Please, just make it stop!

    Our family has recently swollen from four to five, and we have been blessed with another son. As we are not novice parents we weren’t expecting any surprises when we bought him home, and initially this was the case. The usual sleepless nights, breaks in our families established routines and the almost forgotten smells of newborn’s nappies, have become commonplace in our home. But that is just the nature of having a new baby; it’s all part of the hazing process for new parents. As time goes by, it is usual for the period between feeding to increase and so the relief of slightly more sleep does eventually come.

    If you have a baby with reflux though, all bets are off! Both of us parents, are barely functioning zombies my wife especially so. I know that the situation is approaching crisis point when she starts laughing at my jokes. In all seriousness though, it has been pretty hellish. We’ve tried everything; burping him, bouncing him, berating him, all before begging him. We’ve tried a variety of different medicines, but to no avail. Still he cries, and the more anxious he gets, the less patience I have.

    The real party doesn’t start until about 3 am though, and that is just such a joy and privilege to be a part of. A few nights ago, at about 3:45 in the morning, poor Mrs L. came to wake me up to tell me that she’d had enough and just didn’t know what else to do. I sensed the opportunity for an act of minor heroism and so I insisted that I would take care of Jonah if he woke up again. I was really hoping that by some miracle he would fall asleep and that I would be let off the hook. Rather predictably though, 5 minutes later, just as I had slipped into a deep sleep his banshee wailing started again.

    Given that he seems to require motion to calm down, I decided that I would take him for a walk around the block in his pram. After about 100 metres, it became clear that this wasn’t going to work as he honestly sounded as though I was trying to murder him. Fearing that a concerned neighbour may inform the local constabulary, we returned home to consider what other options were available.

    Like many parents before me, I decided that I would take him for a drive. For most infants a trip out in the car is like an anaesthetic and by the time they are at the top of the driveway they are dead to the world. Not so with my little angel, in fact he screamed louder and louder the further we got! I knew that he didn’t have a dirty nappy and that he wasn’t hungry, and so with a heavy heart I accepted that he must just be over tired, and would scream until he could scream no more and would then, all being well, go to sleep.

    I thought that if he was going to cry, I might as well try to drown out the racket with some music and so I put on a Foo Fighters CD. To my utter amazement, he fell asleep before the end of the first verse, and by the end of the chorus, I had fallen in love with him just a little bit more. I thought I’d celebrate and so drove to McDonalds and had a lime milkshake. Let me tell you that at 4:30 in the morning, when you barely have your wits about you, nothing tastes better!

    Now Jonah could not be woken and so I sat with him in the car park listening to the music and happily reading my book. At about six we drove home and whilst trying to quietly come into the house, I tripped over a pair of shoes and woke everyone up.

    As you can imagine my wife was overjoyed to see me and as I told her of our son’s apparent love of rock music, she rolled her eyes in a manner to which I have become accustomed. I don’t think she really believed me. Later that day, Jonah became very grisly again and couldn’t be consoled. I thought that now might be a good opportunity to show her my little discovery and so after putting him into his hammock, we put on some more music (Rage against the Machine, this time) and turned the volume up. Within minutes, he was in a sort of stunned silence and a few minutes after that he was asleep. Rosie was elated, and couldn’t believe what she was seeing, or hearing.

    Unfortunately in another few minutes he was wide awake and screaming again. Well, at least we had some good music to listen to.

11 thoughts on “Please, just make it stop!

  1. You guys are wonderful parents, it’s such a difficult time. Those 3 children are very lucky to have such a strong pair at the helm xx

  2. I know a few people whose children suffer with reflux. It is becoming more and more common. By the time they are on solids it improves but night times are still hard. By the time they are 2 it has slowed to almost nothing. It is extremely painful and can burn the oesophagus so the dr should have given you something to coat it so the acid doesn’t burn. Poor baby hope things improve asap x

  3. As always such good writing Ross, we don’t always at work realize how tired you must be so thanks for always smiling, cracking jokes and being your awesome self 🙂 looking forward to your next piece!

  4. My son had reflux and it was a terrible time for us all until things slowly and eventually began to improve. You could try raising the legs of the cot at the side where his head is by a couple of inches as this aids in the liquid not running back up the oesophagus as much. Might help the poor little man to be a bit more comfortable and sleep for longer…just a thought. It’s worked for a friend of mine too.

    • Thank you so much for your tips. Fortunately our wee one seems to have turned a bit of a corner and certainly seems to be slightly less uncomfortable than he has been. Hopefully this advice will be useful to someone else though. Thank you for your interest and please keep reading.

  5. “The hazing process” is just the perfect way to phrase what happens after bringing a newborn home. Our son had terrible reflux as well. It took having him projectile spit-up in front of the doctor for us to put a name to it. He had fallen off the growth charts and was terribly inconsolable, but once we were able to get some food to stay down, things did get better. On top of the medication he took, we also switched him to an added rice starch formula which seemed to help him keep something down. Hope he keeps getting better and you can get some sleep!

    • Thanks for your understanding. By the sound of it we got off lightly compared to you! Things are steadily improving and I’ll be writing an update in the coming weeks.

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