First Month Fog Part 2 – recovery, reflux and tantrums

18 Sep

imageAfter that first night, I spent a further 4 days in hospital. Double the anticipated duration, but they were struggling to get my pain under control and I was therefore rendered virtually immobile.

By Friday, I had finally managed a shower without any assistance from the midwives and the all important walk around the ward corridor as proof of my independence and was therefore discharged.

As I walked out of the hospital and into the car, I was overcome by emotion and tears. I know why. In that hospital, I was safe. Leaving it, I felt alone, in pain and vulnerable. I also knew that my last ever pregnancy was over, and that I would never experience this time again. The end of such a long awaited era. As I climbed into the car, next to my beautiful boy, I looked out of the window at the pregnant women heaving their huge bumps around the hospital grounds and felt a pang of sadness as I looked at my saggy, empty tummy and painful scar. It was laughable, I had a hideous pregnancy with so much anxiety and discomfort. I am arguably the worst pregnant person ever, and yet, just 4 days after I welcomed my long awaited child, I missed it! Hormones really are quite bizarre and cruel.

When we arrived home, it felt strangely quiet and empty. A little like the feeling of returning from a holiday. I didn’t quite know what to do next. With no midwives there at the press of a buzzer, I knew that from here on, we were on our own. With TWO children.

Those early days were largely filled with sleep deprivation, pain and frustration. Leo fed regularly due to jaundice, but sicked up a lot, I spent my days in a tramadol induced haze.. drifting in and out of unconsciousness, and Oscar spent his time pestering his new brother until we lost our temper and my hubby ran around like a blue arsed fly trying to care for all of us on just a few hours sleep. Thank goodness my parents were there to offer him a few hours respite now and then or I think he may have collapsed.

By day 5, my milk finally came in and I excitedly began expressing, hoping to at least supplement Leo’s formula feeds with the odd breast milk bottle, but it was not to be. For once, I produced an impressive quantity of milk, quite unlike my experience with my first son, where, despite hours of milking myself like a cow, I could offer just one bottle a day. However, I suspect the plethora of painkillers and anti clotting drugs I was taking may have tainted my milk, as Leo was pretty revolted by my offering and spat out every mouthful.

Begrudgingly, I admitted defeat. Since he would neither breast feed nor take my expressed milk, I was wasting my time trying to keep the supply coming. So I asked hubby to buy me the cabbage leaves, and stopped cold turkey.

On day 7, I was an emotional mess. My boobs were so engorged with milk they were like over filled water balloons. Rock hard, in danger of bursting at any moment, and leaking with every movement or cry from Leo.

My hormones were wild, and I was in agony all over, which only worsened the misery I felt over my son’s rejection. To make matters worse, Leo seemed extremely keen to latch on to my mother. Here was I, over flowing with redundant milk for him, and yet he chose to nuzzle a 60 year old’s breasts! It was like a knife in my back… Or perhaps my nursing bra.

To add to the upset, my eldest son was struggling to adapt to this new dynamic and his attention seeking behaviour was escalating. So much so, I had to lean on my dad to take him out – anywhere away from the house to stop me cracking up.

By week 2, Leo’s sleep was deteriorating quite significantly and he spent almost all of the time vomitting up his milk, crying and arching his back. Each feed was taking almost two hours. He would down the bottle, burp, throw up, sit upright in our arms for 90 minutes screaming until he fell asleep exhausted, and then just 30 minutes later, the whole process would begin again.

At 10 days old, the sleeping stopped altogether, the vomitting increased and the screaming and back arching was constant. Unable to take any more of his distress, we took him to A&E to be examined.

Due to his brother’s history, they immediately diagnosed him with possible cows milk protein allergy and asked us to visit our doctor for a prescription for hypoallergenic milk. As this wasn’t possible immediately and Leo needed to feed, they gave us a tub of Pregestimil formula from the neonatal ward and sent us home.

Within just a few days of using the new formula, Leo’s vomitting reduced markedly, but he was still hiccuping incessantly, and bringing up acid with each hiccup. He would also posset numerous times with each feed, all of which caused him continued pain, and he therefore screamed and refused to sleep most of the time.

3 days later, we returned to the doctor for a review of his progress and expressed our concerns at the current situation. The GP decided to prescribe Gaviscon infant powder to thicken his milk, and ranitidine to reduce the acid production.

The Gaviscon worked to a certain extent. It was certainly better than nothing, but the ranitidine had some unnerving side effects. Firstly it made him dizzy. I could see his eyes crossing and rolling back within seconds of taking each dose. It also made him ridiculously sleepy. Like 23.5 hours per day sleepy. We were having to wake him for feeds, and by day 2, he could not be stirred. In desperation, we placed him in a cool bath. He woke up screaming blue murder, but this was short lived and he fell asleep just half way through his bottle, mere minutes later.

After two days, we could not accept the drowsiness any longer, and so returned to the doctor and agreed to discontinue it, in favour of using the Gaviscon alone. We also visited a reflux baby shop to purchase a wedge and sleep positioner for his Moses basket, in the hope that fixing him on an incline would ease his pain when sleeping and therefore reduce the fidgeting and early waking.

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5 Responses to “First Month Fog Part 2 – recovery, reflux and tantrums”

  1. journeyformybaby September 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    I found your blog while googling “11 weeks pregnant blog” the other day although I was already following you from the very end of your pregnancy. I read most of your pregnancy entries. What a difficult pregnancy you had!! Even though I knew everything turned out well in the end, it was hard not feeling nervous for you while reading. I’m so glad your little one is safely here and I hope his reflux starts to improve soon.

    • ferreroroche123 September 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      Thank you. We are very pleased to have him at last and wouldn’t swap him for the world despite his early difficulties.

      Thanks for following and supporting.

  2. Aly September 20, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Hi, I’ve been following your blog as an IVF mum-to-be. Hope that you will hang on tight! Hope your Leo baby feels better soon!

    • ferreroroche123 September 20, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Thank you. It is a daily rollercoaster!

      Hoping things will calm down soon.

  3. Victoria Welton September 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    I need to go back and read your posts! I have really missed out because of the summer. You really have been through the mill and back bless you. I have to say though, I love how honest you are. Leo is such a cutie. I hope things are getting easier for you. Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

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