RUFUS IS SIX MONTHS OLD | THE TRUTH AROUND DEALING WITH A DIFFICULT BABY


Okay, how is my baby half a year old? On the first of June, Rufus turned Six months old and I'm mentally not ready for the next six months. When I was pregnant with Rufus I had this idea that the first year of his life would be amazing, special, perfect even and then a few weeks in we realized this was not going to be smooth sailing, easy or the perfect, sacred year we imagined. I won't over exaggerate as I am more than aware I am very lucky to be seeing a third, first year with one of my own and that he has by far not had the worst first year ever but it has been really hard and has led to Postnatal depression and made the PTSD symptoms come back too. PTSD is something I've never really told anyone about and I still can't and probably won't go into detail about it but something that Sarah from This Mama Life mentioned on a TV show I watched her on was that people expect PTSD to come from some really traumatic experience and she's right, when I was told a year or so ago I had PTSD I was like how? How could I have it when I hadn't experienced a real traumatic crash, attack or something? Well, Sarah got it from an experience with her second baby, Lachlan and mine came after something that happened when Lucas was about 16 months old and it has been the route of a lot of my darkest times since and well the first six months of Roo's life has knocked me back hugely and I am struggling with my mental health due to this.


Rufus has a severe case of reflux and oh. my. life. It has been exhausting, both mentally and physically. I have thought about packing a bad and relocating on my own, damn the tattoos that make me easily identifiable. I love this little boy immensely but I would be lying if I don't feel full of sadness at the tainted first six months of his life, my last baby, my last newborn/tiny baby stage tainted by Reflux, allergies, PND, PTSD, and absolute exhaustion.

From a few weeks, old Rufus hadn't slept anywhere but on me or on his front, he screamed all the time and we ended up seeing the health visitors every couple of days, followed by GP's every couple of weeks and in the end I cut the dairy and started to notice an ever so slight difference. This then led to us being referred to the consultants at the general hospital Pediatric department and finally at 11 weeks old, still under birth weight, being threatened with social services by a health visitor due to his lack of weight gain, constant monitoring, appointments and a very blurry time when I look back he was diagnosed with Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, a tongue tie, upper lip tie, and a potential Cows milk protein allergy.
Finally, medication, an answer, and hopefully a more positive future? By this point, I was still exclusively breastfeeding and had been advised to do top ups of nutramigen along with 5mls of Omeprazole once a day.

Rufus then got bronchiolitis in between this and had an overnight stay in hospital due to refusing to feed.
Once he had started to recover this seem to be working... for two weeks until we had to wait for a prescription for nutramigen to be ordered and in those two days he lost so much weight and by 13/14 weeks old I'd had enough, I was exhausted both mentally and physically, we were a couple of weeks away from our trip to Disneyland Paris and were close to a hospital admission for further testing. I visited a GP and whilst sobbing decided I was done and I no longer wanted to breastfeed and I was ready to swap over to a dairy free formula and to start focusing on me as well as my fragile little baby. I was fragile too. I was told breast was best and to continue.
Thankfully after a phone call to my lovely health visitor who was very unimpressed by this advice, she made a phone call and we were officially at the end of our breastfeeding journey.
I did try for a few weeks to feed him twice a day and formula feed him the rest of the time but he lost interest in working for the milk and decided that it was actually easier to get it out of bottle, so that lasted a week or two and then in Disneyland he became solely formula fed and once again we thought that would be the end of the stress.

We noticed that Rufus was getting bad again, constantly screaming, waking every twenty minutes at night and thankfully he was switched to neocate as nutramigen apparently still has some cows milk protein in it. We also fought to get his omeprazole dosage upped as he was now weighing double what he was when he had first been prescribed it but no such luck with that.

At five months old with him being slightly better but still terrible at night, twenty minutes max, uncomfortable and just clearly distressed we were told to attempt the weaning process. Once again we noticed a difference and thought we're getting somewhere now, sickness eased off, he was loving food, he was going hourly at night and seemed less distressed, his omeprazole dosage was also finally upped to 7.5mls and then we noticed his poos had gone mucusy, he was red raw, bleeding, blistering and unsettled again! Fast forward it's the soya! He is also allergic to soya.

So now its a case of checking EVERYTHING! Everything either has soya in or dairy in, well it feels that way. Finally a month later, new milk, the new dosage of medication, no soya or dairy in his diet and he seems to have become a happier baby. He can go for three hours at night most nights and he can play on the floor for a while now too. The sickness is easing off but we're still getting the soya out of his system and we think he had cross-contamination in a cafe the other day with dairy as he was really unwell after that but he hopefully *touch wood* is on the way to being a different baby.

The past six months have been really hard, it's all a bit blurry, it's been exhausting, heartbreaking and just an emotional ride really. I thought it was going to break Brad and I at one point.
I have a lot of emotions about the past six months, he's sitting up un-aided now, he's trying to crawl already, he babbles all the time, does this incredible high pitch squeal and he loves food, especially bananas. He loves a cuddle and loves his cuskiboo, which was Lucas' too and absolutely stinks!
He is slowly becoming a happy little baby and the truth is the hardest parts have been that not only has it been hard for myself and Brad and hard to watch but he's suffered, he's struggled and he's had a really hard six months of life.

He has an incredible six months too though. He's seen his first Christmas, been to Disneyland Paris, Manchester and is loved beyond belief. Lucas adores him and I can see them being the best of friends most of the time as they grow up together, Iris is besotted by him and is such a Mummy to him. I am just so grateful for how amazing his siblings are with him, makes me so proud.
I also love that even though I'm no professional singer he stares and smiles at me while I sing Lewis Capaldi and Disney songs at him, he becomes so mesmerized by me and it's honestly just adorable.
He loves the swings at the park and watches his Brother and Sister zoom back and forth in the lounge all day and his little head goes constantly whilst following them around the room. He has some lovely little friends already, Dougie, Joey, Isabelle, and Arthur and he will be so loved and so popular just like Lucas and Iris are with their friends too. He has three Godmothers who adore him and so many other family and friends who dote on him. He is honestly amazing; biased or not.
He also has had a dramatic hair colour change, which initially freaked us out but he's gone white blonde!

Hopefully, the next few months together as a family will make up for the hard times at the beginning of his life. He is an incredible, strong little boy who had us all worried for a while when he was just so incredibly tiny and fragile but he's so strong both physically and mentally (I am sure) and he's got the loveliest little smile, gorgeous little giggle, a wonderful cheeky personality and I would be lying if I said I wouldn't change a thing because I wish I could change how crappy he's had to feel during the first six months but would I change him? No, he's just incredible and wonderful and I adore him so much.


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