One of the most common questions we get these days is whether Owen has grown out of his reflux. Sadly, the answer is no. We feel like it may be getting better, but I think we've just gotten used to it. Our pediatrician indicated that "better" would be when we only see it flare up 1-2 times a day. Oh. I guess spitting up after every feeding, a couple thick spews every day, and a occasional vomit in the middle of lunch or dinner (yes, mid feeding) doesn't qualify as "better."
So, while I prefer to post about new and exciting things, I wanted to spend a minute to note..
Indicators that your baby is fighting acid reflux:
1. You use ultra absorbent cloth diapers as burp clothes.
2. You never hand someone the baby without first handing them a burp cloth.
3. Your daycare provider gives you the daily rundown with three points - How did he eat? How did he sleep? and How much did he spit up?
4. You gage how well the week went by counting the number of burp clothes in the wash. A good week is 10-12 burp clothes; a bad week is 15 or more.
5. Your rocking chair is covered in a bath mat to catch the vomit.
6. After getting ready for work in the morning, you ALWAYS drape a blanket over your lap or shoulder when holding the baby. The days you forget - just plan on changing clothes.
7. Your carpet looks like an abstract painting.
8. Your husband asks, "Can't we please just have some pictures without the baby wearing a bib?"
And the event that inspired this post:
9. You dream that you are holding the baby, and he vomits on you IN THE DREAM. Seriously?
Owen will be a toddler running around the playground. He will not vomit at random. He will not wear a bib. He will not take a dose of PPI medication every morning before breakfast. He will not remember any of the discomfort, soggy clothing, or sour smell that we associate with his reflux.
We will steam clean our carpets. I will wear my favorite shirts. We will look back with relief that this stage is behind us. We will watch our toddler running around the playground and marvel that we ever did items 1-9 above - especially #9.
In the meantime, we are thankful that Owen's medication keeps him from being in pain. We are thankful for his smiles, laughter, squeals, and wiggles. We are thankful that this is just a stage that he will grow out of. We are thankful that he is our kiddo - reflux and all - and it is our joy and privilege to love and care for him.