Saturday, April 30, 2011

No more vomit!

Please, no more vomit. I've had enough of it. Angus is a chucker; I am pretty sure he has reflux. But, unlike Charlotte, I don't think he has GORD. The first few weeks of his life I lived in fear every time he vomited. Which he did a bit. He did a few projectile pukes and I promptly burst into tears.

We suffered with Charlotte with reflux. Now when I would say to people that Charlotte had reflux I would get one of two responses. One was a dismissive "oh every baby vomits" and the other was "oooh, I had a reflux baby. If they had been my first I would never had had more!". The first comment would make me so angry, the second would nearly make me cry with relief that I wasn't alone. Yes alot of babies vomit. It is called posseting. Charlotte would posset, then cover the walls, floor, myself and herself in a spray of vomit that seemed to last forever. There were a few times I swore her head was spinning around at the same time as she committed her exorcist child routine.

But the actual vomit wasn't the worst of it. Because she vomited - constantly - she was also a bad sleeper. If I put her down she would vomit in her sleep and wake up. I would then have to try and settle her again. I found that it would take over an hour of rocking and patting for her to fall asleep for less than 40 mins. She very quickly got into a pattern of short sleeps. And she would scream. And scream. And scream. The reflux brings up a small amount of stomach acid as well and that burns and hurts. This is why reflux babies are so unsettled. I simply couldn't calm her down. She hated the pram and the car seat as the position made it worse. She wanted to be held and rocked all the time.

And I was afraid all the time. When she was 2 weeks old she choked on her own vomit, and went into a laryngeal spasm where she then went all floppy and unresponsive. My Mum was still here then and immediately called an ambulance. Being a retired nurse she recognised what was happening and later said that had she been at work she would have hit the emergency button. So after that I was terrified of hearing that choking noise and was always checking on her.

My GP was very dismissive of my concerns (I've since changed GP's) and said I was being overanxious but thankfully my paediatrician agreed it was reflux - GORD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) and prescribed losec which is an antacid. It took a few months to get the dosage right and she ended up on the highest dose for a while. By about 7 months she had mostly grown out of it although we spent a long time trying to fix the sleeping issues and had to go to sleep school when she was 5 months old.

Having another reflux baby was one of my greatest fears about having more children. So when Angus did his first big chuck I did lose it a bit. We have been on constant alert for more signs of reflux (like back arching) but haven't seen them. He has had a few screaming fits after a feed but a small dose of mylanta has settled him down. That's why I'm sure he has reflux, but it isn't bad enough to bother him. But he does like to chuck. I've been limiting his feeds to make sure he's not overfed. He still brings alot up even doing this but we have only had a few major vomiting episodes. Otherwise it is just a constant stream of vomit that comes out of his mouth, even 2-3 hours after a feed.

One of the big things with reflux babies is how unsettled they are. So I can't begin to tell you ecstatic I am that Angus has just put himself to sleep! It has happened a few times now and really makes me happy. It is so different having a baby that is generally happy. He has started to smile now, and I remember that Charlotte didn't' do that until she was about 7 weeks old which I think was due to her being in pain alot. He does have unsettled times but he seems to have more wind pain than anything.

So to any mums out there who find this post and have a reflux baby - you are not alone. You will get through it, and even though I had one first, I still went back for more!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The first few weeks

I have a dream baby. I really hope that I don't jinx myself by writing that. He feeds well, he sleeps well in between feeds. It is great. I keep expecting it all to go wrong. Charlotte was a challenge, and I will write about that later. She had reflux and I fully expected Angus to have it too. He has done quite a few chucks, and likes to puke (I don't just mean little possets like all babies do, I mean call the priest your child is possessed type chucks). However he isn't showing any of the other signs of reflux like Charlotte did.

He is still a small baby and didn't put his birth weight on until his 3 week checkup, but seems to be stacking it on now. We aren't quite sure why he wasn't putting weight on at first although he was a tiny bit jaundiced. He is going 4-6 hours between feeds, and last night fed at 8, 2am, then 8 again. He does have some unsettled times, and sadly until about midnight he seems to be really unsettled. But James has been great at sitting up with him so I can get some sleep.

And Charlotte loves her "baby Angus". When Mum and Dad brought her into hospital for that first visit she came running in with a baby book to give him, then stood there with her arms out for a cuddle. She wants to cuddle him all the time. One of the first nights home he was crying just as we put her to bed and she started crying out "I help baby Angus". Mum and Dad were a great help but went home last weekend. Charlotte's behaviour has gotten a little worse since then with wanting attention so I am trying to play with her as much as I can. I can't believe how big she is though compared to him! At the moment he is still smaller than she ever was and that is so hard to believe.

So things are going really well at the moment. I'm not stressing about little things like housework and it is hard to find the time to jump on the computer (when sleep really is a priority). I am also starting to feel really good in myself. I think back a few weeks when everything was a chore and can't believe how sick I really was. I still have some discomfort in my back and my pelvis is still really loose - I can still feel it grinding and clicking. I can't wait to go back to the gym and get fit again. Of course I have lost all of my baby weight (given that I only put 1kg on the whole pregnancy) and am now working on the IVF weight I put on. But I'm not trying too hard, I am just finishing off a hot cross bun now. tee hee.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Welcome to the world

It has taken me awhile to post this as we have been a little busy. But we are very pleased to announce that Angus Joshua arrived into the world nearly 3 weeks ago weighing a healthy (but unexpectedly small) 2930 gms (6pds/70z).
Here is the story of that day. It was such a wonderful experience for me (compared to Charlotte's arrival) so I wanted to write it all down.
We arrived for our scheduled c/s nice and early. I hadn't slept much the night before which I had expected and I got quite emotional leaving the house. I gave a sleeping Charlotte a big kiss goodbye and did start to feel a bit anxious then. It was only on the way to the hospital that James and I finally decided on the name! (just about the point we passed our local bunnings, in case you were curious).

We went to our room at the hospital and they came and prepped me. This took ages as a new midwife was being trained but it did make the time go faster. Before we knew it they were taking us down to theatre. We met with the anaesthetist and I talked through my concerns after the last spinal I had. Coincidentally, he was the anaesthetist who did my first IVF procedure. I found that really ironic that he was there for our first step towards a family and also our last.
Then we all walked (waddled) into the theatre and I was up on the table. He put the cannula in then I had to lean over for the epidural. It hurt a little bit but before long I could feel the warm flush as it started to work. Sile then walked in and started cracking jokes which was really reassuring. Straight away I started to feel sick and I felt like I couldn't breathe. The anaesthetist was saying that everything looked fine but then the "machine that went ping" suddenly went ping. My BP had dropped quite low but he acted quickly and brought it back up. Then I could feel all the pushing and actually asked if that was alright, but I think by that point they had already started. Next thing they had dropped the drape and lifted my head and I saw my son being lifted from me. I was just amazed. He started to cry straight away. They took him straight away to be checked and James went to cut the cord. It wasn't long before they came and put him on my chest. It was so wonderful, we had a close cuddle and he felt so good to be there. I was just about crying. His skin felt so soft and warm and it was such a wonderful moment. After a while (I really am not sure of the time) they took him off me and wrapped him up warm and gave him to James. I looked over and James was having a bit of a cry.
I still felt a bit sick but they were really good and responsive to that. I was aware of everything whereas with Charlotte I had no idea what was going on. They were having a discussion about how high the spinal should go when I realised that my fingers shouldn't have pins and needles in them. They all laughed when I told them that and Sile kept saying how sensitive I was. (many many times actually). Before long they sent James to recovery with Angus and cleaned me up. I was then wheeled into recovery.
There they checked his blood sugars (because of the GD) and gave him to me for a feed. He latched on straight away which was great. We were only in recovery for about 45 mins (again so different to Charlotte which was about 4 hours). We did hear another lady in the bed next to us being brought back and commenting that this was her 7th baby - all boys!! James and I just looked at each other. Two will have to do for me.
I was still feeling a bit sick and unfortunately once we were back on the ward I started vomiting, but we had lots of skin to skin time and lots of cuddles. Angus had to have his blood sugars checked regularly and before a feed. Once it was too low and they had to give him some formula. But then he had 3 tests in a row over the limit and then they said he was ok and didn't need checking anymore. He had lots of feeds that day although I did have to be "milked" once by the midwifes. Not the most enjoyable experience one can have but it was all for a good cause.
I was pretty exhausted for the rest of the day though and was still vomiting for several hours. We actually had some family want to come and visit and we had to tell them no. I was not a pretty picture! Looking at the pictures I looked so pale. This actually became a bit of a joke as the nurses frequently said I looked pale, then would have a discussion with each other about how pale I was compared to the last time.
The next day I was up and moving around. I had alot of pain in those first few days, and it wasn't until Sile changed my pain meds to voltaren that I got any relief. I was also feeling very sick all of the time. Last time I felt great within a few days but this time it took ages for that sick feeling to go away. And my appetite didn't return until Angus was about 10 days old. I actually found that very frustrating, especially being in hospital with limited food options. The food there is actually quite good but everything seemed unappealing to me. The baby blues kicked in the morning of day 4, just as Sile walked in. My milk had also come in so I was very sore from that as well as the pain from the c/s. We talked about staying in another day as I just didn't feel ready to come home but once the voltaren started to work we changed our mind.
Cutting the cord

Our first family picture together

A precious angel