Time for Samuel’s monthly pictures! Here’s a link to Month 1, and Month 2, Month 3, Month 4, Month 5, Month 6 and Month 7 in case you missed them! And here is a link to a page that I’ll be updating every month with all of the pictures together, so you can see them side by side.
In his crib:
With crocheted pillow:
I am not thrilled with this months pictures, but he is so squirmy at this age I will take what I can get! He is the most active little guy, constantly on the move! And his mobility has just increased tenfold over the last few weeks. He’s pulling himself up on furniture, crawling all over the place and climbing stairs. He is babbling constantly (totally adorable) and says ‘babababa’ a lot, and if you say “dada” he will oftentimes repeat it. Twice he’s said “dada” when Paul walked in the room. Probably a coincidence, but hey it’s adorable!
So, as most of you probably know, Sam was incredibly ‘screamy’ as an infant. We took him to the doctor, but they just diagnosed him as being ‘colicky’ and ‘high needs’. We tried gas drops, gripe water, teething tablets, tummy massages, baths, anything that seemed like it might possibly help, but none of it made much of a difference other than momentary distraction. Around the six month mark things started to improve, but he was definitely still a grumpy and difficult baby. He seemed to cry and fuss more than he was happy. He was never content to play, and rarely would he let someone other than me hold him for more than a few minutes without a lot of tears. I chalked it all up to his “high needs baby” diagnosis, and just tried to go with the flow and keep him happy. Fast forward to last week- we were miserable. Sam was screaming most of the day, I was losing my mind. He wouldn’t nurse, was arching his back, flailing his arms, tugging on his ears and wailing. I could tell something was obviously wrong with him, so on Thursday evening Paul and I took him to Quick-Care, since his doctors office was already closed. I suspected an ear infection, but the doctor took a look at him and diagnosed him as (and I am not joking, these were his exact words) “fussy baby”. Um. What? A baby does not scream, arch his back and flail if he is not in pain and something is not wrong. He wouldn’t nurse, he wasn’t gaining weight and he was just plain miserable. I called his doctor and made an appointment for Monday morning, first thing.
We weighed him and it turns out he had lost 4 oz in 3 days. Not good. So, the doctor and I talked over all of Sam’s symptoms and he was diagnosed with “Severe GERD” (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) which is an incredibly painful thing for a poor baby to deal with, and makes perfect sense why he would struggle with nursing, why he would scream when laid on his back, spitting up more often, why he was arching his back and crying, why he has such poor sleeping habits, etc. So, now that we KNOW what the problem is that is 3/4ths of the battle. The other 1/4 of the battle is getting him to take his medication! It’s a minty smelling liquid that works as an H2blocker. Not sure exactly what that means, but it reduces the acid in his stomach.
Sam started the medication on Monday and by that evening it was like I was dealing with an entirely different kid. He was happy, smiley, cuddly and so incredibly sweet. I was in tears because I was so happy to finally have some sort of answer as to why he was so darn unhappy all of the time. Before I put him to bed that night after he finished nursing he let out this adorable little sigh, laid his head on my shoulder and just fell asleep. This kid does not just ‘fall asleep’ on you. This kid does not cuddle. EVER. This was the first time he has ever voluntarily snuggled up with me. It’s amazing! And yesterday we were out and about all day! (from 8am-8:15pm!) and he was amazing. We drove all around the Palouse (Looking at wedding stuff! Yay David and Emily!) and despite spending hours in a wedding dress shop in Spokane Sam was happy THE WHOLE TIME. He got a little sad on the way back, but hey, he had been in the car for like 4 hours that day, so I don’t really blame him. Turns out all it took was a snack and he was back to his happy little self.
All that to say, do your research. I feel so badly that it took us 8 months to figure out what was wrong with Sam. (Oh how I wish babies could tell us what is wrong with them!) Sam has been seen by several different doctors and none of them caught this. It took researching on an online forum (Hey BBC mamas!) when a friend said that Sam’s symptoms sounded familiar to her child’s symptoms and I should ask his doctor about GERD/Reflux. Little did I know that Sam’s was severe. His doctor said he doesn’t normally write prescriptions for reflux, but since Sam has had so much trouble gaining weight (and was now losing a bit of weight) he decided that medication was the best course of action. I am somewhat relieved that it was an ‘easy fix’, and we didn’t have to go through allergy testing, elimination diets, etc to figure out the cause of Sam’s discomfort, but that makes me even all the more frustrated, because it WAS such an easy fix that I feel bad we didn’t do this 6 months ago.
Wow, that was a bit more of a novel than I anticipated. If you made it through that whole post you get a gold star. I feel like I have a new lease on life with a happy baby. Oh life is so nice with a happy baby, don’t you all agree?