Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The Reason for this Blog.
Do we, or don’t we? That is the question that has plagued my mind for the last few months. There is an 80 percent chance of having a third reflux baby, which means an 80 percent chance of a tired, emotionally drained, grumpy family for the following year.
How ridiculous does that sound? Now that I have actually written those thoughts down, it seems absurd. I'm not worrying about an 80 percent chance of losing a gorgeous baby to heart problems; still birth; cot death; cancer or any number of other terminal illnesses or life long struggles. All I am worrying about is having a years worth of simple reflux problems! It seems embarrassing to even say that this is my concern when others face far worse problems.
However, when you are going through the small trial of trying to nurture a tiny baby with reflux; when you have a baby who refuses to feed; a baby who constantly screams; a baby who you worry is not getting enough nutrition; coupled to the fact that you have had a years worth of sleepless nights; you can’t get out and about as easy as other mums and have a whole household who are also tired and feeling neglected, it is enough to make you just want to curl up into the foetal position as your world crumbles away.
Every day with my first reflux baby I would try and have a reality check. I would get into the shower where I would have a chance to have a cry and feel some self pity. It was there that I would begin my daily ritual of repeating over and over to myself, “He is alive, he is alive, he is alive.” As I knew all too well that there are much worse things that could happen.
As someone that spent 24 months with a child in Starship Hospital fighting cancer, said to me, “If this is the worst that happens in his life, then you are pretty lucky.” He was right and I knew it, but it didn’t stop me feeling sorry for myself and stressed out by what had become like ground hog day. Everyday was full of the same. Trying to calm and put to sleep a tired baby who was in pain. Trying to feed a hungry baby who doesn’t want to swallow and feel his throat burn. Trying to find a way to trick a baby into taking a feed. Trying to be a good wife and mum. Constantly comparing myself to other mothers who would make comments that quite clearly showed they either didn’t understand my position, or thought that it was my mothering techniques that were the real problem, rather than a medical condition.
Round two of reflux I didn’t handle as well as the first. I was older. I had been there, done that already. I had another child to tend to. I had more friends with children to compare myself to and have ‘helpful’ advice from. I had no one that understood, except my husband, who I could really sit down and laugh and cry with about the whole situation.
During my decision making time, I have had comments like, “Three is just as easy as two, it’s just the first six weeks that are the hardest.” I smile nicely and make some joke and on the inside I am thinking, “Really? You still don’t get it? My troubles don’t last six weeks, they last a whole year!” As my husband says, no one, other than those who have had reflux babies, will ever get it.
This simple fact is what spurred me on to write this blog. I would have loved to have had a something to read and feel as though someone else out there knew what I was going through, had made it through and knew that I really wasn’t a bad mother. That in fact I was a superb mother to have gone through this and survived to tell the tale. I think that would have helped my emotional status remarkably.
I also think that if I do have another Reflux baby this blog will be a great outlet for me. If I don't have a Reflux baby, then I will continue to make posts based on my experiences with my first two boys that I'm sure will give you some helpful tips on how to cope with our poor babies.
I want you to know you are a great mum and it is tough, I know it is. But you will make it through. Breathe. Let yourself cry. Accept help. Smile at others advice and know they have good intentions, they just don’t understand. Seek out a doctor until you find one that will help you. And most of all enjoy your sweet baby. Enjoy that little soft head nestled in your neck, enjoy their smell, their smiles, their cooing, because they are in fact alive.
So, by the conclusion of my introduction, I have, believe it or not, the answer to my initial question. While there is an 80 percent chance of a number three reflux baby, there is 100 percent chance of beautiful baby who amidst all the chaos will bring us great joy that none other can surpass.