Could someone read my thoughts and write my posts please.

If I managed to write as many blog posts as I compose in my head then you would all be sick of me. That said, today I have a little time due to having a sleeping Sam on me. 

This week we have discovered one of the hardest moments of parenting: looking after your child when you’re both ill. It has been a hard few days.

Our little angel first showed signs of being a little under the weather on Sunday morning when, on the only morning Carl was not home, he was sick as I lifted him out of his bed. Babies are sick though, it’s part of what they do, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Bringing him into our bed for a cuddle and a feed, all was well until he projectile vomited all over himself, me and the bedding. Wash load on by 7.45am. 

I’d often wondered how you would even know if a baby is sick as opposed to simply ‘being sick’. Well, in the words of the many women who said this to me about labour, “oh, you’ll know”. 

Continuing 4 hours later, as I feed Sam before bed…

It was grim. After a couple of vomit attacks, I phoned NHS Direct, concerned that he would quickly become dehydrated. They advised a doctor’s appointment to check he was ok. 3 hours later, the very specific and not at all vague diagnosis was that it was ‘a virus’, so nothing to be done but wait it out. 

He kept lunch down, but dinner made a reappearance. We had a rocky night and then all improved; happy and bubbly, kept breakfast and lunch down, managed a trip to Crawley, brilliant. At around 4.30pm though, I started feeling unwell and – unbeknown to me – so did Carl. By the time he arrived home an hour later, we were both feeling significantly ropey. He was the first to succumb while I barely managed to hold it together, which became all the more difficult when Sam’s dinner revisited us and he projectile vomited more food than I knew he could fit in him…all over himself, me and his carpet. It was a true exorcist moment and I felt so sorry for him as he started crying with the shock of what had happened. 

It was a bad night for Carl and I. Luckily, Sam slept until about 5am but we barely slept all night, feeling feverish, sick, hot and cold. I hate being ill. 

The next day was hard work as we both struggled to muster any kind of energy and tried to be a semi-decent parent, since Sam still wanted to stand, walk and play. However, he can’t have been feeling 100% because each time we needed sleep, we took him up, I fed him and he also crashed out. Thank goodness for Mum coming round after work and injecting some fun and laughter into his day. 

That was Tuesday. Today we are both finally on the mend and Sam is happy and energetic as anything. Everything has been cleaned and we’ve learned a lesson about being blasé when he has a stomach bug and then shoves his fingers in our mouths. 

It’s been a long week. 

I’m finally posting this, a mere 8 hours after I started it, but at least I’ve managed a post! 

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The first cold

We are currently in the throes of Sam’s first cold…I don’t think I was prepared for how tricky it would be!! At night, he cries every time he rolls onto his back. During the day, he goes from happily playing with toys to being utterly miserable in a matter of seconds. 

Fortunately, he does still want to play and is happy sitting in his bumbo playing with his sensory box. I’m obviously avoiding the playmat for the moment so he doesn’t spend more time than necessary on his back. Yesterday he wanted to go in his jumperoo and stayed in it for nearly an hour. Sometimes he wasn’t even doing anything, I think he was just happy to be upright.

My little runny nosed, dribbly son…I love him with all my heart, but I do flinch when his snotty hands come towards me, ready to stroke (grab) my face, and then rubs his face into my shoulder. Is it any wonder I’ve gone back to sleeved tops for the time being!? 

We have the humidifier running at night, along with a bowl of hot water with eucalyptus oil in, baby Vicks on his chest and dosed up with Calpol. I don’t know there’s much more we can do! I ran my shower on boiling this morning to steam up the bathroom, then sat him in there while I showered (having turned the temperature down somewhat!). I’ve never done so much to fight off a cold… 

It’s heartbreaking hearing Sam snoring as he struggles breathing through his stuffy nose, or crying because he’s tired but so uncomfortable.

Colds are often belittled, but they’re really difficult for babies…and their sleep deprived parents. I had never considered the impact of Sam picking up a cold! Let’s hope he gets better quickly. 

Whose clever idea was this? 

Today, Carl and I are doing a 5k colour run for The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. I like to do a charity event each year and, a few months ago, doing a 5k run seemed like a really good idea. 

Except that it’s July. 

And I haven’t run since the Race for Life 5k last June. 

And I’m not a runner anyway. 

I love doing my bit for charity though. I really want to do something adventurous and brave for a charity I have volunteered with since 2013 next year. But, for now, I have today to get through. 

If you would like to sponsor us and help make my pain worthwhile then please follow the link below, every penny helps make a difference to a child’s life:

http://www.justgiving.com/kirstycarl5k

With my number 1 fan

A rather fluid approach to a routine 

We are, as you know, starting to add a bit more routine into our lives. The only aims are to help Sam go to sleep before he gets overtired and to be able to put him in his cot in the evenings (and eventually for day time naps) – not that we always will, we just want to be able to. He sleeps fine in his cot overnight but seems to sense when it’s early in the evening and wakes up immediately. 

We have a regular evening routine now, which worked like a charm for the first two nights, so we know we’re on the right track. He fell asleep shortly after the bath, woke up an hour in for a feed (I need to suss out feed timings!) and then slept 4 hours. 

Yesterday as a whole was a hellish day – which I’m pretty sure is a teething issue since he was chewing on anything he could get his hands on all day – so we had a nightmare evening trying to help an overtired grouchy Sam get to sleep…2 hours of cuddles and rocking… He woke 2 hourly through the night and fidgeted a lot in his sleep so I don’t think he slept well and obviously I didn’t either.  

I know that many people would still get up at their normal time, but Carl and I agreed to let him (and me) sleep in. He didn’t sleep well and if I’m tired the chances are that he is too! After a nappy change, Carl popped Sam back in bed with me and he fed back to sleep. My reasoning (not that I need to explain my choices!) is that since he was obviously shattered, if we had got up, he would simply have napped or cried all morning instead. This way I got to catch up too. I’ve been fighting a bad throat for nearly 2 weeks, I need any sleep I can get. 

Sam has slept a lot over the last 2 days. Could be a wonder week, could be a growth spurt, maybe teething is making him sleepy, he could just be tired. Whatever the reason, I never see a reason to keep him awake to fit in with a routine. 

If he’s tired, I’ll let him sleep! 

The bottle training has begun 

Day one didn’t go well. Monday night was our first attempt and Sam cried the second the bottle teat touched his mouth each time. Once, he cried before it got near him! I had to remind myself many times that this isn’t going to be instant, if indeed he takes a bottle at all. 

Yesterday, he cried whenever I attempted a bottle (with some precious expressed milk in rather than formula ‘just in case’!) but we had a slightly better result when Carl tried in the evening. This doesn’t surprise me, why would he take a bottle off me when he’s literally sitting next to his preferred food supply!? 

He didn’t take the bottle, but he didn’t cry (progress!). Carl let him discover the bottle teat himself and a couple of times he seemed to let it into his mouth…before pushing it out again. However, the lack of crying when Carl tried was heartening. I’d be happy with him eventually taking it just in the evenings if need be; we don’t have much longer until we can start weaning anyway…provided he’ll allow it! 

Onwards and upwards…positive thinking…!   

A new week. A new plan.

Last week we discovered that lots of the issues we’ve been having can be caused by bad latching – that old chestnut! I’ve always been aware that Sam doesn’t have a great latch, but he’s been growing and putting on weight, so I’ve largely let it slide. However, I mentioned his (grim) nappies to Mum and she immediately had a little peek online. 

Turns out this has been the missing clue to our problems, but one I had been putting down to teething and therefore ignoring. 

Bad latch and therefore inefficient feeding can cause: frequent feeds, long feeds, bad sleep, explosive nappies, excessive wind, stomach cramps, crying … sound familiar? Every bit of it rang true. 

When a baby isn’t feeding correctly, they may well be getting more of the thin, sweet milk and not so much of the thicker ‘hind milk’ that fills them up. This means they aren’t getting/staying full, the sweetness creates wind/stomach cramps, the frequent feeds mean the body has too much liquid and leads to constant explosive nappies…and all of the above lead to bad sleep. 

We have not had an easy ride with breastfeeding. Sam didn’t take the breast for a week, I had a bout of mastitis due to bad latching and it’s never been particularly enjoyable – largely because it’s so constant. 

I have decided that, seeing that we want to get him taking a bottle anyway, this is the end of the road for us with breastfeeding. I am more than happy to express to keep giving him breastmilk and will also give formula since he’s a big baby with a large appetite and I may not be able to express enough for him. I would continue feeding him, but it’s fairly pointless when it’s not filling him up despite me producing plenty! Also, I don’t think he will take a bottle if he’s still feeding off the breast.

We have persevered, as a family, for longer than I believe most people with continuing issues would and I am really proud for getting this far.

Now it’s time to try a bottle before every feed until he hopefully (eventually!) takes it happily each time. I’ve bought a couple of Mam teats as they have excellent reviews and have a few others in the house to try. He will sporadically take one, so I have hope! 

It feels like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. 

Sometimes you have a lightbulb moment and see with perfect clarity what the right course of action for you is. This is the path I hope we can take, it is right for us. 

I am a little bit sad to be saying goodbye to breastfeeding (which surprises me!) but, as I have always said, do what’s right for you and, in this case, your baby.

Mastitis still haunts me

It was weeks ago that I had mastitis, but I’m still feeling the after effects. Fortunately, I am still able to feed Sam off the left breast and I think the milk supply has increased again. The pain has long gone and I feed him off it regularly to avoid a second occurrence.

However, what I still have is the lump from the blocked milk duct. Despite massaging, expressing, feeding, cabbage leaves, hot flannels and every other cure, the lump just wouldn’t shift. I had no pain, the redness has gone and Sam was feeding ok so I didn’t worry much. 

When it refused to shift even weeks later, I thought best to get it checked. Even when you think you know the reason for a lump, it is always best to get it checked out. 

I had my appointment yesterday and it seems all is well. I’ve been advised to go back in 6 weeks to check it has gone down, but not to worry unless it grows or becomes inflamed. 

Always best to err on the side of caution.