Van's incessant spitting-up problem. At his six-month appointment, which happened a week and a half ago, Van was weighed and showed to have not gained any weight at all in the past one month. Since his age cohort gained weight from the fifth to sixth months and he did not, his percentage in the weight department thus dropped from the 37th percentile down to the 27th. We had finally reached a trajectory that seemed simply unacceptable. No gains were being made despite our attempts to change things up, and he was steadily losing ground when compared with his baby peers. He didn't succeed with pumped milk taken from bottles, and he hadn't made any gains even with adding solid foods like vegetables and fruits. Instead of heavier foods staying down better, his spit-up just became bright orange and green, leaving its mark on clothes, bibs, carpets, and toys. Bliss!
So, at the appointment a week and a half ago, his pediatrician said enough was enough, and it was time to try Zantac. Seeing at that point that his percentage had just fallen another ten points, I agreed; intervening with medication to see if we could make a difference was a good idea. Van was put on 2mL of Zantac twice daily. Unfortunately, we saw absolutely no difference for a week. I thought I hadn't expected to actually see a difference, but I found I was disappointed so I guess I must have been holding out more hope than I realized. This, I thought, is stupid. I'm not keeping him on a med that isn't helping!
One week later, I called the doctor. This was on BJ's birthday, last Thursday the 26th. I told her that the Zantac was not helping and wondered if perhaps we should try Prevacid, as we had heard some success stories with that? She said she was disappointed that the Zantac had not been effective but told me she had started him on the lowest dosage. She said, "Call me back in a week regardless; if the Zantac still isn't working, we will switch him to Prevacid. But in the meantime, since you have the Zantac, let's bump up the dosage to 3mL twice a day." Yes, ma'am, I said.
And that was all she wrote.
Much to our disbelief, the spitting up suddenly slowed and then stopped altogether. Van has begun wearing one outfit for the whole day. He isn't even wearing a bib these last two days because he isn't spitting up--not even a little bit! This child went from belching out rivers 40 times a day at least to not even spitting up once today. We kissed him and put him down to bed tonight quietly celebrating that he had not burped up all day, for the first day in his whole life. It really feels like a new lease after six months of incessant messes. He even slept for 13 and a half hours last night before we finally woke him up at 10:30 this morning. We're guessing that perhaps holding down all these extra calories is allowing for some hibernation time! As a mom, I'm kicking myself for not trying a medication sooner, but I know that I put my best efforts toward thoughtful, educated decisions about our guy. Although I'm a big believer that medicines can be so very helpful, I wouldn't have guessed that medication would have saved the day in Van's case.
BJ and I are hopeful that this trend continues. Today Van took four feedings from the breast, and he also ate helpings of oatmeal, pears, a half of an avocado, and bananas. May he pack on some pounds, keep dry, and take naps without waking up soaked in his own food. Now our littlest boy, who is just beginning to sit up on his own for short periods of time, is rolling around like crazy, and enjoys sitting in a swing, can share his lovely smiles without regurgitated surprises to follow! Thanks to all for your suggestions and encouragement over the last six months. Fingers crossed that this trend is here to stay!