5 Dec

Poor Aurelia!  It can’t be easy to be the first born of a doctor and a (hopefully) doctor-to-be.  Too many wet diapers and we worry about malabsorption.  Too few, pyloric stenosis.  Of course, the latter has definitely been on the radar because our girl is a vomiter and we have a family history (there is a genetic predisposition).  John had surgery as an infant for pyloric stenosis, a narrowing of the opening between the stomach and the first part of the small intestine that causes projectile vomiting, dehydration, and hunger.  Her recent weight gain makes us much less concerned.  Some kids just vom a lot.

When I fixated on another possible diagnosis, I knew I was being paranoid…who is it that said a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?  Although infant reflux is common, actual gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where the baby experiences discomfort due to the reflux of stomach acid, is less common.  We’re shown videos during our peds rotation of Sandifer’s syndrome, when an infant forcibly arches her head and neck backward to lengthen the esophagus and partially relieve the discomfort of reflux.  John and I watched our darling girl perform the same maneuver accompanied by a high-pitched screech during or shortly after feeding–absolutely heart-breaking to witness.  For about five days, Aurelia was unconsolable for stretches of time (felt like forever, though they were probably only 2-5 minutes each).  One day, she was hoarse from crying, and likely from reflux as well.

We called our pediatrician first thing Monday and, while trying our best not to be annoying, paranoid, know-it-all parents, we presented Aurelia’s symptoms…and we might have politely mentioned our suspected diagnosis.  She was started on a trial of Zantac (a.k.a. Ranitidine, a histamine H2-receptor blocker that inhibits the production of stomach acid).  Two days of treatment and our sweet Aurelia is all snuggles again.  Although I had hoped Zantac would be our silver bullet, I’m amazed by the nearly immediate change it made to her disposition–or, I should say, the affect reflux had on her disposition to begin with.  Then again, considering how reflux during my 35th week of pregnancy affected my attitude toward everything (and yes, I know, just one week, I can’t complain!), I shouldn’t be surprised.

Now if only someone could come up with liquid Zantac that doesn’t have a taste that makes my daughter purse her lips deliberately as though I’m feeding her Campori or something equally disgusting.


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