Writing this, I am seriously worried I will jinx it all. I can not believe it seems to be over, my prayers have finally been answered and things are finally looking better.
A fortnight after I introduced formula to C, she started bringing up milk (I joked about it lightly here). And I don’t mean the odd dribble every now and then after a feed. That I could cope with. But she had it much worse. She would bring up milk after every burp, with every feed, up to hours after her feed was over, and it would be time for next one. It would be projectile vomiting at times, making a mess of whoever was holding her and herself. Feeding her was a hassle each time. I would have to be prepared with loads of muslins, bibs, wipes and a change of outfit. It was a stressful period for me because I was convinced something was not right. I changed her feeding position, I changed her bottles, I convinced myself that feeding her with my right arm made her bring up less milk, I changed her normal milk to a stay-down version (which only worsened the situation!), I started feeding her less but more often. But it was to no avail. I always tried feeding her facing the wall so that her public possetting would not be on display to all. Bath-times had to be carefully time and were never to be given after a feed, because that would mean another bath after she would bring up the milk. I would not let anyone but very close family feed her and hold her – not because I didn’t want my friends or other people to hold her, but only because I know that they were in potential danger of getting covered with warm baby milk.
My father-in-law told me it was normal for babies to bring up milk. My English doctor and Health Visitors all told me that as long as she was gaining weight and soiling nappies, they had no reason to start medication. She was not in pain, she didn’t cry whilst bringing up her milk. One minute she was clean, the next I’d feel the warm sticky feeling on my hands or clothes, and I’d know we were in for another change. I have cried with every feed she’s brought up. I despaired on Christmas Day, when having bought her the cutest red velvet dress for the day, I put it on her, and just like that she covered it in milk. All of it. She never wore it again, probably never will. (And it’s now on the 70% Sale rack at Monsoon…) You can imagine my stress when it came to feeding her on board a plane – I would get headaches days before each flight worrying about the bottle she’d have to take on board. I would try not to carry her when out in public because I would not know if she had brought up milk, and so I’d leave her in her push-chair, knowing that if she did make a mess, at least it would not be for all to see.
I swear C has the biggest collection of bibs and muslins any baby has.
Last month we went to Bruges and during our last meal there, she had her bottle, and afterwards made a mess of the tidy wooden floor of the restaurant. A was left to wipe the floor of the little specks and bigger stains of milk. The waiters looked at us a bit unhappily, but what was I to do?
And after that episode, it all magically stopped.
At first I though it was just the odd good day we’d sometimes have. But that one day turned into two, stretched into three, and it’s now been over a fortnight. She now feeds, burps after half a bottle, drinks the rest, burps again, and does not bring up milk! Feeding times are no longer messy and dreadful (except when C indulges in her new-found hobby, which still is nowhere near as bad as it was before). It’s as if a whole new world has opened up for me. And if you’re thinking I’m exaggerating, please don’t judge too quickly. If you’ve been in my position, you will surely understand. Everyone might tell you it’s nothing, it’s normal etc. But try going through four months of constant possetting and not be on edge. Try going through four months of feeding a baby and always ending up cleaning the floor, changing your clothes and the baby’s clothes because they’re all dirty again. Try going out with a baby and dread feeding her out in public because someone would always remark “Oh, the baby’s brought up some milk – there on the floor”. Tell me it does not affect you and I will call you a liar. Because it does.
And if you see me wiping the floor when C is in tow, you’ll know that I have officially jinxed it all.
But till then, I’m smiling 🙂