My son wasn’t thriving and I’m the only one who knew it!

I struggled to fall pregnant. So we did IVF eventually, I was too depressed and sad and emotional to do things any other way! We completed one full cycle, which gave us 4 eggs, only 3 were viable and only 2 fertilised. They put one in straight away and it failed to take. I was devastated. It took me 6 months to build up enough courage and strength to possible go through that again and I lost 10 kilos and started researching foods and doing that. This time it was a frozen cycle, meaning they do very little intervention besides some hormones and place the egg back in with ICSI (glue) at the right time, then the 2 week wait (2ww). I tested before that because I’m impatient and it was positive! We were on! It was a stressful pregnancy as I felt like I had a lot riding on it, and it was all on me to make it happen.

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I had morning sickness most of the pregnancy, I had various doctors making me cry, I had carpal tunnel syndrome as I was so very swollen I would just be sitting in bed at night balling my eyes out because of the pain I was in with my arms, I could barely walk due to Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) and put on 46kilos! I felt awesome!! Ha yeah right. He also had various ultrasounds and tests before he was born on his heart, and abdomen. Turns out his heart is located in the centre of his chest and his SVC (superior vena cava) is on the other side but has managed to still do it’s job with no complications). But I know it was all worth it when my son was born at 4:10pm on the 8th November 2013, 3816g (8.4lbs), 49.5cm. All I will say about the birth is next time, if there is ever a next time I’m having a home birth with a little intervention as possible! (I’m reading my son’s Health Record for this post and it says Pregnancy Complications: Suspected Intrapartum Bleed, Induced, Birth: Normal/Ventouse due to Foetal Distress, 2° Tear – I was having 30 second contractions before I got to hospital then they made it stop, I arrived at about 1am on the 8th).

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We struggled to breastfeed as not only did I have fibromyalgia which made me super sensitive to even the slightest pain, and breastfeeding is painful and then we found out he had a tongue tie and even after going to the breastfeeding counsellor at the hospital, I was given very little support. From birth onwards he would have these little fits that lasted seconds that even a nurse witnessed and I asked about and they said it was nothing. He vomited like crazy, breastmilk and then he lost over 10% of his body weight so I was told to comp feed (top him up with formula), which I loved because for the first time he was full and satisfied. My poor baby was screaming all the time because he was hungry. No one would listen to me. The organic formula although satisfying for him made him vomit too. Now when I say vomit, I mean like Exorcist vomiting out through his crib bars onto the carpet, I mean a full bottle or breast of milk all over me. This was a regular occurrence to the point I didn’t want to feed him anywhere but home. But that’s normal right.

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Deep down I knew my baby wasn’t thriving. Sure he was growing, but he was still small. He was chubby so he looked healthy. When it came time to introduce solids he loved it. I had the Avent Steamer and Blender in one and I made things like pumpkin, carrot, peas and quinoa, or beef and veg or chicken and spinach. He gobbled it down. Still, I know we aren’t meant to judge our babies based on others or books and all the info out there is guidelines, but he just seemed slightly behind. He was very cautious of new textures and would sit there with his sookie (which was towelling) and rub it constantly in his hands whilst rocking. I liked that he had a sookie.

During this whole time he got sick, and sick often. He always had a runny nose. Every time he teethed he got a nasty ear infection that required antibiotics, sometimes more than one course. He was even in hospital because they thought he had pneumonia as well and tested him for hours only to tell me the ear infection is probably so deep down now and we probably never ever killed after any of those antibiotics that he would now need at least 6 weeks back to back strong antibiotics!! What the?!! I didn’t feel comfortable about any of this. But my baby was in pain and I didn’t know what else to do. Ever since I fell pregnant all of my knowledge I had got put way back on the back burner because of fear of doing the wrong thing and for being judged.

So by the time he was one, I can’t even tell you how many antibiotics and paracetamol and ibuprofen he had been given on recommendations from the pharmacy and doctor and hospital. He even started to have breathing difficulties and went on ventolin and had the humidifier going all the time. I was constantly camping on the lounge room floor to be near him as he wanted me close. He very rarely slept through the night and would wake up screaming.It wasn’t just the sickness, it was the utterly foul and runny poops he did. They were never formed and would explode out his butt everywhere. They were rank. Now I’m not saying poop shouldn’t smell but when it is putrid there is something wrong.

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Enough was enough. I was feeling better and could move around a bit and had lost some weight so the pain was not getting better but bearable and I was starting to look at ways to help my son, myself. At this stage I had bought a thermomix (well Mum’s credit card had bought a thermomix) December 2014, and was already tapping into local resources. Still the lack of a full nights slight left me feeling blah.

I saw on Facebook a post about a local event coming up on 10 Feb 2015 Paleo for Families and they were offering 2 for 1 tickets. I asked a friend to come, grabbed up our tickets and the rest is history haha. No what happened was, the even was hosted by Greenhill Family Chiropractic. So we arrived to be greeted by a super friendly bunch and we sat and listened and watched Jen from Rumblespaleo introduce us to Bumi and her book Bumi and the Wokabug, followed by Irena Macri of Eat. Drink. Paleo. It was amazing, but what really go my attention was Dr. Brett Hill! He explained the purpose of chiropractic in a way that I understood and the initial appointment was right in my price range, so I booked in on the spot at the event. I then started taking my son within weeks of my attending. I was going three times a week as well as my son to start. At the same time, I found Bubba yum yum. I listened to her first podcast with Dr Brett Hill which left me in tears as I had the exact same issues with Victor and was also on my own. Even my husband didn’t think anything was wrong. A mum knows!!! Trust that intuition, it’s there for a reason.

By this stage I had been researching my heart out trying to help my son. We struggled to get him to eat food other than fruit, and meal times just left me in tears. He was no longer the perfect eater he once was. I think it was a cross between asserting dominance and his ability to say no, and being undernourished. So I gave up on dinners and breathed, and I started given him a Creamy Coconut Smoothie instead. Well well well. We had our first nights sleep in over a year!! After 3 months of changing his diet and adding in some probiotics, he grew 3cm and gained 5 kgs. He not longer, what I found out later was ‘stimming’. He was thriving. He was happy. He was my beautiful baby boy and we could have fun again and my stress levels decreased somewhat – in regards to this issue anyway.

The combination of adding more good fat to his diet, getting rid of processed grains and crappy dairy. We still had raw milk fresh from the farm, but eventually we had to ease off that too as he would get a runny nose every time he had it, now I’ve noticed he gets diarrhoea when he has it. He was eating nuts and seeds and crackers I made or bought, still fruit but I cut that down a lot, and organic cheese and pikelets (2 eggs and 1 banana).

I’m still working on getting him to eat vegetables, and meat, but I give him a meal and guess what it’s his job to eat it. So I give him his meal with meat and veggies and if he doesn’t eat it oh well, the rabbit will, and eventually I trust that as he watches me eat those foods and as I continue to place them in front of him he will eat them. Why? Because he wants to do what I do and I am his example, but also because he is familiar with them, they are not foreign. Every now and then I see him put a bit of carrot in him mouth and I hold my breath and try to not make eye contact haha, but then it gets spat out, but one day it WILL get swallowed! I didn’t like celery until I was 30 so, I’m totally on his side. I’m just giving him ahead start now at 2!

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This experience is why I am so very passionate about preconception care, and childhood nutrition and healthcare.

Just over one year on, our lives have changed dramatically for the better. Sure as with parenthood there are ups and downs, but there has been no sickness except one bout of tonsillitis from a trip away to Brisbane where we were away from our chiro and from our kitchen… Not bad though considering it was a monthly occurrence.

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