I think I can honestly say I’ve been ‘clucky’ since I was about 12. That’s not to say that I had an intention of being a teen mum or anything, just that in the same way some little girls have their dream wedding all planned out, I knew very early on how I wanted the nursery decorated, and how it would ‘be’ when I finally got to marry my prince and start my family.
I wanted to be a mum more than anything else in the world. So that was the plan… meet a boy, get married and have a baby (or two!). I actually thought I’d be really good at it, but over the last 21 months I have considered myself wrong countless times.
Sherryn was not an easy baby, but I thought it was me. She was my first baby and I can remember bawling because I felt like such a failure. Becoming a parent came as a huge shock and although I had desperately wanted children, I felt so inadequate and wondered why everyone else seemed to cope so much easier than I did.
Natalie was born in 1992, a desperately wanted baby. She was born in respiratory distress, which took a while to settle and she spent several days in the Special Care Nursery needing oxygen and being tube fed.
At home, she wanted to feed every 2 hours, which is a pattern her sister had had. She hated being laid down flat and would often cry if I tried. She did not sleep well either, and at 12 months was still waking a dozen times overnight, and rarely during the day.
I had a pretty normal pregnancy with Jude, ate everything I should stayed away from everything that was warned about. No drinking, smoking raw meat, eggs, cold meats, salad bars takeaway. The list goes on. I didn’t die my hair and I didn’t use chemicals to clean. Why am I telling you this? Just in case there is another reflux mum reading this, It is nothing you did. I did everything right and at 3 years old my son still suffers from silent reflux.
My name is Bianca and I have one child, Oliver; he is 1 year old. Oliver was diagnosed with silent reflux at 4 months of age by one of my closest friends, who happens to be our GP. Thank god for her. She witnessed one of Oliver’s screaming fits; these used to happen most days, sometimes a few times a day and go on for what felt like hours, but was probably 30 to 60 minutes of screaming and crying before my husband or I would be able to settle him and/or he would fall asleep from exhaustion.
We didn’t have a failure to thrive (FTT) baby, or a baby who needed to be hospitalised, however the first twelve months with our first child Rachael were the most difficult in my life. As everyone said parenting was hard, I just thought that it was normal to never be able to put your child down without them screaming, to scream inconsolably for hours and hours and to only sleep upright.
Samuel projectiled his first ‘milk’ breastfeed onto the wall. I didn’t know what was happening but soon got used to the constant vomiting. He had several apnoeas in the first week, and began screaming. As a first time mother, I had no idea what had hit me. Sam thankfully slept most nights from sheer exhaustion but I struggled with the idea of routine; going out was difficult and I had extra cleaning as well.
We tried positioning/rocking, diet (off dairy but not soy), chiropractors, GPs, paediatricians and medications. I also joined a reflux support group. Sam improved dramatically at around twelve months; however, he still vomits and gags easily, gets car sick and dislikes milk products and raw vegetables/salads (tickling feeling in throat).
Cate was born when Dylan was just 15 months old. Cate screamed and screamed. She comfort fed so much (in between the screaming and not sleeping) and was so on/ off my breasts that they used to bleed all over her face while I was trying to feed her. I thought I had an attachment problem so hired a lactation consultant who tried so hard to help me, and when in sheer frustration (and with people telling me it was my milk and to bottle feed) I weaned her at 4 weeks.