Around the two week mark, you started looking like pooing was painful. Mum told me it wasn’t normal and I should ask at your two week check up. I asked and they said it was fine, you were probably just working on strengthening your muscles.
Then you started vomiting. ALL THE TIME. At first, I thought maybe you’d caught a bug and felt guilty because I’d taken you out too early. Then it got worse. I thought it might have been reflux, or colic. You were vomiting after every meal. We ended up sleeping you on your stomach from about 3 weeks, because of how much you’d throw up.
You didn’t just spew, you projectile vomited. You started weeing pink on Monday21st September, the day before you were 5 weeks old. That night you screamed. For an hour straight. A painful scream that broke my heart. I called mum and she heard you and said go straight to the hospital.
When we got there, the triage nurse treated your dad and I like we were idiots. Like we were just stupid, young parents. You were arching your back in pain and she told us we were holding you properly. She told us you were screaming because you needed a singlet. She asked how you seemed to us and when we told her “he’s just not himself” she replied with “they change, you know.” She told us that babies weeing pink happens sometimes.
We sat there for 4 hours waiting to see a doctor. By that time, you had screamed yourself to sleep. The doctor told me you looked fine. He said that we could admit you then and you wouldn’t be seen until morning, or we could go home and if we were still concerned, we could ring up and book an ultrasound in the morning.
You slept between us that night. For fourteen hours. A five week old baby, sleeping for 14 hours. Something was definitely wrong. You even projectile vomited in the middle of the night and didn’t wake up.
The next morning, you had started throwing up yellow. I called and booked you an ultrasound, because I was convinced something wasn’t right. That ended up in a lot of running around as the doctor didn’t give me any forms to get you xrayed, which made me feel like he too thought we were just being pedantic parents. The whole day I tossed up between taking you back to the hospital. You started being limp and unresponsive, so we went in to emergency and I said to the triage “we were here last night and you have to see him, now.”
She took us straight through. The doctor saw us straight away as well. Told me he had a suspicion of what you had. At 12pm they made me feed you. At 2pm you had your ultrasound that I had already booked, which showed your stomach was still full. You were admitted, put on a drip to hydrate you, and a tube down your nose in hopes of draining your stomach so you weren’t constantly throwing up.
We got told we would be flying out the next day to Newcastle (Royal Prince Albert Hospital). But that day, we had a massive dust storm. The hospital told us they wouldn’t be able to fly, we’d have to go by road in an ambulance, then they told us they were going to wait and see if the air cleared a little more so we could fly – which it didn’t. At 5pm just as we were finally getting into an ambulance to drive down, I received a phone call from the head of surgery asking how far away we were as they were reading to operate. They had been told we had left at 12pm.
We were in RPA until Friday before you were operated on. They had a lot of emergencies that came in and to them, you weren’t an emergency (which I totally understand, you were stable and at no risk of dying).
The wait while you had your operation was terrible. The time dragged on. I tried to go and get something to eat but couldn’t. I spent a little time in the Ronald Macdonald room, and I’ll never forget how wonderful those ladies were too me. Mostly, my time was spent sitting outside the doors, pretending to read a book, waiting until I could be called to come and hold you again.
Finally the surgeon came out and told me you were in recovery. He told me that your blockage was so significant your stomach was closed over. He said it’s one of the worst he’s ever operated on and you’re lucky to have still been so healthy considering. He also told me that if we have more children, their chance of this happening isn’t increased, but if you have children, theirs are
We took you home the next day. You had stopped throwing up blood and were keeping food down. Your stomach muscles had been weakened from throwing up so much, so it was easier for things to come up than stay down.
At 5 weeks of age, you were back to your birth weight. A tiny 2.8kg. I’m so glad that your Daddy and I listened to our instincts, because you could have ended up a whole lot worse. And as for that nurse? Well, I’ve never actually complained about her. I’m still very tempted to though…