We haven’t had the best weekend, it’s fair to say. The baby started vomiting Thursday night and spent the whole of Friday night sleeping for about twenty minutes before waking in pain. I lost count of how many times I scooped him up to calm him down… somewhere around twenty-seven, I think. He eventually fell asleep around 3.30 am and woke at 7. It didn’t click then. He started vomiting again on Saturday night and woke at 10.30, again screaming in pain. It still didn’t click.
This is where the NHS failed my baby once more. I called NHS Direct at 11pm and was told that a nurse would call me back within SIX hours but that I should call if he didn’t settle and was still crying. I gave it two hours (of pacing, crying, pacing, crying) before I called back and was put through to a nurse. The nurse told me that an out of hours doctor would call me back, which he did. The GP informed me- I would say politely, but that would not be true- that he was not a peadiactrics doctor, he could not prescribe anything for a baby and that the only advice he could give was to take the baby to the hospital. In my heart of hearts, I didn’t think he needed the hospital (it still didn’t click) but I felt too afraid not to. At 2am, alone and exhausted, it felt wrong to ignore a doctor’s advice.
The drive calmed him down and by the time we entered the land of late-night ghosts, he had stopped crying and was just staring at me, pale, red-eyed and confused. We sat amongst the accident prone and the unfortunate and we waited. The nurse that saw us was most displeased that we had inconvenienced her by arriving in A&E. We shouldn’t have allowed the GP to send us here, the raging temperature had gone down and I was clearly a terrible mother for bringing the baby out in the middle of the night. My punishment would be a four hour wait or to go home with no examination for the baby. I looked at him. And THEN it clicked.
We’ve been here so many times before. We thought we’d passed the pain and the screaming and the vomiting. We thought we were ready to wean the medication. It seems the Reflux had other ideas, still wanted my baby as its play-thing for a little longer.
It seems the tummy bug has set irritated his oesophagus and set the flame a-fire again. We’d only dropped one dose of his meds but it had been a week and so the levels in his body were too low to fight the pain. Of course, I’m only guessing at this, since I left the hospital and decided to battle this out on my own again. The signs are all there- I know I’m right.Tonight, my baby has eaten little and refused his bottle. He has been too scared to go to sleep and just when I began to feel that I would not be able to get through tonight with yet more broken sleep, screaming and pacing the floors… I sat down beside his cot. At first, I was defeated. I actually thought, I’m not good enough to do this. Then he looked at me, sadly, and reached out. He tugged at my sleeve and put his head to his sheets. I put my fingers through the bars of the cot and he held on to me tightly. He finally fell asleep. After three days of screaming and writhing and kicking and arching and wailing and whimpering and pain… he fell asleep holding my hand. Through the bars of the cot.