So our story continues. The last few weeks may not have offered any solutions but there has been significant improvement from the first two months of his life. In week 9 we saw our little man smile for the first time! And what a tremendous smile he has! His whole face lights up.
His smile may have come several weeks later than most bubs but we don’t care. It was lovely to finally see him awake, without screaming and actually happy. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve seen more and more of this happy baby and I cannot describe to you how heartwarming and relieving it is.
In order to get to this point we’d experimented a little. We found a new GP who seems to know what she’s talking about, is much more supportive and enthusiastic to work with us to find a solution. She suggested dropping all the medication except Zantac and that worked well. After a week we started to see improvements. He stopped howling for hours on end, we started to have times during the day where he would be awake and not screaming and ofcourse then came the smiles. We also tried feeding him every two hours during the day, with the theory being that smaller, more frequent meals would be easier to keep down. But our guzzle guts just saw that as an opportunity to take full meals more frequently!! Then he wanted two hourly feeds all night too. Not to mention my supply went through the roof and I started getting saturated shirts. So we stopped that. I came up with a compromise, feeding him (approx) at 7am, 9am, midday, 3pm, 5:30pm and 7pm. But as much as things had improved, they clearly weren’t fixed.
Our Little Man still wouldn’t settle anywhere but in my arms and wouldn’t sleep anywhere but my arms or in a carrier. If I was lucky he would sleep in my husband’s arms from 5am to 7am. We also still had difficult bouts of crying from pain semi~regularly and no matter how hard I tried, he would only do one sleep in every twenty-four hours in his cot. You could also hear what sounded like him drowning on what he’d bring up into his throat.
So last Friday my husband and I went to Tresillian with our little man. Little Miss was having a wonderful day at my mum’s place. For those who don’t know, Tresillian is a place you can go to get help with your bub, usually for sleep issues. It is a free service offered by the government, although donations are always welcome. However you must be referred by a doctor.
Long story short. They saw exactly what we did. Our Little Man gave almost no warning that he was tired and then the inconsolable screaming began. We didn’t even make it through the first nap and they were putting through the referral for us to go to the week long stay. Needless to say, they couldn’t get him to sleep in his cot either.
An unexpected but not surprising development was that I was diagnosed with post natal depression. I say it’s not surprising because I think anyone subjected to this little sleep and having to hold a baby who only stops howling when they’re asleep would also have issues. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband and very supportive immediate family who’ve been constantly sending text messages and offering help. So I’m sure that when I start to get some proper sleep, all will turn around and the tears and cloudy days will stop.
Now where does that leave us… We’ve started him on Losec, a stronger medication designed to decrease the amount of stomach acid (instead of Zantac which just neutralizes the acid). We are to give him the opportunity at every nap to settle in his cot but if it doesn’t work to just pick him up and hold him (instead of trying to resettle him which just makes him worse). So while we wait for our admission to the week long stay, we hope that these two strategies might help improve things. In the meantime we are counting our blessings and enjoying our Little Man’s smiles!