babyhood / LIVING WELL / MOTHERHOOD

little victories

I feel like I should put a disclaimer at the beginning of everything I write these days–something about not being held accountable for my thoughts and words and misspellings and jumbled ideas because of my sleep-deprived, over-tired state. 

efb cbb

The newborn fog is still lingering over the mommycoddle household. Birdy has proved to be quite a fussy baby and we are trying to get to the bottom of what might be causing it. As my husband explained when we turned down an Easter dinner invitation–she's either nursing, napping or screaming. 

A trip to the pediatrician last week has us thinking she may have acid reflux. She's on some medicine that will hopefully bring her relief, but it takes a few weeks to really see the changes. It's been a rough start to the world, for sweet Birdy. 

In the meantime, I'm learning to celebrate the little victories–like finding time to shower, or wash the breakfast dishes before dinner time, or sit outside in the sun. This morning, I miraculously managed to clean Elizabeth and Mary's bedroom, with their help. Today's little victory.

The girls have been amazingly supportive and easy-going about life's temporary lack of balance. They aren't put off by the crying, but come swooping in with gentle rubs on Birdy's head, kisses and cooing. 

And I am working hard to shake the mommy-guilt of all the things that aren't being done that should be getting done. It's hard sometimes to fight, but I know this too shall pass. And I'm doing my best to cut myself some slack, take that nap, ignore that mess, let people help, and celebrate the little moments in each day that make it sweet.

I feel like I should put a disclaimer at the beginning of everything I write these days–something about not being held accountable for my thoughts and words and misspellings and jumbled ideas because of my sleep-deprived, over-tired state. 

efb cbb

The newborn fog is still lingering over the mommycoddle household. Birdy has proved to be quite a fussy baby and we are trying to get to the bottom of what might be causing it. As my husband explained when we turned down an Easter dinner invitation–she's either nursing, napping or screaming. 

A trip to the pediatrician last week has us thinking she may have acid reflux. She's on some medicine that will hopefully bring her relief, but it takes a few weeks to really see the changes. It's been a rough start to the world, for sweet Birdy. 

In the meantime, I'm learning to celebrate the little victories–like finding time to shower, or wash the breakfast dishes before dinner time, or sit outside in the sun. This morning, I miraculously managed to clean Elizabeth and Mary's bedroom, with their help. Today's little victory.

The girls have been amazingly supportive and easy-going about life's temporary lack of balance. They aren't put off by the crying, but come swooping in with gentle rubs on Birdy's head, kisses and cooing. 

And I am working hard to shake the mommy-guilt of all the things that aren't being done that should be getting done. It's hard sometimes to fight, but I know this too shall pass. And I'm doing my best to cut myself some slack, take that nap, ignore that mess, let people help, and celebrate the little moments in each day that make it sweet.

39 comments on “little victories”

  1. When my youngest was an infant he was diagnosed with reflux when what he actually had was a dairy allergy. Once I eliminated dairy products from my diet, his demeanor totally changed. My oldest on the other hand was diagnosed with reflux but actually had that and food allergies. Poor baby had to wait a while before we figured out the food allergy thing. Hope your little Birdy finds relief soon so that you all may find some comfort. Good for you in finding the little victories through the day. That is fabulous advice!

  2. Thanks for sharing some of your experience and thoughts with a newborn in the house. Am a bit anxious about that part and its encouraging to hear that you are able to get out and see the sun sometimes and still have a little bit of writing time although I know its probably a lot more difficult than I can imagine.

  3. Both of my children had reflux. We didn’t know any different with our first child and so we let it go on for 5 months. We figured colic. Thankfully I mentioned to the doctor that we weren’t sleeping…any of us…because of the screaming, and he put her on Zantac. It started working immediately, much to our relief. I hope the medication helps and your little Birdy starts sleeping better and that you are able to start feeling better, too. This will be but a small moment. Yay for getting the bedroom clean! 🙂

  4. All of that nurturing love that your girls are showing to their new little sister certainly is a testament to the love the have been shown and the comfort of a good loving home. You are obviously doing something very right so hopefully that helps some of that ineveitable Mommy guilt dissapate. She is so sweet. I hope that she gets some relief soon.

  5. That is so hard!!! Having a new little one is hard anyway…. It will pass – you know that and one victory per day is the way to “frame it”!!

  6. Our son was given medication for acid reflux and 2 weeks later we took him off of it. Looking back I don’t think he ever had a problem. He rarely spit up, etc. However, the reason we took him off the medicine was because one of the side effects listed was ‘headaches’. In speaking with a good friend I confided how was I to know if he has a headache and she said her doctor told her that the child would just scream and scream. Not much help for me considering our poor boy was doing that prior to being given medicine. The day after we took him off his prescription meds and the gripe water our little boy slept like he had never slept before. We did (just in case)keep him propped up after nursing, etc. for about 20 minutes, that and belly rolls to get the gas out, helped him. Good luck with your sweet little one.

  7. I too have suffered the effects of reflux. Man. I will pray for you! Medicine didn’t help my daughter, but I hope you can find some relief!

  8. My little boy had acid reflux as a newborn, and the medicine (Zantac) helped him immediately. Our nights (and days) were filled with a screaming, purple-faced baby who spit up so much he was constantly hungry, yet couldn’t eat much at a time because he was in such pain. It was a pretty difficult time.

    So glad you have a doctor who can help….aren’t you thankful for modern medicine? 🙂

    Congratulations again on your sweet baby girl, Molly!

  9. Both of my children had what appeared to be reflux as newborns. But it wasn’t. I was nursing also and checked my diet. I’m a vegetarian who drinks soy milk, eats tofu, etc., and I eliminated soy from my diet. Within 24-48 hours with both of them, the constant screaming stopped. I had tried everything and it was a relief. Maybe check your diet and see if that helps. It can be a number of things, so just try that as well.

    So sorry you’re dealing with that. I know it’s hard. But you are a good mommy and you know you’ll make it through. 🙂

  10. Eleanor was a *very* fussy baby. My older daugher was so quiet and serene, I never knew that was out of the oridinary until Ellie was born. It was very hard. Hard to hear her scream a lot of the time, hard to maintain any sense of calm in the house, hard to stay calm myself, hard on my husband and I, hard on Jane adjusting to having a new sibling (after being an only child for almost 7 years). A very emotional time. Turned out she was lactose intolerant. After figuring that out – it was a huge help. She was still a fussy infant but a much happier one indeed. I used to “wear” her all the time in my Moby wrap. That long piece of fabric was a god send!I hope you are able to find the root of the problem soon 🙂

  11. We had reflux issues too. It makes it hard when a baby screams all the time like that. I hope it passes quickly. We discovered she was sensitive to dairy too so with nursing I gave that up. Good luck!

  12. Aw, man… we are rdiding the SAME wave over here at TexasNorth. Gus is a month old and yes- either napping, eating, or screaming. It’s crazy.

    Blessings from afar and from within the fog.

  13. I found your blog today through Google Alerts, and just wanted to say I feel your pain!! My son was also treated for reflux as a newborn (Zantac), but looking back, I don’t believe he actually had it (not to say your daughter doesn’t). I think some babies overreact to the ‘normal’ reflux all babies have…

    Hang in there! I definitely know all about the all-day crying/screaming and how exhausting it is!

  14. I hope the meds bring relief for wee and beautiful Birdie and the rest of the family who also experience her pain. If meds fail, as another Mom commented, try food elimination. Soy is often a culprit and it is in A LOT of food.

  15. I’m not sure what you’ve investigated, but allergies, commonly dairy can also cause this. We had a really rough 5 months until we got it figured out with my daughter. She would cry and cry, and couldn’t be put down to sleep. My husband generally couldn’t get out of the house without having to change clothes because she spit up so much. Finally my pediatrician recommended that I try removing dairy from my diet. It was like having a different child. I know how exhausting this can be. Good luck!

  16. Sorry to hear that, my baby has the same thing, it was really frustrating and demanding, but with medicine everything went well, in fact everything was so OK that I insisted on getting her off the medicine one she turned six weeks, BIG mistake things became worse. Also we discovered she is allergic to milks protein so we use nutramigen (powder milk) this is not the same as lactose intolerance. We are starting now to cut medicine back she is soon to be six months old but my advise is to be patient both with your self and the baby and go to a gastroentherolist if you can, I regret no going sooner. Also get a bouncing chair and after each meal sit her down on the chair so that she is an up right position for 40 minutes that really works to help them keep the meal down. Good luck and this too shall pass.

  17. Mom of 7 here with caboose being 4 yrs old. You are doing great – noting the little victories. Modeling to your sweet children right now that the most important thing is loving your new life is so huge. There will always be messes to clean. I wish I could be snuggling a baby’s head in my neck. Time goes so fast. Enjoy this sweetness – as challenging as it seems. It will be gone in a flash 🙂

  18. i hope you see this in your crazy hours of holding baby and wishing someone else were awake that late to talk to about it! our new girl now 7 months proved to be as challenging as i could imagine, those first 6 months of very very fussy nights and endless nursing, my husband away for work and tour and caring for my other daughter 9 i imagined myself in india because of stories of being pampered in bed for weeks after birth. ha, asking permission for a break to shower is humbling to say the least, in spite of that up late one night 8 months ago i found your blog and being from MD I followed it all of my sleepless nights through your pregnancy, you are an incredible mother and sometimes it takes someone who doesn’t need you everyday to tell you that, even if it is very far from in person, job well done! sleep will come. -chris

  19. Molly, sweet Molly. This sounds just like my N. She took Zantac (it helped a little) and I stopped eating dairy and most soy (that REALLY helped) but even with all of that, she was a FUSSY baby.

    Then one morning around 15 weeks, she woke up smiling and it was like a switch had been flipped. She was a different baby after that. I even added the soy and dairy back into my diet and she was fine. After it was over, I kind of had this feeling that she just wasn’t ready for the “outside” yet. And then she was.

    I know it’s hard to hear all these suggestions when you’re dog tired and swimming in the middle of it all, but it will ease up. It will.

    MUCH love to you and birdy and the rest of the family.

  20. It’s been a couple years since I was knee deep in that newborn cocoon you describe so well here. Like a crazy person, I’m excited to reenter it again soon. And as difficult as that season of life is, you’d think we moms would go to great lengths to avoid it. But it is, after all, completely worth it.

    Cheers to you getting some sleep…

  21. Aww poor thing! So good to see little birdy though! 🙂 Have you tried a baby sling yet?? I know that always helped my babies. I am getting the wrap this time around to see how it works. I am sure you have tried everything! Like all moms do when their wee little one cries. Remember Mommyhoods have seasons.. We can’t be Supermom at least not everyday! Its been a long pregnancy for you amongst other trials… Relax and enjoy what you can! Praise God for a healthy baby otherwise! Hang in there!Sending Prayers your way!Kelly K

  22. So sorry about the reflux, Molly. Astrid was a reflux baby too. She was on Zantac for awhile but giving her the meds 3x a day was traumatic in an of itself. The stuff tastes foul to begin with but then they try and mask the foulness with peppermint flavor. Perhaps it’s a good strategy for getting older children to gag the stuff down but for a newborn whose only ever tasted breastmilk? Yeah. Not so bright.

    Anyway, while I was absolutely convinced that Astrid was experiencing reflux, I was never really convinced of the efficacy of the drugs in her case. What did seem to help however was eliminating dairy (soy is another frequent culprit). I won’t sugar coat it. We consume a lot of dairy around here. Some milk but mostly cheese. Also CREAM IN MY COFFEE. I pretty much gave up coffee and tea since I couldn’t have cream in the cup with them. I found soy based creamers repugnant and, HELLO, soy can cause reflux issues too. In addition to the obvious stuff, once you start reading a lot of labels you realize that there are dairy additives in almost everything. Truly. It’s stunning. Those dairy free months were some of the lowest in my life. But Astrid did get better and having a baby who wasn’t screaming nearly constantly did wonders to improve my mood. Even if I couldn’t have a cup of coffee with cream in it.

    One other thing that I strongly encourage you to investigate/invest in, is an AR pillow/wedge (Google it). I so wish I’d gotten one of these. When Astrid was having problems, the pillows were more than the $70 I’m seeing now and it felt like an expense we couldn’t afford. That was a huge mistake. I know more than a few people who went from severe reflux issues to a much more manageable problem with just the use of a wedge.

    Good luck finding what works for Birdy. And you.

    xo

  23. hi sarah. i was just checking out some AR sleep “aids”–thank you for the heads up. But I’m curious–did you feel like Astrid’s AR effected her sleep? Did it wake her up? Because I feel like Birdy is sleeping okay, it’s just that she’s miserable during her awake times and her discomfort makes it really hard for her to go back to sleep. Like you said, they are really expensive, but it said on one website you can probably get it covered by your insurance, so that might be a possibility for us.

    xo.

  24. Ian had terrible acid reflux, he slept by the bed in his carseat for a couple of months (better than lying flat). My friends laughed that “you’re no friend of Ian’s until he’s spit up on you” because he spit up all the time. Luckily they grow out of it, all that is a distant memory. Hang in there.

  25. Hang in there! We had a problem with my second son, and like some of the others dairy was the culprit. He gets a terrible rash on his cheeks now if I accidentally ingest dairy (it is in everything!) but in the beginning it was just a really upset tummy.

    I hope that the medication helps and that Birdy is right as rain soon. The dishes and mess will still be there! And thanks for your blog, it is lovely.

  26. all of my babies were very fussy, our last one would cry for hours. a friend (mom of 6 girls with reflux issues) told us about the miracle blanket and Dr. Karps “Happiest Baby on the Block”. Some of what he has to say is a little out there but the swaddaling and using a sound machine really helped us. The miracle blanket is wonderful!! Dr. Karp has videos on youtube that you can grasp the basics of what he suggests, I don’t know how we would have got through without his info and the miracle blanket ( i ordered mine from amazon)

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