a letter to my nemesis

Dear Reflux,

I hate you.

The first time we met was 6 years ago.  You snuck up on me one night. The new baby had been happy for days, but then the screaming started. It lasted for hours that night and then it disappeared for weeks. It would come back again every so often, those long unpredictable hours of inconsolable screaming. The funnest episode was when we were camping in a pop up camper. Everyone could hear the screams long into the night. Unaware of who you were, I avoided every food imaginable in an attempt to pinpoint what was hurting my baby’s tummy. Nothing worked. Finally,and by finally I mean when the poor boy was 6 months old, we went to the doctor and discovered YOU. You had ridden in on the coattails of a hiatal hernia.

Then we met again two years later. You covered me in baby puke. Every day. All day. LOTS OF IT. I tried and tried to “figure out” how to fix my dear baby who couldn’t sleep, couldn’t poop and couldn’t keep anything in his little tummy. Once again avoiding every food known to man and once again failing. I finally gave up nursing and put him on meds. I grew a very large left bicep that year from NEVER PUTTING THE KID DOWN. EVER. And thanks to you, that same kid still sneaks into my bed every night and insists on sleeping with me….even though he is almost four years old.

I thought I could avoid you with this one. I thought I had given you enough of my time and enough of my kids. The first two weeks with Emily were wonderful. But then again she was fussy at night. And she didn’t sleep well. And there was lots of gas. It made me wonder…could she have…?? Nope, don’t even go there. It has to be normal fussiness that all baby’s go through.

Then four weeks hit. I was standing in the doctors office with a waiting room full of people. They were staring at me holding a baby I couldn’t console. And because I was suffering from severe sleep deprivation and frustration, I couldn’t hold it in any longer – the tears came. For all to see. How embarrassing. What kind of mother can’t even comfort her own child? This one. Talk about feeling broken.

DSC_6194copy(just look at my sweet baby trying to enjoy her first ever Christmas present … yup, you even stole her Christmas.)

The doctor said it could be you since you’ve been in our family before. I think I was in denial. I just couldn’t believe you could be allowed to torture another one of my babies. You kept me in denial for eleven weeks. You should be proud. My mind kept searching for other answers. Especially since you weren’t acting the way you had in the past.

Fast forward through seven weeks of multiple doctor appointments, a medication that I only tried for a few days, countless chiropractor visits, three bottles of probiotics, and the list goes on. I was cutting out every food known to man. All at once this time. I was only eating chicken, rice and carrots and I was still hurting her stomach. I concluded that I had poisonous milk.  (At this point I think you were laughing at me.) You made me give up nursing, and I was battling guilt and disappointment.

When I was at the end of my rope one day I remembered the doctor mentioning silent reflux. Epiphany moment…silent = sneaky…and that describes you perfectly. So I googled you. Do you feel exposed? Because I read up on you. I know all about you now. How you crept in silently and stole my baby. You didn’t even make her puke, you clever dog. You knew I’d be on to you if she so much as spit. Nope, instead you riddled her tummy with gas, gagged her, made her nose stuffy, gave her asthmatic breathing, woke her up from her naps and made her cry constantly. Things I would never expect were from YOU.

An upper GI test confirmed it – you’re in there, reeking havoc.

I got a prophetic word from my neighbor today while shoveling my driveway. My neighbor doesn’t even know me. Doesn’t know what’s going on in my life. He said that God says to hold on even though things are rough right now. To be strong. To focus. That his purpose for me is still the same and he will help me through.

It seems, dear reflux, that even though each time we’ve met you were  trying to destroy, God has used you to teach me more about Him. And now I’m thanking Jesus for HIS HOPE. That I can have peace IN SPITE OF YOU. That you do not get to win, or take over. Whether that means I fight you with medication or with castor oil rubs, or if it means I accept you and I hold this baby all day every day. Either way, you can’t win.

So I guess I should say thanks.


Emily’s mom

“And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28


And by the way, I never want to meet you again.


8 thoughts on “a letter to my nemesis

  1. Oh, Amy, we’ve talked about this…when it was Noah. Hang in there, sweetheart. You know that even though this lasts, it’s not a lifetime. And crabby babies are God’s way to show mothers how tough we really are…always…despite what those beautiful little creatures (and their reflux – with upchucks – or not) throw our way. Because, just around the corner, we need the toughness for those teenage years! 🙂

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