I have two kids one 16 months and one 5 months. My first born, my daughter, was an easy baby with practically no problems. She was 6 months old when she got sick for the first time, and it wasn't anything more than a runny nose and fever. However, my son was another story from birth he always had something going on. He would occasionally spit up massive amounts. My daughter only spit up very small (tiny) amounts. My son put a new spin on spit up all together. He could spit up and not get any on him self, and he could spit up what looked like more than he had eaten. His spit up seemed more like vomiting to me, and sometimes it was really scary. He also would spit up not only after a feeding, but sometimes hours later.
Occasionally he didn't seem to even want to eat although he was hungry. He also would cry during feedings, and sounded like he was having troubles. His breathing was so scary when he would eat that I quit nursing him and simply bottle feed him breast milk. Even then he sounded odd when he would eat. Sometimes you would hear a sound start at his mouth and go all the way down to his stomach, and then he would cry a horrific cry. I was later told this was due to him swallowing air. I felt like a failure as a mother. My mom assured me that some babies just spit up a lot, and not to worry.
Around two months his spiting up started to really concern me. He seemed to spit up more and more frequently as well as large quantities of spit. I didn't think he was keeping enough in. Plus, he seemed to be in more pain after and during feedings. After two nights of excessive crying that started around 3 or 4 in the evening I took him to the doctor convinced something was seriously wrong. I was told he had GERD, and possibly colic. I was devastated at first. I felt like I had some how let him down. GERD is basically acid reflux disease, and I don't really know how to explain colic. Colicky babies cry for long periods of time. After I thought about it for a while I accepted the GERD and realized his father has the same thing. To this day if he drinks something to fast it comes back up. I didn't know what to think about colic. Plus, there's not really much you can do about it. Treating GERD came with a list of dos and don'ts.
I was told to get rice cereal and thicken his breast milk or formula with it. I was to feed him at a 30-45 degree angle, and to keep him upright for approximately 45 minutes after meals. I was also told not to lay him flat for very long. So he began sleeping in his car seat. Actually he spent a lot of time in his car seat. Unfortunately, this resulted in a slightly flat spot on the back of his head. I did all of these things, and still do desperately trying to make my baby a happy healthy baby. I also tried about 5 different types of bottles in an attempt to reduce air intake. We settled on Dr. Browns. I actually noticed an improvement after one feeding with the Dr. Browns bottles. We also no longer shake bottles to mix them. I was told this only adds more air so we stir them now.
We also tried a medication for acid reflux. I won't mention the name because we didn't really like it. He seemed to do better on it, but he became a very agitated baby. He just wasn't his happy self. It was like he had been switched with another baby. His disposition seemed to have totally changed. Although the medication did seem to help some we decided the benefits were not enough to continue it with the side effects.
He also would still scream out at times and cry for lengthy periods of time. Because he would stiffen his body during these crying spells I assumed he was in pain. However, he still does this today at 5 months when he is tired and having difficulty falling asleep. He has always been easily over stimulated. The problem I am facing now is wondering if he was actually in pain? If he was then he probably still is, but if not then he was just over stimulated and needed to get to sleep.
A couple weeks after my son was diagnosed with GERD he became violently ill. He was admitted to the hospital and transferred to another hospital that had a pediatric intensive care unit. Due to respiratory distress. He had RSV, and was in the hospital for a week. After his discharge he was home only for 2 days. At his check up he was sent back to the hospital and back to the pediatric intensive care unit again due to respiratory distress. This time it couldn't be RSV. The acid reflux and severity of the RSV were all related to a condition we discovered after his second hospitalization. He has what is called Laryngomalacia. A condition in his throat. While in the hospital he saw an ENT. Who set us up for a scope in his office, and confirmed the diagnosis. Later I will elaborate on the details of his hospitalization, and condition.