For us the trauma of having a poorly baby will be short lived. In time Thomas will grow out of reflux and we should have a healthy happy little boy. That's what keeps us going. Even at our darkest points however dim, there was always light at the end of our tunnel. We're both aware for some families the darkness can remain. The experience we've had with Thomas has last left us with a greater degree of empathy and respect for parents of children with long term health problems. It's made us cherish our little family more than ever and reminded us to try and make the most of the good times and not dwell on the bad.
Thomas has forced me to address my previous ethos on parenting. I used to think consistency was the key and it could over come anything and everything. Maybe even at times judging people if their child didn't eat, sleep or toilet train easily, thinking they must lack it along side structure and routine. How niaive I was. I now know parenting is sometimes just about survival and at times it can be necessary do anything and everything to get by with out without slipping of the ledge. This realisation has been good for me. I'm not an earth mother and parenting doesn't come naturally to me but the good news is I no longer feel pressured to be what ever it was I was once thought I needed to be and this makes for a much more relaxed mummy.
So where are we at? Thomas is now seven months. He still has pretty severe reflux and the vomit is endless, as is our washing, but the introduction of solids has definitely improved things. He's on very bland, smooth foods, as any gagging immediately initiates projectile vomiting and anything too acidic or strong will cause him to have the intense spasms associated with Sandifer Syndrome but we are moving forward, which is good. As a tiny baby we saw snippets of a sweet placid baby but it was difficult to reach him through the screeching and writhing. As he's become more comfortable his personality has blossomed. He's at his happiest when he manages to get his toes in his mouth and seems to permanently have hold of his feet. He laughs and smiles at his brother and is easy going on almost every level, except where food is concerned. He doesn't like to be hungry and given all he's been through its surprising how much he likes food and how chubby he is. Bonding was initially difficult as the discomfort made him almost impossible to hold or get close to. The pain led to intense relentless screeching, coupled with writhing, arching and vast amounts of vomit. But there's no problem now. I have fallen in love him all over again and adore his very sweet loving nature.
As for William he's still my little prince. He did go through a difficult phase in the early days probably a combination of his age and adapting to Thomas but he seems to have emerged into a gorgeous young boy. He's grown up right before my eyes and looking at him fills me with pride. He tells me he loves me everyday and it melts my heart. He cant wait to see Thomas in the morning and always ends the day by kissing him good night. Spending time with him is now a pleasure as he's no longer disagreeable. Whoever called it the terrible twos was not lying, but for now the monster has been replaced with an adorable cheeky chap, who I love to the moon and back, something we tell each other every night.
Now to get on with living and enjoy being a happy little family. My husband and I both feel we've lost a bit of ourselves, probably buried under the pile of washing in the kitchen. We have decided to start over and get fit and healthy which includes for me, loosing my baby weight and hubby getting fit again. I'm going to have dressage lessons and hubby is going to indulge more time in shooting his favourite hobby. We're also going to make sure we spend more time as a family going on adventures and day trips and with two little boys to wear out we're going to start camping, something I've always wanted to more of.
So there we have it, I can finally say we are back. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us through this difficult time. I apologise for not responding to message and tweets but I promise to make up for it now we're back in the land of the living.