Blogging, Mummy stuff

Waving not drowning

Unmade bed. Mother in PJs. Just the usual madness. Also, the size of my upper arm is an optical illusion. *cough*

Hello. It’s me. I am still here. Albeit a bit quieter than I used to be.

Motherhood 2.0 has turned out to be an application with a few hiccups. Petite Pea has silent reflux combined with milk protein intolerance. She went 11 weeks without a diagnosis. I.e. I went more than 11 weeks without sleep. I had no idea about reflux and how bad it can be. How it keeps your baby from feeding, and how, because she’ll be hungry and in pain at night, she keeps on waking every 60 to 90 minutes. Even at 3, 4 or 5 months of age.

After I gave the NHS a miss (seriously, ‘she’ll grow out of it’ isn’t a good enough answer for a baby in pain!) and saw a private paediatrician, the Pea was put on medication and I was put on a strictly dairy free diet. Christmas without butter biscuits, gravy and cheese was a first, but so worth it. Within a few days of feeding dairy free breastmilk, the baby was a million times better – irritated eyes, blocked nose and wheezing just disappeared. Amazing.

We also changed her two bottles of formula to hypoallergenic. Which she doesn’t particularly enjoy, but at least it won’t hurt her.

At least one of the kids is under control.

It took a while for us to get the doses of medication right and to get the side effects under control. Constipated babies aren’t that much fun, really. But even as her condition improved, Petite Pea kept on waking every 2 to 3 hours at night. At 3 months of age, this is not acceptable. Babies need sleep to grow and for their mental development. And I desperately needed sleep to shake off the prolonged baby blues.

Not quite as innocent as it looks

In the past few weeks, everything had started to become somewhat bleak. I can’t even say that I felt particularly depressed – I just stopped feeling anything. I was living with the memory of feelings, knowing that in certain situations, I was supposed to be happy, trying to remember how that felt.

Despite gaining control of the reflux, sleep was still a long way off. By now, Pea had developed a habit of only taking small feeds and waking frequently in the night. And I was way too tired to figure out a way to stop that vicious circle.

So. We called a maternity nurse. Not just any maternity nurse. We called Christina. A Godsend. An Angel. My saviour. Slowly but surely she nudges the baby towards longer spells between waking in the night and bigger feeds during the day. Petite Pea is butter in her hands. She is a much happier baby. And it’s amazing what a few nights sleep have done to my mood.

Light is on the horizon. In other words: Happy New Year!


  1. Really glad to hear you’re managing to work through this – Christina sounds like a marvel. Be kind to yourself and here’s to a fabulous New Year for you all xxx

  2. So happy to read this, glad that things are improving….I can only imagine how hard it’s been & how exhausted you must be.

    Good for you for getting the maternity nurse though – and glad that it’s been a success.

    Your girls are absolutely beautiful 🙂

    Happy 2013 to you too XX

  3. Good to hear things are slowly improving for you and the Petite Pea. Here’s hoping more sleep comes in 2013. Happy New Year.

  4. wonderful news, my friend had a maternity nurse and worshiped her!

    Happy New Year and see you in 2013 xxx

  5. You’re right – that sleep deprivation plays havoc with both babies and parents. Here’s to more sleep in 2013. xx

  6. Boy, I remember the agonies of sleepless nights and you did absolutely the right thing by seeking help. So glad things are looking up for you all and lack of sleep doesn’t seem to affect how gorgeous you all are. Happy New Year hon! x

  7. I have been there……. standing with my face behind the glass, looking at my life, detached and not exactly depressed, just not really in it. I think tiredness is a MAJOR factor, and if I could have gotten help I would have taken it in a heartbeat. Happy New Year, to you and the family.

  8. Reflux is awful and still a very little talked about problem. My first had it for a long time and because I didn’t know anyone who had a child with it, I just thought we’d get through it so we had no medication and no help and I just struggled through. If it happens again this time with No. 2 I will push my way to help whatever it takes. I’m glad you can start to see some light through the tunnel. All the best for the start of 2013 for you x

  9. Jo Avery says

    So pleased you are both on the up and managing more sleep. Here’s to more zzzzzzzs in 2013 for all of you xx

  10. Well done lovely! You are doing fab and you look bloody good with so little sleep! What’s the secret? Spit it! 😉
    Take care Pxx

  11. My son went through the same thing- I had to give him baby gaviscon and he was even hospitalised at one point with his silent reflux. I was literally at breaking point with him awake every 90mins to 2 hours at night and he’d be awake all day crying in pain and hungry. I refused to accept he’d improve but he did, at 6+ months now he is 95% better, still wakes 3-4 times at night but the sleep has Made me feel human again, ESP as I have another child. Good luck and I hope your son continues to get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel!!

  12. So glad you’re managing to sleep a bit more! Sleeplessness sends you up the wall, specially with another little one to deal with. Hoping for a lovely 2013 for you all xxxx

  13. So glad things are looking up for you! I suffered from milk intolerance as a baby but in the 80’s it wasn’t really a diagnosed thing…my parents went through absolute hell with me!
    Such a gorgeous Mama and babies 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful new year
    Love Charlotte xxx
    P.S changed my domain/blog to…I‘ve come back to wordpress- I missed it lol xxxx

  14. Kate Allott says

    Great that you’re back on track and can start to engage with life again. Sleep is important!
    Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2013 is full of good times for us all.

  15. I really understood ths post, and you pain. I had twins in late August and after struggling with breastfeeding( I had fed my previous 5 so how could this be ny different???) and both of them losing weight or staying BELOW birth weight that I finally gave in to formula. Whilst one has gotten on fine, sleeps well and is a happy healthy little girl poor little Elsi sounds just like your Petit Pea. I admit I had wondered about an allergy of some type but once again we have never had any allergies so I just put it out of my mind as an impossibility.
    I’m afraid a nanny is out of the question, we live on a farm in rural west wales and have already looked into this- the common reply is a quick chuckle. I will however find us a paediatrician ASAP- as an American although I love and cherish th NHS I do see the need to bring in the big guns from time to time!
    I too have had terrible numbing PND but I won’t go into that! All is under control thanks to the fore mentioned big guns.
    I hope thatb2013 brings continued health and happiness for you and your beautiful family. This is what I love about blogs, it makes you feel normal.
    Happy 2013, Ashleigh xx

  16. Hello…oh I have been thinking of you and hoping that it’s all OK. My nephew had reflux and I recall going to see my sister in law at about 7 weeks and being confronted with someone who had mildly lost the plot. I hope she won’t mind me saying – but I so relate to what you write about having the memory of feelings; not real ones. Actually I dreamt last night that I was pregnant and I must admit, waking to find it was not true was a relief! Getting a maternity nurse does help – for sure – and I think it’s great that you are feeling more human. Keep up the slightly thankless hard work and soon it will pass….love Lou x

  17. So glad you have found some solutions to P’s problems. Have a wonderful 2013!

  18. Kelleyn says

    I totally feel for you! My 18 month old still doesn’t sleep through the night. Hoping that is not the case for you!

  19. Lack of sleep is so hard – we had it big style and that was without reflux or intolerances so I feel for you. Glad you are finally getting some rest and hope PP is feeing better!

  20. Marie says

    MM, so pleased to hear that things are improving. Thinking of you and sending all good sleep wishes and hoping that PP just gets better and better, happy new year and all the best for 2013, xx

  21. So great you have help-the maternity nurse sounds fab. Here’s to a happy (and restful) 2013 x

  22. I’m glad you have Christina. It must be incredible to be finally catching up on your much needed sleep – and the same for your beautiful Petite Pea.
    I agree with your response to ‘she’ll grow out of it’. A mother knows best.
    Lydia x

  23. My baby boy had terrible reflux and even though we’re now weaning, he’s still a little sick after meals. So much better now though and he’s finally sleeping a little at night. Motherhood is so different second time round-I think you can do a little more tough love and accept your own needs too…ie SLEEP! Great blog! Have just started blogging publicly for the first time-check me out if you can!

  24. Well hello there pretty lady, how are we all? Thought I’d best pop by and say hello and make sure you are kinda in one piece.
    I’m currently updating – I know! Me! Blog! Who’d have thought it. But I’ve got a LOT to say (when don’t I!). I will attempt to be good, although I may cause your blood pressure to rise now and then.
    Loads of love and big hugs xxxx

  25. Lovely lady! My goodness, I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while – I think I was babyblueing too and couldn’t write much, then got pregnant, then lost the baby, quite a tough ride, but getting back on track, throwing myself into my business and was wondering how you are doing and am so happy for you and hope you get more sleep and lots of cuddles! I admire the way you can write positively when things aren’t so great, my friend’s child had reflux and it is so distressing, good for you getting help and well done for finishing your novel too! Xxx

  26. i loved “catching up with you” through the blog, i’m so sorry it’s been tough for you and pea, but i am SO glad you are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel! i’m curious, how is she nudging her towards longer sleeps? i hope you are getting some much needed rest my dear. it’s all just a phase, right?!

  27. Sdoca says

    Never heard of a maternity nurse, glad you found a solution to ease the pain of petite pea. CUte nickname. My son had reflux for ages then colics and woke up every couple hours until he was 2 years 6 months! Best wishes.

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