Archive for December, 2009

Boxing Day

Sunday, December 27th, 2009


Owen with Granny and Grandad

Granny and Grandad Gunn with Owen

Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Maria & Owen at Christmas

Hip specialist report

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Today Owen had his check up with the hip specialist to see how his under developed hip is doing.  He’s been wearing a splint for about 3 weeks now but we were given no indication when he got it about how long he would need it.

So he got x-rayed and then we were in to see the specialist.  She is very pleased with his progress in such a short period of time.  Apparently with the kind of splint he has its a minimum of 6 weeks wearing it full time and then it goes onto just overnight wearing of it.  She has given us an appointment for 4 weeks time and hopes that after that appointment he won’t need it full time anymore.  Here’s hoping!

I have to say, he was a wee gem again.  There’s lots of poking, prodding and pulling happening to him at the moment and he takes it all quite happily.  Today he was smiling at me as the lady put cold gel on him for the ultrasound and he just stared up at me as the hip lady manipulated his legs to test them out.  Such a good boy, I’m so proud of him.


Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that Owen is now into size 3 nappies.  I also just checked the weights in his 0-3 month clothes as some of them seemed a bit tight and sure enough I need to move him into the 3-6 month clothes now so will have to change his wardrobe over. 

They grow up so fast!

8 week check up – and general update

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Peek a boo!

Today Owen had his 8 week doctor’s appointment.  Until now its been midwives and health visitors but this is the big check up and his first vaccinations – I was dreading it.  However the wee guy was just super.  He is doing really well and passed all the tests and hardly cried when he got his jags, which was great as I’ve been in the waiting room listening to the building being cried down by other babies!  He even smiled when the doctor made a joke, bless him!

His weight obcessed Mum obviously needs to report on his weight!  When he was born he was 8 pounds 15 and 3 quarters (4080 grammes), he then lost weight (as do all babies) but was quite slow putting it back on.  We had various initial feeding issues, as you may have read in my last post.  Anyway last time he was weighed he was back onto the same graph line, or centile, as he was born on and he is still on it now at 13 pounds 6 (6085 grammes).  So that’s super and exciting for us!

His length has gone from 51 cm at birth to 60 and a quarter cm today and his head circumference has gone from 38 cm to 42 cm, this latter is staying on the same graph line as well.

Owen has had a blocked eye duct since he was born and even though I clean it regularly and put breastmilk in it (full of antibodies apparently) it hasn’t cleared up yet.  So the doctor gave us some drops to put in it so hopefully they will help.
A blocked tear duct is not pretty

He also gave me a prescription for sugar free paracetamol (like Calpol) as Owen may be a bit feverish tonight after his jags.  Last week Owen was diagnosed as having colic so he also has some Colief to help that.  Yes, I am most grateful that children do not pay for their prescriptions!

In other medical news, the wee guy is currently wearing a splint.  The day after he was born it looked like he had a “clicky” left hip so we were given an appointment for an x-ray 6 weeks later in case it was not just an effect of being born, as is often the case.  When we went for the x-ray they found that his right hip was under developed.  Where he should have a big ball joint in a bowl, he has a wee ball on a plate.  Good description and diagram here.  The 2 aspects have to rub against each other to stimulate each other’s development and so the splint is designed to do this.  Luckily its been found at an early stage so it should be fairly easy to fix it as his whole body is still in a developmental mode.  He doesn’t seem at all bothered by the splint either as he’s too small to realise there’s anything wrong.
Owen in his splintOwen gets some tummy time in front of the mirror

Last week he went to his first formal meal, my work’s Christmas Library Lunch.  He was a total angel, despite being passed around lots of other guests for cuddles.  His colic issues mean he has wind and likes to be upright so I did have to spend most of the meal holding him on my lap but luckily I’m good at doing things with one hand now!

I also went to my work’s Annual Dinner last month.  Yes, I left the house for a whole evening and Bryan managed really well on his own with Owen – with the help of a bottle of expressed milk of course!  It was so nice to wear a dress, some make up and spend an evening talking to adults.  It was very kind of work to include me on the guest list even though I’m on maternity leave.

In non baby news, we got a new shed as the roof of our old one rotted and fell in.  Our car also failed its MOT and it turned out there was a recall on it so its been in the garage for the last 2 weeks, at least its under warrenty!  And we’ve had the chance to try out a Suzuki Splash as the garage is away up in Peterhead and they had to give us a courtesy car in the meantime.  Our rocking chair also collasped so we replaced it with a “nursing chair and footstool” that swivels and glides back and forward.  Bryan is looking forward to renaming it “xbox chair” once I finish feeding Owen!  Oh yes, and that’s me back to the baby. 

Well he is the centre of my world.
Owen smiling

The breastfeeding thing – possible TMI warning!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Okay, so I’ve mentioned having problems with feeding before but not gone into much detail – this is the detail, hence the Too Much Information warning!  I wasn’t going to eleborate but was asked to write it up for an academic study so thought I might as well include it here too in case anyone is interested.

Here goes –

When Owen was born, six weeks ago, I remembered being told at breastfeeding class that it was beneficial to feed in the first hour.  As we’d been left alone in the labour ward I thought I’d give it a try, and was thrilled when it worked.  However once we got to the ward I couldn’t get him to latch again, even with help from the midwives.

The next morning I’d still not fed him so a midwife expressed my milk and fed Owen with a syringe.  This was the start of a frustrating battle, with neither of us really knowing what we were doing. 

We did manage to feed a couple of times and we were sent home feeling fairly confident.  However when the midwife came to the house she realised his weight was not going up.  It hadn’t fallen past the allowed 10% but wasn’t rising.  As a new first time Mum this was devastating, I wanted to be a good Mum and wanted to do what was right but it just wasn’t working.  Owen was too hungry to sleep and too tired, through lack of energy, to feed.  He would also get really excited or agitated when put near my breast and toss his head about – none of the babies in class had done that, they’d all opened their mouths and latched perfectly.  We were trapped; and I was getting so exhausted that it was affecting my milk production, which hadn’t had a chance to even get established.  I was told to get formula into him immediately or he’d need to be readmitted to hospital.  It would also take the pressure of feeding him off me and relieve the anguish so that hopefully I could express milk for future feeds.  So began another tiring cycle of expressing and cup feeding, a process that took about 90 mins, and would need started every 3 hours.  At least the wee guy would sleep now though, especially as we’d give him formula last thing.

That first weekend my midwife was on holiday so I saw 4 different ladies, each with their own (often contradicting) ideas and suggestions to get him feeding.  One suggested breast shields, wee silicon gadgets for ladies with cracked nipples so the baby wasn’t feeding direct.  Fortunately these worked first time!  The next 2 feeds Owen latched and fed properly and I was thrilled and excited.  Then he got lazy again and wouldn’t latch, but would still use the shields.

So I kept trying but he wasn’t keen, I’ve only had him latch a couple of times since.  However the important thing is that he’s gaining weight, sleeping, and keeping happy.  Shields may not be the “proper” way but they work for us so that’s all that matters.  We do often leak some during feeds so need to use a cloth and sometimes still end up with me having a wet waistband on my jeans and him having wet sleeves.  I doubt I’ll ever feed in public but I can express for trips out and give him a bottle, now he’s old enough to not have to be cup fed!  My milk is so well established that he only occasionally gets formula now, just nights when he’s having a growth spurt and feeding every 2 hours as we both need more sleep than the hour you snatch between feeds.

That’s “how its been going”, as for “what has been helpful” – well the support of my husband, Mum and friends have been the main thing.  It’s amazing once you mention having problems just how many other people have had too.  Before I had Owen I thought it was a natural and easy thing to do – well I’ve seen various ladies doing it effortlessly in public and that’s how it looked in the class too.  There was mention of the possibility of mastitis or cracked nipples so I was prepared for those but I really wish they had pointed out that it can be hard to get established.  I realise that the main battle is to get women to want to breastfeed but I would think that those who go to a breastfeeding class have already made that decision so why not be honest and up front with them so they can mentally prepare themselves?  The worst part, for me, was feeling like a total failure and utterly useless – I didn’t know this was actually quite “normal” and a lot of women have problems to begin with – it didn’t mean I was a bad Mum.

But I’ve drifted to “what was difficult”.  Back to helpful – my husband was the one that was there encouraging me and trying to help with positioning.  He also kept me well fed with lovely nutritious food so I had the energy to go on.  The midwives were all helpful, although it was confusing with them all suggesting different things, and some were disapproving of other’s suggestions.  I also attended a breastfeeding clinic at the hospital with a midwife and an NCT councillor which gave us several new suggestions to try, and let me see there were other Mums struggling too.  I had to demonstrate us trying to feed and it wasn’t helpful when the midwife watched Owen tossing his head about in front of my breast, then laughed and said “yes I see your problem.”  He can’t have been the first baby ever to do this!  It was one of my friends who actually made the straightforward suggestion of holding his head still as I put him to the breast.  That helped, a bit.

The most helpful thing was my final acceptance that breast shields worked for us and that I don’t care if some people don’t approve.  Hopefully at tomorrow’s weigh in Owen’s weight will be back up to the centile line it was at when he was born.  That is all that matters in the end.