From birth my son has been screaming. I found this disheartening and felt like he was screaming from pain of some sort and told this to everyone-friends, family, my midwife, 2 peds etc. The previous Dr's kept saying he had bad gas, which he did and colic. He only pooped once every 10 days or sometimes longer and it was always accompanied by screams. He would poop and for the rest of that day and the next he seemed to do better and then he started screaming again.The first few weeks of his life he screamed any time he was awake and slept fitfully and always whimpered.
I ended up through trial and error eliminating dairy, beans, tomatoes, onion, broccoli, cauliflower and citrus. While things didn’t get significantly better, it was a start. For a while gripe water would sooth him, but only for about 20 min. The funny thing is, I always knew something was wrong. He never really ate well. He had a great latch, showed hunger cues and seemed frantic to get on the breast but never satisfied when he was done. I had bf my DD before him and she always drifted into a peaceful “food coma” but he always screamed after feedings and pulled up his legs. He never did cluster feeding at 1 week or 3 weeks and I found that odd but he was a solid 12 lbs (was 9 ½ at birth) and chalked it up to him being efficient.
At about 6 weeks he began to go longer between feedings and again I waited for him to cluster feed and up my milk, and again, he never did. At this time he began refusing to nurse in public which I found odd but hoped was a phase and tried to help him through it by going out less, moving to a quiet dark room etc. By 7 weeks I knew something was seriously wrong. He was now crying at every meal and would stay latched for less than a min before pulling off to scream. On top of that I developed Mastitis because of his refusal to eat. An LC told me I had an extremely low milk supply for his size and age and to begin taking herbal supplements. I was also told to feed him every 2 hours (as opposed to his usual 2-3) and to use an electric breast pump for 15 minutes after each feeding. For the rest of that day and the next I did exactly what she said. On the third day I woke up and my son refused to eat. I got him to latch on twice, but after the first taste he was off again. I called the LC and she told him to give him a bottle of pumped milk. He refused from me and my husband and mother. I called again and she said to get a SNS supplemental system. I did but no longer had milk to give him so gave formula while he nursed with the system. He did ok once latched for the rest of that day. The next morning he again refused to nurse, but this time also refused pumped milk and formula from a bottle. Over the last few days he was also sleeping excessive amounts.He didn't eat the rest of that day and the next morning I decided enough and called the ped. They gave me an appt for an hour later with a Dr I’d never seen. She watched him eat and then take a bottle of breast milk, (he wouldn’t, just screamed) and then gave me a can of alimentum(hypoallergenic formula) and watched him eat that. The difference was astounding. He immediately gulped it down. She listened and gave me a list of foods to cut from my diet. She advised me to take him off the breast completely for 6 days (while pumping every 2 hours to maintain supply) and then try nursing for a day followed by an appt with her the day after that. The ped essentially said that the foods I was eating (even though I had cut a few) were causing reflux and extreme bowel pain (she also prescribed prevacid) because of the pain he didn’t want to nurse which is why my supply had dwindled so low. She said her main goal by giving him formula was to take away the pain, clear his system and get him back on the breast as soon as possible. I am now not eating: dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, peanuts, peanut butter, pineapple, strawberries, citrus, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, peppers, broccoli, beans, tomatoes, fish, chocolate, and only drinking water.After ALOT of work with pumping I eventually got him off of formula completely after 2 weeks on it and he is now breast fed still and he is 5 1/2 months old.
The screaming never stopped so he has undergone a few tests to rule out anything serious. Through an ultrasound and upper GI they found he has extreme reflux( much worse than the average baby with it) and the opening from his somach to intestines is small which is why he doesn't poop very often. They said his system is very immature and they hope he'll grow out of it. The specialist has him on meds which ease his pain considerably but he is no where near "normal". He cries through every feeding and within the last month will not sleep more than an hour at night and 20 minutes during the day( he wakes up and cries and I eventually get him back to sleep. He is extremely sleep deprived and screams himself to sleep in my arms. None of the usual tricks work. I rock, walk, sling, drive, sing, swing, cosleep...all to no avail.After screaming to sleep he goes into a swing or stays in bed with me but always sleeps on an incline for the reflux. He has never nursed to sleep and it has gotten so bad that he won't nurse longer than 1-2 min before pulling off and crying.
The Dr's can't help me anymore than they have. I have seen 5 LC's and they all say keep at it. The GI specialist says that he's found a way t nurse that "works for him" and that I need to relax and just let him do it his way, which is all he knows. But, I am tired. I have a 2 year old and I'm a military wife and alone with the kids while my husband is gone at training right now. None of us are sleeping. I never let him cry alone, but I'm close to my max. He wakes up my daughter so she's exhausted too. I've done so much research about crying and I know how detrimental it can be to a babies brain development and psychologically. I’m wondering if breastfeeding is really worth it, or if I should switch him to neocate and call it a day. I've done my best and it doesn't seem to be enough. I guess I’m looking for advice and encouragement and maybe someone who has been through something similar? Thanks for listening.