Regular readers of my blog will know that we have really struggled with LL and silent reflux. When I last blogged about it, I wrote that we were going to give weaning a try and see if that would settle her symptoms and pain. You can read all about that here and read how I felt belittled and questioning myself when I saw the GP before Christmas.
Fast forward to a week ago, and after a horrendous weekend of no sleep and LL being unsettled, I decided enough was enough. Even though I'd read weaning could help symptoms, I really didn't feel like I could cope with the silent reflux any longer. It wasn't fair on LL nor on us. Feeling constantly tired is so draining, and I just thought we shouldn't have to cope with this. At 6 months, we shouldn't still be up eight times a night with a crying baby in pain.
I rang the GP surgery early in the morning and got an appointment that same morning. I'd been awake most of the night with LL and I'd gone over in my head what I wanted to say, and what I wanted from the GP. After my previous failed appointment I wanted to be more prepared this time.
I attended the appointment and I must have talked for about 5 minutes without drawing breath. I told the GP that I'd been sent away before Christmas, but LL was still suffering and things were no better. I told him of her symptoms, the crying, the pain, the back arching, never sleeping for more than 2-3 hours, the constant drooling, the reflux that I could see her swallowing back. I told him I could cope with alot, but I felt that this was it now. We needed treatment.
After listening to me, the GP began to try and reassure me this was all normal. The pain is probably linked to teething he said. Teething!!!! I argued that she couldn't be teething since birth and that I wouldn't have booked to see a GP for teething. I said I wasn't happy.
More discussion followed about how he thought this was normal, and I argued my point that being up 8 times a night with a 6 month old is not normal at all. I then told him my profession, and I said as a professional and a mum, that this is not normal. Eventually he asked what it is I would like to do, and I suggested a trial of ranitidine. He reluctantly agreed and told me I'd need to return in 3 weeks.
As I walked out the surgery, even though I had got the medication I wanted to try LL on, I wasn't happy. Yet again I had been made to feel like it was me. I felt I was being undermined. I am well aware that medication is not always the best thing, and I know that sometimes things are 'normal', but for 6 months now I have struggled. LL has struggled.
Was it me? Is it me who is struggling? Is this normal? Luckily my husband is amazing, and he supported me 100%. He has seen how LL is. He's heard me get up in the night dozens of time to settle her when she is crying.
It's so strange, because in my profession I wouldn't have thought twice of arguing my point or standing up for what I believe in. But sitting there as a mum and asking for help felt very different. I was nervous, unsure of myself and although I managed to convey my concerns, I still left feeling that maybe I should just get on with it.
I hated bringing my job into it, but I felt I had no choice. I felt I wasn't being listened to. But really, my job has nothing to do with it whatsoever. I sat there as a mum. I sat there as a mum just trying to get support for her baby. A mum who knows her baby better than anyone else can.
And so here we are. We are now trialling ranitidine twice a day. I really hope it works. I really want it to. I want LL to not be in pain and I want to feel awake and not like a zombie. I want to stop worrying about what type of night we are going to have. I want to stop Googling the effects of silent reflux and stop lurking about in reflux message forums. I just want this reflux under control. Enough is enough.