My little boy was born at 37 weeks in May 2007 after a long labour with waters broken. The morning after his emergency caesar he was placed in Neo-natal ICU as he refused to feed. After many tests that morning he was diagnosed with pneumonia and placed on a drip and feeding tube. He recovered wonderfully thanks to the fantastic doctors and nurses. When he was about 3 weeks old he started to show signs of real discomfort and screamed most of his waking hours. He would also get very angry when I tried to feed him. At the same time he would constantly develop chest infections. We were literally at the peadiatician every week. Our paed was an incredible doctor and sent him for a Barrium Swallow. Our little man was then diagnosed with cronic reflux. He was then placed on Losec. We also decied to take him off the breast and feed him using a bottle with milk thickened by a thickening agent. He improved substantially after this and became a really happy boy although he still developed chest infections often, which was put down to the refluxed milk spilling into his lungs. He has grown up to become a wonderfully healthy child who loves taking part in any form of sport that he can. He still suffers occasionally from “reflux moments”.
When our little girl was born 3 years later at 36 weeks, she too ended up in Neo-natal ICU due to a feeding problem but with the help of the wonderful staff, learnt how to feed beautifully. At 3 weeks she too started showing the same signs as her brother and was quickly put onto Losec and a thickening agent, although it took us a bit longer to work out that she had Lactose intolerance. It was recommended that we put her on to a lactose free formula, which helped remarkably. She too suffered from regular, bad bouts of chest infections due to the reflux. We discovered that reflux can be a genetic condition, which made sense as to why both our children developed it.
They have both grown to become healthy, very active children, and those “bad” days seem years ago. There are amazing medical staff out there who are so willing to help and who are so supportive. If there is one thing we learnt during those months, it is that you are never alone, there are lots of families who go through this and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Never set your mind on how it is going to be before your little one is born. It will very seldom happen the way that you wish. Be flexible – your children will still love you just as much and will be so grateful for your love and care!