(Children mentioned & discussed)
Looks like I spoke too soon when I mentioned in my last post that neither of our boys had reflux.
Our pediatrician (whom we love, by the way) assured us at our boys' two-month well-check that all babies have some reflux, that it's a normal result of the immaturity of the sphincter muscle between their stomaches and their esophaguses (esophagi?). However, so long as the baby is able to eat without pain, isn't projectile vomiting regularly and is gaining weight, it is not considered a problem, and treatment is not indicated.
Beginning about two weeks ago, both our boys began having increasing amounts of difficulty with feedings. MJ started having trouble first: eating OK at first but then shaking his head to reject the bottle, squirming and writhing around while feeding, and crying. Oh, the crying.
To be honest, at first, MM and I were not overly concerned. Although MJ has always been a baby who spits up some after nearly every feeding, the amounts never seemed excessive to us, and we had already talked with his pediatrician about this (as noted above). There had been times before when MJ would squirm and cry during a feeding and then have a big poop afterwards--usually once every 2-3 days--so we had attributed those problems to gas and his tendency to be a little on the fussy side. He has been gaining weight steadily, so much so, in fact, that although he only outweighed his brother by an ounce at birth, he is now a full two pounds heavier than AJ.
Gradually MJ's problems became more frequent, now happening about every other feeding instead of every few days. AJ also started having trouble: refusing the bottle, crying inconsolably, and squirming and shaking his head in what appeared to be an attempt to escape the bottle. (The saddest part was the look of fear on his face when he saw you bringing the bottle toward his mouth.)
Unlike his brother, AJ isn't a fussy baby; if he cries, it's because he needs something. He is very easy-going, smiles often, and will happily recline on his Boppy pillow with his pacifier waiting for MJ to finish eating (something MJ will *not* do if AJ's feeding starts first). So when AJ started having difficulty eating, at first a few times a day and then nearly every bottle, we knew something was wrong.
After two days of difficulties at nearly every feeding, both babies went to the doctor last Wednesday and were diagnosed with GERD and prescribed medication. They have continued to have feeding difficulty, but the pediatrician told us it could take a week or so for the medication to take full effect.
So MM had a difficult first week home with the boys full-time last week. To his credit, though, he handled it very well.
It's so sad to have your babies crying when they try to eat, and so frustrating and time-consuming trying to feed them when they can't eat. :-( I hope their medication takes effect soon.