So we were finally home. I hire extended the rental period of the baby scales from Adelaide Baby Hire (who I would on a side note highly recommend) so that I could continue to monitor Lachlan’s weight.
We continued life as normal – complete with Lachlan’s Nasal Gastric Tube (NGT) still in. Jamie and I were still giving him 400 calories every night while he slept of high calorie milk as well as his standard high calorie food diet during the day. The high calorie diet set out by the dieticians basically entailed using cream instead of milk, adding in butter and/or cheese to every meal and to offer finger food that was either cooked in butter or deep fried at a high heat. He was a very high protein, high carb and high calorie diet and having 5 meals and 3 bottles a day. Lachlan was always a good eater but over the previous 3 months of vomiting he was becoming more difficult to feed and a lot fussier with what he would and wouldn’t eat. I was cooking these beautiful delicious calorie laden meals for him to find them spat in my face or him clamping his mouth shut refusing to eat or my “ultimate favourite” just to scream at me while trying to feed him. This was a very stressful and emotional time as we knew he needed all these extra calories to try and get him to put on some weight.
We continued with the regular outpatients appointments which were pretty much a mirror image of each other. The nurses used my morning weight for him, we chatted with the consultant in regards to his still constant vomiting, which was still ranging from between 20-40 times a day, then the dietician came in to review his calorie intake and his weight. With the addition of the 400 calories while he slept through the NGT we were FINALLY starting to gain some weight. Not very quickly but at the rate of about 40g a week and given his overall intake of food it wasn’t that fabulous, but a I’d take any gain at this point. And we always left with the same key message, we have to give him time to grow out of the reflux on his own and in the process we just have to keep monitoring his weight and his diet.
We tried to keep an active social life for Lachlan, trying to get out of the house as much as possible, despite the many questionable looks we used to get from strangers while in public for both the NGT tube on his face or if he was covered in vomit. Sometimes those judgemental looks completely tore me apart, thinking that they were judging me for being a bad parent – when if only they knew the extent of what I had been through to protect my gorgeous little man. It was coming up to 3 big events; my return to work after having just over a year off, Lachlan’s first birthday (and party) and then Christmas. How was I going to manage all of this as well as caring for a baby with reflux and trying to keep the house in an orderly fashion with all the additional cleaning brought about a refluxer.
In the last fortnight before heading back to work, we did some special things together. We went to have our first photo taken with Santa.
We had lots of cuddles and special time with mum and dad.
Lachlan’s development after a 3 1/2 month stalemate period was also starting to get back on track. We had advanced from the commando slug movement to real crawling and we were cruising along furniture at lightning speed and well don’t even start me on the climbing!! This kid could climb like a monkey and I had to have eyes in the back of my head to watch him.
Jamie and I were in awe of how special our amazing brave little man! He had been through so much in the first 11 months of his life and we were starting to get our happy cheeky little boy back, which was a delightful change from the grizzle monster of the last 4 months. Regardless of how many times he vomited in a day he just went on his merry little way playing doing his own thing. The resilience and the pain threshold of this little fella still to this day has me bewildered, he is such a strong little man. My love for this amazing little boy is beyond words!