We finally thought we had things on track with Boo’s acid reflux, things had been getting progressively better since we started weaning and once she finally started to eat a bit more solid food. She has been on a small dose of Ranitidine for a while, (which we hadn’t had to up with her weight which was great) so we finally decided to try to slowly reduce the dose to see if Boo could be weaned off it completely (All dosage changes are talked through and agreed with Boo’s GP). We reduced it to by one tenth and kept it at that level for a week, and just as we were about to reduce it by a small amount again the symptoms started again. It’s so frustrating. For Boo hiccups are the first sign, she’ll get them 4 or 5 times the first day and they last for ages, things then get worse from there.
So we are back up to the previous dose as we need to make sure things are under control. The sad thing is that the meds take a few days to start working again, so we have a few bumpy days until things are sorted. I am reluctant to try and reduce the dosage again though obviously we will have to wait a few weeks at least before we do try again.
Dealing with reflux has been so difficult for Boo and for my husband and I, to start with we were told Boo had colic but it was soon apparent that this was wrong, as things didn’t match up. Luckily the G.P was great prescribing medication for Boo and the third type of medication we tried helped to managed Boo’s symptoms.
It is so incredible difficult to watch your tiny baby crying and suffering and in pain and not be able to do anything about it. You feel so helpless and small. I am breastfeeding Boo and it was a really heartbreaking to deal with the fact that I would feed her and then she would be in pain. It felt like I was causing her pain, I felt guilty about so many thing, the fact I couldn’t really ease her suffering, the fact that we had to give her all these different types of medication until we found the right one (it felt so wrong to be giving my baby these alien medications especially as we had decided to breastfeed because I wanted keep things as natural as possible).
Another element to deal with in all of this is health professionals. We were lucky because Boo had a doctor who understood and was willing to prescribe her medication, but some people aren’t so lucky. And unfortunately our health visitor was not as understanding. I overheard her (not long after Boo was diagnosed) telling other parents at a drop in clinic that ‘acid reflux was fashionable now’. I cannot express how small those words made me feel. A thousand questions exploded in my mind… were we imagining things? was it just colic? could Boo do without her meds? what if these meds are unnecessary and they have side effects? why Boo? why does Boo have to have this problem?
I really wish I could take Boo’s pain away (I know it sounds cliched) I really wish that Boo didn’t have to deal with this. I am glad that when she is older Boo won’t remember this. I know I shouldn’t waste time wishing for things that can not happen and I need to focus on making sure Boo’s reflux is managed as well as possible so she remains as symptom-less as we can manage.
As I write this Boo is upstairs napping after a bad morning where she has thrown up several times in the couple of hours she has been awake because for some reason today her acid is fighting back with vengeance, I just have to hope that these bumpy, sicky days get less and less often…
Medela Breastmilk Collection Shells were something which I heard two other mums talking about at my postnatal group, and I am so glad I heard about them. They were really reasonably priced, I think I paid about £10 for the pair from Amazon and I have definitely got my money’s worth out of them!
They essentially act as breast pads, but instead of soaking up the milk they store them in the plastic discs. The silicone rings mean that they are comfortable to wear and form a seal with your breast to prevent leaks. I have not had any problems with them leaking (except when I lean over and the milk spills out of the little spouts! Which shocks me every time! You think I would learn!) It’s also vital that the little spout for pouring the milk out its at the top when you are wearing them too!
I was genuinely surprised when I wore them at how much milk they collected during one feed when I wore one on the side I was not feeding on. It’s amazing how much milk is wasted, and it is little wonder that I had to change my breastpads so often!
I only wear them around the house, although they are smaller than I thought they would be I still feel like Madonna when I am wearing them, and they do stick out a fair bit making your boobs look lumpy to say the least. Even though I can only wear them when I am in the house I have still managed to collect a fair amount of milk which I usually use that same day in a bottle or later a sippy cup to try and get Boo to drink milk that’s not straight from the source!
They are really easy to clean/sterilise, the instructions suggest boiling them for a short while, but I have been using Milton Tablets. In hindsight I would probably have bought a couple of pairs to start off with so that I could wear one pair and have the other sterilising, especially as they are fairly cheap.
All in all I am really glad I bought them, and they have been really valuable in meaning that I have breastmilk to give to Boo in bottles/cups but it’s ‘spare’ milk so I don’t feel like I have wasted any milk I have expressed that Boo then doesn’t drink (she is not a massive fan of drinking from bottles/cups)
Today is nursery eve, tomorrow Boo starts nursery. She will be going for one hour and I get to stay there with her. I know that she is going to be ok as I am staying there with her but it marks the start of her settling in period and by mid November she will be going two full days a week. Maybe like Christmas Eve I should be excited, after all I am sure Boo is going to have a lot of fun, and I don’t have to leave her. But…
I just feel so anxious and unhappy if I am honest. I don’t want her to start nursery just yet, and I don’t want to have to go back to work. I wish I had the choice to be a SAHM but sadly I don’t. I know that I should consider myself lucky as I am able to go back part time and work has been flexible and let me choose the days so that I could get Boo into the nursery that I wanted (even though we went to book her places back in April they only have availability on certain days!)
I just can’t help but focus on the fact that I feel robbed of the choice to be able to stay at home with Boo until she goes to school. I wish we all had the choice to do what we wanted but it seems that we are supposed to juggle working and children and running a home (by ‘we’ I mean both men and women). I honestly never thought I would have children and I have worked all my life, I have had a part time job from the age of 16 and worked full time since I left university. I wish there was the option for me to take a longer break from work so that I could devote my time to raising Boo. I just know I am going to feel so sad if/when I miss any of her firsts. And while I feel it is important for her socially to spend time with children her own age ideally I would like to be just one day a week.
All the paperwork I have had to fill out, emergency treatment permission, allergy information, routines, etc. It all feels overwhelming. I have, subconsciously left the paperwork until the last minute I think because I don’t want to accept that she will be starting nursery. It’s all come to soon, and I honestly cannot believe how fast my maternity leave has gone. A year. A year, seemed like such as long time before my maternity leave started and now it is almost over!
I feel like this is a bit of a self indulgent post after all I am lucky to have a job, lucky that I don’t have to go back to work full time, lucky I have found a nursery I like for Boo but I don’t feel lucky at all. I feel sad that I am going to be missing out on the time I should be spending with Boo.