In a manner quite befitting, reflux has regurgitated and spat itself back into our lives, seeping it’s poison into the darkness of the early morning and creeping stealthily into our bones. It has once again taken hold of our baby, stripped our family down to just barely functioning and is threatening to cave us in again. We’ve been here before. We’ve felt the misery of holding an inconsolable baby rigid in our arms. We’ve watched the pain contort on tiny faces as sleep slips ever further from grasp. We’ve begun, once more, the never ending dance on the hospital waiting lists. We’ve been here before.
Before Elsie was born, nobody really knew what to expect. We were told to anticipate a 4lb baby and instead we were blessed with a 5lb bruiser. We were told we’d need NICU and instead we narrowly escaped. We were told that our precious IUGR baby was a fighter. She would be fine. She was ready to go home, and we were ready to be her parents. It didn’t matter that she had yet to feed satisfactorily from the breast during her hospital stay; I was assured that with three other babies at home I was likely to know what I was doing. And in the euphoria that followed her birth and the revelation that she was well, I agreed. I could conquer the world. (more…)
Back in April 2011 the lovely Jayne and I launched Maternity Matters, which was initially a collaborative site dedicated towards raising awareness of birth trauma. A place where women could read stories similar to their own. Where they could share their own stories. Where they could receive advice, guidance and support after a traumatic birth. Having both experienced birth trauma, we wanted to create a small space where we could feel we would not be judged, and we are proud of the work we’ve done.
In the time since the site launched, Jayne and I have gone on to have more babies (two in my case) and though our personal blogs have continued to evolve, our work together has been on the back burner a little. Which leads me on to Maternity Matters: part two. (more…)
Merry Christmas! Today Elsie Rose is two months and one day old.
She has been in our lives for 61 days and we are truly lucky to have such a lively character with us. We’ve been blessed with more smiles, each one coating us with a warm glow as it spreads from her eyes to her lips. The other children are constantly overjoyed each time she beams at them, and The Toddler seems to be falling more in love with her baby sister every day. Watching their relationship blossom is beautiful. (more…)
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 doctors 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 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.