Reflux + CMPA // Why it’s absolutely normal to grieve

why it's absolutely normal to grieve refluxH-Bear turns two in just over two weeks time, and I have to admit that I’m only just starting to mentally process the first year of his life.

I feel like I lost the Baby Days with him. That I was cheated out of them. That Silent Reflux stole them from me.

I put up walls and blocked out memories to try and cope. To try and grasp some light in the wilderness. To try and convince myself that it wasn’t all bad.

But, when all your baby does is scream 24/7.

When you’re suffering from extreme sleep deprivation because you haven’t slept for more than a three hour block a night (if you’re lucky) in 10 months.

And when you reach the point where you can’t even leave the house anymore, because you’re too terrified of being judged for having such an ‘unhappy’ baby.

What else can you do?

The battling with doctors to be heard. The battling with your brain to try and reason with yourself. The battling with hearing your child in constant pain, and feeling so utterly useless because nothing you do seems to help.

I would stare at my reflection in the mirror. My bloated, tear-stained, exhausted face, and wonder what on earth I had done to deserve this punishment. I felt like my baby. My own beautiful baby boy, was a form of torture to see how strong I was. I honestly thought he was a test to see how long it would take me to walk out and leave.

And I thought about it. I thought about leaving every time he began screaming again. Of getting up and just walking out of the door, leaving his wails behind me.

I didn’t. I couldn’t. He is my baby. He was in pain. And I had to keep reminding myself that as much as it hurt me, it hurt him more.

Almost two years on and the change is remarkable. H-Bear was diagnosed with a Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) and soya allergy. We introduced a dummy for his reflux. And as soon as he was walking, his reflux seemed to calm down. And he started to sleep.

silent reflux and cmpa grief

Sadly, I don’t look back on his baby days with blissful, rose-tinted glasses as I do with his sister. Instead I grieve for the weeks lost to pain and tears. I grieve for the time lost in pointless appointments where doctors wouldn’t listen and would reply with a stoic “Well, babies cry”. And mostly, I grieve for the pain my baby felt for the first few months of his life, and for the Mother that I wanted to be for him, but couldn’t.

But I am allowed to grieve. As are you – and I know there are so many other parents out there who feel the same. Who have been through it. Who are still going through it.

Talk about it, when you feel ready. Write it down if you can’t. Join one of the many amazingly supportive Facebook groups out there.

And please remember: You are not alone.


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  1. 7th June 2017 / 9:46 am

    This made me full blown cry!! I feel 100% the same as you lovey and we’re only 8 months in. I’m so sorry for everything you’ve had to go through. It truly is beyond horrendous. Lots of love xxxx

  2. 8th June 2017 / 9:57 am

    Great big squeeze to you Hannah. We went through this with our first. He’s just a month younger than B, and I would say I’m still grieving; His baby brother is 7 weeks and he’s *happy*. He doesn’t scream all day and night, he sleeps like a typical newborn, and I feel like I’m in that warm new baby bubble as opposed living some kind of cruel joke. Which is amazing, but it also serves as a poignant reminder that it wasn’t like this the first time round. That still hurts, but as you say, it’s okay to grieve x

  3. 8th June 2017 / 6:31 pm

    This brought a tear to my eye as I can relate to everything you said. My son suffered with CMPA and silent reflux as a baby. He’s 3.5 years old now and I still haven’t recovered from it, or even been able to write about it, although I think I need to as it would help me heal. I have PTSD as a result of that time. I find it particularly hard to deal with as he was born 11 months after my twin sons died, so we had already gone through something so horrific, and to then be robbed of the newborn days again because the baby we had so wanted had reflux that caused him to scream day and night. I’m surprised I survived that time period, it was truly awful.

  4. Karrina
    8th June 2017 / 7:52 pm

    This was so lovely to read from someone who understands how I still feel 4 years on. I have 4 year old twin girls who BOTH suffered with silent reflux, I just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t sleep unless being held, why they seemed to cry so much and why they wanted to take my sleep! AND IT WAS 2 OF THEM! I researched online to find a solution and luckily had an understanding GP who helped us so much and had experienced this first hand with his own children. They were admitted to hospital following a bad reaction to the medication which was meant to make them feel better. Bless them, they screamed in pain, panicked everytime they saw a bottle and generally seemed so unhappy. I have an older daughter too who was a dream baby and I feel silent reflux stole this same experience away from my twins and me. I chose to wean my girls early and this helped them and slowly we saw improvements. At the age of 2 they seemed to have outgrown most of the systems and started sleeping through the night! Thank Goodness for my sanity! They are both 4 now and although they still have the ‘reflux cough’ they generally don’t suffer anymore. I do however, feel angry that this happened and yes I feel I need to ‘grieve’ so THANK YOU for sharing and allowing me to grieve also šŸ™‚

  5. 9th June 2017 / 10:42 am

    Oh Hannah, this is such a beautifully written post. It brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. And I am so angry that you had to fight doctors to be heard. As you say, it is right to grieve and to wish those baby days had been different. Big hugs to you my darling. And thank you for writing this post for all the other parents who have gone through the same terrible and devastating baby days. Hugs Lucy xxxx

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