Windmill Arms

The first few weeks after Colin was born were spent settling in and learning how to care for two children.  Much of my attention was focused on learning Colin’s language.  He was communicating his needs and preferences with his whole little body,  it was just a matter of me figuring out what he was trying to tell me.

We saw right away that Colin is usually a very happy little guy.  The second day we were home Colin smiled at me.  You might tell me it was gas but he has been smiling every day since then.  Really!  These smiles make my day, every day.

We noticed that Colin was a baby that spit up a lot. Having previously had a child with bad acid reflux, this didn’t bother us too much since Colin didn’t seem too upset about it.   We joked about him leaking a lot.  If you laid him down, milk always leaked out of him.  You never started a diaper change without a burp rag at hand.  Sleep wasn’t great due to the spitting up, but babies don’t sleep well, right?

We also noticed that when Colin was fussy he would arch his back and his arms would be out at his sides going in circles.  We called these his “windmill arms” even though “twin-engine Cessna arms” may have been more accurate.  We’d see those hands start going and know it was going to be a tough afternoon and night of fussiness.   For a while I thought this was just how he told us he was getting tired but later realized these coincided with the worst spit up episodes.

Somewhere around 4-5 weeks old Colin’s diaper was green and full of mucous.  I didn’t remember ever seeing green with Colin’s older sister and it concerned me.   I read all the baby books I could find and some said it was no big deal and some mentioned possible food allergies.  (And so began our obsession over what was going on in his diaper.  On any given day there is at least one gathering of all family members at Colin’s changing table to see what is going on in there.)  Our pediatrician thought it might be a lingering side effect of having a cold when he was three weeks old or a possible food sensitivity. He said we could try giving up dairy. So, goodbye cheese!  Arrivederci delicious cream pastas!

As I began removing dairy, even the hidden little sneaky bits in any packaged foods, we saw the number of spit up episodes improve dramatically.  Woohoo!  Less laundry! I traded my dairy for soy products but Colin’s diaper stayed stubbornly green and those windmill arms were waving at us almost every night.  I could see he was uncomfortable and  I became determined to figure out what was going on in my son’s little belly.


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