden + anais burpy bibs. We only have 4 and I plan on acquiring at least a few dozen more. They’re amazeballs.
3. Graco swing/bouncer combo. It’s a swing! It’s a bouncer! It’s everything magical! Both my boys loved the swing, and now Hutton sleeps in the bouncer part. The elevated angle helps soothe his tummy. I like it because he isn’t laying flat on his back, you know, choking on reflux nastiness and all.
That’s where Team Brooks is at these days. We’re tired and smelly and ready to see more Hutton smiles.
I’m secretly hoping the 3 month mark will be epic in terms of happiness – new baby, new you! – but I’m not holding my breath. (And don’t you dare comment with “My daughter cried and projectile vomited like that until her 42nd birthday!” I’ll die.)
In the meantime, I’ll continue to drink my Flaxmilk because if that doesn’t scream I’LL DO ANYTHING FOR YOU LITTLE ONE, I don’t know what does.
Little roll-filled precious boy.