0

My 2.30am Nightly Mini Adventure

I remember a time, realistically over 2 years ago when I would go to bed at whatever time and sleep through until my alarm went off without even barely moving….ahhhh what a fond fond memory that is!!!

These days, 2.30am (nearly like clockwork every morning) is wake up time being SOOOO busting for the loo I’m terrified I’m going to explode. Post-baby my bladder has never recovered despite doing all the pelvic floors and all that business, post-baby when you got to pee – you got to pee NOW!!

So at my 2.30am interlude, I do the mild frantic dash to the bathroom predominately in the dark an without my glasses to get there.
Along the way it’s like an unusual toddler obstacle course…..sliding along plastic plates on the floor like a skateboard without wheels, stubbing your toe of that bloody ‘vroom vroom’ car that continues to get under your feet, dodging the random pieces of toilet paper on the floor (as unravelling toilet paper is one of squirts current massive amusements) so they don’t get stuck on my feet and lastly walk about 47km around the gigantic pile of washing that is patiently waiting for me to find some spare time to do it! Hooray I finally make it to the loo in time – talk about relief!!

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Made my way back to bed and hello middle of the night insomnia – my old ‘friend’ I appreciate that you visited me during pregnancy to prepare me for life with a newborn. However, body my darling little boy is now 18 months and sleeps 12-13 hours a night without a peep so I no longer need this middle of the night bout of insomnia.
So as I sit in bed pissed off that once again I’m wide awake.
Listening to the heavy breathing and farting of my other half.
Listening to the nursery rhymes coming through the baby monitor.
Sit on my iPhone and have all my outstanding turns on my addiction games, run out of lives of candy crush saga and yup still wide awake!
Check out my emails and my WordPress reader to see what the people I follow are up to and yup still wide awake!
Resorting myself to lay down and watch whatever crappy episode of Star Trek is on TV (despite the fact that I hate the show its the only channel we get in our bedroom) I will hopefully drop off to sleep anywhere between 30-60 minutes. If its a shitty night I will even see the end of Star Trek and see the start of Charmed (like tonight!)
On the occasional night I’m still awake at the end of charmed and resort to a cuppa tea and toast – let’s hope I’m not heading that way tonight as Charmed has just started!

Oh to remember life pre-baby when night time was for sleeping and not these little middle of the night adventures!

On the plus side it means I get to peak at my little one sleeping which always melts my heart and makes the exhaustion worth it!

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0

The Miracle of Carly Rae Jepsen

What is it with baby obsessions? where they find one thing and fixate on that one thing. We have a sure fire solution for Lachlan whenever he is doing this…..

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Put on the song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. And within the first 10 seconds of the song the face has changed to this….

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Of yes but it gets better!! Within 45 seconds we have done a very quick turn around from grizzling bum head to happy dancing baby.

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Ahhh the miracle of Carly Rae!!

2

Parenting Sin!!

I always said that I was NEVER going to be one of those parents that dressed their kids up for their own pleasure. Wellllllll I have broken this rule multiple times as we have gone to friends weddings since Lachlan was born and I’ve made us a lame little matching family with our outfits….shame on me!!!

Shame on me once (April 2012 – Lachlan is 5 months old)
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Shame on me twice (March 2013 – Lachlan is 15 months)
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Shame on me three times (April 2013 – Lachlan is 16 months)
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This photo is potentially one of my favourite photos ever of the squirt, no not a professional photo just me happy snapping with my iPhone so thought I’d share since it was taken at the wedding

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So there you have it – there is my confession! I have committed a parenting sin that I NEVER thought I would commit, dressing my child for my own vanity and show and tell efforts!

Here is another confession for you, I would do it again in a heartbeat because I think we make one damn cute lame little matching family! My boys are my pride and joy, the loves of my life so I’m going to show them off as much as I can ❤

5

The Love For My Child

After having a blog comment conversation with Meg from Color Me Dazzled

I was inspired to write this next post to raise the following question to fellow parent bloggers:
1- How do you describe the love of a parent?
2- What does it feel like to be a parent?
3- How do you describe the journey of parenthood?
4- What lengths would you go to to protect your child?

I thought I would share my answers to these questions and I would love to hear other parents reflect on the same questions, when you go to answer them yourself I think you will find they are a lot more difficult than you think to answer

So here goes…..
1- How do you describe the love of a parent?
I simply can not answer this one with adjectives to describe the love I have for my son. There are no words strong enough to describe the love as a parent and to try and label it I feel would do the description and injustice!!
Quite simply it is a love like no other that is beyond words.

2- What does it feel like to be a parent?
Once again this is a difficult question to answer as its so personal and so objective. But I will try regardless. My life was always great pre-baby, loved my life with my partner, family and friends and felt my life was amazing.
Until 19 December 2011 came around and I held this little scrunched up screaming puffed up mini sumo wrestler in my arms and from that moment on I felt “complete”. It was like a piece of the jigsaw puzzle of my life was missing without me knowing and now it had been found.
So my answer for question 2 is being a mum makes me feel complete

3- How do you describe the journey of parenthood?
Amazing
Stressful
Learning curve
Exhausting
Entertaining
Scary and most importantly
Full of Love ❤❤

4- What lengths would you go to to protect your child?
Once again I can not answer this as I’ve not been put into a situation to require any brut strength but my previous posts I guess shows I will do whatever it takes to have a happy and healthy little man. So all I can say is that I’m a bit like a female grizzly bear and do not under estimate what I will do to protect my boy…..try me if you dare “roar” lol

So to conclude; there are no words, I’m now complete, it’s an enigmatic experience and I’m a grizzly bear

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5

The Official Diagnosis is in…..GERD Reflux

About 2 weeks after we were discharged from FMC, Lachlan continued to be very unwell, grumpy, irritable, constantly vomiting (40-60 times a day) and to add fuel to the fire his weight was up and down like a yoyo but still not gaining and he decided that now was the time to resist solids and my once amazing eater because extremely fussy and difficult to feed. 

I was sooo exhausted. Sick of being worried and the unknown of what going on with my gorgeous little man, sick of waiting for a call from the WCH referral, sick of being covered in vomit, sick of the house smelling like vomit and sick of the massive piles of washing thanks to all the excessive vomiting and our choice to use Modern Cloth Nappies while we are at home. I wanted answers and  I wanted them now.  I just couldn’t understand how nobody seemed concerned about this unexplained vomiting that had been going on for almost 2 months by this stage.

I get a letter in the mail advising us of our first outpatients appointment with the WCH paediatric gastroenterology team after receiving the referral from FMC and our first appointment was in a weeks time.  So off I go to this appointment arms with a book full or records of Lachlan’s daily weight, his food/formula intake, wet/dirty nappies and again a record of all his daily vomiting/spilling  – which at this stage is still about 40 times a day.  The registrar we saw completely dismissed the Coeliac Syndrome diagnosis and immediately diagnoses Lachlan with reflux.  This is despite the fact that he had not showed any symptoms of reflux until he hit the 9 month mark and we landed in FMC.  We were sent home with a script for Losec and to come back to outpatients for a review in a fortnights time.

Losec for us was a terrible awful horrible experience. Also instantly Lachlan had an adverse reaction to it, he became ever more irritable than he already was and everytime he laid down he would just scream and scream so it was obviously causing him some kind of pain. I rang the doctor after 3 days of constant screaming, he asked how his weight and vomiting was going and if there was any improvement. At this stage he had lost 100g since we had been at inpatients and the vomiting showed no signs of improvement. We were told to instantly stop the Losec, as it was obviously giving him a side effect of a residual pain and we were put onto a script of Zantax instead and advised in the next couple of days we were going to get a call for Lachlan to be admitted for observations to determine what was actually going on.  After 4 days of liquid Zantax twice daily we were still looking at no sign of improvement to weight or vomiting I got a phone call from the admission team saying that they wanted us to be at the hospital within an hour for admission to the ward for review.  Needless to say I was not quiet organised for such a limited warning for admission so I ran around like a headless chook chucking in a bag random things for both Lachlan and I for to cover us for a couple night as inpatients (just in case we were there for a couple days) drove to Jamie’s work to tell him that we were being admitted and then within 1 hour and 20 minutes we were at the admission desk of WCH.  Once again we were inpatients, however I was determined to get an answer and move towards a resoultion of the constant vomiting.

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Once again I had the same issues dealing with the doctors that I did with FMC for the first couple of days.  The medical teams were not listening to me in regards to his mood – once again they were judging on the happy baby that they were seeing and not listening to the fact that this was in fact the grumpy version of his normal mood and they were not listening in regards to his constant vomiting and weight variance, despite my having daily documented evidence of it all.

Initially we were there for 3 days with him under constant observation with no alterations and continuing on the Zantax – and much to my cynical pissed off amusement nothing had changed from all the documentation that I had provided to them, and that third morning Lachlan’s weight had once again plummet and was 420g less than his admission weight.  At this stage I started to get some response and action from the staff that perhaps we had better to do some further investigation in regards to what is actually going on.  I finally got them to agree with me in that we needed to find the source of the vomiting as the vomiting was causing the weight loss as opposed to their previous opinion that vomiting was a “symptom” of the problem.  I was feeling very deflated that we had wasted 3 days to get to this point which is what I was saying from the beginning, I hated the fact that once again I was made to feel like an idiot over reacting mother who had no idea about anything.

From this stage dietary alterations were made to Lachlan’s diet.  Firstly all dairy was removed from his diet and he was put on soy milk and soy solids.  Once again after several days of this once again, no signs of improvement.

So we had been inpatients for a week by this stage.  The next alteration was to remove all dairy and soy protein from his diet – he was to go onto a special protein free formula called Neo-cate, which I was warned tastes revolting to anyone over 6 months old and they aren’t used to it before hand.  Well the first bottle of Neo-cate was an epic failure!  Lachlan had one sip of Neo-cate and then screamed at me,  I tried to get him to have some more and he just smacked the bottle out of my hands and launched it about a metre across the room.  Sadly because he would not drink the Neo-cate and because his weight had dropped another 60g (so totalling 480g since admission) we were not given any other option but to administer a Nasal-Gastric Tube (NGT) to try and build up his calorie intake.  Lachlan was to have solid food (dairy and soy protein free) and water during the day and then for a 10 hour period over night while he was asleep, he was to have 400ml of high calorie formula pumped through the NGT.  It broke my heart into a million pieces seeing my little man with his NGT on his gorgeous little face. 

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Lachlan’s mood depleted even more with the tube being in his nose and tape constantly on his face and all over his back and to make things worse we were still in a solitary little room which we weren’t allowed to leave as we will still considered a gastro case.  At this stage I had to resort to the mind numbing entertainment of TV….Yo Gabba Gabba was constantly on whenever Lachlan was awake as it was the only thing that would pacify him from grizzling, screaming, crying and most importantly trying to rip the tube out of his face.

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After the Neo-Cate experience of no dairy-soy protein for another 4 days and once again no sign of improvements in lessening the vomiting and his weight had still not shown any sign of improvement. The decision was made that no dietary alteration was showing any sign of improvement.  Therefore all dietary restrictions were removed and he was to go onto a standard high calorie diet and to continue the NGT overnight feeds for additional calories as he slept. Image

 As we were coming up to the mark of being in hospital for 2 weeks, I was so exhausted, frustrated from being here this long and still not even remotely close to a resolution and not to mention my body was feeling about 110 years old after sleeping on a crappy fold out bed every night.  The highlight of both Lachlan and my day was when Jamie came in to visit us every night after work. 

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So we were now up to Week 3 as inpatients.  The doctors at this stage decided that more intensive and rigorous testing need to be completed. Lachlan had about 4 tubes of blood sent off for a whole heap of blood, hormone and genetic testing to be done.  He has an ultrasound done to check that all the valves in his oesophagus and stomach were working correctly and he was schedule to have a Ph probe inserted for a 24 hour period to review what was happening with the Ph level in his stomach.   The Ph probe was inserted in the same side as the NGT, so he had one very busy nostril and he wore a little backpack while awake to hold the little computer that was recording the information. 

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Once the probe was in, Lachlan was under constant 24 hour observation from a nurse, everytime he coughed, sneezed, ate, drank, sit up, laid down etc,  the exact time that was on the recording computer was to be recorded.  The probe was removed on a Friday afternoon and we were to stay in over the weekend to continue monitoring his weight, diet, and output (both ends) and by Monday the ph probe study results should come back.  Over the weekend Lachlan was delighted to have his big cousin Max come and visit him.Image

Monday came around and the results of the Ph probe study came in and if provided a definitive diagnosis of GERD reflux, he had a recorded 65 episodes of reflux over the 24 hour period, they advised that the cut off for the severe diagnosis was 70 episode. So he has moderate to severe GERD.  Now that the diagnosis came in we were now working towards an ongoing management plan, specifically in regards to the weight loss as Lachlan’s weight was still up and down like a yo-yo.  So over the next few days I had countless sessions with the Gastro Dietary team working out food plans to monitor his calorie intake. I was given lessons from the Home Care Nursing Equipment Team on how to set up, operate, pack down and clean the NGT pump and other equipment, I was given lessons on how to change the tape on his face to keep it fresh.  We had learnt the hard way while in hospital that if he had the tinest little corner free from tape that he would rip the whole thing out and it had to be inserted.

After just under 4 very long weeks as inpatients, Lachlan and I were on our way home once again to be back home with Jamie where we all belong!  We had a formal diagnosis of GERD, a management plan for his weight and in regards to the constant vomited – we just had to wait until he outgrew it.  We did not go home with any medication for relieve the GERD symptoms as the Losec did not agree with him and the Zantax and Mylanta did not demonstrate any signs of improving his symptoms.  We had an outpatients appointment scheduled the following week to review the progress.

Once again, homeward bound….damn I was looking forward to a decent nights sleep in a real bed, a long hot shower and a beautiful home cooked meal!

 

 

 

 

7

Syndactyly Surgery

One thing I have omitted to discuss so far is that Lachlan was born with a slight birth defect.  He was born with Complete Simple Syndactyly between his 3rd & 4th fingers on both hands.  Basically what this means is that the two fingers were completely fused together but each finger holds it’s own finger structure of bones and muscles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syndactyly

This picture is not of Lachlan’s hand, but this is pretty much exactly the same of how both of his hands looked palm side up

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We received a text message from the WCH to call the plastics unit while we were at a swimming lesson one day.  We rang them back to find out that Lachlan was scheduled to have his Bilateral Syndactyly Release surgery the following Wednesday, the surgery was 1 day before he was 7 months old.

We were lucky that the condition did not at all effect his development, he was able to still have use of both fingers, it just when he bend one finger the other one came with it (a bit of a 2 for the price of 1 deal).  He was still grabbing, gripping and pulling toys at the normal rate of development, however the sooner this surgery was done the better it would have been for him in later life.  This is due to the fact as Lachlan grew and his fingers grew with him it could potentially stunt the growth of the 3rd finger or it could have them growing into each other causing potential muscle merging resulting in the release surgery being a lot more difficult.

So surgery was scheduled on Wednesday 18th July 2012 and we had to report to the WCH Day Surgery Unit at 7am that morning.  Lachlan had to fast from 2am for any solids or milk and from 6am for any water.  Because I was terrifying at the thought of dealing with a starving baby with no understanding of why he wasn’t allowed to eat I woke him up at 1.30am and made him eat about 3 courses of food. He was sleepily looking at me with confused eyed why he was being woken up and fed but he ate it all the same as he loved loved loved his feed.

At 6am the house was up, packed with an overnight bag for both Lachlan and myself ready to head to the hospital. At 7am we got to the hospital – with a hungry irritable baby being woken up. Luckily at this stage Lachlan was quiet taken with one of the Baby Einstein discs so we had that on constant repeat to distract him from being happy.

**On our way to hospital**

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 We were called to pre-admission at 8.30 in the theatre waiting room with my poor little man in his miniature hospital  robe and his nappy all confused about where he was and what was going on.

Then the time had come, Lachlan and I went into the actual theatre, where I  held my poor scared little baby while they put the gas mask over his head with the anaesthesia in it and slowly he loss consciousness – I will never forget, and it still brings a tear to my eye, the complete fear that was in his eyes. The nurses did the best to console a bawling mum and then ushered me back to the pre-admission area where Jamie was waiting with open arms to give me a big hug and reassure me that he was going to be fine.

The operation was expected to take between 1 and 1 ½ hours.  This was the LONGEST wait of my life.  They had finally shown us up to the post surgery ward where Lachlan and I would spend the night….
After 2 hours Jamie and I were both getting a bit antsy so Jamie went to ask if there were any updates, they rang theatre and everything was going routine.
After 2 ½ hours we were just about going mental with worry and stress waiting and waiting for our precious little man to be returned to us, once again Jamie ventured to the nurses station for an update – where once again everything was going ok.
After 3 hours it’s safe to say we were both sick with worry REALLY just wanted to see our little person…then we got the message that he was out of theatre and in recovery and he would be back in the ward with us within the next 45 minutes depending on how he came out from the Anaesthesia.  This gave me a sufficient distraction to run around like a blue arse fly trying to get everything ready in the room to make it ready for him with his favourite things and most important have a bottle ready to go for our poor little starving man.

Within 15 minutes, Jamie and I looked up at each other and said “We know that cry” and sure enough our little nugget was already out of theatre and out of recovery and was screaming his entire way down the hallway into our room. The nurse pretty much screamed as she was in the doorway – quick get his milk lol.

A big bottle of milk down the screaming subsided and our happy little man was back.  It’s hard to believe that this photo was taken only 45 minutes after coming out of surgery –  we were (and still are) sooooo proud of our little rockstar!!

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After a bit of a play and some story time Lachlan was ready for a real feed and after a serve of savoury, a tub of yoghurt AND a tub of custard we were ready for a snooze in mummy’s arms.  Lachlan came out of the surgery with no adverse reactions to the Anaesthesia and has quite amused by the two gigantic big boxing gloves on both hands.

He slept a little bit of routine that day due to the interruptions and apparently 4am was morning party time, so weary eyed mum was pushing a mini Mohammed Ali up and down the ward hall ways in this little red car thinking he was king pin! 

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 He recovered so well we were discharged at 10am the following morning – less than 24 hours after he came out of surgery.

He loved that little red car so much and being pushed around in it when he had his big gloves on – we bought him one…he just loved cruising around in it looking at the world go by and playing with his cousin to keep him entertained.

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 The follow up appointments were weekly, fortnightly and then monthly.  He had to have the big boxing gloves for almost 3 weeks, from then he was down to mittens for about 3 weeks with his fingers covered and his thumbs outs so he could at least grip things again for another 3 weeks.  Within 6 weeks post surgery he no longer needed any dressings and all was healing beautiful.

**The unravelling of the boxing gloves with the confused look on his face and then streamlined to his new mittens**

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Ten months on from the surgery and today you wouldn’t even know that he has had surgery on both of his hands. You can only see tiny scars of where the skin grafts were if you look closely. The Plastics unit at WCH did such an amazing job of this surgery and our little man now has the 10 perfect fingers that you except them to be born with to go with the 10 perfect toes he has.

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This cute little video is from the day we got home – you can see he still has his hospital band around his ankle and clearly still has the big boxing gloves