Wednesday, 26 November 2008

More Whinging

I forgot to mention also that after we lost Banjo one of the possibilities was that the GBS bacteria crossed the placenta which is a rarity. The only way to attempt to avoid a recurrence of this was to abstain from sex leading up to and during my pregnancy as well as no tampons and no internal exams or internal ultrasounds.

So obviously it wasn't hard for Rob and I to commit to abstaining if it meant we could have a safe pregnancy however it was for 3 months before I got pregnant 35 weeks of pregnancy and now I'm still bleeding 18 weeks post pregnancy - you do the maths!!!!

My husband is a saint.

Welcome to my pity party

I usually try not to complain too much. I'll state the facts for better or worse but try not to get to caught up with the cries of poor me. (At home with Rob I'm probably inclined to whinge a bit more but to the rest of the world I try and put on a brave face). Anyway I'm about to have a big poor me moment so you may want to look away.


I feel like for two and a half years my life has been consumed by Doctors and I thought once I had Noah it would all be over for a while but here we are 4 months in and now it's double because there's 2 of us.

July 2006 - the serious fertility hunt started - blood tests, ultrasounds my first surgery
July to December 2006 - monthly sub-cutaneous implants of a menopause drug to help with the Endometriosis - hot flushes, mood swings, nausea
September 2006 - my second and far more invasive surgery (3 days in hospital)
December/January 2006/2007 - IVF - daily injections and blood tests.
January - July 2007- pregnant YIPPEE
July 2007 we lost our little Banjo
July - November 2007 - more blood tests and Dr's appointments than I can count trying to figure out how we lost Banjo - lots of theories no real answers
Nov/Dec 2007 - Another successful round of IVF (what a blessing we were successful first try both times)
December - July 2007 Pregnant - daily injections, 3 months of pessaries, thrice weekly appointments to monitor this very volatile pregnancy
July 23rd - The dramatic arrival of Noah - my greatest reward
July 23rd - a blood transfusion for me and a trip to PMH for Noah
(home 1 week later that should be the end of Doctors for a while - right? WRONG)

In four months Noah has been to PMH twice (not including the 3 days after his birth) had 5 Chiropractic & 1 Physio Appointment, 3 GP Visits and seen 3 different paediatricians a total of 6 times plus seen a naturopath. He's taken 5 rounds of reflux medication - administered twice daily - plus god knows how many colic remedies - infacol, gripe water, marina infant formula, brauers stomach calm. He's had suppositories to make him poo and he's now got his second cold.

Now for me - I'M STILL BLEEDING. Noah is 18 weeks today!! Imagine - a year and a half's worth of periods back to back!! I've had a D & C plus taken 3 rounds of 2 different contraceptive pills to try and stem the bleeding. Today I have to get blood taken (from my arm) for a list of about 10 things my Dr is testing to see what the hell is going on. I'm exhausted.

Just to top it off all the stress has made my psoriasis flare up so I'm going for treatment 3 times a week for that plus my knee is full of fluid which I'm having aspirated tomorrow.


Friday, 21 November 2008

Learning to Sleep

What a strange concept - learning to sleep. Or even stranger - not going to sleep even though you are really tired. You've got a free schedule - no laundry to do, no dinner to cook, no house to clean - all you have to do is eat and sleep - I mean what a dream existence - yet our boy screams and screams when it's time to sleep.

He just doesn't know how to put himself to sleep without someone nursing him and rocking him - which has been fine for 17 weeks and 2 days but now we want to be able to put him in his cot and for him to at least try and wind himself down and nod off. Especially during the day which is really our biggest problem he simply will not go to sleep.

So Noah, Mum and I headed off to sleep school - The Hush Baby program is run through the community health clinic is 2 sessions of 3 hours and costs nothing.

Everything the nurse had to say made so much sense and I really already knew (I guess I was hoping for some amazing new insight) but in my head I knew it was going to be difficult to apply to Noah. She told us how babies thrive on routine and like to know what to expect. They need to feel secure that we will come when they need us - secure enough to know that if they just go to sleep we are still near by for them.

Noah has been cuddled and loved as much as, if not more than a lot of babies but when he's so obviously tired and in need of sleep and you try and put him down he just screams. The only method that works is to get him fast asleep in your arms and then gently put him in his cot (and even then there is often several failed attempts before he's down for the night or if it's daytime he's awake again in 15 minutes).

The key to training your baby to self settle is that they must be put in their cot awake so they are aware of going to sleep by themselves - then if they wake themselves up after a sleep cycle (babies sleep in cycles of 45 minutes) they can re-settle themselves instead of crying out for mummy and daddy.

After the class on Wednesday I was pretty fired up and thought Rob and I could give it a red hot go. So Rob offered to do the first session on Wednesday night. He put Noah down in his cot awake and kept his hands on him and gently soothed him - Noah started OK then the crying escalated and he had to be picked up to be calmed back down (all part of the anticipated process). The catch however was that after that first attempt every time Rob put him back down he started crying/screaming straight back at his top register (he should in theory start off calm again and possibly escalate to needing calming again). After about 30 minutes we had to abort the mission and go back to the old method - which worked in about 15 minutes flat and he slept through to 6am with his one night feed as per normal.

I guess we'll try again next month!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Goodnight Noah

I took Noah to his first afternoon of sleep school today which was very interesting. Rob is going to try and start implementing some of the new techniques tonight - I'll let you know how he goes.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

New family schedule

Woo Hoo - from now until Christmas Rob is only working 4 days a week. His wonderful employers have agreed to let him take 1 days leave a week for the next 5 weeks so he can spend more time at home with me and Noah. I'm so excited it's awesome - today was his first RDO and we had such a lovely family day - a real treat in the middle of the week.

He's done it partially to take some of the pressure off me looking after our grumpy but extremely gorgeous son but also because balancing work and home with a high maintenance baby was really wearing him down. That extra day off in the middle of the week is going to help keep him recharged and fit for work. We're so lucky he works for such a fantastic, truly family friendly company and it will be better for them in the long run because he'll perform better when he is at work.

Life is good

Official Diagnosis - Grumpy

Last Tuesday Noah had an appointment with a new paediatrician - Dr Paul Porter. This is the third different one we've been to and we have found him to be very thorough and lovely as well. The first one was the hospital appointed one from when Noah was born (we weren't very keen on him), the second one was the paediatric kidney specialist so Dr Porter will be Noah's general paediatrician for the foreseeable future.

When we saw Dr Porter last week he gave Noah a pretty thorough exam and had a really long chat with me about everything that has gone on and all the different courses of treatment we've pursued so far. He agreed with me that Reflux seemed not to be the problem despite most Doctors keen urge to diagnose this for every unsettled baby. However he put us on a 1 week trial of Reflux medication just to be sure. As guessed it had no effect and we have scrapped taking it. He expressed some concerns about Noah's general development and as a result that afternoon we were off to PMH for a brain scan. At this young age they are able to ultrasound the brain through the fontanelle (soft spot) - Noah slept through the whole thing and it turned out to be a very simple procedure. A couple of days later we got a message on our answering machine letting us know that it was all clear but to go in for a follow up appointment yesterday.

Yesterday I went in for the appointment and Noah and I ended up staying the night in Joondalup Hospital. It was 16 weeks almost to the hour since the same thing happened during my pregnancy. Show up for a quick appointment and then you don't get to go home - very dramatic. Anyway this was nothing to worry about just a wonderful caring Dr doing everything he can to help us out with our very unsettled little man.

The idea was for us to stay in the kids ward for 48 hours being fully monitored by the various nurses and doctors so they could see how he behaves and attempt to make some conclusions about what is going on with him. In the end we only stayed 24 hours but it was a thoroughly worthwhile exercise and it gave us some answers even though there are no actual solutions.

First of all we were given extensive validation that he his in fact extraordinarily unsettled and cries an excessive amount. In fact a couple of the nurses were gobsmacked at the amount and the severity of his crying/screaming spells (good to know we're not just being wusses!!). We were also given some reassurances about his development. The registrar confirmed that his physical strength is significantly delayed (head stability and general body tone in particular) and that his social interaction is also behind but there is no discernible reason for any of it and he will more than likely meet all his milestones a bit late but he will get there.

As far as his 'grumpiness' the doctors felt that he suffers from general wind and digestive problems and is just an overly sensitive baby who can't cope well with that situation. The only cure will be time and we just have to manage it and wait for him to grow out of it.

So it has been a huge week but Rob and I feeling really good about things and are just going to relax about Noah now and get on with it. No more Doctors, no more medicine, just time, it seems, is all he needs.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Back to Noah

I know it has seemed a bit like this has turned into DJ's blog but I'll be back with the update on Noah tomorrow after we see the paediatrician.

DJ the Cat - Part 3

DJ's reign of terror continues. Saturday night I woke up at 1.30am screaming. I was telling Rob that DJ had brought another bird in and it was on my pillow and that I had feathers in my mouth. Rob told me to close my eyes while he turned on the lamp to have a look. There was of course no bird it was just a bad dream but it was so real to me I could taste the feathers. I'm scarred for life.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Snuffles and the cutest little cough

Our baby boy has his first ever cold. It's so sad to hear him coughing all night and his nose sounds like he can barely breathe. It's been back to the newborn days with him waking up every 2 hours. Hopefully it won't last too long because I've been quite enjoying only 1 night feed and a bit of extra sleep. Thank god it's the weekend because we're all very tired today.

Friday, 7 November 2008

DJ the Destroyer

Today I'm looking after Olivia and Noah is with John De Roach. Livvy and I have been having a lovely morning - drawing, blowing bubbles and chasing the cat and the dogs. Then she points out a feather on the floor and she's very happy to have found the pretty feather so she picks it up and we play. As I move around the house I start to notice more feathers - lots of feathers - the penny drops - DJ has killed a bird. Sad but just one of those things - I don't give it much more thought. Then I notice Bonnie trying very hard to get under Noah's cot - I've never seen her do this before so I take a look what she's trying to get to - assuming a tennis ball has rolled under there. No folks not a tennis ball - a bloody half eaten mess of a bird!!! I'm not normally such a girl about things like that but it nearly makes me throw up in fact I called Rob almost hysterical. I think it felt worse because it was under Noah's bed - a violation. I was adamant I couldn't remove it and was about to call my Dad when I realised I had to toughen up. It has now been removed and the area disinfected but I still have a sick feeling in my stomach - it was so gross. I'm so over the animals at the moment - between barking dogs waking Noah and cat hair all over everything and now this - one baby is more than enough to take care of.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

But now where will I sleep?

There are three places that DJ loves to snuggle up and have a sleep

1. Under the bougainvillea

2. In the old green armchair in the carport

3. The unused pink bassinet.

Here they all are on the verge ready for bulk rubbish collection this week. We have a very sad pussy cat roaming around feeling very sorry for himself.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Swimming Lessons

Swimming class is normally my territory but Rob decided to get in on the fun and joined Noah in the pool last week - pretty brave with all those women and babies!!

Learning to smile

October 10th

October 24th

Night Feeds

Even though I would obviously prefer to sleep straight through every night, in a funny way I enjoy my little night visits with Noah. I get woken up by his cute little sounds anywhere from about 1.30am through till about 4am - this morning it was 2.30. I've got such a routine going I can literally do it in my sleep. First I switch off the monitor so Rob doesn't get disturbed then I head across the hall to Noah's room, as soon as I open his door he knows it's me and I say to him 'Mamma's here' and he quietens down or makes happy noises. Usually when I pick him up he gives me a big smile to say thanks for coming to get me. We head to the fridge grab a bottle and pop it in the microwave - Noah knows the milk is coming soon and starts to get a bit restless. We head to the couch and he just guzzles it down. It's so nice to watch him so peacefully drinking and the two of us just sitting in the dark. It's a special little thing that we share while Rob and everyone else are tucked in their beds sleeping soundly we meet up for our first special cuddle of the day.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Three Months Old

Dear Noah

You are now 3 months, 1 week and 2 days old and growing so fast. It's been a tough journey for all of us so far. You my gorgeous son are in such pain and are still suffering terribly with your digestion/wind/constipation pains. You are such a beautiful little boy and it breaks mine and Daddy's hearts when you cry and scream in agony. We are taking you to yet another Doctor on Tuesday to see what he can do for you.

It's such a tragedy because when you are pain free you are so happy and smiley and try so hard to have a good time with your toys but then before long the pain returns and you just don't know what to do with yourself.

You have been sleeping much better at night over the last 6 weeks and you usually have one stint of 5-7 hours which is really great. You do not like to sleep during the day unless it is in your pram or in the car - god forbid we try to put you in your cot for a daytime nap. You absolutely love the mobile over your cot though so you are quite happy for a little while to smile at it but there's no way you'll ever fall asleep. At night Daddy makes the whole house dark and walks with you round and round in circles humming and singing until you fall asleep. Lots of dads wouldn't do that you're really lucky with the dad that you've got. I get up with you in the middle of the night and we have a nice quiet bottle of milk before having some more sleep. You and Daddy get up together anywhere from 5.30 - 6.30 and start the day while mummy has a sleep in. Daddy would much prefer it was 7.00am so can you try and give that a go!!

You have lots of funny little idiosyncrasies which we are getting used to. You almost always prefer to be picked up and held but then sometimes it makes you annoyed - the trick is knowing the difference. Same goes with having me or daddy as a passenger next to you in the car - sometimes you love it other times it makes you scream - the exact opposite effect of what we are trying for.

You have developed a weird obsession with the Johnny Cash song "Get Rhythm" - we discovered it quite by accident one day when you were screaming in the car. We had the Walk the Line Soundtrack in the CD player and we cranked it up (to drown out the screaming!!!) and low and behold you went quiet immediately. Since then we have used the same trick hundreds of times and almost without exception it quietens you down - amazing. Thank god it was a song we could bear listening to so many times.

You love the Baby Bjorn and it's almost guaranteed to calm you down in any situation. I can see why you like it - I mean who wouldn't want to be carried around the park in what is essentially one really long cuddle.

You still really love your baths and also love showers - you're completely happy to have the water streaming over your head and in your eyes.

Nappy changes and getting dressed have gotten so much better - thank god - we were afraid at one stage that you would scream through them forever. More often than not now we can lay you on your change table and your really happy to look at your 'flutterby' and let us get on with it. In fact the flutterby is really the first toy that you ever took notice of and you're quite smitten with it.

Today you really discovered your fists and were amazed to find you could bat at the toys on your playgym and make them rattle and swing. The look on your face was priceless - then you did it over and over for about 20 minutes still just as fascinated each and every time.

Daddy and I feel so blessed to have you and even though you are most definitely harder work than we ever could have imagined every minute is worth it. When we see you smile and laugh our hearts burst with happiness and we look forward to many more smiles as hopefully your pains start to fade away.

Love Mummy


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