Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reflux sux x 3

My poor babies have all been diagnosed with GERD and it's been a rather frustrating ride. Feeding time is supposed to be happy bonding time and instead it's turned into a torturous scream fest interspersed with episodes of projectile vomiting. Our living room is spitup central. Feeding time these days is painful for everyone involved.

Initially, the spitup was so bad it would frequently spurt out of the girls' nostrils, causing them to choke. We had a bulb syringe in every room and knew where it was at all times. Fortunately, they have never stopped breathing during one of these episodes, but it made my heart stop every time.

Now that they're a bit older, they "just" arch their back, gag, push the bottle out of their mouth with their tongue, turn their head from side to side to get rid of the bottle, or simply try to slap it away with their hands. They take about 50 ml of their bottle without too much protest and then the "fun" starts. One girl is hoarse and the others make these awful gargling sounds during and after feeds, like they're drowning in the breast milk. An hour or so after feeding, it looks like they're chewing on something. I feel so sorry for them.

It took me a while to figure out that they hated diaper changes not because of the diaper changing itself, but because they're laying flat.

They've all been on Za.ntac, but I suspect they'll need to move on to Pre.vacid soon since the Z.anta.c isn't helping as much as I had hoped. During the night, we're able to dreamfeed them and it's bliss. No choking, gagging or them fighting the bottle... and they drink a good amount.

We are feeding them an ounce or so at a time, burping them well between each ounce, and keeping them upright for at least 45 minutes after each feed. I've started feeding them smaller amounts more frequently, but with triplets that means there's absolutely no time between feeds. The girls are spending quite a bit of time in our arms, in their boppy pillows, swings and bouncy seats. Anything to keep them upright. Even though it's exhausting to the adults, it has helped the babies be more comfortable, so it's been worth it.

What has worked for us, is to lay them on their tummies across our legs to burp them. Babies with GERD love to be on their tummies and whenever I can keep an eye on them, I lay them down on their tummies next to me. It's amazing what a difference tummy time makes to a cranky reflux baby. I'm paranoid about SIDS, so I only put them down on their stomachs when I can watch them like a hawk.

If anyone has more tips on what we can try, please leave a comment.


Jennifer said...

Oh so sorry to hear your sweet girls are having reflux. Boober never had that so I can not suggest anything. I am praying for y'all.

R.J. said...

I don't have any tips, but wanted to give you a shot of support. You're doing an amazing job!!!

Anonymous said...

I have 8 week old BBG triplets. Your story sounds like ours! It was just a week this past Wed that we started to thicken their feeds with rice baby cereal. I use one scoop (formula scooper) in 2 1/2 to 3/4 oz. They are like new babies! The reflux out the nose is all but gone. They continue with the previcid 3 times a day every 8 hours. No matter how long we had been holding them up they all 3 were having issues. Even having reflux as close to a 1/2 hour before they were due for next feed.

Anonymous said...

That's bad luck! All three!!! I'm wandering what dreamfeeding is....I will google it....If I trip on some tip's i'll let you know...although like many things I'm sure it too shall pass. Mr T spat up a lot but never really fussed. Cannot imagine 3 fussy babies due to discomfort - poor sossies. You hang in there gals and guys! and please send more pics!


Anonymous said...

Just remembered ----although not sure this will be helpful to you with the small amounts you are feeding the girls at a time....but I learnt from another mom/nurse that the more the baby can get during the day....the longer she/he will go through the night. I googles dreamfeed - and without realizing it - I think I've been doing that all along anyway :) Once the girls hit the 12 lbs mark they'll most likely make it through the night without the need for feeds :)....but don't mark my words. Hugs

Michele said...

I know it isnt PC, but tummy time and sleeping (while being watched) on their tummies can really help. Our kids dont have reflux issues, but will have some minor spitting up if they are laid flat after a feed. When needing to feed 2 at once, I often lay one on their tummy. In the NICU, we were told that it aids in digestion, and WHAT a difference it makes. It helps with air on the tummy as well as stopping any and all spit up.

Crysi said...

One of my twins has reflux, luckily we didn't have to deal with the severe vomiting/spitting up. She does sleep on her tummy at night, but she can also roll both directions now (she's 6mo). She's also on zantac, but I think it's starting wear off before her next dose is due.

they make wedges that can go under one side of the crib mattress. it works well until they're really mobile. that way their head stays elevated slightly. you could thicken their feeds with rice cereal. You're using a slow flow nipple, right?

I don't know how you do it with triplets. One twin with reflux is bad enough.

The One and Only Chelle said...

Sorry to hear you are having trouble... My girls have GERD too. I am reading your comments for tips!! I can't imagine dealing with three... two are hard enough! Good luck!