Lessons from Raising a Child with Reflux
It is hard to believe but today my youngest refluxer turns 7 years old. Back in those early days it was hard to imagine making it through the next 7 days much less 7 years! We have learned a lot during these past years. Here are a few of the things we learned:
Ask for help. No one gets through this journey on the "reflux rollercoaster" alone. Whether you allow people to help you with physical, financial or emotional needs... you will need help to make it through this journey with your sanity in tact. Determine what you would be comfortable having someone help with and start delegating. This is especially true in those early days when you often have numerous people ask "Can we help with anything?" Instead of saying "No, we're fine" pull a chore off your list and let them help.
Seek out other moms who have "been there, done that". There is nothing more supportive than the ear of someone who has walked in your shoes. The theme I hear often with parents is that they don't feel like anyone really knows how hard this journey with acid reflux can be. Get hooked up with someone else who you can "talk shop" with. Whether it be in person or online at Health Central, PAGER or another acid reflux site the support you get from someone who knows what it is like is priceless.
Take some time our for yourself. If you are caring for an acid reflux baby it can be a 24/7 job. It is really important to take some time to replenish so that you can give your best to your high needs baby. Whether you take a walk, a bubble bath, time to pray or just get some much needed sleep this time is essential. If you don't have family close by it can help to get plugged in with a good church or mom's group. Give Daddy a turn with the baby as well and be sure to take care of each other in the process. Acid reflux babies can be hard on a marriage.
The most important thing we have learned is to follow your own instinct for your child. If you feel like something isn't right then discuss it with your child's doctor or even get a second opinion. I have seen throughout the years of working with the parents of very sick children that they are seldom wrong when it comes to this subject. I believe "mother's instinct [Or father's instinct]" is a gift from God. To be used when our little ones can't articulate what they are feeling.