Friday, 8 May 2009


the three signs are,

ECZEMA before the age of three months, ( esp in a breast fed infant)


POOR SLEEP PATTERN ( inability to sleep for solid periods of time)

People often say that you worry aobut your child from the moment the placenta is delivered, but that doesnt mean that your worries are totally groundless. I am a great believer in a good old fashioned instinct.

I knew that something was odd abut William, and the health visitor thought so too, we just didnt know how different he was going to be.
By day 10 aftrer birth , HV noted his dry skin, and a strange 'blister' on his gum, which disappeared later that day.

By day 15, I waved him under the gaze of our GP and came home with a huge carrier bag that must have wiped out the pharmacy of eczema potions and lotions.
I was filled with instructions on when and how to use them. and added the eczema rountine in to my busy life , as a mother with three under 5's.

He also had a bit of cradle cap, and i made the mistake of using some cradle cap cream on this head, and watched as it begun to swell. He didnt find it very entertaining..................

I also discovered that a well know brand of very gentle , sensitive nappy cream made the skin on his bottom go red, hard and leather like, it also caused him to scream in pain.

As the early weeks, and then months went by, he was a real colicky infant, much like my others, only he didnt gain much weight. A slow weight gain, which dropped off quickly when he was poorly.
I felt a great deal of pressure to stop breastfeeding, comments like, 'your milk must be of poor quality, like skimmed, low fat milk' did crop up from time to time.

I dismissed them as being rather silly, he was taking in a good amount of milk, and all other signs , wet nappies etc, indicated a well fed baby.

He did , however look like a tired baby, ( i didnt look so good either) one who didnt seem able to sleep for a solid period of time, forever moving and twitching, he woke up frequently.

It was this lack of sleep that was the most difficult thing, and who can function well on little sleep?

When I mention the lack of sleep, I dont just mean the normal lack of sleep you get with infants, a vast mumber of infants do sleep for 4-5 hours solid in a 24 hour period. This wasnt true of our Will, he slept roughtly two separate hours a night, and 20 min cat nap during the day.

This is of course one of the reasons he didnt gain weight easily, as sleep is linked to growth for infants.

I kept a sleep diary, something my health visitor and GP asked for, I dont think they quite believed how bad it was at first.
I noted the first 8 times I got up, any less than that was a good night, more than that was a no sleep at all night for me. So I didnt count it , I didnt have the energy anyway.

Once the GP saw this, I dont think she understood why I thought that getting to only 8 wakeful periods of times was a good night. But for me, it meant that I was at least dressed for bed, and did lie down and close my eyes for a cat nap. The best period of sleep for William was when I sat upright in a chair, breastfeeding him, and then rocking him..................which sounds completely bonkers, but, his skin went mad if I took him in to my own bed.

During this time a housewife learns the art of doing the housework in different ways, perfecting the sweeping movement of the feet, to push things under the sofa. A quick spray in the air of furniture polish creates the illusion of a house recetnly dusted.

But, eventurally, I didnt care about any of that.......................................

1 comment:

  1. I remember that sweeping movement!!! I had people telling me to stop breast feeding to! It's a good thing I continued as his first bottle of formula would have killed him! I spent many nights sleeping in the rocking chair with him. And gawd the Dr's with there "it's just excema it will go away" bollocks.