It wasn’t until my mum came to stay when Rachael was 8 weeks old and pointed out it was not normal that I started looking for medical help. At that point I was so tired and wound up I was incredibly rude to my gorgeous mother. Fancy suggesting I couldn’t cope – the truth hurt!!
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.
Rachael was a silent refluxer who always fed well. I realise now how lucky we were. She developed food allergies and food intolerances to nearly everything but responded to a total elimination diet for me (in combination with medication) . She couldn’t tolerate Neocate or Elecare so I kept feeding her till she was 2.
Food introduction was a nightmare. Sleeping was terrible. The car was a nightmare. I remember one particularly horrific journey where she screamed for 2 hours non‐stop. She was just dozing off when the car beeped as Will* (my beautiful partner) went over the set speed limit. She started crying again and I felt as angry as I ever had.
The pressure on us individually and as a couple was enormous. We got there however, and Rachael’s issues are all under control now. Will has reflux and takes Nexium everyday – so does Rachael. But it’s not a big deal now and although it would be nice to not need the meds, it’s ok.
We went back for one more and got identical twins Peter and Paul. They are the spitting images of Will but have my gut – no issues at all. I know how lucky we are and reading your stories reminds me again to be thankful.
* With the exception of Tanya, the names in this story have been changed.
Tanya is the RISA email contact co-ordinator and joint email co-ordinator.