Thursday, May 24, 2012

Still Standing....sort of. ;) New routines and reflux

Congratulations to those of you with more than one child who find time to blog. You win. ;)

I'm feeling pretty great about myself today cause the house isn't completely demolished, I'm actually doing laundry, the dishes are done, and Jayden (with his 3rd ear infection) is taking a decent nap while Zachary plays in the play room. This is not a normal day.
A normal day is a completely demolished house, laundry exploding out of baskets, a full sink and counter, a 3 and 1/2 month old who won't get on a decent napping cycle, and a 2 and 1/2 year old who has discovered his mission in life is to make me crazy (welcome to the terrible twos).
And now its summer. Which means no break 2 mornings a week while Zachary is in preschool.
I remember it took a while to regulate our new schedule once Zachary was born. It has just taken a little longer with Jayden for several reasons. One being that he isn't the only child and two being that his reflux has made things difficult.
Jayden doesn't have regular reflux. He has what is called SILENT reflux. It's called this because they don't projectile vomit their milk like most reflux babies....they swallow the acid instead. Ew. Poor baby. I have meant to write about this for a while just in case anyone else I know has a baby with this problem.
I basically had to figure out what was going on myself. The pediatricians just kept trying to tell me that he was colicky. Zachary never had colic, but I was pretty sure that the endless back arching and head turning, refusal to sleep on his back, constantly needing just a little bit of formula, strange gasping/choking noises, extreme fussiness and wanting to sleep elevated on my chest all the time were not just from colic.
I happened to stumble across the name "silent reflux" in a forum and after looking into it I realized it was exactly what Jayden was dealing with. There are even some videos on youtube that other people have posted of their babies having acid attacks which was really helpful in recognizing it.
After I talked to my pediatrician again and explained what I thought he had and why I thought he had it, she agreed (how nice) and we started him on Zantac. It's very mild and it has helped at this point but it took a couple of weeks to get in his system and that was a VERY not enjoyable waiting game. They also instructed me that I could give him a very small amount of maalox or mylanta in the meantime which may have helped some.
Then the ear infections started. One after the other... they would clear up with the antibiotics and be back within a week.
The most recent one (which we just discovered yesterday) revealed a red and somewhat raw throat along with the ear problems which assured the dr. that it is reflux related. It's SO weird how all of these random things end up being from reflux. Jayden also has some problems getting air through his nasal passages sometimes - it sounds like he has a very stuffy nose but there is no drainage actually present. Saline drops and bulb syringe do nothing to help. Turns out that when the acid backs up into the ears and throat it can also get into nasal passages and cause swelling. There ya go. Still fighting the same thing we've been fighting for 4 months.
I thought it was under control because he wasn't thrashing around in his cradle anymore and was no longer making the gasping/choking sounds but apparently not. We even saw a gastroentrologist about a month ago who wasn't alarmed by Jaydens situation and predicted that he would grow out of it by 3 or 4 months old. I wish.
This time we have concluded that if the ear infections don't stay away after this round of antibiotics we will probably end up doing tubes in his ears and also switching him from zantac to prevacid which is stronger but most people (according to what i have read) have better luck with it. Please, oh please let us figure this out!!
Poor Jayden started out a better sleeper than Zachary ever was but he always has trouble sleeping when the ear infections set in so we are back and forth all the time. You never really know what kind of sleep you are going to get around here anymore. I told Chris that between Zachary having trouble sleeping through the night without nightmares (which didn't stop until very recently) and Jaydens crazy schedule I have now gone 2 and 1/2 years without solidly sleeping through the night. I am not sure I will ever be able to do it again. The few times we have been out of town for a  night without the kids I still can't stay asleep. :)

On the other hand Jayden loves to smile which I love to see. When he isn't miserable from ear pain he is a trooper. Zachary loves him and talks to him so sweetly (most of the time).
The Zantac HAS greatly improved the situation from what it was 2 months ago so I am hopeful that getting the ears under control will help even more.
The last few months haven't been easy but they haven't been bad either. Chris finished his last interview for Ordination which will happen this summer. WooHoo! (Its been a long time coming!) :)
Zachary has adjusted to having a brother much more easily than I expected him to. Jayden fits right into this family as if he was always here.

2 and 1/2 year olds can provide some hilarious moments when they aren't melting down :).
 And I find myself able to enjoy my boys more than I thought would be possible with an expanded family. I was afraid I would start missing things. Occasionally I do - I hate the nights when I don't get a goodnight kiss from Zachary because I am busy with a fussy Jayden while daddy helps him get ready for bed. But mostly we are establishing a new routine that is starting to work well for our family.
I know a bazillion families have done this before us, its just new for us. But we are doing well.
PS - I am honestly suprised that my husband isn't a walking zombie by now. Between working and helping me with 2 boys he has a heavy load. He even helps me through the night sometimes when Jayden has rough patches and I am starting to feel like a zombie myself. There are definitely more nights when we both collapse once the boys are asleep - too worn out to have much conversation or even stay up watching tv together, but we are in it together and we know this stage isn't forever.....until the boys are old enough to drive and then I'm convinced I'll never sleep again. ;) (Heaven help me!)
Anyway, theres a very small bit of catching up for you.

Happy holiday weekend to everyone - hope you get to enjoy it with your families!