I don't feel like I'm being dramatic. Our 2nd son is one month and two days old. He has been what we'd call "a little fussy" since his 7th day on this Earth. He's an easy baby really, but occasionally he gets bouts of what I now know is GERD. It took me until this very evening to figure it out.
You see, in the first weeks while my husband was off work and we considered our little guy "brand new" we took turns being up with him, though I still needed to be up every two hours to feed him, I could feed and then bed down again if hubby helped out. After a while we started to transition so that when he went back to work I'd be used to the schedule. I sometimes felt as if I could fall asleep standing. I sometimes did fall asleep sitting up, often holding out boy.
I am afraid of all the things most mothers are: SIDS, milk supply issues, sibling jealousy and regression... The one thing I wasn't afraid of was a house fire. Especially since we moved from our tinderbox 1930s farmhouse with shoddy wiring and a malfunctioning wood furnace into a nice, 1980s rambler with electric heat. I felt safe at least in the soundness of our home and its' infrastructure, comparatively anyway.
I'm always telling my son not to let his things touch the baseboards. How much is a three year old going to pay attention to this intangible threat though? I am constantly moving things away from heaters. On this night, I laid down my poor, hurting baby after a long conversation with my Le Leche League leader on Facebook, having discovered reflux and more specifically GERD was likely the problem we were having. I was thinking it was a milk intolerance issue, and I struggle with limiting dairy. I'm addicted. Beer and cigarettes? No problem. I don't even think about it. I haven't smoked since college (years) and I do like a good craft beer, but I don't miss it. Milk and cheese on the other hand? Those are staples. Coming off of 39 weeks and 3 days of Gestational Diabetes and I've been a milk guzzling machine! So, finding out that I could help my baby and still drink milk? It was a total epiphany and I was excited to venture out to Walgreens and get some probiotics the next morning.
Consistent to how things have been when he has an "episode," my little guy woke up just minutes after I put him down and climbed into my own bed. I hadn't even nestled in to the covers to drift off yet. Feelings of resentment no longer cropped up at all, knowing that I'd solve this problem and feeling only empathy for my kiddo - since I also had extreme heartburn issues during both of my pregnancies too. It's not fun. I can only imagine gagging up sour milk is 100 times worse than heartburn alone.
I picked up my poor suffering boy and walked down the hall to our family room. Immediately my crazy mom nose smelled something "off." Like burning something. Actually more like hot, ready to burn something. I snooped around. The smell was actually coming about 25 feet from where the real problem lay. Our humidifier was blowing the smell into another area near our foyer. In the family room, a pillow lay smouldering on top of the baseboard. Now I don't know that we'd actually have had a fire, but on this night, I thank our month old baby for keeping me awake. For his time in my womb that made my nose ultra-sensitive as a result of all the bodily changes we go through during pregnancy.
We didn't have a fire. Maybe that pillow would never have gotten hot enough to start on fire. Maybe it would have. I am glad that I'll never know. Thank you little one, you are truly an angel.