Tag Archives: newborn

Leave the baby alone

Ru and Oscar

Nom nom nom

And other choice phrases such as “No.” and “Get your foot off his head!” are just a few of the things that you, if you were my next door neighbour, would hear me say.

You might even go so far as to wonder whether it’s actually a recording which fires with alarming regularity. When you find out it isn’t a recording, you’ll wonder why the hell I DON’T record it because the kids might possibly take more (some as opposed to none) notice of a broken record.

Sometimes I wonder the same.

Oscar is so obsessed with his brother he is constantly touching and stroking him. This would be lovely if he didn’t also feel the need to occasionally try and remove Ru’s eyeballs.

Let’s add “Not in his eyes!” to the list.

Thing is, my kids are not very responsive. Rarely, I’ll get a sideways glance, sometimes even s dirty look.

Most of the time, I get ignored.:

Poke, Poke, Poke

“How many times do I have to tell you to leave the baby alone?”

Poke, poke

“Baby’s cryin'”

“He is now that you’ve put your fingers up his nose, yes.”

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After birth

Yesterday I shared with you all (at last) Ls birth story.

I probably made it quite scary.

I’m sorry.  Bits of it were scary, but for the most part, even through the scary bits, it was the most awesome experience of my life up to that point.  It was so awesome that I was actually excited about doing it again when we were waiting for O to arrive. 

My births were amazing.

Anyway, that aside, I’ve been checking out Facebook again – getting ready to steal photos.  I know, in said I wouldn’t but you kind of need them to get the whole picture.  (Get it – picture? Haha.  Grimace.)

So…

L was born at quarter past midnight.  By the time they sewed me up, found a bed and got me there, it was five am.  My support team had to leave.

I had never changed a newborns bum before.

I had never dressed a newborn before.

Hell, I had never been admitted to hospital and had stitches before.

The next few days were horrific.  Absolutely terrible. 

I got told she’d would need feeding and changing at 6am.  So at 6am I rang the buzzer and a Dr came in.  She told me to ring again for a mw, which I did and she told me off.  Great start. 

Then the girl opposite appeared.  She turned out to be really great but I found it intimidating having a woman who gave birth, walked in (I could barely stand up!), changed her baby, fed her baby and fell asleep across the room.  The curtain was pulled round.

I didn’t sleep at all.  I couldn’t.  All I knew was that I was responsible for this tiny little thing and i had no fecking idea how to be resposibile for this tiny little thing.

I was hungry and exhausted and oh God she snuffled a lot in her sleep!  She also coughed up a lot of that horrible phlegmy stuff they get. 

I don’t know if I managed to feed her, but at 7am a nurse came in to do breakfast and found me curled up in the bed crying silently.  I couldn’t do it.  I could not do the mum thing.

They took L away into the office to give me some respite. 

Then I slept fitfully for an hour or so until they bought her back needing a feed.  I think it was then that the mw told me she was shakey and had low blood sugar.  She also had an abnormally large fontenelle and she couldntg out all of her tongue in he mouth.  They wanted to get her checked by the paediatrician in the Neo natal unit.  They also wanted to top here up with formula and keep an eye on her blood sugar.

I couldn’t remember when she needed her sugar checking so I kept ringing the bell every time I went to feed her.  Also, my backside was aching.  It was so painful I could hardly move.  I lost all the strength in my back.  God only knows his many mws I asked to look at it and then all told me it was normal. It wasn’t – I damaged my tail bone which has been giving me grief again recently.

I am digressing.

People.  Everywhere.  They cuddled her.  They held her.  The fussed her.  I was too busy feeling hurt and sorry for myself.  I didn’t want to cuddle her.  I was happy for them to do it.

My family went ahead with the house party and were cleaning and painting our new house while I laid up in a hospital bed.  I hated it.

L was moved to the office again overnight to give me a break.

Some pictures of us from the 30th of August:

image

image

She looks tiny.  She was tiny.

The Chain

When my children are not well, I like to pull them to me and hold them close, making sure they can hear my heartbeat.

A mothers heartbeat is an eternal comfort.

When Oscar is restless and will not sleep, I rest his head on my chest and don’t speak, letting him hear the sounds from the womb.

My body branded O before he was born.  The strawberry kiss on the back of his head a reminder he was pressed low in my pelvis for a long while.  But it is his face which is the most telling and fascinates me.  His forehead bears a reddy purple v shape; the shape of my uneven pubic bone.  It will fade.  Maybe not until school age, but it will go.

I love these small things as they link me to my children, prompting me everyday to remember that together we are something wonderful.

Why I hate our pushchair

Last Wednesday was again, a Bad Day.

I seem to be having a lot of these lately.

It didn’t start out as a Bad Day,  In fact, she went to the childminders and with OH working at home, it had great promises of being a Good Day, a Nice Day, a Pleasant Day even.

It started out with a trip to the local Family Point to see my Health visitor and get O weighed.

I walked over there as usual after playing “build your own” with the Phil and Teds.  Honestly, the more I put that thing together, the more it suggests to me that an NVQ in construction is probably one of the prerequisites to owning one.  You wouldn’t go and buy a car and have to put the wheels on and seats in every time you wanted to drive it, so why make your consumers do that with a pram?  Anyway, I digress.

I wasn’t particularly nervous about going to Family Point even though I had been warned it was hectic.  When I’m not having a Bad Day, things like large groups of people don’t bother me. I HAD forgotten I was wearing a t-Shirt which said “Monkey says SHUT IT!” in very large letters on the front, but never mind!

It was packed.  There were kids everywhere, I blocked in about 5 push chairs.  And all this after I had gone the wrong way to the centre in the first place (I’d come from the other side and mis-judged it.)  A “lovely” lady was there to point me in the right direction, as PHEW I would never have been able to see the huge red brick building with COMMUNITY CENTRE painted across it otherwise!

Anyway, Kids EVERYWHERE.  Massive mayhem.  The Toddler would have LOVED it.  I mean she would have been in her element.

I sat down in a corner after talking to some of the mums about how old/cute O is and some of the older kids wanted to touch him as they were fascinated. He got grabbed a few times but he slept through it.  I explained he was used to is as she “loves” him all the time.

My Health Visitor called me and we weighed O. He’s 13lbs 5oz now.  Huge.  As big as a 3 month old.  But he’s following his line.  He’s not fat.  He’s not losing weight.  He’s normal.  they have no concerns.  I have no concerns.

I reminded my Health Visitor that I wanted to be involved in her quest to improve maternal mental health and she said that as she is heading the initiative she’s in charge and would like me to do it.  She made a note in her diary to ask about the crèche for the Thursday group and sent me on my way.

Obviously, O needed feeding, so I earned my “Breastfeeding at a packed mothers and toddlers group with Toddlers poking the baby” badge.

Then it was time to budget shop.

I am trying to do everything on a budget.  And stick fairly strictly to a menu to try to cut down on the amount of wastage we have.  I’m also hoping we will save money by being very restrictive about what we buy and buying things ahead of time rather than ad hoc as this seems to result in buying unnecessary items (cute baby clothes, chocolate, toddler toys, seeds, a cake we will never eat etc etc)

So, I’m mentally working through my list and have picked up cans and tins of stuff.  the basket is heavy and it’s resting on the handle bar and across the sun visor of the pram.  I always rest it here.  I don’t normally have a problem.  But today, while I was in the frozen meat aisle on the phone to OH asking him where I could find the frozen chicken chunks, the pram went over backwards.

IT WENT OVER BACKWARDS on to O’s head.  One of the shop assistants shot over and asked if I was ok.  I was in shock and just stood looking down at the stupid pram for what seemed like 10 minutes.  I was horrified.  O was asleep.  he remained asleep.  The only thing that seemed to happen to him was that he went a little red from having his feet higher than his head.

I lifted the pram back up and checked him as best I could.  I was kind of scared to take him out incase there was blood and gore and horrible things.  O seemed to be breathing with no issues and reacted when I touched him, so I piled everything back on the pram and headed to the checkouts a little shaken and with a very sore toe where the basket had landed on it.

Maybe I should have called an ambulance and rushed him to A & E.  Maybe I should have asked a first aider to come look at us.  But I didn’t.  And I regretted this while I was waiting at the checkout.  I regretted it while I was walking home in the rain, my feet getting soaked through my very waterproof flip-flops.

I got back and we woke him up.  I swore I could see marks and bruises on his head where he fell and I felt sick to my stomach that I had been careless and stupid enough to let that happen.  I always considered myself a cautious mum and could never understand how women did silly things like overload a pushchair and yet I’d done it.

OH re-enacted the accident with an empty pushchair and reinforced that there was no way he could have hit his head.

To say I am relieved is an understatement. He’s absolutely fine.

I wish the same could be said for my poor toes.

Mummy Milk bar

Dear owner

I am writing to complain about the poor service I have received over the past 5 weeks from you.

If I scream it means I’m hungry and you should dispense immediately.   I have heard you claiming that you NEED to eat first or you shall starve.  However, if this continues, I shall be forced to poo more in an attempt to obtain full attention as I should be fed first and foremost before all others.

I have also heard you complaining that I am “messing about” when in fact I am preparing the dispenser for maximum dispensing effect.  If I then do not wish for it to flood my mouth, I do indeed reserve the right to let it spill on the machinery.

In future, please can you make sure that all pleas for opening, regardless of hour, are met with a prompt responsse.  If I can cope with having just two hours sleep between feeding then I’m sure you can.

Also, when I cry at night after feeding, please do not hand me over to the hairy one.  I will just continue to cry until you come and serve me yourself.  As you are surely aware I am a VIP and require attention from the company director, not one of the minions.

Kind regards

Oscar

Admiration for a mother

When I first had the Toddler, I was encouraged to go along to the local Bumps and Babes group for some further support.

As it happened, some of the mums I went with turned out to be not the people I thought they were, but there was one mum I had always admired.

She was a breastfeeder although she expressed as she wasn’t comfortable feeding in public.  She was quite shy, and her baby was unable to turn her head in one direction due to he way she had been laying in the womb.  This had put the baby’s development behind, had meant that she had to have physio and the last time I saw her, she had to be in a brace for 22 hours a day.

And Mum handled it brilliantly!  She was on her own for 12 hours a day and she never complained about it (I complain bitterly if OH is just five minutes late home from work).  She was so incredibly brave.  Obviously, you never know what is going on behind closed doors, but I was falling apart with Post natal depression and this mother was handling everything her pregnancy, labour and child threw in her face.

The Mum had also haemorrhaged heavily during her labour and needed a transfusion…which always made me think she wouldn’t want to do it again.

I recently saw her in the local supermarket looking fab.  And she had another baby.  A boy this time, who had been due the day before O but had been three weeks early.  She had a 1 and a half hour labour with him with no complications. Her baby girl was also walking and had been since she was 1!

I admire this woman so much for not only facing and coping with her first child so brilliantly but also not letting a negative experience during the birth and afterwards stop her from going on to build the family she wanted.

A trip to the hospital

Wednesday was a hard day.  It’s not normally a hard day, but for some reason, that one was.

I wake up, clean and change The Toddler and generally get her ready to go to the childminder.  Sometimes we give her a small breakfast before she goes, but this day, we didn’t.  Just dress her and chuck her in the car.

Then it’s just me and O.  I had been looking forward to just cuddling and blogging and seeing my mum.  He was sleeping so I phone mum and find out what she’s doing then arrange to go there later in the day as it’s her birthday.  It’s a nice day so I decide to walk.  When O wakes up, I feed him, change him, make sure he’s going to warm enough in the pram without her seat and set off. I go to Sainsburys first to buy some things (ie mums present – yes, I’m crap) and then I walk to mums house.  It isn’t too far, but it takes a while.  We’re only about 15 minutes into the walk and O starts making some whooping and choking sounds.  he’s also foaming a little at the mouth.  He does this when he’s hungry or windy, so I resolve to keep an eye on it and continue walking.  This is probably my first fail of the day.

I get to mums and O is still foaming, so I feed him and put him down to sleep.  He seems to be a bit unsettled, but again, he goes through phases, so this is not unusual.  Mum and I chat and eat donuts and drink tea then I check my phone.  2 messages and one missed call.  It’s 12.45.  The messages and missed call are from around 12 and they are from the childminder.  The Toddler has the squits.  Oh joy.  I phone the childminder back and she explains that The Toddler grabbed her tummy and rolled around on the floor before each episode like she was in agony and then filled a nappy…to the point where it was running out of her.  She was also following through on each fart.  I know.  This is a lot of information you don’t need.  Well, you do, but probably don’t want to know about consistency.

Anyway, I walked to mums, and I have no car with me.  I also have a small child and mum doesn’t have a car seat, so the only way for me to get to The Toddler is to walk home and then drive to pick her up.  Ok, not too much of a problem but it would be so much easier of OH could do it.  NOPE.  He’s not contactable by phone.  So, I power walk back home.  The 40 minute walk takes me 20 minutes.  I change O into something cooler and then put him in the car seat.  He screams.  And chokes a bit.  And sniffles.  Odd, but not unheard of.  Plus he hates the car seat and always gets himself in a state when we try to put him in there.  I drive to the childminder, expecting my car to end up smelling of shit and her to be pale and wanting cuddles.

Her: MUMMY!

She runs up with a huge grin on her face.  She looks normal.  Not ill at all.  A little bit weird, but after chatting to the childminder, I conclude that it’s likely to be something that she has eaten (2 kiwis for lunch?) and I’ll just keep an eye on her.  I point out that O doesn’t seem to be too well, but think it’s just a cold or sniffles as The Toddler had had the sniffle a couple of days before.  He’s a little phlegmy.

We get home and The Toddler poops.  I expect an explosion and end up with a normal poo.  So, it looks like that drama is mostly over.  However, O is getting worse and won’t settle on his back.  He’s tired and fussy and she’s half asleep, so I get them both to sleep and then ask OH to call the out of Hours GP when he gets in.  I hate calling them as they always make me feel stupid.  Turns out this one is no better.  I can hear every word she is saying and as OH says that O has been ill since lunch time she replies with “Well, he should have gone to his GP today.” SERIOUSLY?  When?  When did I have time to sort out getting him a drs appointment?  Ok, maybe I should have done.  Maybe the first sniffle should have had me running down there and demanding to see someone.  But it didn’t.  Then SHE says “Well, see how it goes overnight and book in with a GP in the morning as it doesn’t sound that bad.”  You what?  You tell me I should have taken him earlier in the day then deny booking us in the evening?  How does that work?  I’m upset.  And furious.  First the bitch questions me judgement and then denies him an appointment?  He had gotten steadily worse and was now struggling to breathe a bit.  He wasn’t feeding too well and he was grizzly.  I didn’t think he had anything massively serious but you never can tell with newborns and the symptoms were enough to ring alarm bells.  I had checked his temperature twice during the day and he didn’t seem to be too bad.

OHs parents came over for a cup of tea and I explained to his mum that I wasn’t happy.  She says that if we decide to take him to A & E she will come and look after The Toddler.  So we carry on the evening and then go to bed about midnight.  I change O’s nappy for the last time and it’s green.  This in itself is not unusual. The bit that strikes me as wrong is that it looks like a blob of green in some pee.  It’s not right.  Definitely not right.  I speak to one of my friends on Twitter then make the call to take him to the hospital.

The drama starts.  OH wants me to phone his mum and wake her up.  I just want things sorted so I can get my son seen.  We start to argue, but he ends up phoning his mum and getting her round.  Once she arrives, we head off.  I have nothing with me.  The only bag I have contains a few nappies, a few changes of clothes for O, a blanket, some wipes and my phone which practically dead.  We’re still arguing about going out.  He thinks I’ve made the wrong call. He thinks we’ll be told he has a cold and sent home.  Fine, he has a cold, but please let me get someone to see him tonight.  At least then when I’m running around the next day trying to control The Toddler and he’s coughing away and gagging I’ll know I’ve done everything I can for him.  Surely you can understand this?  No.  He still thinks that hospital is the wrong decision and I should listen to some woman on the phone who hasn’t been with him all day and can’t hear him whooping and gagging.  He knows as well as I do that the Out Of Hours service, though useful, is not infallible and ultimately you have to use your own judgement in these things.

We get to the hospital and get triaged almost straight away.  O gets stripped off as he’s a little on the warm side.  They don’t tell us how warm.  OH has a face like thunder and I keep thinking he’ll finally see why we’re here.  We get told to go back out to wait.  I’m getting the silent treatment.  We wait for about half an hour then get called through to the A & E treatment area.  We’re put in isolation.  I’m thinking this is more for his protection than the protection of the other children.  The Sister checks his temperature and it’s dropped to 37.1.  She puts him on a trace and asks us to get a wee sample.  I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to get a wee sample from a baby but it’s not easy. We knew this already from the last time we ended up at the hospital with The Toddler.  OH sits with a cup pressed up to O and I try feeding him.  The Sister can see that he’s struggling when he’s laid down and tells us she would like the Dr to see him.

Once she’s gone, the arguing starts in earnest.  I’m told he needs to go to work in the morning and he doesn’t know how he’s going to do it.  He’s pissed off that I’ve dragged him up there and he blames me.  He accuses me of loving the situation and being selfish because it’s all about how I can’t wait until the morning.  He’s tired.  No excuse.  I#m tired too.  He gets to sleep on the uncomfortable chairs and then the floor.  I get to hold O while he dozes.

The Dr doesn’t take long to come in.  He says he can tell the O has a virus or bug and getting a pee sample will show them what it is.  He checks him over and O pees on cue (thank goodness).  He sends the Sister back in and she does more observations.  O’s temp has gone back up to 37.9 and she asks if we want some Calpol for him.  I tell them that yes, I would like him to be able to sleep a little without suffering too much. She tells us that they have made the decision to admit O upstairs in the Paediatric assessment unit, however, they aren’t ready for him yet.  So begins more waiting.  And much more fighting.  The bed in the room is adjusted and OH sleeps a while on it. We get a cup of tea.

Finally they take us up to G ward and put us in another isolation room.  This time with a cot so we can put him down and we’re offered another cup of tea by the nurses doing the observations upstairs.  Thanks to calpol, his temperature has dropped again and he seems to be a bit more settled and less phlegmy.  They tell us where the kitchen and the toilets are and then leave to go and get the Dr.

She comes in and asks for the story again so far.  I go through it and she starts checking O over.  I can’t help but notice how good she is at calming him.  She just places a hand on his head and he seems to drift off to a happy place.  I can’t do this.  I put a hand on his head and he’s like “Boobies, Mouth, NOW!”

Anyway, she spots a patch under his arm.  We had seen it before and thought (like with The Toddler) that it was a sweat rash and nothing to be too concerned about.  However, the Dr thinks it might be infected and the entire cause of his upset.  So, yes, we do know about it, and no we weren’t too worried about it.  Turns out now that it might be this neglectful thinking that has caused him to be ill.  I have some serious mummy guilt going on, but I can’t surrender to it as people are still asking questions.  It’s gone 5 am by this time and we’re all frazzled.  The Dr explains that she wishes she could tell us it’s just the sniffles but with the patch under his arm, she can’t be sure and wants to start some aggressive antibiotics via IV. The plan is to take some blood and put a line in at the same time.  I’m thinking anything to make him better,  I caused this by not being vigilant enough when cleaning him.  Anything to make him more comfortable.

I can’t watch them doing the IV.  I have a thing where I react inappropriately in times of extreme emotional stress and I would likely end up rolling on the floor laughing or something .  It’s not fair for me to go in.  OH decides he’ll go in and I go and make a coffee.

By the time my coffee is made, he’s still in having his IV and I watch two more people go in and look at him.  I overhear bits on conversation and half expect them to discuss the possibility of Social being involved.  They don’t.  They say from the initial cultures, its unlikely that the rash is causing the infection but it’s not worth the risk, so they continue hooking him up.  Finally, after hearing him scream and screech, he comes back out with his right hand bandaged to the elbow and I’m encouraged to feed him.  He’s very sleepy but I manage to rouse him by changing his nappy and give him a good feed. I’m sorry O.  This is my fault.  all my fault.  But you’ll get better now.  I hope he knows this.

The nurse comes back and starts his meds and has to dig the dirty nappy out of the bin as they want a stool sample too.   He sleeps.  They both sleep. Both the boys.  We are told that he may be on the meds for around 48 hours.  I need things.  I need booby pads and sanitary towels.  I need clothes.  I can’t leave.  O needs me for food, if for nothing else.   OH doesn’t want to leave now .  he thinks it’ll make him look unsupportive.  I’m still hurting from the things he said earlier, but at least O is getting better now.

We put the makeshift bed down and arrange for Ant’s parents to help. His mum finds out the bits and his dad drops them to the hospital. I’m preparing to be there for the long haul.

The shift change happens and the new shift introduce themselves.  They make me a cup of tea, and explain that they are continuing the meds.  By this time I’m starting to think about missing The Toddler.  How will she do with me gone for a couple of days?  How would I cope at night in that little room? I don’t want to stay.  I want O to go home. Why did I start this?

At 10 am, the new Dr comes in.  He introduces himself and tells us O’s bloods are clear.  he takes a look at the rash and concludes it’s just a common sweat rash and we should expose it as much as possible and that O has a cold.  He checks his nose by putting tubes up it.  I can’t watch this either, but this is a squeamish thing.  I never though of myself as squeamish.  This hurts too as my very unformed plans of becoming a midwife fade.  How can I be a midwife if I’m squeamish?  Especially about things like this?  Strange the things we learn about ourselves when we;re having a drama.

The canular gets removed.  Poor thing has had a dose of antibiotics he didn’t need and has been poked and prodded.  I know he won’t remember it, but I will.  I’ll remember the hell I put him through for a cold.  Mummy fail.