The doctor suggests a plan of action

Wednesday 15 August 2001

The bubble is shattered! Mummy and daddy held out such high hopes for the feeding clinic but really it was all in vain. It all started out really badly. I was tired and in a bad mood when we got there and all I wanted to do was sleep. We sat in this really hot room with the sun pelting down on me and I was decidedly uncomfortable and hot. Mummy tried to tell them to teach me to take a bottle but they became obsessed with my lactose problem and refused to focus on anything else. Their best suggestion in terms of a bottle was to get me so starving that I would take it even if this involved 24 hours of starvation and crying. I shudder as I write this and I can feel mummy’s tears welling up in her eyes at the thought. They also made mummy worry about my length and they said that my growth was being retarded because I was not getting enough nutrition. They also weighed me and according to their scale I had not put on all the weight I thought I had. 

Kylie, the dietician suggested that I go onto this medication called Lact-ease which would digest the lactose for me. Mummy said that she would get it but when she got home daddy said that we have to check with the doctor first. 

Mummy was furious after the appointment as she felt as though we had achieved nothing and she took me barging straight into Dr C’s rooms but he was not there so we left a note for him to phone us urgently. 

Thursday 16 August 2001 
Oh my mum is a hysterical person. This morning mummy spoke to Dr C and became hysterical. She said that he agreed that I have to take a bottle or else I might start to suffer from the lack of nutrition. He started to suggest horrible things like a small bowel biopsy and mummy became quite hysterical and inconsolable. She decided that I had to take the lactose drops that Kylie had mentioned and show Dr C that we did not need any biopsy. She was very emotional though and I am extremely grateful that we had my sister and nephew to provide some sanity and support because the morning only got worse. 

After mummy had spoken to Dr C and made an appointment for later today we went to the chemist to buy the drops. The first chemist did not have them – not a problem, the second chemist told us they would only be available in December – a problem. Mummy cried from chemist to chemist, she phoned the manufacturers, she sobbed and pleaded but we could not find any of this medicine in Sydney. Mummy spoke to Kylie and she did not know where we could get it. Finally mummy found some at the hospital pharmacy and we have procured it and started to take it with each feed – but more about that later. 

At the one very helpful chemist the pharmacist suggested that mummy try eliminate all dairy from her diet and see if that would have any effect on me. She even discussed this on the phone with Kylie and so mum is going to do that for me – I know it will be very hard on her because she does ever so love her chocolate.

Eventually we went to see Dr C and as always he was very calming and reassuring. He did say that it was becoming urgent that I put on weight and he explained that I probably had no lining on my small bowel because of all the lactose. He does not believe that the lactose drops will work but is prepared to give them a try. We now have a definite plan of action 

1. I am going to take lact-ease before each feed

2. I am going to try very hard to take soy formula in a bottle

3. I am going to continue to take polyjoule

4. I am going to eat solids once a day

5. In 4 weeks time I am going to the gastroenterologist

6. Mummy is going to have no dairy in her diet


Another week of feeding

Friday 10 August 2001My mood continues to be good and I am really having a good time. My new favourite thing is when mum or dad hold me in the air and I behave like an aeroplane. It is always a good way to make me smile my biggest smile.

Saturday 11 August 2001 What a busy day. This morning, after a horrific night last night when I woke up every two hours, we went to Fox Studios to meet John P for a coffee. Mummy wanted to show me off to John because he used to work with her in the olden days. 

After coffee we went to watch the rugby at my cousins and that was really cool – I can get into this whole male macho thing of sport but give me a bit of time. Today I preferred to watch just a tiny bit of rugby with the boys and then I went with the girls to get lunch and that was equally good.

After another walk to the beach and a very busy day (I hardly slept at all) we came home and mum and dad gave me some rice cereal with my new spoon. I am not sure if it is the new spoon but I was way better at taking my food. In fact I actually chomped on it. Mum is thrilled to bits because Dr C had mentioned to her that my taking solids was a sure way out of my skinny predicament and mum had stopped trying to give it to me because I was acting so disinterested. Now she thinks I am interested I am sure she will be shtupping me constantly. Between that, her attempts at bottle feeding, the polyjoule and the continued breastmilk I should be a Michelin man in no time at all.

Sunday 12 August 2001 Another busy day!. This morning after one of my usual nights mummy and daddy took me to a toy sale where we spent surprisingly little money – maybe I should sleep better at night then they may be brighter in the mornings.

My parents are still trying to ply me with food with very little success. Give me time I say!

Monday 13 August 2001 I had a bit of a grumpy day today – it all has to do with my not wanting to sleep too much during the day (not to mention at night). Every time that I tried to sleep mum would wake me up to put me in the car or take me out the car or put me in the pram or take me out the pram. Mind you whenever we were in company I was perfectly charming and heaps of people stopped mum in the shopping centre to say how beautiful I am (and I always smile for those people).Eventually I made her take a long drive while I slept in the car but she stopped too soon and I was furious with her. Then to add insult to injury she tried to make me take a nap in my cot. We both ended up crying.

Mummy is a little terrified of my temper – daddy says that I inherited that from mummy. He also says that I got her impatience and stubbornness. All that wrapped up in a package that looks exactly like my daddy.

Tuesday 14 August 2001 I weigh 4.50kgs

What a day! Today after our long walk and my very short nap we went to playgroup at the NCC. Mummy asked if she could weigh me on their accurate digital scales and lo and behold I have put on a fortune of weight. Mummy is ecstatic and so is daddy and I am not fussed.

Mummy also found the secret to successful eating today (for me not for her – that she found out a long time ago). When she feeds me she puts the spoon right into my mouth instead of just the tip of the spoon into the front of my mouth and gee whiz what a difference it makes – finally something that I can really get my teeth into.

A lovely day all in all – I showed off again at the playgroup and chatted and rolled and displayed my very cutest and best behaviour as always.


I will not take a bottle however my mother may take to the bottle

Wednesday 8 August 2001

Good sleep really pays off.   I was in such a good mood today and I had oodles of fun.  I am smiling and grinning all the time now and mum says that I can charm the hind legs off a donkey.

What did I say about sleep?

My sleep has returned to its terrible state and tonight was especially bad because mummy was very anxious.  Dr T had phoned her to say that my poo sample was full of excess fats and sugars.  Now I am sure that there is nothing terribly wrong but mum is a wreck.  Thank Goodness we have an appointment to see him tomorrow morning because dad is taking me to have my immunisations.

Thursday 9 August 2001

What a terribly traumatic day!  We went to Dr T this morning as we had planned.  I was in a really good mood and laughing out loud in the waiting room as we sat for an hour and a half and waited for my appointment.  When we eventually went in Dr T explained that the tests had come back with some very strange results for a little baby of my age.  He phoned my paediatrician to discuss the results and then said to my mum that I had to start drinking from a bottle immediately as I was getting too much lactose through the breast milk.  He explained that the lactose was irritating my tummy (that is why I do so many explosive poos all the time) and as the food passes through my system so quickly I do not absorb the fat and all the nutrients.  This explained the reason for my continuing problems with weight gain at long last.  Dr T was very melodramatic and said that if I don’t stop drinking lactose I will get malnutrition.  Mummy tried to argue on my side and she told Dr T that there was no way I would take a bottle.  He said I had to!  He even said that he would not give me my immunisations as ceasing breastfeeding and having immunisations on the same day would be way to stressful.

Well my poor mummy fell apart.  She said that she felt that someone had ripped me out of her arms.  She did not want to stop breastfeeding me just like that and I was not going to let her.  When we got home and I woke up, dad tried to give me a bottle, he had stayed home from work for the day just to help mum get me to take a bottle.  I screamed and screamed like I have never screamed before.  I did not want the bottle but I was very hungry.  Mum and dad fell to pieces and resorted to breastfeeding me to quieten me.  Things were not happy in my house. 

Then Dr C phoned.  When mummy got off the phone from Dr C it was like somebody had turned a light on in her head, she was beaming so brightly!  Dr C had told mummy that I could carry on breastfeeding but I was to try and take a bottle.  He explained that I was not lactose intolerant but rather had a lactose overload.  If I stayed off lactose for a week my whole tummy would recover and I would be fine.  If however I continued to drink breastmilk I would remain thin but I would not get malnutrition and I would not do any harm to my body.  Mum and Dr C agreed that it could wait till next Wednesday when we go to the feeding clinic and when they try to teach me to take a bottle.  What a relief.

Mummy and I went to the chemist to get polyjoule.  The dietician had told mummy on the phone that I was to take this polyjoule stuff at every feed.  The polyjoule is pure carbohydrate so I should start to put on some weight real soon.  The liquid is syringed into my mouth and it is not too bad although very sticky.  I started today so let us see how it goes.

I had a great rest of the day.  Mum was celebrating me all over again and I just basked in the glory.  I smiled and smiled – I was happy to have my breast back (even though I never really lost it.)


Why can't I put on weight?

Wednesday 1 August 2001 
I am in a shocking mood today. I have had to help mummy with some new car bizzo for my aunt and I have not slept a wink all morning. I had playgroup this afternoon but I was such a grouch that we had to leave early. Mummy says that I am not myself.

Mummy bought a book on teaching me to sleep and now she thinks that she can rest easy but I know better. I like to sleep in her arms and no book is going to change my mind.

Thursday 2 August 2001 I weigh 4.13 kgs

My bad mood persists even though I slept a tiny bit better last night, I have worked out that if I don’t sleep properly during the day I really do not feel very good. Today I just feel very bad and I cry every time I am not in mum’s arms. Come to think of it I am crying even when I am in her arms. 

I think I can sense that mum is a bit edgy because today is weigh day at Dr C.

Well, I am still the skinny baby that I have always been. Granted I have hit the 4kilo mark but I am still very thin and not putting on weight fast. Dr C has suggested that we go and see a paediatric dietician and a speech therapist of all things. The dietician will give me a high calorie diet once I start to take solids and a speech therapist might be able to teach me to take a bottle.

Mummy asked Dr C about my constant waking at night and he said at my weight I should just eat whenever I am hungry and there is very little that we can do about her having to be up all night if I wont take a bottle. Mmmm maybe I will but only when I am ready.

I had a terrible evening. I screamed a lot and I sobbed and cried real tears. Mummy was also crying.  A LOT

Friday 3 August 2001
Today mummy panicked about me again. She thought that I was developing a rash so she shlepped me off to her GP. He said that it was a heat rash and that maybe I should just wear less layers. Mummy tends to stack on the layers because I have no body fat. Dr T asked about my general well being and suggested to mummy that it may be a good idea to check whether I have any absorption problems as I eat so much and don’t put on any weight. Mummy jumped at that idea and now she has to take in a sample of one of my poos for them to check for fat absorption. How utterly humiliating.

Friday night dinner at my house again and I slept through it. Gee it is strange how I sleep through those parts and then am awake the whole night when there are no visitors around.

Saturday 4 August 2001
Mummy and daddy have rings under their eyes. In fact they even have bags under their eyes all because I can’t sleep at night – I am just too hungry.

It is no use sitting around the house and moping about the tiredness so we all went off to Centennial Park this morning for breakfast and a walk. I was still in a bit of a bad mood and screamed a lot  in the car but eventually I fell asleep. After our walk we went for a long drive and I slept the whole way. Unfortunately the way back was a different story but then again you can’t expect to keep me in the car all day. When we got home mum dragged my chair outside and tried to make me sit outside for a while – she thought that the fresh air might help me sleep tonight – ha ha ha.

Another very long night tonight. Mum and dad tried to put me in their bed so that mum would not keep having to get up but I was not sure what I was meant to do in their bed. I get the eating part but I was just not crazy about the sleeping part, in fact I find it far more comfortable to sleep in my cot, albeit for short periods of time.

Sunday 5 August 2001
I went on a real outing today.  Mummy and daddy took me in the car for a drive to Darling Harbour and I had a long sleep in the car. When we got there they transferred me ever so gently to my pram so I could continue my sleep. When I woke up I found my cousins and aunts and uncle!  Cool find!  

I sat in my pram facing forwards and sitting up like a real big person. It was a huge step for mummy to take to face me outwards because I know that she likes to watch me all the time that she pushes me. I felt so much better after a long sleep and I really enjoyed my outing.

My parents went to bed sooo early tonight. They are exhausted, I don’t think that they can keep up with me. They tried to put me in their bed again but I did not want to sleep there. It was another one of those feed every two hours nights!!

Monday 6 August 2001
We went for an early morning walk today – mum is insisting that I sleep during the day and I am insisting that I will not sleep in my cot. We walked around Centennial Park and I did not sleep at all, I saved that for the shopping trip after the park – I have got to the stage where I can keep mum out all day just because she wants me to sleep.

This afternoon I sat outside while mum taught me to weed the garden and sweep. It was cool. Then sleep time again and so another walk. I am not that fussed on all these sleeps so I have taken to power napping – I sleep for a few minutes and then wham I am at it again.

My new thing is that I can really scream. I think that I have discovered my temper and boy can I use it. When I do not get my own way instantly (because I invariably get it at some stage) I scream so much that my voice goes hoarse – nice trick. My mum HATES it.

Tuesday 7 August 2001
Today we went to the Growth and Development Clinic and I impressed the socks off them!!. I had been in a particularly bad mood in the morning and mum was a bit worried that I would not show off all my skills but boy did I turn on the charm. I was only meant to have my first assessment at 4 months corrected but I went today at 3 months and 17 days corrected and I did all the things that a 4 month old would do. I smiled, I chatted, I grabbed a toy, I rolled from my tummy to my back and I chatted and chatted and chatted. I heard the developmental paediatrician saying “there is no problem with his brain” and over and over again they kept saying that my development was brilliant. Mum was blushing with pride and when she told daddy over the phone he smiled so much the phone lines almost lit up.

There was one point however which everyone keeps nagging me about – the stupid bottle. The doctor at the clinic did say that I was very underweight. She was a bit concerned until she tracked my growth on a special chart that they use for premature babies and then she said that although it is low the upward trend is consistent. The only time that my weight really did a downward turn and veered right off the charts was when I was still in hospital. She did say however that it is very hard for mummy to have to feed me every two hours and as I need to eat that often for the moment I must learn to take a bottle. We will see about that. She also suggested to mummy that I may have a lactose intolerance and that is why I make such explosive poos so often. I am going to have a test to see whether that is true or not.

All in all mummy and daddy were very happy. Mum has also decided to put me back on the Zantac as she had stopped it about a week ago and I have been very crabby so I am back on it and for the first night in ages I slept really well – 6-11, 11:30 – 3:00, 3:30 - 5:00 and then 5:45 – 6:45. It was a BRILLIANT night.