I have decided to track our newborn son’s progress for at least the first year in my new series ‘Raising Rex’. Last month I said that the first month had not been easy but this really didn’t prepare me for the second month and what we were about to encounter. This update is rather later than I had hoped – but I think it will become pretty clear as to why!
Apart from meeting both sets of grandparents in his first month, Rex has also met his Auntie Anna – Ross’ sister. Next to meet him was my sister, Davina and Rex’s cousin, Henry. They came down to the area during the first week of the summer holidays. My sister is a teacher so, of course, term had finished and she was able to take a break in the area and brought my mum with her. We went out for lunch on the first day and then they came over for a cup of tea on the second.
The following week my brother, his wife and my niece, Lily, stopped by on the drive back from their holiday in Devon. Rex was also able to meet his Great Auntie Sylvia along with Anna’s fiance, Gus. We all went out for lunch in Dorchester and, at that point, Rex was still fairly calm.
The day Rex turned two months old, and after he started taking ranitidine (see below), we met up with my sister, Steph, her husband Steve and her two children, Elliott and Emily. We met halfway between her house and ours in a little village called Hindon. Grace and Emily are great friends and really enjoyed seeing each other, we had a lovely lunch which Rex let me eat for a change (!) and everyone enjoyed meeting him.
This week I have discovered that baby wearing really does work. We went to Crealy Adventure Park near Exeter on Wednesday and not only did our carrier mean that Rex stopped crying and went to sleep, but I got plenty of exercise. The same happened on Friday evening when I danced to some 80s music and yesterday when getting some housework done.
As Rex started to become more unsettled, it was getting harder and harder to put him down – whether it be for a sleep or just to sit in his chair. At first I just thought he was one of those babies who cried so a few people suggested a baby sling or carrier. I knew that we were off to Crealy’s that week and I wanted to try and make sure that he remained settled. With this in mind, I ordered the Lumiere All Seasons 360 Ergonomic Baby Carrier. This was on special offer on Amazon reduced from £124.99 to £69.99 for a limited time. I have to say that so far I have been really impressed with the ease and comfort of it. It did help him stop crying to an extent.
We went for two separate days out at Crealy Adventure Park near Exeter. The first time we took Grace’s friend Molly and the second time we took Lucy. The first time, poor Rex was all over the place. Grace would always settle in her car seat and fall asleep. Not so with Rex. In the end I carried him around Crealy’s in the baby carrier – not easy with an unfit, postnatal body! At that point we weren’t aware of the reflux. The next week we returned to Crealy’s with Lucy with a slightly happier Rex (more on this below!).
The following day Grace and I went over to Portland to meet up with Ross’ parents and Auntie Sylvia again. Ross was away on business and Grace had missed out on seeing Sylvia the previous weekend. Poor Rex was again on all over the place. That morning I had booked a telephone consultation with my doctor and, on the way home, Grace had instructions to answer my mobile if it rang so that I could pull over and talk to him.
On speaking to the doctor, I explained Rex’s symptoms and the doctor booked us an appointment for the following morning at 11.30am.
Diagnosed with reflux
Ross, Grace and I arrived at the surgery the following morning where we found that the appointment had been forgotten about! Instead, we sat in the waiting room with a crying Rex waiting to see the duty doctor.
The duty doctor diagnosed reflux and prescribed us with baby gaviscon. This was good to start with – although Rex was still clearly uncomfortable. We still couldn’t lay him on his back, his was still crying regularly and was writhing in pain – particularly in the early morning.
The Friday after we had seen the doctor I was at my wits end with Rex crying pretty much all the time. It was clear from when he was sleeping that he wanted to be happy. He smiled regularly and even giggled at points – but not so when he was awake. I rang the doctors and they could hear how upset I was and Rex crying in the background.
We went back to the surgery and saw the same doctor. He decided to send us to Yeovil Hospital to the Paediatric department of A & E. We collected our belongings and went.
Ross, Grace, Rex and I waited a little while and we were then taken into triage. The nurse could see how upset Rex was and offered us a private family room so I could feed him. We were then called in to see a Junior Doctor who confirmed that Rex had reflux but would need something stronger so prescribed him some ranitidine which we picked up from the late night chemist at Boots in Yeovil.
We were informed that the medicine may take up to 2 weeks to live up to it’s full effect. The doctor wasn’t wrong and it did take a while but over this time Rex became a much calmer, happier baby. We were able to lay him on his changing mat without too much trouble and he started to interact with us more with smiles appearing everywhere!
Rex first smiled at me on 14th August in the morning as I was about to breastfeed him. It certainly brought a tear to my eye. But the first person to really get a proper smile was Grace. She was holding him that week, chatting away to him and he suddenly broke into a prolonged smile. He then, of course, couldn’t be stopped and daddy’s smiles followed soon after.
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
This subject really has been the biggest issue of everything this month. We had had Rex in his Chicco Next2Me crib inside a Sleepyhead Deluxe. However hard we tried he just wouldn’t settle and Ross and I had to take some drastic action.
In the end, I moved into the spare room on the sofa bed. This was lower to the floor and, because there was only me and Rex in there, there was a lot more room. I made sure that there were long, thin pillows along the edge of the bed. When I held onto Rex I made sure it was on the inside of the bed so that, if he came off me for any reason, he would fall gently onto the bed.
Our routine became that I would have Rex sleeping on me downstairs. I would go up around 10.45pm to get ready for bed whilst Ross changed Rex. He would then bring Rex in to me and go and make him a bottle of formula (at this point I was mainly breastfeeding with one or two extra bottles a day). Ross would then leave me to it with strict instructions to come and get him if I needed help.
Rex mainly slept on his tummy on my chest. I would be propped up with pillows and a space for Rex as described above. Whilst this wasn’t ideal, it was the only way that we seemed to be getting any sleep! I have to admit to having extremely broken sleep like this. Ross would then come in around 7am and take Rex whilst I went back to our bed and got a couple of hours sleep.
I have to admit to surprising myself a couple of times by being able to pay a visit to the loo whilst holding a baby! Super powers really do exist! The hardest thing though has been the sleep deprivation and getting by each day. Ross and Grace have been supportive and made sure I had a rest where I could. It does mean I have hardly had time for anything else though!
Happy Birthday daddy
The first birthday that Rex was around to celebrate was, quite fittingly, his daddys. We meet Ross’ parents for lunch and had a really lovely family day together. We gave Ross a beautiful doodle of our family created by my lovely friend Tor at Teacup Doodles.
Things I want to remember about Rex during the first two months
- Rex has little hairy patches on each of his ears. I have decided to call him my little hobbit as a result!
- One of the noises Rex makes when he gets really upset is ‘Oogie’. This has become a big deal in our house and is something never to be forgotten. Grace even made him a little teddy bear who is now known as Oogie.
- The inside of Rex’s ears are shaped like a heart
- Rex always grabs his face and eyes when he is feeding. As a result I have to regularly make sure he has he scratch mitts on.
- He regularly snores and honks when he sleeps (he is in his baby carrier on me now and doing this!).