Monday, August 27, 2012

'C' to the 'OLIC'

It's been way too long since my last post and it makes me sad.  I love journaling. And I really regret not blogging more with Oliver here, but you know what- this kid has taken full priority in this household and everyone is sacrificing, even little Lo.  (Can't wait to post on Lola because she is a smart, loving little stinker right now! That will be next!)

I guess it's inevitable I spill my guts on colic.  But what to title this?  "Shit on colic." "Save us God." "I still love you O." Who knows.  I'll decide later...

Colic is totally mind-boggling. Frustrating. Exhausting. Disheartening. Depressing.  Draining. Time consuming. Schedule imposing. Sacrificing.

I think when it is paired with anything else, it's worsened.

Does this mean I will have an easy toddler boy who sleeps in his bed for 12 hours, potty-trains like a champ and never misses the toilet and brings me flowers from the outside flowerbed?

Anytime you have a baby who isn't happy, you think has colic or an underlying problem- I would suggest to first hunt for a good doctor then the right formula. (If breastfeeding, great... but in our case, 8 week case to be exact- it didn't seem to ever suit him and me going completely dairy free is a joke since that's 90% of what I eat.)  Oliver has been diagnosed with a milk protein allergy.  {Along with 'colic' and reflux.} After Nutramigen didn't continue to yield good results and he started projectile spitting it up- our old doctor (pretty crappy one) said that we should just try Similac since Nutramigen (a hypoallergenic formula) was obviously not worth the money.  We first tried Goodstart Gentle.  No good.  Things got worse the second week on it- like WAYYY worse.  Cried day and night.  Landed his bottom in the ER actually.  What else was I to do?  They said they were basically making sure he wouldn't die if we left and he wouldn't.  Mom as my witness that's what they said.  Luckily, the trip was worth it because Oliver's GI doctor was out of town and another doctor was filling in and got word we were in the ER and called ME and asked if I would bring him in to her! YES! YES! YES!  We had been on Goodstart for two weeks at that point and a couple days before getting into her had switched him to Similac Sensitive (lactose free) and worse doesn't describe it people.  I hardly left the house and if I did it was just to change the scenery and hope it helped the crying cease.  I left every time Clay walked in the door from work to get a break and Clay always called me or texted me letting me know he was screaming and to help walk him through it.  What do I say? "Good luck buddy, I've tried all day."  As much as I was worn out emotionally, physically, and mentally, I still had a real fighting attitude to get to the bottom of this and did not accept colic solely as the cause.  I was really hoping this doctor could help, but had low expectations at this point. Side story- I would tell Clay at night to take him outside to see if it would break the crying but even if it didn't at least the house was quiet for a moment.  Clay didn't like taking him outside because it literally caused neighbors to walk out on their porches to see what was going down... but colic makes me mean.  And I just firmly believed they could deal with it for 5 minutes as we tried anything and everything to stop the crying.

Colic is described along these lines: three hours of crying, typically at the same time of day, for more than 3 days a week, for several weeks.... but Ollie was all day and night until we finally got him down around midnight.

Back to new doctor, Dr. S.  She saw Oliver and spent a LONG time with us.  I loved her because she seemed human.  Just like me.  Normal, nice, caring and listened and watched a lot.  She held Oliver for a long time, played with him, fed him, got spit up on- the whole nine yards. I told her she was the first GI doctor to exam him physically.  Lola was there too and was absolutely wonderful.  Talkative, but wonderful.  I am so glad walls listen ;)  Dr. S also listened. I listed everything to see if any connections could be made and I told her like I told 3 other doctors that he didn't take a bottle good, would choke, couldn't go beyond a level 1 nipple and despite wanting a paci could not suck on it.  Within 5 minutes a speech specialist was in the room and 30 seconds later a suck-swallow study was ordered because she immediately said he was lacking his sucking reflex. She seemed alarmed.  I think I was so stunned how fast all that went down and ultimately how easy it was to get done, that I failed to ask my million and one questions.  More on this soon- Dr. S gave us a prescription formula which is amino acid based versus any kind of milk protein, called EleCare.  Since we had only been on Similac for 3 days, we had to give it a few more days to make sure it didn't kick in and help... I could tell she was pretty confident we would be on EleCare.  On day 5 of Similac- came the rash.  It was kind of a great thing because it made the milk protein allergy more definite.  Oliver, when on Nutramigen, was still able to detect the milk protein in it which the doctor did say that can happen with some babies.  Explains why the hypoallergenic formula, wasn't so hypoallergenic for him after all.  So when the rash appeared we busted open the EleCare cans... starting seeing good moments and good days with a few days on it, but still off and on.  A tad over two weeks later- {today} I am seeing an incredible difference. His colic still seems to be present, but if I am with him at night- he doesn't cry much- if I am not there- he cries nonstop.  

Definitely a momma's boy at this point, yet how could he not be?  I always tell Oliver in an-annoying-talk-to-baby-voice "You are such a momma's boy because I am the only one who has loved you unconditionally so far.  Crying, screaming and clawing at your momma and I still sing to you, bounce you, try and make you laugh, bathe you and sneak you Lola's bath toys, drag you back and forth to doctors convincing them I am not crazy to take a closer look, sneak you bananas, keep you in dry shirts despite doing four times as much laundry, change your diaper way faster than I should to try and keep you comfortable, buy every brand of gas drops to try and help your tummy (you respond to Little Tummies by the way!), and don't complain that my hair always smells like spit up." :)  

This Wednesday is his suck-swallow study... very interested to see how this plays out. I have switched his bottle to a wide neck bottle which someone told me it encourages them to open their mouth wider which we need him to close his mouth better, but after thinking about it- I decided to try it and see if it wouldn't create a better seal and forced him to suck more than chomp as well as take less air in and it does seem to have helped, but then again- the doctor is pretty much saying we have to thicken his formula until the study because of how often he chokes on it- so that could be helping too. The formula is pretty thin.  Doctor definitely has him down as colic, reflux, and milk protein allergy.  Praying insurance covers this formula- still no word on that. And praying this allergy is short lived, although knowing Lola's and now his- I am afraid he may have a list of allergies to follow.  Really hoping that isn't the case- but if he is allergic to anything else- it's best it peanuts like his sister! The airport they ask "Anything sharp in your bag?" Me: "Does an epi pen count?" :)

So the colic time for him in most certainly at night and now that he is more content, it's more obvious and the bad part is I am pretty much the cure which really means no breaks for me yet.

The first week on EleCare, my family was planning a last minute summer vacay and we had to decide if we were in or out so plane tickets could be bought and the right place be booked- I was putting a lot of faith in the EleCare and told Clay "Let's just go for it.  If he can cry here, he can cry on the beach!"  So we did.  We acted confident and brave, but every night secretly thought "what in the hell have we decided to do!?" More on vacay later (have lots of fun pics!), but let it be known Oliver was an angel.  Even on the plane during his colic time.  He had one bad night of crying but that was when Clay and I left him to go on a date.  He cried the entire time we were gone.  I walked in to my dad telling me how much he had cried and that mom was walking him around- so out the door I went to find him which didn't take long because everyone and anyone could hear him- and immediately grabbed him and you know what?  No more crying.  He looked horrible.  I felt so bad for him.  And my dad couldn't believe the crying had stopped but I think everyone was relieved.  I wished someone else could soothe him at night time, but I am just thankful I can at least. It's a nice break from not being able to for months.

Probably why I can blog right now.  I am bouncing him as he sleeps in his bouncy seat with my foot and have listened to "Somewhere over the Rainbow" by Jewel way too many times to count now.  Actually just looked at how many times it has been played and it's up to 1,022.  Jewel used to be one of my favorites but it may be awhile before I like her again ;)

One of Oliver's pediatricians told me to prepare for the colic to last 6 months and not 3 or 4.  This seems to be true.  So one more month we hit 6.  That's also when Lola's spitting up magically quit cold turkey.  It's also marks 6 weeks on EleCare. I am hoping come October- Oliver is a much happier, content, predictable baby.  And sleeping through the night wouldn't be bad either :)  Working now on breaking the bouncing habit- not sure we can break it 100%, but naps in the crib with no bouncing would be a good thing.

I'll update after Wednesday's appointment.  Thankful for improvement and look forward to more.

With all of this said, adoption has been on my heart like crazy.  I can't stand the thought of children deserving and needing love and a permanent home, do not have that.  Prayers for all the children that are in need tonight.  My hearts breaks for you.

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