Freddie’s first month in this world was a pretty eventful one, arriving early and then tackling jaundice, tongue-tie and a tricky start to breastfeeding (read 1 Month Baby update here). I thought by month 2 things would have settled. But I was definitely proven wrong! Month 2 was filled with crying (from both of us) and a fair amount of issues. But fear not, this month does end on a positive note and things are definitely looking up.
But I thought I would document this rather bumpy journey, so grab a cuppa and sit tight…it’s a long one.
Where we left off…
At 3 weeks old he had a tongue-tie division and finally, I was feeding pain-free by week 4. I also noticed he was just starting to latch on really easily and it became a bit of a breeze with feeding. A short-lived breeze it turns out.
Although his feeding had improved, I noticed that after some feeds he was particularly unsettled and unhappy. Unless he was really sleepy, some of the feeds would get very fussy and he’d end up screaming and crying after the feed.
The Grumpiest baby
Then it got worse very quickly and within a few days, it was difficult to recall if he’d been settled at any of his feeds. It wasn’t unusual for him to cry for 5/6 hours and be completely inconsolable. And eventually, he would just tire himself out, despite having not actually nursed for long at all.
This was heartbreaking as I wanted to comfort him by nursing but it seemed like me and my boobs were the last thing he wanted.
I tried to laugh it off with the hubby just saying that we have the ‘grumpiest baby in the world’ but it wasn’t much fun for either of us that were desperately trying to bond and enjoy this little baby who seemed to only be screaming.
I’m not one to moan but I definitely felt most of the healthcare professionals I would speak to were fobbing me off a little. After saying my newborn would scream and cry and jerk around like he was in pain, I got all sorts of responses:
‘It’s just a growth spurt!’ or ‘some babies do just cry a lot!’ or ‘it’s probably just wind, or he’s feeding too quickly and feels like he’s eaten a large Christmas dinner!’
But none of these were very comforting as I felt like I was just expected to watch him in pain like it was normal and no ‘biggie’. The problem is that he was still putting on weight and that is their main concern or indicator when something isn’t right. So he was right on track and growing nicely according to them.
Basically the only position he was ever happy in
Colic or Cows Milk Protein Allergy?
It gradually got worse by week 6, but when I mentioned it to the health visitor or doctors they suggested colic, or a Cows Milk Protein Allergy and suggested I drop all dairy from my diet (it’s so much harder than I expected!) and I also try the usual Infacol and Gripe Water.
Now if you’ve ever tried to give a whole 5ml syringe of Gripe Water to an already miserable and screaming baby…well then you can imagine how that went.
Determined to get to the bottom of this, I stuck with no dairy (and no Soya for good measure) and desperately tried to administer gripe water and get him to nurse while sleepy. Otherwise, if he was too awake it became a scream-fest that consisted of him arching backwards and pulling faces of disgust as he tried to drink.
Hitting a wall – desperate to find a solution!
I remember one morning I got up with my husband after a night of struggling to get him to nurse and trying to get ready as I was dropping him off at training that morning.
Every time I put Freddie down he would just scream and scream. I couldn’t even brush my teeth without holding him. And that morning I couldn’t get him to nurse at all.
He had slowly cut his feeds down by at least half but even that was a fight to get out of him. And the worst part was going from having a baby that was contently feeding for about a week to one that seemed to hate it more than anything.
But the worst part was I could just tell he was in pain. It’s a completely different cry and I’m pretty sure it’s designed to go through a mums body and basically make her feel it too. I just felt for this poor little baby who was spending every waking moment of his early life crying.
I stood that morning and started sobbing as I felt like I’d hit a wall. All my patience and hope and sheer determination had run dry and now I was just a very worried mum that knew there was something wrong.
Finally a diagnosis
Despite all the previous excuses I’d been dished out, I persisted and got a doctors appointment. Except for this time I had done my research, and although you’re not supposed to…I’d pretty much self-diagnosed it and was confident what we were dealing with was Silent Reflux.
If you’re not familiar, Reflux is like heartburn but the acid and milk usually travels back up and results in lots of vomiting. Silent reflux is the same except the vomiting is not there. He was basically managing to swallow it back down (mmm nice! Hope you weren’t eating.)
So finally we were sent home with medication and although it took a few days to work, it has definitely transformed him into such a happy baby.
First few smiles emerging at 7 weeks
Sunshine, Smiles and Sandy Toes
He started smiling at 7 weeks and hasn’t stopped since. It is the sweetest, slightly goofy smile that seems to take over his whole body.
So we finally had a happy smiley baby who’s Reflux was under control, but unfortunately, he continued to refuse to nurse. So I pumped and combination fed while desperately searching for an answer.
But he was happy and that was all that mattered to me.
He did have his first ever holiday in Cornwall with the extended family, and I think he loved it. He particularly enjoyed all the faces and flashing everyone his newly found smile.
A few snaps from Cornwall
It doesn’t end there…my Mummy instinct was right.
I won’t go into too much detail as I plan to still do a breastfeeding journey post as it has been quite the story with all sorts of problems involved. But this month marked another diagnosis alongside the Reflux, and one I had to really really fight for.
Not satisfied with the unexplained refusal to nurse anymore, and after trying all the suggestions I had received…I decided to trust my gut and follow up with what I thought the problem was all along – the tongue tie had come back!
I suggested it to the health visitors, breast support and doctors but all had a look and said his tongue movement was great and he was doing what he was supposed to so they had ruled it out. But I just felt like I knew that I needed one more opinion before I would just finally accept that the breastfeeding was done and for no good reason.
I booked into the see the same Tongue-tie practitioner and she confirmed exactly what I had been saying all along. The posterior tongue tie was there again because of the scar tissue that had formed and was once again restricting movement.
So that has now been divided again and I had hoped to get back to breastfeeding, but still absolutely refused to latch. About a week later he had two days where he was so unhappy and refused to feed at all or even take a dummy so I am pretty sure it has reattached again.
Unfortunately, they will only divide it twice before it would have to be reviewed by the Orthodontist now so that is the next step. I’m assuming nothing will happen until he is older now and they can assess whether it starts to affect his speech.
But he is back to feeding normally again (from the bottle) and is continuing to be a happy smiley baby.
Phew…so there you have it.
Yet another month with our drama baby! He has definitely kept us on his toes since day one and is worlds apart from what his sister was like.
But this is what makes the joy of having kids so wonderful…it’s unpredictable, fraught, chaotic but absolutely unconditional and filled with so much love (and goofy toothless smiles)!
Has anyone else been through something similar? I hope this post serves as a reminder that we all go through little hiccups with our little ones, but that you should definitely trust your gut or Mama-instinct!
Here’s to hoping for a really boring month 3 update haha.