‘You’ll never know worry until you have a child’ this is what my mum said to me while we were sat in the paediatric ward with Jasper and it really rang so true!
It seems since Rabbit was born we’ve lived in the hospital. Now thats partly down to my Mastitis and Pete breaking his hand (long story) but for a month old baby I didn’t expect to have already had so many appointments, questions and worries.
Now there’s not been anything serious, far from it, and we are so grateful for this but I think in a way that’s what’s made me focus so much on the little things. Since he’s been born we’ve been told one of his testicles hadn’t dropped, one of his ears didn’t pass the hearing test, he was jaundice, had a hernia, belly button infection, nail infection, blocked tear ducts, tongue tie, baby eczema and now thrush.
Like I said, all small things on their own but when a lot of them occur together it seems pretty draining and I feel like I’ve been constantly asking midwifes and health visitors if things are okay, what I can be doing to help and when he’ll get better.
What’s been the most frustrating part out of all of this is the contradicting diagnoses between doctors, health visitors, midwifes and consultants.
Rabbit is absolutely fine, he’s perfect in fact, and after some misdiagnostics, antibiotics, some frustrating back and forthing he’s almost back to his normal self. What was so frustrating for me was that numerous healthcare professionals telling me Rabbit was fine actually led to him having to be on two sets of medication so young.
When we had our first home visit we were told he may have a hernia. Nothing to worry about as they usually correct themselves after a few years and rarely require treatment. On our day three home visit we were told it wasn’t a hernia but in fact was possibly an infection. On day four the midwife called me to ask if it was the same (red and a bit gunky) and as it was she recommended I made an urgent doctors appointment.
While in the waiting room, we noticed his thumb nail looked slightly infected. It looked as though he had a hangnail and it had gone a little yellowy. The doctor confirmed that his belly button was infected but not to worry about the nail.
He was given cream to rub on his belly button which started working within the first day. Around this time we noticed that his eye was a bit gunky. It would fill with what looked like sleepy dust and sometimes dry up so he couldn’t open his eye anymore. We were told this was a blocked tear duct and again, nothing to worry about.
I started to use breastmilk on it which did seem to help and his belly button was clearing up nicely. Even though his thumb nail appeared to be getting worse, I wasn’t too concerned as even the midwife on my next home visit said to leave it and it would clear itself.
We then had an unrelated hospital appointment where we had to have Rabbit observed for potential long-term jaundice. They’d said on pretty much every home visit since he was born that he looked a little bit jaundice but it was probably nothing. If they still suspected he had it after 2 weeks, even the tiniest bit, they couldn’t discharge him from their care and had to have it checked just in case.
Pete had to work that day so my mum came with me and as it was just routine observations I wasn’t worried. They checked his heart rate, reflexes, temperature etc and all was normal. We had to give a urine sample which was the trickiest thing ever! The process consisted of stripping him down, and literally holding a pot between his legs until he peed. The hardest part was that he wanted to feed and no other body parts could touch the inside of the pot – pretty difficult with his wriggly little feet! SO I had him on my lap feeding while my mum sat on the floor with the pot awaiting a pee! Of course he gave one while my mum was cuddling him and got it alls own her but we did manage some in the pot lol
They then said they would need to take a blood sample so they could check for high levels of bilirubin which would indicate that he had jaundice. They said it would only take 10 minutes and would be easier if they just took him and brought him back straight after. I was fine, until I heard him crying and realised they’d been gone for 25 minutes! When the doors opened instead of the midwife carrying Rabbit back to me, she came in on her own. She said they needed to speak to me and I should go into the room with her. Of course this made me panic, especially when I wen’t into the room and there were four women hovered round him, all floppy looking in one of the midwifes arms.
As soon as I went in she said everything was absolutely fine and he was just sleeping as he’d gotten a bit worked up from crying after the blood test. She said that she’d noticed his eye, thumb nail and belly button and was concerned that he may have an infection in his body causing these smaller infections not to heal.
I said that all of them were looking better than before and he was given a course of antibiotics. She said if they were getting worse he’d have to stay in on IV so I was relieved that I could take him home and administer his medication myself.
Well I got to take my little bundle home after a stressful day and even though he really didn’t like his medication (bright pink and smelt disgusting) he finished his course and is absolutely fine now.
We did have to go back to hospital to redo his urine sample as it was inconclusive and it took me and Pete 3 attempts to catch it! I then got a phone call on Friday to say it was inconclusive AGAIN so we now need to go in again tomorrow to take another sample (third time lucky I hope!)
As you can see they were really small issues but when the frustration of being told different things was combined with having my baby whisked off for tests, it was really overwhelming and stressful.
You really don’t know worry until you have a child and although I’m extremely excited for all that motherhood has to bring me, I’m also terrified of the worry that will come along with it!
Thanks for reading xx