Del and Co. have had a hard few days.

It seems that Del hates burping. Definition of “hates”: grimaces, arches back, wriggles uncomfortably, cries in distress, coughs and occasionally manages to get spit up to come out his nose, along with producing burps that, once out, provide instant but short-lived relief. It isn’t pretty. Such traumatic burp sessions following a perfectly nice nursing interrupt the usual cycle of nursing to sleep – meaning once Del has managed to dislodge the offending gas, he’s wide awake and in need of comfort. These gassy sessions correspond with his evening cluster nursing anyway, so he’s eating more frequently. And he’s having a growth spurt, we think. A perfect storm of distress. A trifecta of tears.

And after about three cycles of this, mommy cries too. I nursed Del last night till my nipples were raw. I don’t know how he was still getting any food out of there – and maybe he wasn’t and that’s how he finally calmed down. But all in all we spent about four hours straight, Zach and I swapping who would burp him, who would change the diaper, and who held him while the other tried to eat some dinner. (Oh yeah, I also have lost all ability to cook a decent meal in which all parts are done at the same time and nothing is burned and/or undercooked.) Every nap attempt was thwarted by a poopy diaper or onset of gassiness. Every nursing interrupted by painful gas that often caused him to cry harder and louder than he ever has in his nearly 21 days of infant life. And yes, I cried too… around 11 pm when Zach had gone to take a quick bath and I had tried to make The Wonder Years play on Netflix and it got stalled at 99% buffered and I had a sad, sad, screaming baby on my shoulder and couldn’t manage to put my boob back into my bra or keep a burp cloth under Del’s mouth… somewhere about the time he coughed some spit up out of his nose and I got so sorry for him and his pain… I sobbed right along with him. With Fred Savage’s prepubescent face grinning down at me as my baby and I blubbered together in the rocking chair. It was a pitiful sight.

My sleepy husband must have wished he could get back in the tub when he came out and saw us. I imagine we looked terrible.

All’s well that ends well, though. Del finally calmed around midnight, nursing with me in bed, and slept beside me for an hour or so before I moved him to his cozy little Nap Nanny, and tucked his hand-knit blanket around him. He slept peacefully. Mom and Dad slept peacefully. And Del seems happier and more comfortable today – maybe he is just a morning person.


7 responses to “Tears

  • Caitlin

    Sorry about the misery. No fun for anyone. You may want to talk with your ped about reflux. Sounds a lot like what we went through with Teddy. He ended up taking meds for it and became a much happier guy.

  • kristi

    oh man, if he’s a morning person you guys are in trouble…

  • DragonKat

    My friend Robin (mom of three and grandmother to one) sent me this note via Facebook and gave me permission to post here as a comment:

    “Katie, I read your blog today and can relate. All three of my little ones have had this issue. The grandson has had it as well.

    We have a method of burping that works almost instantly–or at least quickly enough to lessen the drama. Sit Del in your lap and lean him over your left hand with a burp cloth. With your thumb and forefinger, stroke Del’s sides gently from the bottom up. You’ll almost feel the air bubble move from his belly upward. He’ll likely reward you with a musical note and leftovers. Of course, this just works while he lis lss than 3 months and small enough for your hand to reach both sides. [:-)] Hope this helps!”

  • Stan

    DO NOT nurse endlessly. When the breast is empty Del gets lots of air from sucking. This air means more gas and a more difficult burping session as well as unnecessary discomfort for you.The breast requires two to three hours to “refill” and the prolonged nursing helps neither of you. No sugar water unless you are using glucose rather than sucrose. Sucrose is hard for babies to digest–lack of enzymes yet–and causes more gas and yet more discomfort. Try 1/2 oz of flat(no fizz left at all) 7-up at the end of nursing. The remaing liquid as a mild bicarbonated syrup that sooths muscle cramps in the stomach and small intestine bringing some measure of relief.

    • DragonKat

      Thanks Dad!

      We will get the 7-Up today. He did a lot better yesterday – Robin’s suggestion for burping helped some, and we used a paci to suck on rather than me for part of the time, so that when he did nurse there was milk. He can’t keep a paci in his mouth without help, which is fine with me because I don’t want him to use one habitually anyway. And again, once he calmed down around midnight, he slept well, and ate on his usual schedule of every 3 hrs or so.

  • Stan

    Hang in there, all three. It is really worth it all.

    • DragonKat

      Of course it is! And we’re doing fine – just admitting the hard days are hard days. Anyway, I was starting to feel guilty about how easy we were having it. 😉

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