Sunday, 2 May 2010

Warning: Frankie says Reflux!

Say nothing, and she probably won't notice

I've been left behind today. The rest of my little family are out having fun and picking up germs at some play place. I have been deemed too sick to be off licking the balls in the ball-pit. After my day of boredom/frustration/whatever I ended up with food poisoning and woke up at 2am with my stomach cramping up and that hideously feeling that you can't move or you'll be sick. I moved.

We are no strangers to sickness in this household. If I could go back in time to that fateful night I met Stevie, I would change my opening line to him from 'Are you Scottish?' to 'Were you a projectile vomiter as a baby?'. And then, perhaps I would have run off with that nice basketball player...but oh, maybe not, after all I do now have my lovely Orla and Hamish.

So Stevie was a projectile vomiter as a baby and according to his mum could hit a target a couple of feet away. I was a momentous projectile vomiter and could hit you sat across the other side of the room. What we never knew before we had children is that it's not a great combination if you don't want to pass that particular skill on to your children. When we had Orla I think we had a couple of days (possibly) before it all started. And it just never seemed to stop. I would change my clothes many times in a day, change Orla all day long, be forever with a muslin on my shoulder and at least another 2 close at hand. I would fear going to other people's houses, give warnings to those who wanted to hold her, then when they handed her back a second later covered in sick mop them, her, the floor, the table, chair, etc with the never-ending supply of wipes I was required to carry. We went to a wedding where Orla wore 3 outfits in the space of a couple of hours and each of those had been protected by innumerable bibs. We went for a short break and Orla wore and soaked 30 bibs and I resorted to buying disposable ones by the end of the holiday.

I became used to the pattern of when it would happen (all the time, particularly after feeds, when changed, when dressed, when lifted up, when put down, when touched by even the lightest touch, when spoken to, when looked at). Looking back I am surprised that I picked up in her first few weeks that she had a urinary tract infection. The symptom to look for: being sick. In Orla's case she was just sick with a greater intensity.

I remember asking my mum one time on the phone how long Orla's reflux would go on for. "Oh not that long really. You're making more of a big deal of it than you need to". So I asked how long I had had reflux for "Hmmm....maybe just about 7 months". Seven months? Of non-stop puking?? Not what I wanted to hear. We had already taken Orla to the GP where she was prescribed Gaviscon for children. It only made her sick thicker and gave her something to chew on, so we stopped that pretty quickly. The health visitor suggested we wean her earlier than 6 months as perhaps solid foods would stay down. They didn't - they just made the sick more colourful.

Eventually after our carpets were ruined and our sofas wiped within an inch of being threadbare, it stopped. 10 months it lasted, and then just 5 months later I had Hamish and it started all over again. Not quite as long with Hamish, but just as wonderfully.

I wonder whether either of them will develop travel sickness to match my own. My sister recounts many tales of us in the back of the car, her holding the bag open. Once we hadn't driven more than 500 yards before I was sick, but my favourite time was being sick out of the car window as we drove all the way round a town square in Italy.

Now who's for something to eat?


  1. I promise I'm not laughing at you but that has made me laugh a lot. Thankfully only one of mine was a puker but isn't it wearing, especially when everyone else with a baby looks horrified.

  2. Yes, I even have (but that should be 'had') a friend who when asked if she would like to hold Hamish went "Eugh, NO!". I'd like to point out that he hadn't even been sick at this point. He was only about 2 weeks old and I was completely offended.

    I've always liked the first time pregnant friends who say 'Oh I don't do baby sick. I'm sick-phobic.'. There's a wee bit of me that just wishes just even the tiniest month of reflux on their shoulders.

  3. Wow... I shall never complain about mini-me being sick again, it is nothing compared to what you're having to deal with... I really hope for your sake that they don't develop travel sickness xx


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