Our reflux baby

Since Layla-Rose had begun feeding properly we noticed that she was bringing up a lot of her feed however being new parents we thought that this was normal then one day I was out with my mum and Layla suddenly went pale and floppy we took her straight to a and e and were admitted while they found out the cause. 

Layla -Rose was immediately set up with lots of monitors as was sent for lots of different tests. Only one parent could stay so we took it in turns to stay overnight. Also as parents we weren't able to have any hospital food so whoever was staying the other would have to bring them meals. Layla was tested for sleep apneya, diabetes, iron deficiency and some others I don't remember.

During our time in hospital Layla started refusing to feed so they had to tube feed her. By day three they had ruled out most illnesses and we were told it was just a virus. The tube came out and again just as before she was vomiting with every feed. The nurse came in and explained to use what a posit was and what counted as vomit (I think she didn't believe us) but then she threw up right in front of her! It was then they diagnosed her with reflux. 

Once we knew it was reflux the doctors then began trying medication to help her keep her food down. We left the hospital on gavison in every other feed and rantitdine 3 times a day which was to coat her throat to stop the pain when the feed comes back up as they thought the root cause to her going pale and floppy was her holding her breath so as to not allow feed to come up because she was in so much pain. 

We were sent home and the following day Layla cried all day and when I say all day I mean ALL day and then in the evening she was sleepy and unresponsive. Not wanting to go straight into A and E again I decided we would ring 111. The result an ambulance ride to the hospital. When we were seen by the doctor and he wanted to change Layla's milk to a dairy free one as he said even though they thought she had reflux it could be lactose intorelent although this didn't explain the crying and then the unresponsiveness. 

Fast forward till now and poor Layla-Rose is on so much medication and we are at the hospital for appointments around once a month. She has 2 lots of gavison in every feed, ranitidine and domperidone but it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference with her sickness so we have made the decision to begin weaning now in the hope that she will put more weight on and keep more down. we are burping her during feeds and keeping her upright for half an hour after but her reflux is still proving to be a real problem if anyone has any helpful hint please let us know.   

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The first weeks

The first few weeks/months are really hard with a newborn, so hard that you just about survive. You can read all the books, buy all the gear but nothing prepares you for taking home your bundle of joy. This tiny human being needs you to cater to their every whimper even though you don't know what their whimper means!!! There are several things you can guarantee you will experience in those newborn days: 

Sleepless nights 
After the first night with your newborn (where they sleep and you don't because you are worried they will stop breathing) babies don't sleep at night, well ours didn't. For some reason babies do not know what is day and what is night our baby (as the health visitor told us) had it the wrong way round which meant she wanted to sleep all day but was awake from about midnight -5:30am and no amount of rocking, soothing, swaddling and pleading would get her to sleep. 

The visitors 
When you have a new baby every Tom,  Dick and Harry wants to come and see you and your new bundle of joy. They also want to come and see you as soon as possible so cue the never ending stream of well wishers (which your baby will sleep through) of which you not only have to be dressed for but also have to have a tidy house for AND provide coffee/tea/cake of course for this you get lots of lovely presents for your newborn but also a lot of....

Unwanted advice 
Everyone likes to tell you how to look after your new baby. My favourite one is 'sleep when the baby sleeps' this is impossible for many reasons. Firstly when the baby is asleep in the day the house is full of visitors and secondly if you are on your own all of a sudden you look around and make a start on the cleaning and washing you know you will never get round to once the baby is awake. However this is all tricky when you feel 

Feeling like you have been hit by a bus
The first day after giving birth I felt amazing, possibly still in shock. I thought is this must be how you feel after birth, what were people complaining about?! Yes maternity pads and breast pads don't make you feel your best but in general I felt...good. Fast forward to a day later when I woke up feeling the exact opposite and this feeling was the feeling that lasted over a week. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I was so tired, achy, sore and uncomfortable. Nothing prepares you for the after birth feeling.Make sure you have a lot of chocolate (and soft cushions) on hand. 

Your washing machine will be on over drive
Since we brought Layla-Rose home our washing machine hasn't stopped! Thank goodness we invested in a tumble dryer before she was born! I don't know if this is reflux babies or babies in general but with all the sick, leaks and spills I'm doing at least a wash a day!

Your camera memory will be full 
This is the reason I got a 128GB phone memory so I could fill it with pictures of our little one. I take at least 5 pictures a day (check out my instagram @livingwithlaylarose) as I don't want to miss a moment with her. I do wish we would have gotten one of those fancy newborn shoots though. Some of my friends invested and I'm so jealous of their precious print outs! 

You will feel complete 
Taking her home, holding her in my arms just felt so natural like she had always been here. She makes us have a reason to smile everyday and I just simply adore her she has defiantly made our life whole. 

Diary of an imperfect mum

Tongue tie

My baby will not latch. Why won't my baby latch? Breast feeding is supposed to be the most natural normal thing in the whole world but my baby won't do it. She will find the nipple but will she suck?! Surely I must be doing something wrong.

Turns out my baby was tongue tied so badly that she couldn't latch on. Tongue tie (as I have now read) only effect 11% of newborns, this is strange as I know lots of babies who have tongue tie. If you don't know what tongue tie it is where the skin that attaches your tongue to the bottom of the mouth does not allow freedom of movement. Our poor bean couldn't even cry properly. 

We were put on the list to get it snipped which takes about 30 seconds but we would have to wait 4 weeks. 4 weeks of having my baby not feed properly. How was this fair? I wanted to breast feed so badly so I continued this struggle but that is for another blog post. 

4 weeks passed and the day came for her to get her tongue snipped I was so scared they were going to hurt my poor baby! She was taken into a room and before I had even had the chance to pour myself some water she was back in the room. She was back in the room didn't cry or anything! Then I fed her and it was a dream. A 30 second operation was all it took to have my baby actually feed properly. 

But why did it have to wait 4 weeks?

My birth story

Everyone loves a good birth story, well I love a good birth story. I also love telling my birth story so here you go! 
Before I even went into labour I think people were seriously scared at how bad I would be I am such a wimp! no pain threshold what so ever. I thought it was going to go one of two ways, either I would be the world's best person in labour (insert picture of Kortney Kardashian pulling her own child out) or the world's worst person (insert a demon).
So I was in hospital being induced and began feeling those labour pains again so I was on my best friend (the big yoga ball that was in the room) rocking back and forth. My waters still hadn't broke at this point but I was in so much pain. I go checked out by the midwife to see how I was getting on but I wasn't even dilated! I got up to go for a wee and water just gushed out I thought I had wet myself we called the midwife and she confirmed that part of my waters had broke. Apparently you have 2 lots of waters?! How annoying! I though this meant I was well on my way to baby but when I got checked again still not a bean. How can I be in this much pain and not even be dilated! 
I was about to be in danger of becoming the demon when I was give an injection of diamorphine. I smiling as I write this as it was the best thing in the world!!!!! I completely relaxed and zoned out. My OH thought I was hilarious and I think he was secretly happy as it meant he got to sit back and read his book. I had gotten in the zone then and was able to breathe through my pains but after about 2 hours the pain was getting unbearable I was so annoyed as I thought I would have at least 4 hours rest bite! All of a sudden I felt this overwhelming urge to push its so hard to explain but every part of me had to push. I tried explain this to my OH who I think panicked at this point telling me its not time yet. The urge happened again and then all of a sudden it was all wet I then said it was an emergency that that felt different and we needed someone now! I'm not sure what happened then but the next thing I know the midwife is pulling off my shorts to check how dilated I was she didn't even do the proper check by adopting the cheery panic voiuce that as a teacher I knew all to well. 'Right you are fully dilated and crowning so we need to get you down to the labour ward.' then turned to my other half. 'Go and get the other midwives and tell them its an emergency. We need a wheelchair now and labour need to be phoned!' Now at North Manchester hospital the labour ward is a floor below the maternity ward so in order to get there we had to travel down the lift. As my OH left the room the midwife turned to me and told me to whatever happens do NOT push until I get to the labour ward or I would be giving birth in the lift! I somehow managed to get into the wheelchair and I was run down to the labour ward with a midwife clearing the corridor and the other midwife running me down in the wheelchair my poor OH just followed in a daze, We made it to the labour room and I was finally allowed gas and air which I took to help me get from the chair onto the bed. Once there I told the midwife that I needed to push she smiled and she said that's what you are here for! I pushed and felt what lots of other mums before had described to me like someone was giving a Chinese burn there! So I closed my legs and told them I wasn't doing it because it hurt! The midwife then full named me and told me to open my legs and pushed! That's all the encouragement I needed so I pushed twice and she arrived all in one go! I don't know who was more shocked me or the midwives?! She was beautiful and perfect but to my surprise I didn't even cry to be honest I had to asked 10 plus times if she was ours! 
The placenta came fine I don't think I even had to push much. It just felt like giving birth to a jellyfish. 
Then came the worst part. The stitches. Although they numb it you know what they are doing down there and you can still feel the pull! So to numb the pain I made my OH rap the fresh prince of bel air! 
So Sunday the 22nd November at 9:43pm our beautiful baby girl was born perfectly fine despite being 3 weeks early and our family of 2 became a family of 3. 

Being induced

As a result of the OC in pregnancy (see previous post) I was taken in to be induced on Friday the 20th November 2015. Being induced takes all of the excitement out of labour as you know exactly when you will be going in. On the Friday morning I was instructed to ring the maternity unit at 9am so they could assess how busy they were. Luckily for me they weren't very busy so off we went. The picture is me 36+6 weeks pregnant but I would hit 37 weeks while I was waiting for baby to get a move on. I was taken to a ward where they explained the induction procedure. they were to begin by sticking a pessary (up there) that was just like a ribbon. what they didn't tell you though is that it has to be right up by your cervix so that wasn't nice at all! They allow 30 hours for it to work so there I was on a ward just waiting for it to kick in. That night the woman opposite me went into full labour so I got to hear EVERYTHING before she was whisked away into the labour ward. By day two I was having contractions and showing signs of labour. The bouncy ball became my best friend but I was only offered paracetamol, as if that was going to help. By night fall I was having lots of contractions so was moved into my own room. I was so glad of the privacy and the peace and that night I was able to get a decent nights sleep but this also meant my contractions had stopped so by morning I was back to square one. The next step was to put a tablet (up there) and that would be left to work for 6 hours and if that didn't work I would have to have a C section. So yet again on Sunday we played the waiting game. 

Petite Pudding

Obstetric Cholestasis and me

As the title suggests all was not well with my pregnancy and things were about to get far from 'normal'. Up until late in my final trimester I was fine, yes I had had terrible morning sickness and was tired carrying around a watermelon but other than that I couldn't really complain. This all changed when I returned to work after the October half term. I had been itchy REALLY itchy everywhere but especially the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet but I thought little of it. So little in fact I didn't even mention it to my midwife at my latest check up. However, I mentioned this to my TA on the first day back as she commented about me being itchy. I told her I couldn't stop and it was   making me lose sleep at night. She pulled a face and told me to get it checked. My reply was I had an appointment in a couple of weeks so I would mention it then. 'No' was her reply. 'You need to ring up now!' After that scolding I rang and was surprised to be told to head to the nearest hospital immediately. I still didn't taken in that this could be serious after all I was only itchy. I waited until the end of the school day and begrudgingly headed to my maternity assessment unit joking on my way out that I was off to hospital but no biggie. Once in the unit I had several blood tests and was put on a baby monitor. The midwife explained the reason they were concerned was there was a condition that can develop in pregnancy called obstetric cholestasis (OC) which effects 1 in 140. It is a liver condition that affects the flow of bile out of the liver. The result of this remaining untreated, and a women hitting 40 weeks, is a high risk of the baby being still born. I went home and nervously googled OC and had a good old cry. I also scanned 'mums net' for any posts discussing OC but again I found surprisingly little. I wanted to be reassured that everything would be ok if I did in fact have OC. 
I found out pretty quickly I had OC and was given tablets to manage it with the aim of me getting as close to 40 weeks as was safe. I couldn't believe that this life threatening illness wasn't talked about or why mums weren't routinely screened for it. As far as I understood there was no reaction to my medical history or anything that I had done in pregnancy to cause this just a case of bad luck REALLY bad luck. I had a blood test each week to monitor my bile salts (0-10 is normal range). My original level that detected the OC was just 25 when I went back a week later it was 77 and the decision was made to induce me at 36 + 6 weeks. I had to have 2 steroid injections in my bum as the only thing at 36 weeks not fully developed was the lungs and the steroid was to give the baby an extra boost for delivery. I was briefed about the baby maybe needing to go into special care when it was delivered and then I prepared to be induced. 

The Pramshed

Was it a surprise?

These days I am considered a 'young' mum even though I was 26 when Layla - Rose was born. As me and my OH weren't married the most common reaction when I told people that I was pregnant was 'oh was it a surprise?' or 'was it planned?' I mean why do people become so nosey once you get pregnant?! I used to get really frustrated when people asked that as we had been trying for 7 months! Not it wasn't a surprise just because we aren't married we have been together for 6 years! 

Another thing, when we told people we were pregnant, people would say 'well done' it was super weird so basically people were saying 'well done for having unprotected sex!' Especially when that well done came from the in laws *cringe* 

My OH didn't want to tell ANYONE we were pregnant until we had had the 12 week scan but I had other thoughts. I thought if something terrible happens I am going to want to be able to talk to certain people about it. We decided to tell our families and I came up with a really cute way. I found out that at 6 weeks my baby was the size of a sunflower seed so I put a seed in a box with a note. They were very well received! We made a special trip down to see my family but the best reaction has to go to my brother who I told over the phone. He simply said 'bloody hell!' I could hear the smile on his face through the phone and he has been a proud uncle ever since. 

My bump and me

Almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant I looked eagerly at my belly hoping and wishing for a bump. I rushed out and bought maternity clothes but I needn't have bothered. I was so poorly at the beginning of my pregnancy I lost half a stone and never gained that back until just before I had Layla. I didn't have cravings but boy did I have food adversions I hated the sight, look, smell and thought of curry so much that once when my OH said the word curry I threw up. 

The months came and went and I was dying to 'show' but I don't think I really 'popped' until I was about 6 months pregnant. It came out of nowhere! I loved my bump so much and miss it now. I was very lucky that I just had a bump and didn't put on weight elsewhere do all my pants still fit I just had to buy a few maternity tops and dresses towards the end. 

Let's have a baby!

Having a baby was for us a very concious decision. The OH had been wanting a baby for years and I had always wanted to be married, have bought a house and generally settled into married life but as time went on I was beginning to have less and less reasons to say no and after a conversation with a friend I decided there would never be the 'perfect' time to have a baby so there and then I decided I was ready. 

Being ready to start trying for a baby when I wasn't married (or even engaged) was a big deal for me but I had been with my OH for 6 years by this point and did not think that type of commitment was coming any time soon, who knows the thought of a baby on the way might even spur him on! 

We decided to not try for a baby but just to stop trying to not have one. This my friends does not work. You are either trying for a baby or not trying. Months went by and nothing until in early January I was late, very late. We took a test but it was negative still I was sure something was different. A few days later I had some spotting (an early sign of pregnancy) and I got excited, maybe I had just taken the test too early. Then a few days after that I awoke with the most almighty pain in my tummy like a period pain but 10X worse. To spare you the details I ended up ringing the doctors and they confirmed my fear that I most likely had been pregnant but had unfortunately had a very early miscarriage so early in fact that if I hadn't been trying for a baby I could have mistaken it for a very late, painful and heavy period. 

We had been trying for 4 months when this happened and although I was upset by this I was also thankful that we had been given a sign that it was possible to get pregnant. This was also the time we decided to consciously try. I began tracking my cycle, when I was ovulating and googling a lot. 

April came and I was late. We were away for a week visiting my family and friends and everyday that went by I became more and more sure that I was pregnant. By the time we got back I was 90% sure I was pregnant so I did a test and it was positive!!!! I cried and was in shock that we actually did it! The OH made me do a clear blue that again came out positive. The OH was now 90% sure but made me go to the doctors to check. FYI ladies you don't need to go to the doctor the home tests are just as accurate or though it did feel nice having a professional confirm it. 

Now that we were pregnant it was just the case of letting everyone know...

Guest blogs/features

The butterfly mother guest post- Why breast isn't always best