On Thursday, I can't even tell you how many hours Josie screamed incessantly. Being in our arms made no difference, and at 9:30 at night I drove like a crazy woman to Whole Foods to see if they had some kind of homeopathic remedy for colic or gas or SOMETHING. They recommended gripe water, but it barely made a dent in her screaming. I finally crawled into bed with her and tucked her closely against my side and we both fell into a fitless sleep for most of the night.
In the morning I called the pediatrician, and we agreed it was time to try reflux medication, even though she wasn't having the massive amounts of spit-up that often highlights reflux. He called it into a special compounding pharmacy that could flavor the medication to taste a little less awful, and I was shocked when the pharmacy offered to bring it out to my car so that I wouldn't have to unpack both kids out of the car.
It took so long to call in the medication, and then for them to make it (because according to the pharmacist who brought it out to the car, they actually make the medication in their pharmacy, not just package it the way chain pharmacies do), that I couldn't give her a dose until last night and then again this morning. On the way home from the pharmacy she cried so hard and so long that she made herself hoarse and couldn't stop hiccuping and gasping for air. When I finally pulled her out of the car seat, she threw up all over both of us in massive amounts.
It has been tough around here. I am a bundle of nerves, because I can't put her down, even for 30 seconds without her screaming uncontrollably, and she often continues screaming even in my arms, and she is LOUD. Even though it pains me, there are some times when I have to put her down and let her scream because I have to put on a shirt, or take a shower, or pluck my eyebrows, and by the end of whatever I have to do, my hands are shaking from listening to her hysterics.
I've tried the swing, the sling, the bouncy chair, the bassinet, the moses basket, even Gabe pats her on the head and says, "no cry Josie, no cry." I feel horribly guilty because Gabe is obviously affected also. Yesterday I would put her down right next to us to change his diaper, and I couldn't even hear him talking over her cries. He doesn't seem upset by all the crying, but I feel like a terrible mother because I can't sit on the floor and play with him while I'm bouncing and jumping and dancing around in an effort to make her feel better. It is exhausting.
It's been 16 hours since we gave her the first dose of medication, and I don't know if it can start to work this quickly or if this is a fluke, but this is the least amount of crying we've had in days. She has still been fussing when we put her down, but she slept without grunting and whimpering, and she has consented to sit in a swing for 15 minutes and to be put down in her chair for an amazing 30 minute stretch. I hate hate hate putting her on any kind of medicine, because I'm always terrified of side effects or damage it might do to her sensitive system, but I also can't sit here and listen to her suffer. It's been torturous.
I'm keeping a hold on my sanity, though, mainly by reminding myself that she is healthy, she will be fine, this too will pass. Neither of my kids have a serious illness, and in the end, this is just a little blip in our lives. It feels hard while we're listening to her crying in pain, but compared to those parents whose children have serious illnesses, this is NOTHING. We can totally do this. We are totally blessed.
But still, I'm placing lots of hopes on that little bottle of vanilla flavored liquid.