Category: My Blog

Frankie gets a Freddie

 Last week we ended up in Tallaght hospital with 10 week old Frankie. We had a great day when suddenly, late in the afternoon, he started feeling very warm and sweaty but he had no temperature. Shortly after he refused bottles, his nappies became dry and he became very irritable. Initially I though he was constipated even though he had pooped that morning. Massaging his belly, cycling his legs round, trying him with some water but to no avail. He seemed in a lot of discomfort at first but soon that dreaded ‘pain cry‘ burst out. My heart was broken. So I rang the hospital and they recommended we bring him in immediately.
It was a stressful night, and that was before I put the phone down. I ran towards the car, forgetting that I had lent mine out earlier that night. We had to find a sitter for Kayla, who hadn’t a clue what was going on. I then prepared a bag for the possibility over an over-night stay. In the middle of all this, I remembered Kayla had squeezed Frankie earlier that morning. Had she pushed in his fontanelles? Had she squeezed him so hard and broke a rib? The things going through my head would give any new mommy nightmares. We arrived after what felt like an hour.
We saw the triage nurse straight away and we were ushered into a cubicle. The nurse now asked for a urine sample. I wanted to scream out “are you for real? He’s had a dry nappy for 8 hours now!!” – Luckily for her I refrained. We got one shortly after, with the results coming back with higher than normal white cells. I don’t know about you, but with high or abnormal white cells you think the worst.  Soon after, a Freddie was inserted into his tiny little hand. Having thrombocytopenia, I’m not one bit squeamish with needles. (although I have issues with the B.C.G, that one bloody well hurts tiny newborns, they need to invent an oral solution or something.) They took a blood sample, sent it off to the lab and put him on an IV drip as he was becoming very dehydrated. 
Screaming,and clearly in a lot of pain and discomfort, the doctor did a full body examination only to find his foreskin was very tight and he immediately rang for a surgeon to come down. I googled the life out of my phone and came to the conclusion he might need a circumcision, a very common procedure nowadays. I can totally live with that.
We were transferred up to a ward, still attached to an IV. He had finally stopped crying, and had a wet nappy. Forty-five minuets after putting my head to the rock solid mattress, another doctor came around to declare he had a viral infection of the ears, nose and throat. She came to this conclusion as his throat was a little red. (Of course it’s going to be red after 4 hours of screaming every ten minutes!!) Me half asleep couldn’t even determine who was in the room never mind clearly register what the doctor had been saying.
A couple of hours later I wasn’t sure if the doctor had really been, so I marched up-to the nurses station to figure out if I’d be dreaming or not. I had no recollection of her opening his nappy, looking at his trunk or even picking him up. I questioned if the surgeon had been whilst I was snoozing. By the look of the nurses face she hadn’t a clue what I was talking about.
I demanded another doctor come down to do a full body examination. As far as I was concerned I was waiting on a surgeon. Again, this doctors diagnosis was a viral infection. A few hours later Frankie started downing his 3-4 hourly, 5 oz feeds. The only proof of his horrid ordeal is the little bruise where his Freddie was inserted. 
Like most other parents, I believe a ‘viral infection’ is another word for ‘i haven’t a clue what’s wrong with him’. I didn’t have a great experience with the doctors this time in my local hospital. I left feeling that they had thought I overreacted rushing him in for not drinking his bottles. I couldn’t care less what they think and we decided we were going for a second opinion about his little manhood as the very first doctor was very concerned.
We brought him to our local G.P and he was astonished at the fact the doctor was originally concerned about his penis. It exactly how it should be. He made us giggle saying he’d ‘love to give that doctor a slap’. If that not enough to calm my nerves nothing will.
I just wished through this little ordeal that he could talk and tell us what was wrong with him like any parent would. Wished their life away. It’s horrible knowing something is wrong and you just don’t know what it is and have to go to hospitals, G.P’s etc. to find out. 
It’s a week now and he is still perfect in every way. Hopefully no more hospital visits for a long long time.
As for me… I’ve eventually got my cast off and started physiotherapy, but unfortunately three days later split my head open. I’m on the mend with four staples and some Tylex. Maternity Leave is certainly not serving me well. Lets hope that’s the last of the hospital visits ehh…
Until our next adventure
Kellie x

In Hindsight

My reflection on how I coped during both of my children’s first few months.

Isn’t it interesting how with every baby we have, we have different ways of raising them? I look back on my first born and I wouldn’t let anyone cuddle her with the fear she was going to crave attention. I bought everything brand new, not a second-hand item in sight. I gave her warm bottles as I was told it was better for her tummy. Woke her religiously every three-to-four hours for the first six weeks. I ran to the doctor with a sniffle. I didn’t do proper research my buggy and ended up buying a new one at 24 weeks old. Kayla never had tummy time, to be honest I didn’t know what tummy time was. She’s so picky with her foods now, as I never experimented with flavours and textures. She won’t eat most vegetables and it’s my own fault!!

During my pregnancy on Frankie so many people offered clothes, blankets, swings, sterilizers etc. This time I wasn’t too proud. I accepted anything and everything bar his cot. I bought Frankie four sets of clothes during my pregnancy and I have only bought him three outfits since he was born. He’s fourteen-weeks-old now. They live in baby grows for the first six-weeks. Friends and family buy you so much, mainly clothes. If I didn’t like them, I exchanged them for something I did like. I always give a credit note for this reason. We don’t all have the same taste. I spent hundreds on Kayla, money which I didn’t have on little dresses that were not comfortable on a new baby.

Anybody who offers any hand-me-down baby items now, I jump at the chance. I though on Kayla, no way. The thoughts of hand-me-downs reminded me of my childhood. Money was tight, most clothes came from family, friends and charity shops. Hems were lowered, trousers cut into shorts. Now I just think gimme everything you got. A wash, an iron and as good as new. Why waste money on something that is perfect?

Cuddles? Hmmm, I was told ‘don’t have that baby in your arms she’ll just get use to it, wait till your on your own’. I don’t know if I didn’t bond with Kayla at first like I did Frankie l, I just fed, changed, put her down. My pregnancy on Kayla was a shock. I was sick one month, pregnant the next, then all of a sudden I was responsible for this little person. It was all so quick and to be quite honest, I didn’t know what I was doing. Force feeding Gripe water and infacol, telling everyone she was colic and had bad reflux, but to be honest looking back, I don’t think I was winding her properly.

If I remember correctly Kayla was on five antibiotics the first year of her life. I ran to the doctor with a sniffle, sneeze or a cough. I’m pretty sure I left the surgery one day thinking ‘how stupid she’s just teething’. Frankie had a cough a couple weeks ago. This time I chose to let his immune system kick in. A baby should not be on antibiotics at six-weeks-old. My determination worked, he was perfectly fine after 2-3 days.

I never want to see a warm bottle ever again. Running though the Square S.C, looking for a microwave or praying the bottle would heat up quicker sitting in a tea-pot of hot water. Dragging my feet down the stairs during night feeds just to warm a bottle up. This time it’s room temperature. Best tip anyone has every gave me. Makes life so much easier and the night feeds quicker.

I’m certainly no chef. Although I make a mean vegetable soup. Kayla eats potatoes and gravy. Gravy, potatoes and cold sausages. Beans, potatoes and gravy, oh and did I mention potatoes? The odd fish fingers, pasta and soup of course. She’s such a fussy eater. She’s allergic to eggs and is lactose intolerant aswell.

I’m currently looking at magazines, books and websites for new adventurous recipes to make for Frankie. Butternut squash, sweet potato, cucumber, hummus and sweetcorn. All things I would never dream of giving to myself never mind a baby. It’s all changed now. I won’t be freezing my mam’s left over stew or casserole. I’m so excited to experiment with all these new foods.

If I remember correctly I bathed Kayla almost every night. In products I knew nothing about just because they advertised them with a picture of a cute baby smiling. She ended up with awful baby eczema and nothing seemed to stop the flare ups. Why do we choose to use creams, lotions and potions on our babies? Warm water is perfectly fine, without parabens, preservatives basically adding crap to our children’s baths. I choose wisely this time. Infacare ultra mild. It’s light, moisturizing and you only need a drop in each bath. A bottle should do six months.

I never accepted help. I thought I have to prove to everyone I’m a good mam. I need to do everything for myself. So stupid of me. I was exhausted. I came home from the hospital with Frankie, sat on the sofa and I didn’t move. Anybody who said if you need anything done, want me to take Kayla for a few hours, overnight, make bottles, hoover your floors etc. I held them to it and took up their offers. I spent the first two weeks looking after myself, bonding with Frankie, enjoying his first weeks.

On Kayla I was up out, window shopping, anything just to get out of the house. Looking for a job when she was only three months old. Now I’m thinking, gosh I’m back to work in less than four months. Six months just isn’t enough time.

All I remember is Kayla crying, her getting sick, the tiredness, exhaustion, applying for jobs. Some family and friends disagree with me on Kayla’s first year.  They felt guilty feeding her as she fell asleep whilst drinking bottles, that she was one of the best babies ever.  So why don’t I think that? Makes me wonder… Did I have post natal depression? I am one for pretending everything okay when it’s clearly not. Did I know? Did I try mask it? Did I lose some of the most precious first moments of my babies life?

I lived at home with my mam, dad and little brother, sharing a room with Kayla for her first year. My mam is so particular with her home, she’s house proud so I felt I was stepping on toes a lot. My dad was up for work at five or six and with Kayla’s two night feeds, until she was eight or nine months old, I can imagine he couldn’t wait until I moved our to get a good nights sleep. Then I had a hormonal brother preparing for the leaving cert too. It was a lot of pressure to try keep everyone happy.

I couldn’t wait for ‘me time’. I’m pretty sure other people had her more than I did as she got older. She spent lots of time with her godmother, her parents, my cousin, my Aunty, my mam and her very fraternal nana. Basically anybody who answered the phone to me. I just wanted time to be Kellie again, even if just for a few hours. Maybe that’s why I started looking for a job again when she was only 3 months old. I think my pregnancy was such a shock that I wasn’t prepared for motherhood. This all changed after settling in to our new home. I wouldn’t dream of leaving Frankie with anybody right now, maybe I am finally ready to be a mammy.

All I can do know is take it as a life lesson, do everything different. Learn from my mistakes. Me and Kayla are best buds. She’s my little sidekick. Where I go she goes. We both have our moments like everyone. I’ve made up now with what I lost when she was so small and cherish every moment I get with her now.

I hope you get some advice from this blog, its very personal to me. Not many people believed I struggled with Kayla as a new baby. It has taken me four years to actually open up about it. If you have any worries, concerns or feel like you can’t cope, please speak to a family member or close friend. I hate thinking someone out their is hibernating their post natal depression. Speak up, get help and be the person best you can be.

My Left Foot

So I have pretty much had the worst luck ever, which is strange considering everyone around me says I’m the luckiest person they know. I’m the one who wins every raffle I enter and the Bingo jackpots, although I’ve yet to win the Lotto. I went and broke my foot four weeks after giving birth to my baby boy, Frankie. So now I have a seven-week-old baby boy, a demanding four-year-old daughter Kayla, and NO LEFT FOOT! And no, it didn’t happen on my first night out since having Frankie (it’s going be almost 12 months before I can wear six-inch heels and hit the pub again since becoming pregnant). In actual fact, I was having a water fight. A mother of two can still have fun!

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