After searching for the right pushchair, car seat, steriliser, sleep-suits, vests, comforters, Moses basket & grobags we were ready for Benjamin’s arrival.
Benjamin entered the world 2 weeks before his due date and we couldn’t be happier. There were a few complications during my pregnancy, these were soon distant memories once we had our beautiful boy in our arms. Coming home we tried settling into our new routine. Being first time parents we felt like we knew nothing.
‘If only there was some sort of manual to ensure we’re doing it right. When do we feed our bundle of joy? When do we change his nappy?’
Our first night, we tried settling Ben into his Moses basket. Ben would cry as soon as I went to lay him down. I was convinced he just felt scared and a maybe needed a few more cuddles to help settle him Or so I thought, But the want for sleep never came…
As the days went by we noticed out little new-born just didn’t sleep, he would constantly cry, fuss during feeding, arch his back and only content for a few minutes until it was time for the vicious circle to start again. We questioned whether this was normal. I couldn’t take any more, I couldn’t bear watching our son squirm every minute of the day, watching those tears role down his face. We took Ben to our GP, I had hoped they would understand and have a cure. Instead I left feeling like an over-reactive first time Mum. I sat there like a zombie as the doctor said ‘babies cry’ and its likely ‘colic’.
Dave and I were both exhausted. Dave’s Paternity leave was coming to an end and I knew it was going to mean that I had to try and comfort our little boy by myself. I had mixed emotions, I felt dread, I knew this couldn’t be right and surely babies don’t just cry constantly. I felt like a failure, a mother who couldn’t calm or comfort the baby she had been baking for 9 months. I felt like such a let down and embarrassed to leave the house incase people would witness how useless I was.
Our evenings were like shifts, we’d take it in turns to stay awake all night. Dave had work so I knew he needed more sleep but he would often come down in the middle of the night and insist that I had a few hours sleep too. We’d rely on Netflix, soaps and anything to generally get us through the night with what felt like a possessed baby.
I was trying so hard to do my best for our baby, but no one would listen to me, no-one would help. Id just continue to put on the brave face.
Our son was in pain and I couldn’t do anything to relieve it. I cried a lot. I hated my baby, I hated myself hating our baby.
We went unheard for 3 months which felt like a lifetime.
One afternoon Ben cried solidly for 7 hours . We phoned 111 to ask for advice who referred us to A&E. They could hear he was inconsolable. The doctors listened to us and explained it’s likely to be silent reflux and cows milk protein intolerance. We were prescribed Ranitidine and Nutramigen formula. We left the hospital with hope, wishing this would be the miracle we had been waiting for.
After 2 weeks of medication and the dairy free formula it was like we had a different baby. A smiley, happy beautiful boy! I felt guilty and selfish for feeling the way I once did.
I wish I had the courage to write this blog a few years ago. I want people to understand it’s ok to feel the rollercoaster of emotions when becoming parents.
We’re now out the other side of silent reflux. Ben is still dairy free but we continue the milk ladder.
We count our blessings that our son is growing into a gentle, happy toddler full of character who we love so much.
Tips: we loved our sleepyhead! We propped the cot onto blocks/stack of books so the crib wasn’t flat and then placed the sleepyhead inside. This helped with the acid and reflux. Keeping Ben upright for 10-15 minutes after feeding helped a lot!
Hang on in there, it will get easier.