It isn’t like me to get heavy, so forgive me.
I will warn you now, this post is quite long, and low on laughs, but then so was I for quite a few months. And this is why.
And then, around the five week mark, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (otherwise known as GERD, or reflux) and colic took hold and his weight started to plummet from the 50th centile right down to below the 2nd, just as it had with my daughter. It was very upsetting after such a good start.
However, the solution to her discomfort and lack of weight gain was relatively simple; ranitidine, formula tops ups each evening and weaning on to solids at four months. For her it absolutely worked wonders. She stopped throwing everything up and started to gain weight almost instantly; to look at her now as a chunky toddler it’s hard to believe that she was at one point in the smallest 0.4% of babies her age.
It was significantly more difficult with my son.
|A two month old very pukey and concerned baby|
He was a very different baby; not the generally happy and laid back soul that my daughter was. He was not a fan of the bottle and it took a lot of effort to get him to take one. I could never pump milk and he didn’t (and still doesn’t) tolerate formula particularly well and quite often would vomit so furiously I had to change his clothes, my clothes, the bedding, clean the floor and wipe the walls. Twice, at around 5 and 11 weeks, he vomited so hard that he became unresponsive and we ended up with a lengthy trip to A&E. Hilarious japes.
After begging the GP, who kept trying to fob us off with gaviscon, we were finally referred to the same paediatrician we had seen with my daughter.
|I do kind of miss the worried faces|
This was excellent news for me; after he had so magically managed to ‘fix’ my baby girl, I had high hopes that he would do the same for my son. Various medicines were tried and nothing really did the trick. Ranitidine didn’t seem to soothe him even at the maximum dose, when we went onto omeprazole he screamed solidly for hours, lansoprazole was better but his vomiting and screaming didn’t stop. I tried cutting out dairy before he was even born so that there would be none in my system. Weaning did not seem to help, at least not quickly, and brought with it other complications; he found it so hard to poo, often we’d be up all night.
A gluten free diet for both of us seemed to help – and to be honest, now I am too worried about making him sick (and the resultant sleepless nights) to truly test the theory that an intolerance may have been the cause of his sickness. It may well be that he just outgrew it.
However, whatever the cause, slowly the sickness has lessened.
The long periods of non-stop screaming petered out and he started to look less concerned all of the time, although he still pulls a good worried face now and again. He now takes fairly lengthy naps (usually when I’m meant to be going out) and he doesn’t suffer from the trapped wind and constipation that plagued him as a newborn and up until very recently. He is now (tiredness, hunger and being contained aside) a generally happy, smiley baby. Still, seven months is a long time to change your clothes multiple times a day and night, and don’t get me started on the lack of sleep.
Like all other mums, I get him weighed at the clinic.
I then mark it on the graph in his Personal Child Health Record, otherwise known as the little red book.
It’s immensely satisfying to see his weight go up, even slowly. Partly because the statistician in me is a little bored on maternity leave, but also because I know with every few ounces he puts on, he’s getting less sick, and a little more content. And maybe – dare I say it – a little closer to sleeping better. I hope.
However, at some point between the last paediatrician’s appointment and a weigh in, the red book vanished.
My husband and I looked everywhere. Through all the files, in every bag and cupboard, in the car in every conceivable hiding space… but it was gone. A bit worrying as it contained everything about his health, weight and vaccinations.
About a month later, I went to the weigh in again. Steeling myself for a telling off, I finally admitted the loss of book to a Health Visitor. She told me to make sure it wasn’t at home; it wasn’t. Another month passed, and I went to the weigh in again. This time I said I really needed a new one, and reluctantly they said they would send one out.
I had written down the previous three weigh-ins on a piece of paper, but, true to form, it was nowhere to be found. I quizzed my husband who had quite clearly moved it somewhere or more likely, thrown it away, but he denied it. Thinking it may have dropped behind the sideboard, I went to check. It was not… but lo and behold, the red book was.
My husband still maintains he looked there. I maintain I am never going to trust a word he says every again.