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.


Because James can't latch properly yet, and is therefore still using nipple shields, I find that my old style Nora paranoia regarding weight etc is a difficult dragon to keep under control, partially because of her history, and partially because it's very difficult to guage exactly what's going on when you're feeding through silicon. We've been feeding every 3 hours and only last night did we go to a 10 pm-ish feed, then a demand feed at 3.30. I got sleep! I got  approx 5 hours sleep overnight!

Pretty good.

So the midwife came today for the last time before the health visitor takes over - James' weight when he was born was 3900 grams ie: 8lb's 10oz.  well above average but not unmanageably so (he still looks teeny weeny to me, I have to say). he obviously lost birthweight - on Thursday he was 3800g (8lbs 7oz-ish) and today he is... 4100! That's 9lbs!

I can't believe he's put on 9oz's in 5 days. Nora used to put on 3 a week (hence my slight nervousness in this area).

I am inordinately proud of myself, to be frank. When he was jaundiced up and not feedling at all last week, I felt the white heat of despair as I went in to the familiar, slightly soul destroying regime of pumping out and cup feeding. I haven't had to express off for days.

Life is good. Now, if he'll only sleep when he's told ;)

So - update on the eating front


So we haven't really moved on from yesterday's gains. He can suck, but more like he latches, then just sits there, then has an ineffectual suck... and gives up, crying (as in: screaming his head off), to revert to the classic "headbutt" manoevre.

I can't keep putting him through that. It's not fair, it's stressful for all concerned and it adds christ knows how much to the feed, after wshich he still has barely eaten anything anyway, so I pump out. If mck's here then I do that whilst he cup feeds James the last lot, but otherwise I have to do it after all of the rest.


So today I tried the old Medela nipple shield. I'm not 100% keen on it as a move, given that over time it reduces the amount of milk you produce. However, not only did he latch almost immediately but he stayed latched, and sucked like a bugger. I pumped out afterwards (yes, I do know just how weird all this must read to anyone who hasn't been through the parent thing, but you know... you don't have to visualise if you don't want to) and there was very little left.

This I like. Now then, James also had a cup with about 20 ml in as a backup - which was half of that which was available but that was approx what was taken out at the end. Given that he had had a good half an hour of screaming and headbutting, you know... you never know he might end up sucking the whole lot later. I've taken the precaution of sterilising my trusty old Avent and all needed extras just in case, and we have another 40 ml backup.

So anyway. What are the plus points of shields: well. It might be that he's only headbutting because he's so wee, and I'm rock hard at the mo. It must be like trying to suck ice sream through a cement wall. So once I've gone "normal", maybe no more shields? We went through part of this with Nora - and it took a hell of a long time to get her off the shields. Meanwhile my milk started reducing and I got totally freaked out. Until an incredibly sensible health visitor said to me "Look, do you know of any child who has been poisoned by drinking formula?" at which point, I flustered a "But! But!" reply whilst the undoubted, simple wisdom of her point sank in. Did it matter if Nora had one formula drink a day whilst we sorted out all the rest of the crap? not in the bloody least. it was that simple change that saved my breastfeeding. Do I give a fuck if James has the odd drink of formula? well right now, with a delicate new tummy, I'd prefer not to, but long term I don't give a toss. The vast majority of his milk will be mine for at least a year. He'll get all the benefits, and I *absolutely* refuse to go through all that stress again. Besides the point, with Noo around too, I don't think that level of stress would actually be feasible.

A minor downer is that whilst he's still using the shields, they're a pain in the ass to carry about with you, whilst sterilised (this has always perplexed me - since when were your knockers ever sterilised? What - are they exempt? No bacteria ever touch them?) butttt you know... talk about a minor bloody hassle, as it goes.

So. To summarise: things could be turning a corner.

Is it Thursday?

So last night Jimminy decided to have a "not quite asleep, not quite awake" 4 hours, bang on in the middle... ie: ok... I think I sort of dozed, and poor Mackay definitely only dozed, with his little finger shoved in to James' mouth.

We have bought dummies. He doesn't like them. It took Noo about a week of solid training ;)



This is short. I've got better things to do at this time! Full report coming up because the contrast between this and the last is so extraordinary it demands a review - that, despite the fact that the labour in itself was still... let's see - started proper at approx 10pm Friday night but had been having contractions (which I mistook for feeling unwell and Braxtons! twat) for a couple of hours before then.Mr Magoo here came out at 3 minutes past 4 Sunday. So that's what, well.... ha. 42 hours. Exactly the same as last time.

And yet, last time was a horror story. This time was an informed, confident and supported experience... and I gave birth without ventouse (although it was minutes away). I can't explain adequately what a difference that made. I felt James come out. I saw him and held him immediately. Wow.

Meanwhile, this is a note for Nora, which is quite important: Nora, my darling - you won't really remember James appearing, but let me tell you now that so far you have been fantastic. That's first. Second, I know that the description of your birth on this diary sounds like it was a really awful experience, but the thing is, sometimes you have to do bad things for really great things to happen. And you are a really, really great thing. I would definitely do it all again to have you here, so it couldn't have been that bad really, could it. It was just a bit of a shock at the time, is all.