Update - coping at home...

Well now the hectic Christmas period is over we are now trying to fit into a routine. A few days ago Charlie got himself so tired that he was hysterical by 11pm and would only drop off if squished right into my breasts. I wouldn't mind so much if he wanted to feed but he really has no idea what to do with them. :roll: So I have now started a strict daytime nap routine and it worked immediately. Not only does he sleep at night but he is going down at 7:30pm so we get a peaceful evening - hooray!

I am finding the expressing business quite tiring now. I am expressing all of his feeds and then having to feed him through the tube which takes longer than a simple bottle feed just in itself. On top of that he projectile vomits after most feeds so I have to be careful about how to handle him and need to change him and wash his clothes many times every day. He should be kept at a certain angle for 30mins after every feed - whoever thought of that doesn't have a toddler as well. How am I meant to keep her entertained whilst holding an 18lb baby in a semi-reclined position? He sleeps in a bouncy chair which helps at night but doesn't solve the problems during the day. The problem is that the vomiting means that he isn't digesting enough milk. His blood sugars keep going too low and he is losing weight. I am desperate to stop him being readmitted and I get really worried about the sugar levels. I have increased his reflux medication to the maximum levels for his weight but to no avail so am now going to start introducing Enfamil AR in order to try and control the reflux. I am heart-broken about moving to formula, especially after expressing for 4 months but his health must come first. I will continue using EBM at night as he usually doesn't throw up those feeds.

On a more positive note I am starting to take Charlie to baby/toddler groups. He loved Jo Jingles this afternoon and responded really well to the music and singing. After over 3 months of being restricted to his hospital cot I am very keen to get him interacting with other babies and enjoying life like a normal child. I don't dare take him swimming yet in case he vomits in the pool. He is generally a very smiley baby unless he is being fed, which he finds very uncomfortable. He is also now starting to suck on his fingers and hold his rattle. I am still worried about his development but we will just have to see how it goes. Abby adores him and is constantly giving him cuddles and kisses (ok, she mauls him). Luckily he loves her just as much and saves his biggest smiles just for his big sister. image

We have our 6 week check on Monday (when he is 17 weeks old) and have three outpatient appointments at GOSH in the next month. One to check on his original condition, one with the Speech and Language team (hopefully to help with his feeding) and an MRI scan to check on his brain activity as he is on anti-seizure medication.

I am obviously so pleased to have him home and to have my family together at last but it is so tiring and I feel like I'm letting Abby down as I cannot spend as much time with her as I would like :cry: ,

H xx


  • Sweetheart, I think all second time mums feel at times that we are letting our first kids down because we are so preoccupied with the baby. It's a constant balancing act but it gets easier, I swear it does. When DS was about 4 months old I quite seriously told DH that we'd made a mistake having a second child because I didn't feel like ANYONE'S needs were being met, but we got through that and now we have a fantastic family life. You'll get there too.

    Enfamil AR was brilliant when we moved to combined feeding with a very refluxy DD, I hope it works as well for you. Don't feel bad about introducing formula for even a minute. You've done so well with the expressing, you have given him gold standard nutrition when he was at his weakest and you've contributed to his recovery with your milk. You've set him up for life. Feel very very proud of what you have achieved, and just look on the formula as a tool to help you manage a medical condition. You don't feel bad about giving him medication when he needs it, do you?

    You are a superstar.
  • Hi! It sounds to me as though you are doing an amazing job! I can't begin to imagine what you have been through but am so pleased for you that you have both of your little angels together at home. As Maenad has said you've given your baby EBM for four months and expressing is so hard - I did it for a week at the very beginning and that was hard enough!

    I think you are a star (don't think I'd have coped at all!) and just also wanted to thank you for your very positive words on my thread a few weeks ago about my problems with breastfeeding - they really helped and kept me going at some very difficult moments.

    Keep positive and know that you are totally doing the best for both your children.

    Well done you!

  • Wowzers blondefriend! What a lot you have going on but you sould like you are doing a fabulous job and it certainly sounds like little Charlie is thriving from being around his family and little ones his own age.

    Good luck with all the upcoming appointments - onwards and upwards for the little guy.

    Much Love,

    K x
  • I think Maenad's reply is brilliant - and she's right, welcome to life as a mummy of 2, it's normal to feel like you're not paying the older one enough attention until things settle down - and then you'll probably feel like you're not paying Charlie enough attention - it is a balancing act, and the balance does have to shift a bit, your first baby is the centre of your universe but then they have to share it with no2.

    You're doing a brilliant job and should be very proud of yourself x
  • I think yo bloody well rock mrs xx re the formula you have went above and beyond what many would have done, as others have said you gave him breastmilk at the start and undoubtidly helped him when he was weak, if formula is what will help him with his weight gain then so be it, I had a ff son and a bf son and they are equally happy and well loved little boys xx

    also your guilt re your eldest again as mentioned (i think maenad) this is something you would feel any way and I still feel this guilt for my ds1, silly things as he is older (6) and is not stuck to a routine we would have gotten up in the morning and went on more 'adventures, which is harder to do on a whim with a baby who needs sleeps and a bag that carries everything but the kitchen sink with it lol

    As long as your kiddies are happy and know they are loved that is all that matters, you really are a super mum and an inspiration to all they are lucky kids to have you xx
  • Thank you all for your replies. I'm afraid I was having a bad day and wanted to off load. :cry: My OH does the night feeds at the weekend so I feel 100x better now. It's amazing how much sleep deprivation affects you - you're all mums, you understand! image I also feel better having OH at home because we can share the children so I have been able to spend some time with Abby.

    The new milk isn't helping much so far but am going to stick with it for a few days just so that I can say that I tried it. I'm still expressing so can go back to EBM at any time. Unfortunately although I've been expressing for the last 4 months he hasn't been having any until 3.5 weeks ago because he was on TPN (Total Parental Nutrition - intravenous). Everything else is frozen, even the collusterum. We bought a 2nd freezer which is stocked full to the brim. On top of that I actually had my own freezer at GOSH. There is no way I can store all that now I'm home so am hoping to donate it (waiting for the pack to come through).

    I am mixed feeding at the moment in order to maximise both EBM and keeping milk down:

    7am - EBM with Gaviscon

    10am - Enfamil

    1pm - Enfamil

    4pm - Enfamil

    7pm - EBM with Gaviscon

    10pm - EBM

    3am - EBM

    Generally he keeps down the night feeds as he is calm and sleeps in a bouncy chair. If he is sick it's a much smaller amount so I'm hoping to give him EBM for at least some of his feeds.

    Thank sagain,

    H xx
  • Hiya.

    I'm glad your both home! I just wanted to say that my friends little boy has reflux and the found the cow and gate carobell thickener helped him keep it down. I'm not sure who recommended it to them, he has a milk protein allergy too so this is mixed in with that.

    Hope his reflux eases soon and that all goes well for you all

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