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Is there something wrong with my baby? Long sorry!

(24 Posts)
Impatientwino Tue 22-Jan-13 05:04:44

I'm really sorry this is long but I would really appreciate some opinions please? I just don't know what to do anymore and I'm so tired I can't think clearly. Sleep deprivation is making me feel physically sick and I don't really feel capable of coming to a sensible conclusion.

DS is 6 months old

History - DS appeared to have colic from pretty much when he was born - terrible meltdowns in the evening only stopping when he slept in short spells, terrible wind, green poo, dark brown smelly mucousy poo. All these led to trips to the gp - they said colic but strange that it was from birth. I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Surely colic wasn't this bad? Evenings were so traumatic.

When DS was 8 weeks old during a particularly terrible evening meltdown we found a huge lump had appeared in his scrotum. Went straight to hospital and DS had surgery for a strangulated hernia - basically his guts had come through the gap his testes had descended through in the womb which hadn't shut.

The surgeon said his intestines and bowel were inflamed and swollen and that the hernia must have been mobile travelling in and out of his scrotum undetected by us as he had his nappy on since birth which explained the meltdowns. We felt terrible even though we know it wasn't our fault - the gp couldn't have detected it either until it got stuck.

7 weeks later at the beginning of November and DS was finally getting a bit better and starting to settle then bam, gets the norovirus. After the initial virus we were then back to explosive green poo, terrible wind and pains and 2 hourly, sometimes hourly feeding.

We then hit 4 month sleep regression at the same time. Hourly, half hourly, random wakings sometimes appearing to be writhing in pain at night. This then increased. We were up to 10-15 wakings each night. Some wakings for food, some in pain, some for seemingly no reason - we would pick him up and he would go straight back off.

We then started getting blood and mucous in his poo and after hospital tests showed no further infection we sought a private paediatrician on our health insurance who said that the norovirus had really damaged his gut and this bloody mucous was the lining of his gut coming out and showing its discomfort. He also had a tear in his anus from the constant explosive poo. The green poo etc was because milk was going straight through him undigested because his gut just couldn't absorb it. He was feeding so much at this time so this made sense.

He did some allergy testing and also an ultrasound on all organs to make sure all was normal and it was.

It took until the beginning of January but his anus healed, poo went back to yellow, his feeding slowed to 3/4 hourly in the day, sleeping improved mildly with him waking every 2 hours normally for food with the odd hourly disturbance where he goes back off when reassured etc and he seems to be more calm and settled in himself generally.

Here we are now and he is still waking excessively and I am too tired to work out why.

Typical night - He goes down around 7 and will sleep until 10.30 ish then wants a feed. He will go back off until 11-12 and we will resettle, then wakes 1.30-2 wanting another feed, then go off until 4 ish if I'm lucky and then want another feed then we play the up down up down game until 6 when he will doze until 7-7.30.

When he wakes he screams, writhes, complains until he gets fed but I can't work out whether he is hungry or is feeding for comfort because he is in pain still? He is having plenty of feeds in the day, a small amount of solids (been weaning for 2 weeks) and he has a bedtime bottle of formula to give me a break. I think my supply has dropped though as i fed him on both boobs at lunch and as I've been worried about supply i offered him a bottle and he still took 140ml?

We have started some gentle sleep training with him so I would put in cot awake and sit with my hand on his tummy and ssh him

He moans for about 5/10 minutes but goes off to sleep on his own. This works when he goes down at 7 and for daytime naps but doesn't seem to help him sleep any longer.

He seems to have bad wind, is uncomfortable farting and appears to need to be comforted. He moans and writhes then a small fart will come out. We do massage before bath and it doesn't make a huge difference.

I just don't know what to do, I'm so confused and so tired and I can't work out if there is still something wrong with him or if because the writhing and moaning does stop when I feed him is he now just being a stroppy boy who is used to waking so wanting to be fed and have a cuddle?

I wonder whether because it used to hurt it now scares him or something?

Any ideas?

Huge thanks for reading and a large wine

Kittycatcat Tue 22-Jan-13 08:37:10

Hi there. So sorry you're having such a hard time. My ds2 is like that with farts. He is on gaviscon for silent reflux as a result. Does he arch his back after a feed? The wind wakes my ds up If he's on his back, as a result I co slept with him on and off for 3.5 months so he wasn't flat on his back. Try putting a rolled up blanket or towel under the head end of his mattress or tilting his cot with books. My ds still farts but he now sleeps happily on his front which isn't recommended cos of SIDSbut he's strong now. Good luck.

Hyperballad Tue 22-Jan-13 08:58:51

Oh you poor things, you and your little might have really been through it sad

My babe goes down between 10-11pm then sleeps for 11 hours but asks for a feed every 2 hours, I too can't work out whether this is only hunger or if it's comfort too. I have started co-sleeping at 5 months, he is 6 1/2 months now and since co sleeping I have had my full quota of sleep because there is no picking up/getting up, we just both keep snoozing duri g the feeds. Have you tried co-sleeping, after everything he has been through I think it could only do him and you good to be snuggled up together all night.

Also just a little thing, I would always massage after a bath not before as the warm water would loosen and relax but you can use bath as playtime and then wind down and relax after with a massage (think u need one too!)

It sounds like you are over the worst and hopefully you both have healthier calmer fun times ahead.

Do you have a HV that can come to see you?

tootiredtothinkofanickname Tue 22-Jan-13 10:32:02

Poor you, and poor DS! I am sorry he was so ill but glad he seems to be getting better.

I know I might get flamed, but as you are not sure if he is still in pain I would just try to get as much sleep as possible, by any means. 6 months is tiny and if you can, I would co-sleep for a while, cuddle him all night and offer him as much comfort as possible. Don't worry about bad habits yet, once you are a bit more rested you will think more clearly and you can sleep train in a few months if you want to. They grow out of anything, and he will be very different in a few months anyway. I know the rod for your own back brigade are dead against it, but if you co-sleep for a few months it doesn't mean you will do it when he is 5 if you don't want to, and comforting him now means he is likely to be more confident when he grows up. It will do you both a world of good to get a decent night's sleep, and he will be reassured by your cuddles, as his start in life was unfortunately traumatic.

Sammyjaye Tue 22-Jan-13 10:33:02

I'm sorry this is happening for you both.

My friend had a baby who had the same symptoms as you describe and is now on medication for reflux. Also has specific formula which I can't think of right now. Goats formula maybe??

Is this is possibility?

Impatientwino Tue 22-Jan-13 19:09:33

Bloody hell, just looked up silent reflux and top ten signs are apparently

Very unsettled feeder, often from birth,bobs on and of breast or bottle.

2Squirmy and crying out while feeding. May feed for short burst then bob of teat or breast, reluctant to return to feeding.

Feeding constantly, very little gaps between feeds.

Rapid weight gain due to constant feeding.

Lots of comments on how alert they are and what great head control your child has.

Farting more than burping as often very difficult to wind.

Prefers to sleep on you than to lie in crib, changing mat etc, screaming each time you try to lie them down.

Gurgling, rumbling sounds coming from tummy, often just as you start to feed or when you pick up in the middle of the night.

Explosive strong smelling nappies.

You child can look like they are frowning

Sneezing or hiccupping a lot!

This is my son to the letter! Thank you so much to you all for posting. I have booked another doctors appointment for tomorrow morning and am going to see what they say!

Kittycatcat Tue 22-Jan-13 19:13:07

Good luck at the docs impatientwino. Pop back and up date us if you can. I didn't know half of those symptoms and have just sat here nodding along!

monkeynuts123 Tue 22-Jan-13 21:05:24

Good you might have found the answer. I just wanted to say that sounds like you have both had a really tough time and although you are exhausted now might not be the best time for sleep training if he is in pain or unsettled. Can you cosleep safetly or find another way to get through until physical probs are sorted. I agree it sounds like he has had trauma with all this and imagine he needs mummy at night.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 22-Jan-13 21:12:24

Please don't give goats formula, I'm not even sure it's legal in this country.

You've had a really, really rough start and well done for continuing to bf. you say you think your supply has dropped. Are you wanting to continue or are you looking to move over to formula? Whichever you decide it's probably best to call one of the bfing support helplines. The BFC will be able to talk to you about increasing your supply, although nothing you have said suggests it is low, or how to move over to formula gradually.

If you do feed on both sides and eg is still hungry, it is fine to offer the first side again and just keep offering the other side until he's full. Your breasts are never empty smile

Has he been checked for tongue tie? A lot of what you describe could be tongue tie.

As for his sleep have a read of 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep and 12 alternatives for the all night nurser.

I would really, really recommend talking to a BFC and getting the tongue tie checked though. Is there a la Leche League group close to you? The leader should be able to talk to you about your options and feelings, check his tongue and might even be able to loan you this book.

Keep posting and let us know how you get on smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 22-Jan-13 21:16:07

And silent reflux can often present as silent reflux so it might be worth phoning one of the bfing helplines before you go to the GP.

LadyWidmerpool Tue 22-Jan-13 21:23:57

Have food intolerances been ruled out? Sorry you have all had such a rough time.

GentlyGentlyOhDear Tue 22-Jan-13 21:44:55

I was also going to ask if intolerances have been ruled out, as my DD had similar symptoms and has been diagosed as cow's milk intolerant. I breastfeed and have cut all dairy from my diet and the wind and green/mucousy/constipation has all gone.

NightLark Tue 22-Jan-13 21:56:06

That sounds so uncannily like DS when he was a babysad. He was slightly better without cows milk in his diet, and much better as he grew up, weaned and generally got bigger. He is now a strapping lad of nearly seven.

I asked the GP about reflux and got the slightly patronising 'yes dear, he's your first, isn't he?' response that implied all mothers of PFBs do this. So be prepared for a struggle to be taken seriously.

Poor you, the sleep deprivation, the inconsolable baby, it is very very hard.

Impatientwino Wed 23-Jan-13 03:34:15

Thanks all - we had some allergy testing done for cows milk protein, wheat and egg and all came up clear and before that I tried a dairy exclusion which made no difference.

JJJ - I asked midwife when he was born about a tongue/lip tie as his bottom lip is quite tight and his latch is quite shallow - she said that he has a very very mild tie but it wasn't enough to get snipped especially if it wasn't affecting his latch and feeding wasn't sore for me at all? I have been trying to get him to poke his tongue out by sticking mine out and getting him to copy and it comes out a bit but not a lot? I guess I'm not sure what I'm looking at really and because my midwife was great in other aspects I just took her word for it? hmm

Now we've hit 6 months I suppose I was hoping to mix feed so i can leave him with my parents/in laws while i sleep but because his 2 hourly feeding has suddenly stopped I thought my supply must have dipped too. I never thought to re offer first again! Will give that a go thank you! He still feeds 3 times overnight so that must help lol grin

I think I'll call LLL or post on the feeding boards as in the early days the BFC near me gave me some advice that conflicted with mumsnet advice and I trust you ladies much more!

Just to clarify re the sleep training - we don't leave him to cry or anything I just need him to learn how to put himself to sleep as I've always fed him to sleep or cuddled him. At the initial going down if he settles himself with me sitting next to him he will sleep a solid chunk 7-10.30 or 11ish which must be so much better for his development rather than when tonight when I cuddled him and he has woken at 8, 8.50, 9.30, 11 etc

Am keeping him upright for 30 mins after his feeds tonight (well, this morning now!) as I usual try to feed him quickly and get him back down so it's nice having a longer cuddle grin
Re co sleeping - we often do this for the second half of the night but he isn't actually any more settled when we do. I had hoped he would sleep longer in with me but no such luck!

He's been so poorly and I just feel so lucky to have him and just feel so sad that his little life has been full of pain so far hmm

He is such a happy smiley baby in the day which why I think we find the nights such a challenge

I just feel terrible that the symptoms have this have been so masked by everything else that has been going on with him that we are only just realising now hmm

tuckingfits Wed 23-Jan-13 03:38:13

I agree with investigating the possibility of cows milk intolerance/allergy. You have pretty much described my DS's struggles. I bf'd,cut out lactose when he was about 5months old,made some improvement to his demeanour/comfort levels during the day. But he continued with the horrendous nights of waking screaming & arching his back,writhing etc for a couple of hours at a time until he would do a series of farts starting small & ending with an enormous ripper after which he could settle back to sleep.

His sleep improved from about 16 months,following the no- cry sleep solution book by Elizabeth pantley (buy it,it's fantastic - I wish I had bought it sooner). At 20 months I insisted we see a different dietician (had seen paediatrician & a dietician who said there was something not right but she couldn't work out what it was!!!). New dietician was more thorough in her approach,read the food diary I had kept for him & agreed with my suggestion of cutting out milk and/or gluten. I had always discounted a milk allergy because he didn't have green frothy poo which was the main symptom listed wherever I looked for advice.

I cut out dairy from his diet 2 months ago & he is happier than ever. It's not as daunting as it initially seems (although I can't get any replacement cheese etc into him) as supermarkets have fairly extensive free from ranges now. His poo is normal for his age now (formed but soft instead of a horrible explosive mess). I'm seriously considering cutting gluten now too to see if that helps with his eczema.

He will be two years old next week & it horrifies me to think back to the grinding days weeks & months that he & I had to suffer because nobody recognised what was wrong in spite of the fact that he matches 9 out of 13 symptoms listed on a fact sheet recently sent to me by the new dietician.

I will type the list for you tomorrow to see if you recognise it in your son. My sympathies to you all,it's horrible & I feel dreadful that my boy suffered as long as he did. As you are breastfeeding,you'd need to be dairy free to see if it has an impact on your DS. I stopped breastfeeding at about 9 months,and he went onto formula,he is now having a cocktail of alpro soya milk & Kara coconut milk as he doesn't like either alone. At bedtime he has 9oz of SMa wy-soy milk,he probably doesn't need formula but I feel better knowing that it is fortified with vitamins etc to make up for anything he may lack in his day to day diet - never been interested in food (understandable looking back) and while he is much better now,I still feel better knowing that he has that failsafe to ensure he is getting what he needs.

One last point,you can get soya formula on prescription which is good as it is a bit more expensive than regular formula. I hope this helps & I haven't just burbled on about my son too much! I can only explain it from my point of view & think that had I known about mumsnet earlier I would have got to the bottom of it sooner.

tuckingfits Wed 23-Jan-13 03:40:18

Oh,cross-posted! Sorry!!

matana Wed 23-Jan-13 09:33:29

Oh OP, i really feel for you and your LO, you've had such an awful time. And i'm annoyed that you have not received more support - such a lot for both you and your DS to go through! I hope you've now found the cause and can get some help. My DS was very refluxy, sick after every feed, and in the first 12 weeks was in a lot of discomfort at night so we co-slept. We didn't have it anywhere near as bad as you though. But DS did improve hugely when he went onto solids.

I know you said you'd tried co-sleeping, but i wondered if you had tried it chest to chest? That was the only position DS was comfortable in when he was little but as i was reluctant to lie him on his tummy in his moses basket i felt happier having him on my chest instead. I must say, it helped enormously with the sleep deprivation until he was able to sleep comfortably alone.

Good luck.

tootiredtothinkofanickname Wed 23-Jan-13 11:37:29

It’s shameful you didn’t get more support OP, and hope the MN breastfeeding board will be able to help. You both had such a difficult start and I remember well the exhaustion from DS’s first year – and DS had no health problems, so I can only imagine how much worse it is for you! But I just wanted to reassure you that you will get more sleep soon, and although it feels like ages now it will come sooner than you think. I also think that independent sleep is good, but your baby will be different in a few months’ time and you might have more success with helping him learn to self-settle then. At the moment the number one priority is to get a bit more sleep, no matter what. You sound like such a lovely mum, and I hope things improve for both of you soon and you find a sympathetic GP.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 23-Jan-13 12:21:36

Sadly tt can be so easily missed. I would seriously recommend getting it checked again, know you trust your mw but it can be so easy to miss.

Kittycatcat Wed 23-Jan-13 13:12:32

Ditto that. The peads in hosp missed it. My discharging mw only noticed ds2s tt because he was screaming in his crib or I'd have been one the wiser. A few weeks after it was fixed he settled into 3 hour feeding as opposed to the two!

Impatientwino Fri 25-Jan-13 03:51:32

Hi sorry not to have updated before but been up half hourly the last two nights so been too exhausted.

I go to a mum and baby yoga group on a Thursday and the teacher is lovely and could tell i was a bit wobbly so used my son as her 'dummy' today instead if her usual doll so I got some time to myself to just do some stretches and lie on the mat with my eyes shut - was heaven!

We went to the docs and as you predicted he was skeptical about silent reflux but when I cried and stamped my feet he agreed a 4 week (!?) trial of infant gaviscon was a good idea. Day 2 and he is already constipated so we will see how we go - I made some pear and prune compote to go with his porridge this morning and that seemed to produce a poonami of epic proportions!

The nearest LLL to me is over an hour away but have contacted someone locally here to see if they know a tie specialist.

JJJ do I remember correctly you have details of someone in London? That is closest for us really

Again, thanks all for your posts, I really am grateful for the support x

madwomanintheattic Fri 25-Jan-13 05:18:15

dd2 trialled infant gaviscon, too. It can be great. It wasn't enough of a benefit for dd2 to bother with the enormous faff of it, but I do know kids where it has been brilliant. That and a combination of raised cot end, and keeping upright for thirty minutes after feeding.

We knew that dd2 reflux was tied into her issues with muscle tone though, so it was never going to be a 100% cure. Deffo worth a lengthy trial, though. You not only have to get the body used to it, and for the reflux to be contained, but also trial it long enough for the psychosomatic behaviors of feeding/ reflux to subside - ie until the baby 'forgets' that it used to hurt, and so stops the automatic discomfort/ pain response.

There are other reflux meds if it doesn't work, but usually weaning has the biggest effect. Dd2 was much happier on solids, but because of her other issues we had a terrible trial weaning and she screamed for most of her first year. Ds1's two hourly feeding screaming cycle stopped at 10 mos when I stopped bf. I actually think he grew out of whatever it was much earlier.... <sigh>

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Fri 25-Jan-13 05:41:46

Also worth double checking the lip tie. I used photos on the Internet to confirms ds had one. It caused no end of problems and we even went down the gaviscon route thinking it was that. I only found out just as I was weaning off bf at 9 months. I think those 9 months would have so much happier if I'd known it was this and it was causing problems .

Iggly Fri 25-Jan-13 07:05:10

I would ask for ranitidine not gaviscon. Given his bowel history why on earth would they risk constipation?

How long did you exclude dairy and did you exclude soya too? As very similar proteins.

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