Is there any situation more anxiety laden and brain wracking than that of new motherhood? If it’s your first baby, like me, you might have been out of your mind with “what do I do with this thing?” Lucky for me, the baby is now 2 ½ and can tell me about her owies and I’ve got a whole new crop of troubles. When in the throws of tantrums and constant mind changing and a fierce assertion of independence, I ask myself, “what do I do with this thing?” I think that still, in the midst of it, I’m far better off and calmer than the mother of a newborn. So many moments are spent fretting about if something might go wrong, and what to think or do if it should, who to listen to, the doctor or my mother?
Well, indeed, it was only a few days home with the new babe and indeed, something was wrong. My mother spent the first twenty-six years reminding me that I made her insane because as a baby, I had colic for the fist nine months; oh yeah, you heard me, first NINE months. If I wasn’t sleeping, I was screaming. So I just knew it would happen to me. I knew it, I knew it. My mom had always teased that she hoped it would in the name of revenge, that is, until she thought it had. Then, “Oh no, oh no, oh no.”
The baby was screaming and screaming. Nothing would quiet her. We went to the emergency room and the doctor complimented me on the most perfect five day old he’d seen, but then dropped the bomb; she had colic.
As time would tell, however, doc was wrong. But by no fault of his, really. She seemed to be just like a baby with colic. She acted as if she had a really bad case of gas, which, the doctor said, was colic in a baby. Uncomfortable gas bubbles had to be worked out by bouncing and tilted bumping and the like. She liked a lot of movement, her feeding was difficult as she’d like to eat an ounce, stop; eat an ounce, stop. Cry, cry, and cry. Then, she began to spit up everything she ate. And then the second diagnosis came in. Her pediatrician diagnosed her with reflux (lucky for me, my daughter made diagnosis easy when she performed an epic spew right there in the exam room). And honestly, though troublesome and painful for the baby, this was more solvable. Now, there’s some effort in this as sometimes the right treatment has to be attempted a few times before found.
What worked for us? A combination of baby Zantac©, Enfamil AR©, and Mylicon©. She was like a new baby almost instantly. Then we could get on with business like teething, revolt against sleeping schedules, and a slew of virus after virus and general fussiness. Ah, the joys.
So what is the difference? Well, to my understanding colic is what it is, pretty much chronic miserable gas that’s hard to rid, and reflux is caused by an underdeveloped part of the esophagus, that which connects to the stomach. Not only will your baby be spitting up her food but uncomfortable stomach acid too. Normally with treatment it will be significantly improved by six months of age and gone by one year.