1

You say nervous, I say shitting bricks

So since I’m pretty much up to day with the major events in my parenting journey so far (despite the Easter emergency department trip which ill get to one day) I can now start my posts in real time.
The title of this blog pretty much says it all…I’m officially freaking out, shit scared whatever you want to call it….tomorrow is D-day!!
We have our long awaited follow up appointment with the paediatric gastroenterologist in regards to Lachlan’s reflux condition. Why I’m so nervous is because last appointment we were heading towards him needing reflux banding surgery. He’s already had one surgery in his short time I’m not sure if mum can handle the stress of another surgery!!

While I will gladly have 2 success stories to report in that his vomiting has reduced to nearly nothing (maybe 1 or 2 times a week) and we finally have a stabilized weight which deserves a massive HOORAY!!
However, he is still regurgitating a lot, and he still has that really deep nasty reflux cough particularly at night time which are both not cool!
I always want to get his development checked out as I feel he is a little behind with his speech and with swallowing which I guess can all be out down to the muscles being under high stress from the months and months of excessive vomiting in a duration that should have been a high development period.
Oh well, no point trying to guess what the outcome will be. I just gotta put on my big girl knickers suck it up and just wait and see what they say tomorrow!!
Owwww it’s gonna be a nervous wait!

7

“Shine On” Award

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I am so completely honoured to have been nominated for a blogging award called the a “Shine On” Award. I'm only really new to the world of blogging but I'm over the moon that I even have regular followers who genuinely seem interested in what I'm blogging about let alone being nominated for an award. Mummy Flying Solo thank you so much for my nomination I’m so completely shocked, honoured and humbled!

What a cool idea from the blogging community. There are rules of course and they are as follows:

THE RULES:
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link person who nominated you for the award.
4. State seven things about yourself.

Note: If you nominate others to receive the award don’t forget to pop over to their site and let them know!

So I’ve done rules 1 to 3 so that just leaves me with rule 4: state seven things about myself. Since my blog is predominately about me as a mother I thought I would use this chance to state seven 7 things about Holly, me as my own person.

1. I’m the youngest of 3 children. My brother is sadly deceased (car accident when he was 19) and my sister is a police officer, married with my nephew and another bubba on the way later this year.

2. My mum is my hero! She has so much strength and integrity as a person and carries herself with so much dignity I can only hope that I’m half of a good role model for Lachlan.

3. I have in the past been diagnosed and treated for depression (which made me very high risk for post-natal buy managed to escape the risk rating).

4. Jamie and I met on the Internet, but because of the stigma attached to it we say we met at the pub where we met in person for the first time.

5. I love cooking and entertaining friends. Cooking is my stress outlet and love nothing more than having friends over to play host and shower them with the delicious goodies I have whipped up.

6. I am a bargain hunter, I find a lot of bargains and very rarely pay full price for anything! Over the years I have saved a lot of money with my bargain hunting ways and my slight eBay addiction. And yes they parcel postie and I are on first name basis lol

And finally one for the future

7. Jamie and I aren’t even engaged yet but if and when it does happen we have already made the decision together that when we do get married we will elope to a beach in QLD so it’s just about us and our love.

So there you have it, there are my 7 to conclude the rules. Once again thank you for my award nomination Mummy Flying Solo so very honoured!!

7

2013 – The Reflux and Development Journey Continues

2013 started very well for us Lachlan’s weight was continuing on a healthy upwards trend, his eating was improving to eat more variety and a more balanced diet and most of his mood was vastly improving! We were definitely getting out happy cheeky boy back!

Developmentally he was travelling also very well, we had advanced from our crazy commando slug sliding to real crawling and of course he doesn’t do things by halves he crawls at lightening speed!! A bit like crawling he was also cruising along furniture at lightening speed – he could easily get up and walk any day now he just needed the confidence to do it, and don’t even start me on the climbing, he is a little climbing monkey!! He was goo’ing and gah’ing that turned into constant babble…. When this boy starts talking he’s not going to stop talking lol.

Vomiting wise sadly we were still showing no signs of improvement and still vomiting 20-30 times a day…damn you reflux will you NEVER go away!

So off we went to our next Paeds Gastro appointment….not knowing what to expect given he was just shy of 14 months and still excessively vomiting, would we have to have the nasal gastric tube again? Of once again off we went to WCH, at this stage I feel like we deserve a frequent flyers car park. The once again normal appointment routine – weigh in, check with dietician on his diet and then see the consultant.

The consultant is over the moon with his weight gain, his developmental improvements and his huge improvement in his demeanour. However we did get given some not so good news…because of the rate at which he was still vomiting and now the ‘delightful’ development of regurgitating we were advised that it was looking like we were heading towards reflux surgery /reflux banding. Given that he is gaining weight and we were doing well with managing things with his diet they wanted to wait until he had passed 18 months to give him a few more months to outgrow it and should we have to head down the surgery pathway he was a but older and stronger to cope with the surgery. So we were rescheduled to come back and see the consultant again in early July 2013 for his nect review. As always he was to remain under our constant supervision and should his weight start going backwards again then back to emergency we come again.

Hmmppfftttt not more surgery!! Hasn’t my gorgeous little monkey has already been through enough in his short life time. Not guaranteed to have to have surgery but at least between now and July I can prepare myself that this may well occur.

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4

A Reflux Christmas

Well the adventures of Lachlan’s first birthday party had past and his actual birthday was upon on. I was devastated that both Jamie and I were going to be at work for the day and that Lachlan would spend his first birthday in day care….then I realised he loves it there and has fun there with all his little buddies so what a better way to spend the day.  This photo was taken on Wednesday 19 December 2012, on Lachlan’s actual birthday before he was going to day care.

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Now if you have been reading my other posts and pay close attention to this picture we may pick up something different about Lachlan here.  He does not have his Nasal Gastric Tube in for overnight feeding.  You might think WOW that is awesome, he finally has had it removed he must be on the improve.  Well I really do wish that was the case, however the reality of what happened was that the day before Lachlan and I went into my work for a visit and driving back home little mister cheeky pants decided that he had enough of that damn NGT and one big yank and all the tap of his face came loose and he ripped the whole thing out of his face.  I turned to check on him at the red traffic light and I nearly had heart failure to see him swinging the tube around having a fun time with it.

Once we got home I rang the WCH to find out what to do.   We scheduled for our next follow up outpatients appointment on the Monday 24th December anyway so they suggested to just leave the NGT out for a couple of days, which was also a good assessment of what would happen to his weight without the overnight feeds) and at the next appointment with the Paediatric Gastroenterologist we could re-assess if after 2 long months of having the NGT in if we would continue.

Off we go on Christmas Eve to brave the madness of the road to head to the hospital for out outpatients appointment, the normal routine of weigh in etc with the nurses and then we go see the consultant.  At this stage Lachlan had put on about 600g since being discharged from hospital – it was so very exciting seeing some improvements in his weight.  However we were still continuing the day time vomiting and the new trend of the massive bed drenching overnight vomits.  The doctor reviewed that in the 6 days that Lachlan did not have the NGT tube in (after monkey pants ripped it out) he had not lost any weight – he had in fact gained another 50g over that period and with the NGT in the overnight vomiting had also stopped.  The Gastro concluded that his stomach was no longer tolerating such large doses of formula in the overnight feed and that is what was causing the excessive vomiting and because he had not lost any weight, and in fact gained weight, without the tube in, we were going to go between now and the next appointment with no NGT and reassess early in the new year, however if without the NGT if he had any dramatic weight losses we were to pack our pack and head back into to emergency again. And of course to continue the normal recording of his food intake and also record and monitor the vomiting STILL.

I did a small and silent celebration that the NGT was being removed!  After  2 months of constant sterilizing all the equipment and setting up the pump every night and 2 middle of the night change overs of milk it is safe to say I was ready for a break from the pump.  I did not get too excited as it was still not discounted that it wouldn’t have to go back if we started dropping weight again. 

That night we had our own little Christmas celebration with Jamie, Lachlan and I (as Jamie had to start work at 5am on Christmas morning) it was the one time we were together to celebrate, and we actually had a reason to celebrate, we had a mini break and the NGT wasn’t coming back, at least for a while

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The next day was Xmas day and it was like Santa delivered a little Christmas miracle to my little miracle baby.  Santa has delivered me a change in Lachlan’s mood!! I don’t know what happened during the sleep that he had that night but he woke up like a changed baby.  He was nowhere near as grizzly and irritable as he had been for the 3-4 months prior and this beautiful happy cheeky inquisitive little baby that we had known before his reflux flared up was back.  My boy was back!! Admittedly he was still leaving a trail of vomit behind him after any food or drink, but that was emotionally and physically a lot easier to deal with when his demeanour was a lot happier.

Lachlan and I spent Christmas day at my sister’s house with our parents and my nephew Max, it was so good to see the boys interactive and playing together and having fun.  It is amazing the bond these two little boys have given that they don’t spend as much time together as I would like. It’s like they know they are related and they just unconditionally love each other

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It was such a lovely day and it was such a relief after such a stressful few months to sit back and relax and watch my little elf have such a fun day.

 

Jamie joined us at my sister’s house once he had finished work to have a gorgeous family photo taken.  Words cannot express enough how much love I have for these two men in my life!! I am so grateful everyday to be surrounded by such strong, amazing men – I’m one proud partner and mummy!

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1

HOORAY….Happy First Birthday

So we made it!! It was time to celebrate the journey that we had been through for the last 12 months and celebrate the 1st birthday of our gorgeous brave and cheeky little man. 

It was party time!! We wanted to celebrate making it through the first year as new parent and celebrate and be grateful for all the joy Lachlan has brought us over the last 12 months.  Me being me when completely over the top and spent months planning and organising the party – I’m a born party planner and love nothing more than organising a great catch up for friends and family with some good food and drink. It was going to be a Giggle and Hoot extravaganza for my little Hoot-addict.

The day came around and needless to say I was not so excited. I had a mountain of things to do to get everything ready and I was exhausted as Lachlan’s reflux had flared up again very severely. 

Over the previous week he had taken to reducing his vomits during the day and instead  started chronically vomit while he was in his cot….and when I say vomit I mean drench his entire cot from one end to the other in vomit multiple times during the night – which resulted in entire bedding changes right down to the mattress protector having to bath Lachlan and then re-dress, re-settle him, put him back into bed (or course after I had remade it all) and then reset up his NGT to start feeding again once he had settled.  The worse night was the night before his party I had to go through this process 5 times in 1 night and that night I ended up having to use a single bed sheet as I had used every bit of cot linen that I owned.  This was not ideal, I was exhausted especially since I was back at work also and funnily enough I couldn’t have an afternoon nap at work like I could at home lol.

Did I mention how exhausting reflux is and how much washing it creates!!

Anyway, I put my exhaustion aside and powered through as my little man, who was cranky as a grizzly bear being woken up in winter on the day, deserved to have a special first birthday party. 

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I was upset that he still had to have the NGT in for his party initially but then I realised that at least it is an accurate depiction of the first 12 months of his life – this is who my little man is, reflux, NGT and all.

I have always loved the idea of a Smash Cake photo shoot and always wanted to get one done for Lachlan, well with us not having that sort of cash floating around for something so trivial and having a lot of cake left over I decided why not at the end of his party let him go to town on one of the cakes and have my own little smash cake photo shoot.  So I sat him on one of the plastic table clothes and drapped it over a turned over trestle table and had the rest of the plastic table cloth up as a “background”.  This is the outcome of our home smash cake shoot at his birthday party.

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It was such a lovely day, despite the grumpy baby, severe exhaustion and it was great to be surrounding by friends and family to celebrate the first joyous 12 months with our little miracle!

I can guarantee his 2nd birthday party will be nowhere near as big as this event!!!

0

Day Care Transitioning and My Return to Work

So that dreading time was very rapidly approaching with my return to work.  The guilt that I had about leaving my little man while he was still severely suffering from this damn reflux and leaving him at day care was eating me alive.  And how was I going to cope not being around him all the time. After being with him 24/7 for just over 8 months in my belly and then almost 12 months enjoying the world. I was so torn up about having to return and never have I dreading something so much.

I had to go back to work, financially it was not an option for me to NOT work so basically I had to suck it up and deal with it! Mothers were dropping their kids at day care everyday and surviving so I would just have to take some time to do the same thing, however I wasn’t ready to go back full time. I went back to work at 0.7FTE capacity which means I worked 7 days in a fortnight. By doing this it meant that we only needed 2 days in daycare.

Monday – Jamie had Lachlan every Monday for Daddy Day
Tuesday – I have every Tuesday off so he home with me
Wednesday – Day care
Thursday – I have Lachlan alternate Thursdays and on the other Thursday my dear mum was going to drive 3.5 hours to Adelaide to look after him for the day….so eternally grateful of my mum to offer this commitment.
Friday – Day care.

We had our transition days the fortnight before I was due back at work. The Wednesday I took him into the daycare centre for an hour and I stayed there for the hour too. He took to it like a duck to water, instantly crawling around like a little mad man touching all the new exciting toys, going up to all the other kids saying hi in his own unique crazy fashion.  At this stage I went through all the ins and outs of Lachlan’s condition and had a letter from my specialist in regards to the NGT and that they didn’t need to do any Nasal Gastric feeds that I was doing them overnight and during the day he was on a normal diet.  I had to make sure also that all visible parts of his NGT was taped down so none of the other kids pulled at it out of curiosity….the poor little guy was covered in tape L .  His second transition visit was on the Friday of that week, I dropped him off stayed for about 10 minutes until he settled in and then I left for the remainder of the hour he was staying for his transition. I knew that I couldn’t go home as it would have been AWFUL being at home without him there, so I head to the shops to have a coffee and do the grocery shopping to keep myself busy…well that was the plan, instead on my way to the shops I looked over my shoulder and my little buddy wasn’t sitting in his car seating chatting away at me, yup I lost it – burst into tears! I was already missing my little buddy like crazy. Once I parked the car I pulled myself together and went ahead with the “distract mum for an hour plan”.  Once I went to pick him up he was happily sitting and playing with all the other kids and was settled like he has been coming to this new place for months on end. This gave me a lot of comfort about the place that Jamie and I had choosen.  He was already feeling safe and comfortable with the people and the environment.

The week before I started back at work Lachlan has his first 2 full days on the Wednesday and Friday.  On the Wednesday I spent all day cleaning the house from top to bottom, once again to keep myself distract, with a few tears from me here and there when I stopped and remembered that my little buddy wasn’t there with me. Come the Friday, I basically told myself I needed to take a teaspoon of cement and harden up a bit if I was going to do this without drama every week.  So I dropped him off and for the first time in as long as I can remember I had a me day. I napped, I went and got a pedicure and a massage, I had another nap and I actually sat on the couch without being a piece of climbing equipment and watching something else other than ABC for kids.  It was a lovely relaxing day but I still admit I did pick the little fella up early because I missed him.

D-Day had arrived, and Monday the next week off I went to my first day of work in 53 weeks.  I knew that I was coming back to a new job as my previous job couldn’t be completed in a part time capacity. I was nervous about what work I would be doing and how I would cope being away from Lachlan the whole day.

Talk about information over load….I was given a Model of Care for Orthopaedic rehabilitation to read.  This was a document that was over 300 pages long with about a font size of 11…..are you kidding me!! I’ve spent the last 12 months reading board books with one word in huge font and a picture on each page and the occasional nursery  rhymes or Elmo books that has max of 20 words a page…talk about instant headache lol.  This first day was Jamie’s first daddy day and I’m pretty sure Jamie got sick of my text messages and phone calls to see what they were doing and if everyone was ok!  Come 4.45pm I decided I was done, my brain has reached information capacity and I was DYING to get home and see my little monkey pants.  What an amazing home coming, as I walking through the lounge room door I had a massive happy scream and a little lightening bullet crawl over to me for a cuddle. Talk about melt my heart and bring a tear to my eyes – he missed his mummy J

I survived the first week….Admittedly ringing daycare twice a day to check he was ok and had settled in. They advised that he had transitioned and settled in beautifully. He was playing and interacting with all the other kids like he had been coming for months. I was so relieved to hear that he was happy and safe and not crying his little eyes out.

The day I write this, I’ve been back at work now for just over 5 months and now I’m really enjoying being back at work. I am enjoying being my own person and having my own identity again (as least just for work), I’m enjoying actually using my brain in the complex projects that I am working on and enjoying having adult conversations.  Having said all of that I still even now miss my little man like crazy and my desk is absolutely COVERED with pictures of the little fella, so if I miss him I can just look up and see pictures of that cheeky little face and know that in a few hours time I will get to go home and get the same welcome home as I got that first day a happy scream with a mum mum mum and then Lachlan launching himself at me for me for a big cuddle….Naw he does love his mummy!
This is a photo of my desk wall today….yup I did mention there were a few photos up lol

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3

The Reflux Journey Continues

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.

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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.

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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.

NGT 7We 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.

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We had lots of cuddles and special time with mum and dad.

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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!

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