I’ve writing a double entry this week, as it’s been a full-on fortnight and I’ve not had chance to get my thoughts down until now. I’m currently writing this in the back of our car with Baby R on our way back from Devon where we’ve spent a long weekend with my husband’s family for his dad’s 70th. We hired an amazing old Airbnb house in the country with beautiful grounds and scenery, and spent lots of time drinking, eating and being merry. We had a great time, the weather was perfect and Baby R was pretty good considering the change of routine and being passed around numerous family members!
Smiley in Filey – NOT!
That is more than can be said for the first half of the week, when we went to Filey in North Yorkshire with my family for a few days. To be fair to the little one, she travelled well and slept all the way on our car journeys, which is the main thing. But she was tricky when we got there during the days and nights. So basically all the time! It didn’t help that we forgot the baby carrier, which was a bit of a disaster for us. And every time we went out, she refused to sleep in her pram. We had lots of short car trips, where she’d nap for, say, 15 minutes, but then wouldn’t sleep again when she’d woken up. She was then fractious and over-tired, and we had to carry her everywhere. Not the most relaxing of breaks.
The nights were the worst. We tried to get her down to sleep for 8pm, then she’d wake up every two hours on a good night and every one hour on the worst. It didn’t help that the room we were staying in was boiling either. And as much as I love my mom and her husband, who we went on holiday with, they’re less ‘hands on’ than my husband’s family. They all seem to want to spent time with Baby R and relieve us so we can have a bit of a rest. But my family are more ‘let them get on with it’. To be fair to them, we were with my brother, who is autistic, so they were running round trying to cater for his needs, and I know it’s exhausting for them.
What made me a bit cross though was I felt like my mom was trying to disprove that R is uncomfortable with digestive problems. We’ve been giving her Infant Gaviscon for three weeks now, because she was grunting and groaning a lot and always unsettled. The medication worked a dream for a couple of days, and we had two great nights where she slept 8pm-5am. But progressively her sleep has been getting worse, as has her temperament. However, rather than sympathy, I felt my mom was suggesting her behaviour was normal whereas I know in my gut it’s not.
For example, my mom was playing with her, and R was smiling and laughing, happy as anything. And my mom said: ‘See, if she was uncomfortable she wouldn’t be doing this,’ and it made me so mad. Yes, you’re distracting her! But as soon as she’s not being distracted, she’s writhing around, arching her back, and making angry sounds. I felt like saying: I know my baby. I spend 24 hours a day with her, and have done for the last four months. I know when she’s content, and that’s hardly ever. It’s because of reflux – not because I don’t know how to play with her. I really didn’t appreciate the lack of support.
No more Gaviscon
Anyway, after an exhausting time in Filey we decided to knock Gaviscon on the head and called the doctor again. This time she suggested going dairy-free, which I thought might be on the cards. So I’m one week into my new diet, and it’s been quite tough, particularly this weekend with all the cake and treats at the Airbnb. However, I’ve realised there are so many dairy-free options available and am a bit addicted to vegan Magnums now! I have to say, going dairy-free is a good way to stop consuming a lot of ‘bad’ stuff (even though I’ve still had lots of vegan chocolatey treats…). But if I’d been eating normally, I would have consumed heaps more ice-cream, cheese, eclairs, chocolate, cake etc this weekend… but I’ve had to decline, which is good!
I’ve also started taking dairy-free probiotic tablets, on the doctor’s recommendation. This helps improve the balance of good bacteria in the gut, which can aid digestion, apparently. I have to admit, I do suffer a bit with IBS-like symptoms, particularly since Baby R was born, so I’m interested to see if this helps me as I’m sure I have certain food intolerances. Apparently it takes a couple of weeks to see whether it makes a difference so hopefully by the end of this week we’ll have a better idea. I also read that babies often have a soya intolerance, which I need to watch out for as I began swapping it for cow’s milk instead. I’ve had to stop that now in case it also causes even more problems!
Other things to note:
- R has started rolling over! I started putting her on her side, and she rolls on to her front. But now she can do it all herself, and bring her arms out as well. Everyone who sees her say how strong is and how it’s only a matter of time before she’s crawling – very exciting, but a bit scary as well!
- I bought a new sleep book, this time by Lucy Wolfe, called The Baby Sleep Solution. I’ve tried to read it though, but I find it hard to get my head round what she’s saying, for some reason. It doesn’t seem a million miles away from Alison Scott-Wright’s The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan, but I prefer the latter, which is better written and the reflux chapter is particularly helpful.
- I’m trying to make more local friends. I’ve been more active on the Peanut app, where I’ve already met one girl I get on really well with. I’ve connected with a couple of other people – one of whom bakes vegan goods! – so hopefully I’ll make some more mommy friends that way.
- We’ve started looking at nurseries. The prices are INSANE! The one over the road from us is £92 a day! I called up another and they haven’t got places till June 2021, which is after I start work so I began to panic we’d left it too late even though it’s more than six months away!
- We did our first mommy and baby class! It’s a shame because of COVID, so there were strict social distancing measures in place and no opportunity to really chat with the others before or after. But at least it’s getting us out and about. Poor R was exhausted having not slept much beforehand and cried for half of it. However, another baby also did so I didn’t feel so bad!