The fall out from my baby being sick for the first 20 months of his life was that everything physical was delayed.
The sickness was hideous, projectile and there didn’t ever seen to be any break from it.
As first time parents, it was difficult to know what was normal and what was not. My gut said we will be fine. We’re living in a first world country, with a first class National Health Service, our son will be fine.
Our little boy was sleeping lots – through the night and long naps through the day. Everybody said ‘Aren’t you lucky! Isn’t he good’…We thought so too. Reflecting now, I know this was because he had so little energy.
We started to worry when we were asked to bring him every week to be weighed. I remember the concern and the suggestions from the health visitors.. But mostly I remember the comment written in his little red book (child health record) “Failure to thrive”.
I referred myself to the doctor and we were very soon sent on to a dietitian to look at whether we could do anything to keep the milk down and get our son to put on weight.
There was some trial and error, but eventually we found a milk that No.1 son could tolerate. It was thickened and seemed to sit in his tummy rather than being projectiled everywhere.
In addition No.1 son was prescribed ranitidine to settle his tummy and Duocal to increase his calorie intake.
It worked!! And so we persevered and No. 1 son started to put on weight.. But Everything else was still delayed..
There was no crawling milestone, and barely a standing milestone.. Eventually as I was nearing the time to give birth to No. 2 son, our darling No. 1 son went from bottom shuffling to walking at the age of 2 years and 4 months.
He was on the move and the reflux had eased.
We were of course delighted; the months of worry, the support from family, friends, medical staff and nursery had finally paid off.
There was one small thing niggling away though.. Son No.1 had always ‘hand twirled’ his arms out stretched and his wrists and fingers dancing in the air. I briefly mentioned it to the nursery…
…I even asked if it could be Autism – “No look how well he talks”.. He was exceptional with his speech.. Which we’d put down to me… I do like to talk.. And children with Autism don’t communicate well – do they?
The Daddy and I were not and are not experts.. So how were we to know?
- Did reflux cause his autism?
- Did it play a part?
- Should we have shouted louder and got some help earlier?
- Could we have known ? – NO
I’ve wondered – I often have… but it won’t change anything for No.1 son will it?