Alison has clients all over the world and we had this wonderful message all the way from Perth, Australia.
I am writing to you all the way from Perth, Western Australia.
Call it fate or divine intervention, but I somehow stumbled across your "from screaming to serenity" post on Facebook last week. I too have a little girl exactly like the one you talked about. I quickly private messaged you on Facebook, but also downloaded your eBook and read it within hours.
For the last 15 weeks I have been the most miserable, anxious, stressed and sleep deprived first time mum who has sadly not had the opportunity to enjoy motherhood one bit. My little girl has suffered from what I now call "the devil" - silent reflux, for past 12 weeks of her life.
After spending thousands of dollars on paediatricians, gastroenterologists, radiology procedures, blood tests, formulas, medications, special bottles etc. all it took was $13.99 - the price of your book to change mine and Alara's (my little one) life.
At 3 weeks of age I knew something wasn't right. Alara was never content during or after feeding. She would squirm, cry, arch her back and be so unsettled most of the time. This continued for another 3 weeks until I took the liberty to do my own research, educate myself about silent reflux and take her to the paediatrician. Feeding was the most horrendous, painful and anxious and tearful experience for both of us. Clearly not the best experience for a new mum who thought feeding was a meant to be a loving bonding opportunity between mother and child. She was prescribed losec (liquid suspension) and I was sent on my merry way with the perception of an over anxious first time mum.
Come week 7, she ended up in hospital refusing to feed, dehydrated and in terrible pain. With an increase in losec and a change to a lactose free formula (let's give that a whirl the specialists thought) she was settled in the eyes of the doctors and we were sent home after 4 days. At the time though, she was battling to take a 60ml feed....but that's normal...as I was told by the paediatrician...keep giving her small amounts often, as long as she gets enough over 24hrs she will be fine!
To cut a long story short, after seeing a paediatric gastroenterologist and having tests done, she was diagnosed as CMPI and changed to Neocate. Upon the follow up with the specialist I still wasn't convinced she had improved, she was still miserable, irritable, not interested in feeding, cried during and after feeds and her sleeping was terrible. She continued to display the same reflux behaviours - arching of the back, twisting and turning her body, crying after feeds etc. So naturally as a mum, I think she is still in pain, still not medicated properly and suffering...so I hold, rock, comfort in any way I can.
After reading your book, particularly the reflux section, I have learnt more about reflux babies and their behaviours than any doctor, paediatrician, gastroenterologist or reflux website could teach me.
Alara was simply an over tired and as you call them a 'wired' reflux baby.
Her way of dealing with this was to continue to display her learned reflux behaviours! I would never have known this had I not read your book. And it is this fact that I am forever greatful to you for sharing your knowledge.
Since Sunday, I have implemented your 'reassurance sleep training' program with her. So far after 4 days, I have a baby who is settled, happy, sleeping and feeding so much better than she has done in the previous 14 weeks of her life. In four days, she is averaging 1.5-2 hr naps in the morning (compared to 5-20min catnaps in the past), 2hr naps in the afternoon, both of which she can mostly resettle herself when waking (maybe 1 reassurance needed here and there). At night, she is sleeping 7hrs straight, waking for one feed around 2am then going straight back to sleep till its time to wake up for her morning losec (which we now have changed to the MUPS).
I literally cannot believe in such a short time (not that I am counting my chickens just yet - don't want to jinx myself!!) the change I have seen in my gorgeous little girl. For the first time in 15 weeks, I can now say I am starting to enjoy being a mum. It brings tears to my eyes when I see her waking happy and refreshed from a decent sleep. This is all thanks to you!
I've also changed teat sizes and feeding positions as per your books advice - all of which have made huge improvements. My goal now is to increase her current intake (120-130ml) each feed to 180ml so that I can eventually drop the night feed, aswell as introduce solids to her next week!
Given previous feeding aversions and learned behaviours that feeding equals pain, hiccups and discomfort etc. do you have any suggestions for ways in which I can get her to drink more each feed? Or, will it just be a matter of time, as her sleeping improves I'm guessing her feeding will too?
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise. Your knowledge has enabled me, at the depths of near post natal depression, to see a light at the end of the dark tunnel I've been living in these past 3 months.
I have already shared this to a friend who is experiencing the same with her little 7 week old girl. She too quickly downloaded your book!
You need to send this book to every paediatrician and paediatric gastroenterologist across the world! I know I'll be sending it to my two specialists here in Perth, recommending they advise mums of all reflux babies to buy and read!