Yesterday I alluded to the fact that we have had a tough year....
Here is the story....
Soon after Jack was born he started a cycle of nursing CONSTANTLY from 5-11 at night. We just figured it was cluster feeding. He also spent most of that time crying, and we just said it was his "witching hour."
Then came the fact that he was up every 2 hours all night long often with a period between 2-4 AM where he spent most of the time crying/needing to be consoled.
It wasn't so bad the first 5 weeks as MJ took maternity leave as well so we could tag team. We just figured we had a needy baby. Drew had been so ridiculously easy - we just figured that we lucked out the first time and now we had our tough one.
By the time MJ went back to work and I was home alone with the boys by myself things just went south. Drew watched WAY too much TV and played outside way too little, but Jack took so much of my time there was nothing else to do. I would dread having to change Drew's diaper because the minute I put Jack down he would scream. To the point that he would sweat through his clothes.
Going anywhere in the car was a NIGHTMARE. Trips that should have been 20-30 minutes would take an hour and a half because we would have to stop so many times. Jack would scream inconsolably and sweat through his clothes.
Jack (and we) lived in a cycle of nurse, catnap, scream; nurse, catnap, scream. Once he fell asleep nursing I often didn't dare to move him because he would scream. He NEVER slept more than 2 hours at a time. He spent 15-18 hours a day crying and screaming. We spent a number of nights sleeping in the recliner in the living room because it was just easier.
When he nursed he would sweat profusely. He would gulp for air when nursing or bottle feeding. EVERYTHING was difficult.
At Jack's 2 month pedi appt we talked about all of these things. She quickly diagnosed him with severe silent reflux and possible issue with dairy. I cut out all dairy and we put him on reflux meds. Not much change was seen. Cut out all dairy, soy, nuts, and eggs plus a different reflux med. Saw a tiny bit of change.
Then our pedi gave us a referral to a pediatric gastro doc.
Jack was diagnosed with Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance and allergic colitis plus the severe reflux. I continued my dairy, soy, nut and egg free diet and things improved a bit but he was still a very needy child. He has been a full time job all on his own. I ended up taking an extra week of maternity leave because there was no way we could send him to a babysitter in this state. In December we switched to a third reflux med and it made a world of difference.
Even though we had my diet under control for his nursing and the reflux meds finally figured out, he was still so tough. We never went out to eat as a family, often one of us would just stay home with Jack instead of running errands, etc together as it was just easier. He had very little ability to entertain himself and almost no ability to self soothe. He still was up to nurse 2-3 times a night until just a few weeks ago. It has been exhausting.
However, having said all of this......Jack has the most amazing smile and he scrunches his nose in the cutest way when he does. He really is quite silly and has a great personality when he is feeling well. He loves his big brother to pieces and has a laugh that is ridiculously contagious! Drew has been an absolutely amazing big brother and we are so proud of the big boy he is becoming.
I think we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This summer we have had so very many more good days than bad. We have been to the beach, an amusement park, swimming, the zoo, and so much more. We can go to a restaurant together. We can do things as a family. These things would not have been possible a few months ago. Jack is finally able to play on his own for some time. He still has great difficulty self soothing, but that will come with time I am sure. He is sleeping through the night finally. We are getting there.....
Our little family of 4 is perfect and we are so blessed with these boys.