Friday, July 13, 2012

Tummy Trouble?

Of course the day I blog about how I was worried that my baby was sleeping so well, she decides that she has had enough of that nonsense.

I honestly don't know what was going on with her last night, but it had all of us worried (including my mom).

Normally, our nighttime routine is easy.  Caroline is an enthusiastic and efficient nurser, finishes nursing with that happy, milk-drunk face, belches loudly, squawks for a minute when she gets her diaper changed, and then passes out and gets put to bed.  This has been her routine literally since the day she was born.

Last night, after eating around midnight, she never settled down.  She ate longer than usual, but when she quit eating, she started screaming (that had never happened before).  She didn't burp for me, and her fussing wasn't typical crying but was the full-out screaming where her mouth was wide open and her tongue was pulled up.  Sure, she's done her share of crying, but we had never seen her like that.

We finally got her to settle down, but even when she went back to bed she wasn't fully relaxed.  She was making grunts and groans and doing lots of moving from midnight until 4am.  She wasn't sleeping well, and neither were we.  At 4, I got up and fed her again,.  She seemed to want to eat, but she never relaxed.  And when she was finished, she did the same freak out thing, screaming when I tried to burp her.  It really seemed to me that she was in pain, although I had no idea WHY.  She would only settle down if I held her upright against my chest and even then she was tense.  Anytime I would shift in the recliner, or try to change her position, or if she started to fall asleep and then her position changed, she would cry.  Not a wimpy cry, but a seriously LOUD screaming cry.

So I held her in the recliner (trying not to move) until about 6am, when I thought she was settled enough to lie back down.  Nope.  She started screaming again.  By this time, my mom was up and she took her and tried to walk around with her, but she was having none of it.  There was nothing we could do to chill her out.

I was starting to get seriously worried.  I couldn't stand to listen to her scream, or to listen to her whimpering when she wasn't screaming.  She'd barely slept all night and she was definitely not acting like herself.  My mom took her temperature under her arm and it was 99.5.  Her head felt warm to my touch, and her little body was still so tense.  I took her back from my mom and tried to rock her in the recliner and get her settled down.  She was crying so hard that it made me start crying.  It really seemed to me that she was hurting and I didn't know how to fix it.  In desperation, I tried to giver her a pacifier, but she was having none of it.

She finally dozed off for a little bit, but after eating again around 9am, she did the same thing and we decided it was time to call the pediatrician.  I don't know if two weeks is really long enough for babies to have a pattern, and I know that things change as they grow, but she was just acting so unlike herself.  I was scared.  David made the appointment and they got us in right away.

I hated the thought of putting her in the carseat since she was crying so much whenever we moved her, but we got her strapped in and she actually settled down when the car started moving.  She was still whimpering and groaning a little bit (sooooo pitiful--it broke my heart).

We got to the doctor's office by 11am and David checked in while I got her out of her car seat to hold her in the waiting room.  I was anxious and I'd been up since 4am and I hadn't showered and I was so worried that she was going to have a fever or an infection or we were going to discover a serious health issue.

And, for the first time in TWELVE HOURS, she snuggled up against me, relaxed, and fell fast asleep.

Are you FREAKING kidding me?

By the time we went back to actually see the doctor and get checked out, she was so peaceful that when I laid her on the bench to undress her, she sprawled out on her back and only woke up when I pulled her onesie over her head.

Her temperature was down to normal.

She woke up for the exam and sat, perfectly content on David's lap as the doctor moved the stethoscope over her chest and tummy.  He checked her ears, listened to her heart and lungs, and found nothing wrong.  And she had magically morphed back into happy baby.

CLEARLY she is trying to make me insane.  Or at least make me appear that way to our pediatrician.

Fortunately, our doctor was supremely nice and understanding about everything.  He compared it to taking your car to the mechanic--once you're there, it quits making that weird noise.  He said that he was sorry he didn't have an answer for us, but was glad that whatever had happened was no longer happening.  His best guess was that she really needed to poop, as we mentioned that she'd had two small dirty diapers overnight and then a huge poop around 10:30am.  Of course, it's weird that a breastfed baby would have that kind of issue, but it did seem like she had a tummy ache.  And then it cleared up...

We left the doctor's office feeling a little foolish, but mostly relieved.  I guess if we'd waited it out, she would have been fine, but I was not going into the weekend without knowing that she was okay.  I had NEVER heard her scream like that before!

She's been back to her usual happy self ever since the doctor's office.

So instead of declaring myself crazy, I'm just going to hope that she's cured.  We'd all like to get a little more sleep tonight.


  1. Well, at least you made it to the pedi and not the ER like we did. That was a fun $250 for NOTHING. (I am glad it was nothing, but sheesh, I could have bought a nice stroller for that kind of money.)

    It might have been gas too, Luke had issues with that early on. The Little Tummies gas drops were a godsend for us!

    I hope tonight goes much more smoothly!

  2. Lesson number one with babies: never speak of it when they sleep well, or do anything well for that matter, as you can be assured that by sun down on the next day, they won't be doing it anymore! Fallen victim to this many a time!
    Angus screamed for what seemed like 24 hours a day for almost 12 weeks, so this all sounded normal to me, though I can imagine how scary it would be if it was totally out of the ordinary. And I know the *first* time around, you stress over Every. Little. Thing. In a way with Angus, I still do as this is still the first time I've cared for a toddler so I'm still second guessing everything and wondering if it is normal for his age.
    I hope today/tonight is better for you. But hang on for the ride, as there will be plenty of ups and downs as you all get to know each other.
    Nothing stays the same for long with these little ones and they do their best to keep us guessing feeling like absolute basket cases!
    Love to you all.

  3. I think the biggest lesson that learned over the first 3 months of Kai's life is that saying about it being a babies 4th trimester... Just outside the womb. They are getting used to being a human in the air and all their parts working. I think a baby getting used to gass and pooping and eating and gas and pooping. Well it's a lot of work and it can be uncomfortable. I remember Kai being uncomfortable about pooping as a strictly breast fed baby. They can't burp themselves, their new parts have to be broken in. Kai had a lot of gas. So much crying and fussing. It was so hard to feel helpless. Tears from baby and mana alike. I'm glad she is okay.

  4. oy, so sorry you had to go through this. Believe me, it is all very familiar. Their temp always goes up when they scream (crying is vigorous exercise, after all.) Not sure if you want any assvice (this is all a trial and error thing!), but there's lots that you can try if it happens again (and I hope it never does!)
    For one thing, you can try giving her some mylicon -- this will help break the gas into smaller bubbles so that she can either burp them or pass them more easily. (it's perfectly safe, as it's not absorbed by their system.) You can also try to soothe her by offering the empty boob. (You don't want her getting too much milk when her tummy is already too distended. But by offering you will also be giving her more fat-rich hindmilk. It's often the case that too much gas is produced when they get too much lactose-rich foremilk, which they cannot digest very well.) And it never hurts to start them on probiotics. After 5 months of what you just went through, I decided that my second baby would be getting probiotics since day 1. (I use biogaia probiotic drops, which you can get online.) Her colic is definitely more mild.
    Finally, you can also make a note of what you have eaten. It's often the case that some foods can make breastfed babies more gassy or uncomfortable.
    But like I said, I hope this is a very rare occasion and you never get to helplessly watch your little one scream like that again...

  5. Here I am at 7:30am on a Saturday, reading your post and thinking wow I had that night last night. My couch cushions are drying out right after a major spit up incident. He seems better now. Now I realize it was all just an upset tummy. When your baby hurts, you hurt. With my other children often it was just gas but I always worried that it could be more. Good that your doctor is understanding. Keep an eye on your diet if it happens more, often it is Momma food related for EBF babies. I kept track of what I ate with my second son after a few weeks of bad colic and discovered it was milk related. I cut out dairy products for a few weeks and slowly worked them back into my diet giving him time to adjust as I increased my intake. It worked wonders.

  6. Aside from the fever, this sounds a lot like Dot's first experience with gas. It's not easy being a tiny baby with a developing digestive system and having your first encounters with pain. N & I emerged from that night looking like traumatized zombie. I still grimace when thinking about it.

    I'm glad your doctor is so good about this. Because you should feel comfortable taking her in if you get worried.

    Hope you get some hoot rest tonight, all of you.

  7. I'm learning not to blog about sleep. Because the night after he slept those lovely 8 hours straight (and 9 hours!), I was jinxed with a rough night.

    We had a rough one last night-- but for different reasons. B is a rollie pollie now and screams when he is in his crib on his belly because he's still getting this whole roll back and forth thing down. It frustrates him that he put himself in predicaments he can't get out of easily.

    Oh, and B didn't cry AT ALL (except when he was born) until 2 weeks old. I vividly remember my mom passing him off to me to go down for the night and he SCREAMED like I'd never heard before. It was definitely an inner cry. And it hasn't stopped since. ;)

    Parenthood may just kill us all. I'm convinced I've shaved off a good number of years of my life thanks to Andrew and B. And the grey hairs are starting to flourish. Bah.

  8. Sorry about the scary night. Not fun!

    My baby was a perfect baby until week 3. She then had a night much like the one you guys had last night. She then had them once or twice a week and was diagnosed with reflux. Eventually the right medicine kicked in and we finally got to relax.

    Newborns change on a dime. Which is the most frustrating (and wonderful most of the time) thing.

  9. What did you eat 2 hours before she started crying? My kids could not handle chocolate-- major gas freakouts.

  10. The pooping diagnosis sounds right on. And never worry about taking a kid to the pediatrician who ends up being healthy. They are there to help you care for your child and yours sounds great!! Glad she's doing better.

  11. Did you eat broccoli any time in the last day or so? That always seemed to mess with my kiddos when I ate it. That and spicy food.

  12. I'm about to cover you in Silly String just for the words "we'd all like to get a little more sleep tonight" and "I've been up since 4 am".
    It's 3:30 am and I've been up since 1:30 am after sleeping maybe 4 hours since I was up last night since 3:30 am, and are you kidding me that she'll sleep up to 5 hours at a time?!
    I haven't had a chance to read or comment in quite awhile, just got caught up from the birth story to now (SO much to say about all that too!) but right now I'm internally cackling maniacally. I don't begrudge your concern with Caroline's change in behavior (I would've FREAKED OUt too) but I'm carnivorously envious of your schedule.
    I thought Catherine was doing pretty well 'til I read YOUR post! She's gone for a 4 hours stretch between feedings a few times, but feedings are 20 minutes minimum and as of today, a full hour because while she started spitting up a few days ago, today she decided to pull out all the stops and gush from her mouth and nose a few minutes into feeding and begin coughing/choking more with eating in general. The gushers from both facial orifices were my Freak Out for the day. What if she does that while sleeping? What if I'm asleep and don't notice and can't help her clear it?!? So if I was sleeping lightly while she slept before, well, now I'm not sleeping AT ALL because I'm too scared to not have someone watching her. Plus, she started wriggling enough tonight that twice she got her face right up against the edge of her bassinet and her co-sleeper, inviting fear of suffocation. And yes, we've tried to swaddle her (which should minimize movement) but apparently we're the worlds worst swaddles because she can wriggle her arms out in seconds, no matter how tight I think i've got it.
    So basically, Fear continues to rule our household (at the very least my psyche) and I'm so. tired. of. it. But being tired of myself isn't helping the NOT being afraid. Nor the lack of sleep.
    So I should be commenting on your post but really am apparently just purging my own junk on all of you here instead of writing about it on my own blog. Which I haven't touched since several days before she was even born. Mental/emotional blocks before she was born, poor time/energy management since her arrival (the 9 day NICU stay didn't help).
    Of course, since I've been reading your blog and writing, she's been sleeping like an angel right next to me and I could've been getting some quality Zs myself! Oh, for a crystal ball of when she needs me and when I can crash with peace of mind.

    So glad that you find the time and energy and passion for continuing to blog. Your perspective and honesty and humor are highlights in my day (along with this cutie patootie living breathing squeaking baby, of course). adore ya, lady

  13. When my oldest daughter was a couple of weeks old, she began crying uncontrollably, similar to Caroline. I called the pediatrician in tears, and took her in an unshowered, baby poop on my clothes, (pajamas perhaps), mess of a self. They said that often when they can't find the source of the cries, they check their eyes for scratches, and sure enough she had scratched her poor baby eyeball with her razor sharp fingernails. Broke this mamas heart. I hope baby girl has gotten back to her normal routine.

  14. every baby is different of course, so my story my be completely worthless. for the 1st 6-8 wks, both of my babies have had tummy issues. i don't know if there is anything really wrong with them, or if they are trying to figure out the whole using the bathroom thing.

    with Julius he would squirm and squawk and eventually poop. we never gave him anything because he seemed more uncomfortable than anything. with little girl, she freaked me out a bit because she would cry like she was in pain. i ended up buying her some gas drops and gripe water. neither of which worked, in my opinion because she stilled acted cray cray. and the gripe water made her puke.

    after about 8 weeks i think she just got the hang of using the bathroom because it just kind of went away. but even now when she is constipated, she will squirm and push and act like she did when she was teeny.

    obviously i don't know what was upsetting poor Caro. but things are changing so much in their little tummies that they are definitely bound to have some discomfort. they also recommend massaging their tummies clockwise, and bicycling their legs (if you can tell that they are having tummy problems).

    so glad she is feeling better.

  15. I couldn't eat garlic with Gray. She might just have been upset by something you ate, then got herself all hot from crying. Won't be the first time you take her in to the doctor and have that happen. Once, I brought Logan in because he literally couldn't walk. Once he got there, he was RUNNING. I was so embarrassed!