Everything is fine in these parts. Looks like Scrunchy is going to make it. Two more days until we’re out of the woods, but he seems like his old self. Bullet dodged.
Max laughed for the first time on Mim’s Birthday. He laughed when I tickled his feet. A very special moment for me. I fell in love all over again. He’s so much more now. More what is hard to explain. Just more.
Max is regulating himself out and as long as I hold him in the day, sleeping a lot. At night, if he isn’t screaming in pain, see below, he only wakes twice and usually goes back to sleep immediately. This I can deal with.
We’re, Max and I, venturing out. Last weekend we went to Bauhaus and Media Markt. This week he’s been to the grocery store. He and I are working stuff out and he’s becoming fun. My little partner. It’s like when I had Ginger, the best dog IN THE WORLD, except harder to get in and out of the car and he has my toes. And Max is allowed in every store.
Even though things are looking good and I’ve even brushed both my hair and my teeth today, I need to rant.
Rant starts here.
Max has reflux. It’s painful for him. The bad attacks happen maybe twice a week. The other times, it’s there, but minor and I can do things to help him, like hold him upright for hours on end or feed him to help his hiccups or his throat. The bad times, he screams as if I’m pulling off his limbs one by one. He wakes up screaming this way. The screaming and crying add gas to his tummy which starts this cycle of gas crying. It’s awful.
I’ve done my research and I’ve tried all sort of different techniques to help him. None of them work consistently. Did I mention he’s in pain because he is. How do I know this? Oh, because I’m with him 24/7 and I’M HIS MOM. I know his pain cry. In fact a stranger would know his pain cry. It’s heartbreaking as opposed to just ear-drum shattering.
This acid reflux is not merely a sensation that surprises him. It’s not due to overfeeding. It’s not because I feed him sometimes every hour or for an hour at a time if he wants it. It’s because his little parts aren’t strong enough yet to work correctly – two doctors, a midwife and fourteen books have told me so. I get it. I understand how it works.
Off to the Dr. I go. I was warned by Alice that they don’t do anything for reflux here, but I was sure our Ped, who has been wonderful, would listen and prescribe an antacid.(I had this little fantasy that my doc would prescribe and I’d call Alice and she’d have a reason to come down here and we’d get her baby girl medicine and then Alice and I could go get decaf lattes and get our toes painted and talk while our husbands watched the babes for a few hours.) I wasn’t looking for the big guns. I just wanted something like Tums for babies to see if it worked and then we could either go forward or if it worked, just stick with that as needed.
Well, my regular Ped wasn’t there. I got a different Dr. in the practice. She listened to me for about 30 seconds, interrupted me to tell me:
- Stop feeding him so often – only feed him every 2-3 hours and only 5 minutes each breast
- If he cries, do something with him like go for a walk
- Change from BF to thickened formula to help keep things down
- The problem is that babies systems are immature, there is no medication to help with that
- He’s not in pain.
- Esophagi is never damaged by acid reflux.
- There isn’t such a thing as a baby antacid and if I intend on using adult antacid, I will poison him, did I want to poison my child?
She didn’t even wait to listen to my answers until I cut HER off mid-sentence with the phrase ALL Germans love “They have it in America.”
This was followed by my response, made in my head because I couldn’t get a word in, let alone my own diatribe:
- Yeah, lady, I’m looking to poison my kid. Stop with the bullshit, purposefully or not, meant to put me on the defense and shut me up. It doesn’t work on me.
- All my research says that when BF-ing, feed on demand. Babies stop when they’re full and if Max wants to hold on for a few more minutes, I have no problem with that. I’m here for him not the other way around. If it makes him feel better, wtf, why not? It’s not the cause of reflux – you just told me that.
- I tried the 2-3 hour thing – didn’t help with the reflux and made us all miserable and It’s not the cause of reflux – you just told me that.
- So if he cries at night, like when he wakes up screaming in pain, I should just tell him we’re going to walk it off because you know, 6 week olds are big boys now.
- I’m breastfeeding. We’ve worked everything out (thanks to Maria, Alice, Christina and everyone else who commented and e-mailed me much appreciated advice). I am pumping so as to have a bit stored up so I can leave the house once in a while and again, it’s working.
- There is medication to help with motility, btw, and there is medication to help with the symptoms of acid reflux which is what I was looking for, you dolt. Have you heard of Zantac – made by GlaxoSmithKline. Have you heard of that company?
- Esophagi can be damaged by acid reflux. Are you freaking kidding me? Really? Do you have any idea what you’re talking about? It’s called esophagitis – Max doesn’t have it, but perhaps you’d want to examine him?
- And last but not least, there is baby antacid – how about Mylanta – it’s made by Merck – ever heard of them? It’s a pharmaceutical company located here in Darmstadt.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I would rather not dose up Max at all, but when he screams in the night out of pain, I want to stop that pain. If she had said, there is medication but we don’t like to use it because it had adverse side effects or people over use it or anything other than “Medication like that does not exist.” I could have understood. If she had heard me out perhaps I wouldn’t have been so pissed.
But she didn’t. She cut me off, didn’t listen to me at all and gave me the old party line of feed him only every 2-3 hours. Then suggested propping him up to sleep (uh how?).
So towards the end of the interview, because she never once looked at Max it couldn’t be considered an exam, I told her I finally understood why Germans were so hip to homeopathic remedies – the medical community pushed them there. Even if homeopathic remedies don’t work, people are listened to and given something they are told will work even if it isn’t more than sugar or salt and scientifically disproven. At least they feel more in control.
In the end, she told me that she had discussed it with the other Dr and he agreed with her. “Of course, he did”, I said, “but you haven’t heard me or examined Max and you talked to the other Dr., not me, so why would either of us think he would say anything different?”
This and the homeopathic comment did not endear me to her and the interview ended with us both wishing each other a good afternoon.
You know, American doctors might over-prescribe, but there has to be a happy medium between that and the desert of medication here. There has to be a doctor in Germany who has a different opinion on this reflux. Max and I can deal with his. It isn’t that severe, but what about babies who really suffer and the reflux is severe. Do these babies just tough it out?
Looks like Max and I are going to have to make a drug run to America. Bummer. That makes me so sad.