GERD& Chiropractor’s.

Do you have a happy spitter or a true reflux baby? That’s the question I’ve heard over and over again. If you have a ‘happy spitter’, you simply have a laundry problem. However, if you have a reflux baby you truly have an ‘issue’. Let me preface this with, it is not our first rodeo with reflux. So, let’s get started!

Happy Spitters

Did you know that every baby has some form of reflux? This is due to their underdeveloped GI systems. However, there is a large difference in types of reflux. Most babies are happy spitters. They spit up, sometimes a small amount other times a large amount. The consistent thing about happy spitters is that they’re never in distress due to the spit up. Instead, they happily go about their day. There are no weight gain issues, there is no severe pain and they continue forward.

Reflux

Reflux is a bit more complicated than happy spitters. Reflux involves a larger amount of spit up and possibly has pain associated. Many reflux issues are related to formula intolerances or allergies. Some reflux issues are resolved by a simple switch of formula, from one to another. Additionally, some reflux is resolved by medication such as Zantac. Zantac is a H2 blocker, or a histamine blocker. It’s meant to give relief by blocking naturally occurring histamines to reduce stomach acid.

GERD

GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD is actually a disorder of the lower esophageal sphincter. The sphincter usually controls when food comes into the stomach and it should not allow food to come back out. However, with GERD the sphincter can become loose and allow the stomach acid and contents back into the esophagus. This can cause an extreme burning sensation and other symptoms. GERD can be controlled with medications, diet change and more. However, for infants GERD is much harder to control which sometimes leads to Sandifer’s Syndrome. Sandifer’s Syndrome is a whole body response to pain due to reflux. Sandifer’s makes the infants body stiffen, usually to one side this reflex to pain often looks similar to a seizure. While it can be scary, there are serious side effects from Sandifer’s.

When it comes to our history, like I stated before, this is not our first rodeo. Ten years ago, I went through the same issues with Andi. Andi was not as bad, but she was diagnosed with reflux and Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA). Additionally, she had a soy intolerance. Andi’s reflux was controlled with formula (Neocate) and meds.

On the other hand, Dax is a much more complex case. Dax requires a large amount of care including medications. However, inn the spirit of making sure he is at least pain free we’re willing to try almost anything.

Reflux and Chiro.

In our endless effort to make our guy feel better, we came across chiropractors as a relief for reflux. I read countless articles, including medical journals that showed relief. So began our quest to find the right chiropractor for Dax.

I found a total of two pediatric chiropractors in Tucson. Both yielded good reviews, one better than the other. I found Switzer Family Chiropractor to have more reviews and a more inviting phone call. I scheduled an appointment and awaited anxiously for the day to arrive. That day came on 1/14. Upon arrival, the chiropractor was in the lobby. She hastily greeted me, explained the paperwork and even swung Dax in his carseat to ease his fussiness. I was shocked how gleeful the office felt, plus we were the only ones there! We immediately went back. Dr. Switzer first asked our background. She then set up her table, showed me how much pressure she’d be applying to Dax’s body and asked for permission. Before beginning with the chiro care, she cuddled Dax and made sure he was aware of her. Again, very impressed! The care was minimal, she hit pressure points on his lower back, his legs, his neck and jaw area. She checked for hiatal hernias and worked on his tight spots. You could tell by his responses in crying when it was uncomfortable or soothing. It didn’t take long, maybe twenty minutes max.

After the care, Dax was so hungry so I sat with him and fed him. Dax used to gulp bottles, I mean completley down a bottle in maybe five seconds flat. It caused a huge amount of projectile vomiting. Instead, Dax ate a bottle like a normal baby. WOAH! Huge difference in his eating. Did he still spit up? Heck yeah, but taking almost ten minutes to down a bottle is a huge improvement. As the night went on, we found more positive changes. He was no longer squirmy in our arms. Instead, he was more stretched out and calm. He went to bed easily at 8:30 PM and we did not hear a peep until 3:30 AM the next morning. HELLO SLEEP! We’ve missed you! The chiropractor had three goals for Dax by the end of the session. First, a relief from pain. Second, longer and more comfortable sleep. Third, a more routine pooping schedule. So far, we’ve hit two out of the three! Needless to say, we’ll be returning once a week for continuous relief. We’re so happy for our guy!

Xo, Sabrina.

Huggies: Special Delivery Review +Twins!

It’s about to get real shi*!ty in here. HA! Just kidding, it’s just a diaper review! One thing I’ve learned with twins is that NOTHING is the same as a singleton. I don’t do the same things as I did with any of my girls, I don’t use the same products and I certainly didn’t think about products as much as I do with these guys. Don’t ask me why this is, I truly have no idea. Maybe it’s because they’re the last babies or maybe it’s because there are two of them.

As you can imagine, we go through diapers like wild fire. As much as i’d like to be ‘eco-friendly’ and have either organic or cloth diapers, it’s truly not feasible in our lives at this time. Therefore, we settle for the next best thing – reliability. When your changing two butts an average of 6 times a day, you need to make sure you won’t have blow outs, wet spots and they have to be easy to put on/take off. Additionally, for our little Emrick we have to look at a good fit. Emrick has a lot of free fluid from an abdominal hernia floating in his groin. The free fluid causes him to look very chubby in his groin area and caused rubbing with our other favorite diaper Pamper’s Swaddlers. Emrick is what caused the switch in the first place!

Why Huggies?

Diapers are all similar, they’re all meant to catch pees and poos of our favorite smiling babies. However, there is a clear difference in many diapers. Texture of the diaper, cut of the diaper and features are important as well. For example, does the diaper have a wetness indicator? This is helpful for many new parents.

We recieved samples of Huggies Special Delivery Diapers and clearly saw the difference in the diapers. The cut of the diaper in the leg/groin area was different. Where Pamper’s were straight, Huggies were contoured. Huggies also included an unmatched softness. And for those who care, Huggies has designs. For our family, the contoured area was the defining factor in our decision to switch. Emrick’s legs fit much better in the Huggies diapers!

In order to complete the switch, other factors would surely come into play. We did a trial run with a box of diapers Santa brought for the boys. Were the boys consistently dry despite just peeing? Did we have any concerns about blow outs? Were there any reactions to the diapers themselves? The answer is no. The boys stay dry, we haven’t had any blow outs and there is zero reaction to the diapers. Yay, hypoallergenic!

One factor that we did not look into was price. The average baby at the boy’s age goes through approximately 50 diapers per week, multiply that by two (yay, twins!) and we go through an average of 100 diapers a week and sometimes more. A box of size 1 diapers holds 144 diapers, meaning we need on average a box of diapers every 1.5 weeks. Obviously running out in the middle of the week is not feasible, so we buy a box of diapers every pay day. Thank goodness Zoram and I get paid on alternating weeks!

At Wal-Mart these diapers are $43.88, making each diaper approximately 0.30 cents. This is where we currently purchase from. However, other options include Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. With Amazon, you receive a 5% discount. For four boxes of diapers a month, I would pay approximately $182. However, after 5 deliveries that discount bumps up to 20%. You can see how this might be beneficial.

Do we plan to test other diapers? Yes. The problem is if they don’t work it’s wasted money. It’s hard to spend money when you don’t necessarily have any leeway to spend. Ya catch my drift? We accept donations, HA!

Anywho, overall I do recommend these diapers! I would recommend them for one babies, or two. Especially for those with abdominal or groin hernias!

Xo, Sabrina.

CareCredit + Walmart

Let me just begin this with saying, I am not affiliated with CareCredit or Walmart. I genuinely just want to share something that works for me.

When we first found out that our little embabies stuck, my intimate thought was preparedness. How much will we need of each item, and the double it for two! Diapers, wipes, formula and bottles all became top priority.

We started with diapers. Around the same time I had gotten pregnant, CareCredit rolled out the ability to purchase health and wellness items at Walmart and Sam’s Club. As someone who was working on rebuilding my credit, and this being the only credit card I had I found my niche. CareCredit has the ability to pay for most infant items. So every other week, I’d stop in at Walmart and buy a box of diapers and a box of wipes. Then, I’d make a payment on my card keeping the balance to a minimum. Did this help me? Heck yeah! Not only did I see my credit score raise steadily but I built up a stockpile.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stock up on much anything else due to bed rest and the boys coming early. However, what I was able to stock up on is coming in handy! We have lots of diapers and wipes, and when you’re wiping the butts of two you know you need them!

What’s next? I’m going to continue stockpiling every once in a while, but I’m also keeping the balance low for upcoming dental appointments for my oldest. Additionally, the boys will have alternate needs in the upcoming months and we will bend to those needs.

Xo, Sabrina.

Having Children After A Parents Passing

Let’s have a difficult conversation, shall we? When I lost my dad, I figured I could pbe tough, i could play it off like it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Yet, the pain is still very real today. I even considered myself lucky because I had “finished” having kids before he passed. All three of my girls have memories of their Papa. My brother and sister on the other hand hadn’t had kids yet, and I always wondered how that would affect them. I never thought I’d be experiencing having kids after he was gone. Despite this being a tough post to write, I’m sure so many can relate.

Before I begin, let’s just start by saying we hands down have one of the best papas in heaven. Papa was fun, papa was stern and papa loved like no one else. We were blessed with an incredible 8 years of knowing my dad as Papa. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Papa always joked he’d never see the day he had a grandson because he was always surrounded by girls. He now has three grandsons.

Papa was FUN

But, what’s it like..not having a beloved parent around when you have a new child? At first, I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it was going to be a huge deal. I accepted a long time ago that he is gone. I was wrong.

I could have used him to calm my nerves before the c-section. But, I felt his forehead kiss when I was as being wheeled back.

I could have used him to talk through our NICU journey. But, I could feel him every time I began to break down.

I could have used him when I got into a minor accident, man I was good at calling him for minor things and breaking down. But, I felt him help me maintain my composure that day too.

I want so badly to call him up on days where things just aren’t easy. If heaven had a phone, we’d be talking all the time. Instead, we’ll settle for the moments we can tell he’s near. We will picture the smiles and pride in our hearts. We will speak of him often.

I’ve thought long and hard about the message I want to convey to those who are experiencing what I am. The truth is it’s not easy. I highly doubt the grief will truly ever go away. However, you must look for the moments. The moments when you know your parent would have enjoyed. The moments where the sun shines a little brighter, the moments when your children smile a little bigger, the moments when you think you can’t but you do…look for those moments, those moments are when your parent supports you from the heavens above.

If you’ve lost a parent and have had children afterwards, I highly encourage you to share your own story.

Papa and his three granddaughters. He now has 4.

Oh and Dad, if you’re reading this from heaven, I hope I’ve made you proud.

Xo, Sabrina.

Where’d those names come from?

One of the many questions we’ve received is how we came how we came up with the boys names. We’re here to tell ya, grab the tissues this could get emotional. Before we begin, if you don’t already know all of my kids are named in ABC order. Andi, Bree and Caidence! The boys are named after three men who were important in our lives. Each man played a different role for us but, each man left this life too soon.

Dax Ramon Ruiz

Dax was Dax. He was the one name we never hesitated on, because it was just suiting. He had to be a “D” and so, he was. Fun fact, it wasn’t until we were looking for another name that we found this also aligned with Zoram’s Star Trek addiction. Dax in Star Trek is a deity. Dax means Leader and so far in his life that’s been true! Dax’s middle name is a passed down name to honor one of the three people we wished to honor. Ramon is Zoram’s dads name. He passed in Zoram’s childhood. We honor him by utilizing his name as Dax’s middle name, but more importantly we pass to our children the many life lessons Ramon taught Zoram growing up.

Emrick Keith Ruiz

Emrick. Let’s be honest, the name Emrick was decided on the operating table. But, we spent all morning getting names thrown at us in every which way. We had people to honor, and we knew the middle name long before we knew the first name. And let’s also be honest, thanks husband for the dig because I wouldn’t have been happy if he didn’t start with an “E” HA! Both of us liked Emerson, but we couldn’t give poor Emrick two middle names.. so he became Emrick. Emrick means Immortal. Em for Emerson. Rick for Rick Butler, an amazing man that treated Zoram like his own. I was lucky to meet Rick on a few occasions. Both he and Julie welcomed me from day one with Zoram. And although I wasn’t able to create our own memories I heard and still hear all the memories from Zoram. He is again another man we wanted to honor by passing down not only his name but the foundation he gave to Zoram unto our own children.

The final name, and the most important to me is Keith. For those of you who know me, you know this is my Dad’s name. The man who raised me to be well, me. The sarcastic, dark humored, strong willed me. When he passed in 2017, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Hell, 2017 was the worst year of my life by far. But, we all made it through. If he were here, he’d be crazy about his grandsons… all three of them, just like he was crazy about his granddaughters. The love he gave to his entire family will be the legacy that we instill in the boys. Love without limits, love without an end.

Emrick and Dax carry on three names of three strong men whom we miss, whom we love and whom we’ve learned from. The boys will grow knowing who they were named after. We will speak their names as if they were still living. We will tell stories both happy and sad. We will not let them be forgotten.

XO, Sabrina.