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March 2006
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May 2006

James' first prescription

Bearing in mind Ian's comment (yes, I know I shouldn't be quite so certain in my home grown diagnoses, but I certainly wouldn't class an in depth article with heavy bibliography from the La Leche League on the same terms as, say, heh - someone telling you in a discussion group when to take Echinacea, for example ;) here's what the Doc said. Fuck all.

Well. I say that. He gave us a repeat prescription for a product that is no longer made, which was very helpful. In classic NHS fashion, he decided to go for the jugular and treat the symptoms, rather than the cause, so we are... well, were to use an emollient cream from Oilatum. Except we can't. And it was then too late to phone the Docs and get him to sort out an alternative. And it's Bank holiday weekend. Gee.

I asked if we could do some allergy tests given that he has congestion, colic, swollen eyelids, eczema and several other allergic reaction symptoms. Apparently not. He's too young (um... they do the allergy tests on infants in the States?). This is just classic childhood eczema apparently. Well... er, I read that it could be something I'm eating. I was thinking about cutting out some foods to see if it makes any difference, since 90% of the skin reaction is happening about the head and neck where my milk touches his skin? Oh. Yes, well if you want to. And we'll have a review at the eight week check.


It occurred to me there's one item I can eat that has protein in it and is veggie friendly - the horrors of Quorn. Grown in vats, don't you love it. I may have to bite the bullet and do a big bean casserole and hope his stomach can cope - but then if his abdominal colic is allergy based, he might not really have such a bad time with beans? Sigh. I have no idea.

It's not good. Looking behind your tiny (well, I say tiny, he's 11 lbs already) baby's ear and seeing a crustaceous surface, pitted and weeping. Or gently cupping his head and on places on his face and skull, feeling raised bumps so numerous as to swamp the soft baby skin underneath. He has red spots drifting down his torso now like flakes of snow. It's making the surface of his skin pretty hot, which I don't like one bit.

Now to investigate the SOS cream... I wonder how much allergy tests cost? A pretty penny, I wouldn't doubt.

Head in hands

Oh internets, why do you always tell me the truth?

Here, half way down the page parents are advocating the baby getting allergy tests and edven more distressingly, in as much as it describes James' symptoms exactly is a La Leche League article on the subject.

Basically, we're talking remove dairy, wheat and soy from my diet. But then it also says fish and eggs! Fucking fuck! i'm a temporarily-fish-eating vegetarian! what the fuck am I supposed to eat!

First things first - go see the Doc although I doubt very much whether they'll be anything like this informed. Maybe I  should print out the Leche one and highlight the specific areas which are relevant.


They never make this distinction, but I wonder if I'd be ok just getting rid of butter etc and getting Goats butter instead? God knows. However, will do that from tomorrow and go cold turkey on everything major to see if it makes any difference - the thing that struck me is that I've had a few ice creams in the last couple of days, so that could be what has helped kick things off.

I say again: AAAAAAARGH.

Why does my life revolve around fucking food intolerances and health food shops.


So James, it appears, is having a skin reaction to my milk. He's got a mass of rashy spots all over his face, behind his ears and around his neck like a flood. His eyelids are red and swollen but thankfully not spotty.

It's really rather unnerving and confusing. What am I supposed to do other than wash off the milk after feeding and apply Aqueous cream in copious amounts? The reaction has spread in to a more general and oh so obvious "red patches behind all the joints" so again, it's massage twice a day if not more, time. Nora looked like she was getting Eczema for a while but we managed to head it off at the pass by daily Aqueous cream massage for about a year - but her red patches were nothing compared to this. James' ears are so horribly spotty it's almost as if he has some kind of pox. he was quite weepy today too, which was even more disconcerting.

So as usual our crass NHS GP rules means I couldn't get a doc's appointment and I'll have to phone at 8.30 in the morning, and I'll *have* to go tomorrow - I phoned jsut to get my usual doc on the blower and have a quick chat re: any extra advice she could think of but now that's impossible, and I'll have to take him down there, disrupt his and my day (given that it takes half an hour to walk there) to, I've no dount, be told absolutely nothing I don't know already.

I did have several positive steps forward to attest to but this has come up so insanely quickly - at the weekend he just looked a bit zitty in that way that new babies do sometimes, but in the last couple of days  - wooof, it's flared up appallingly quickly.

I don't know what the fuck we can do. I can't express off and bottle every single meal, to control where the milk goes on his skin. That way total exhaustion and insanity lies. So what - we just have to put up with it? Give him formula instead? Some of the spots were weeping today.

...yes there could be many worse things to worry about but it really does look rough and nasty.

So, who is doing what...

Well James put on a pound in the last two weeks, making him 10lbs, 5oz's this week. Presumably this means he'll hit 11lbs fairly shortly. I can remember it took Nora several months to get there. The highest she got in the first two years was 25th percentile, and that was a really high peak for her - it was mostly in the teens. James is bang on 75th. You can imagine how freaky this isa for me to deal with. I'm used to stressing about every last lost drip of precious milk being forced down the throat of a child who if left to her own devices, would have half starved before she realised she was hungry. Now I've got His Nibs 'ere screaming avery... well on average every 3 1/2 hours. Oh most definitely including nights, since you ask. At present we're looking at 2.30 and 5.30. Unfair.

Nora's been crying when put to bed almost every night. The change in attention and the sudden feeling of not being the only precious thing we care about has really got to her now. her new bed is being delivered tomorrow and I think McK's right in questioning whether we did it too early. Perhaps we should have made it a rite-of-passage for when she became dry? Who knows.

Another much smaller bed is being delivered tomorrow called an Amby Bed. it was recommended by the Sears lot on "Ask Dr Sears" primarily as a day bed, to help colicky babys sleep. I'll describe it in more detail when I'm in possession of the thing. The point is to try, desperately, to get James to sleep for his naps and long afternoon sleep without me having to wear him. There is absolutely no possibility of sleep if I wear him, and what with 2.30 & 5.30... I'm a fucking wreck, frankly.

I must now go and warm up James' late evening feed. He's taking his time waking up for it, but that could be because he was so thorougly tanked up before going to bed. Unfortunately I can wait no longer, so it's heat up and wake up time instead.

Oh. The health visittor said she thought I was doing brilliantly. Glad someone does. I'm just too tired to notice.

Ugh ugh ugh

It was my trial run of putting Nora and James to bed today. Can I just give you the scenario of a newly boistrous toddler, being asked to stop standing on the high edge of a very high sofa arm and come and read a story with Mummy, whilst Mum is sitting, pillow on legs, breastfeeding 3 week old child?

So it took approx an hour before they were *both* crying at the same time, and I had to try to change Nora, put her in her PJ's and put her to bed, whilst James was screaming for cuddles and even more milk please...

Nora was so distressed at not getting 100% of the attention at all times, I basically had to leave her crying her head off in the bed. I could still hear her crying 20 minutes later.

I'm told that it will get better. But having both your offspring distraught and screaming at you at the same time is an extremely demoralising experience, I can tell you.

I know, I know... in six months she'll be going to bed like a trooper. doesn't stop it being a heap of crap at this point. Whilst I'm close to the edge of freakiness with sleep deprivation.

...and tomorrow morning, I've got to get up at least an hour early to feed James before taking nora to nursery in time for breakfast. And it's currently 23.38. Times like this you wish that 3am demand feeds really weren't allowed.

Dribbling with tiredness

When you have one child, you can, say, go to bed, when they do (haha, that is, supposing they ever actually will fall to sleep voluntarily). When it's a bank holiday weekend, and you have two children, one of which is not yet 2 1/2, you get to have no naps at all for 5 days! Because Nora's supposed to go to nursery Mondays, and not Tuesdays.

I lie in fact. I have had the odd half hour, but not quite a good 2 hour marathon once a day, is it.

Meanwhile in a freaky fact of the day, James a) has found his dummy brand - halleluyah, and b) partially because of this, went down to sleep with relative calmness and was leavable, with no crying and so forth, at *7.45*.

This must be some kind of one off. It'll be back to screaming and torture tomorrow, I'm sure.

Food wise he was quite miserable during the day, but you know what - I now really do think that a herbal thing called, quite stupidly, "Windy pops" (ie: I bought it with my eyebrows raised and was prepared for it to be entirely rubbish), with the combo of giving him probiotics every day  has made a massive difference to his digestion / abdomen. He's not really that loudly bubbly anymore; he gets gas, sure but his slight age change and the herbal thing (ok, yes, combined with Infacol, although I have serious doubts that does a damned thing) seem to bring it up in spades.

Anyway. All pretty weird and amazingly positive right now.

He's such a beautiful little bugger. Even when he's fed up and having a cry, he manages to look cute.

Oh yes. 1.45am and 4.50 last night! Oh life is good when you're subjected to sleep deprivation. It's commonly used as a torture instrument. Presumably not on young mothers. they'd never crack. Crack up, maybe...

Sunday nosh.

Above and beyond the usual breakfast etc - Salmon, basically. Salmon for lunch, leftover salmon for tea. Unfortunately it was farmed salmon, but we were at a friend's house. What can you do.

His Nibs tonight: well to tell you the truth, I think his not going to sleep until 8 had more to do with mismanagement and him saying "Oi, I don't want to go to to sleep" than colic. Perhaps he was just having a good day. I hesitate to question whether our elaborate multi-pronged remedy strategy is bearing fruit...

Food, Saturday

Normal breakfast. Houmous on french stick for lunch. Snack - carrot cake. Supper: white fish, mash, peas.

Peas might be a problem but fairly minor. Uh... damn - also yes, had a bit of Green and Blacks Easter Egg.

In the smidge news - in the last few days, he's really begun to ramp up the strength to burp, which is a relief. On the eating front, McK's been giving him the 10.30 feed from a bottle to spend some time with him whilst i pump out. James drinks 3 ounces - meanwhile I exude 6! So I'm trying to shove the extra 3 in to him at various other points in the day, in the hope that if I fill him up during the day, he might not want to feed at night so much.

Some luck! ha ha. Despite extra nosh around teatime he woke up *early* for his late night feed (around 10.30 generally - he woke at 10.15) which means that the half hour extra (waking at 2.30 / 2.45 last couple of nights) will no doubt disappear tonight. What's with this kid? all he ever does is eat! He's being able to spend longer latching on to me now, although he immediately relaxes and gfeels more comfortabe at the mo sucking through silicon. tough tits, baby  - well, not tough, but anyway. I am not interested if it's harder. I'm interested in getting you latching and getting the full benefit, and my milk not reducing.

Now I must abed.

A personal decision

I've been watching with disgusted fascination the behavior of Tony Blair since the whole cash for peerages row began, and been shocked by the lack of action by the parliamentary party. I've also been amazed at the bullshit David cameron is coming out with regularly and the press is willing to swallow, hook line and sinker...

...and i suddenly realised who I will vote for in the upcoming elections, and who I will always vote for from now on. Politics is now meaningless. It is flies buzzing on a window pane, waiting for the inevitable swatting. There is only one important issue now - over and above obscene Iraq wars, posturing by Iran... and every mainstream party pays lipservice to it, when they fail to realise that by the end of the 21st century, civilisation as it exists today will very likely be on an inexorable climb in to the realms of frightening post-apocalyptc science fiction - but with a slow burning apocalypse.

I'm going to vote Green for good now instead of occasionally, and once this election plus a few months is out of the way, I'm going to get in touch with the local party and get involved. The candidates they put up for elections are mortifyingly bad - dope heads in the case of the guy who ran in Lambeth for the last General. If they are the only ones who you can at least trust to stand by what they mean, then surely for all their idiosyncracies, they need every fucking vote they can get to put real pressure on the Govt of the day - regardless of which bunch of hypocrites and liars they happen to be.

I've been in the political wilderness for so long. A sort of apathetic shouting from the sidelines. The Labour Party isn't my party anymore! Get over it woman.

Food, Friday.

Breakfast - same.
Lunch: lettuce, wholemeal with butter, sheeps milk cheese (Katie: surely Sheep's milk must be ok? that stuff's so mild on the stomach it's insane?), houmous, raw carrot, watercress.
Snacks: Hot cross buns (of course! Hypocrite that I am)
Tea: Uhoh. Ahem. Curry. Very mild though! But, I know. I'm asking for trouble...

Tonight: well to tell you the truth, he wasn't too bubbly. Plus he was very tired when he went to bed, so he actually drifted off at about 6.45. I'm certain that means he'll wake early but at least he gets the full compliment of sleep.