Failure to thrive

Agh. Major life blips aren’t fun, are they?

Hugo’s sleeping got to a crisis point, so he and I had a stay at sleep school this week with Alex staying with us overnight. It turns out that Hugo’s sleeping problem was really a feeding problem, and he falls into the ‘failure to thrive’ category.

To say I am mortified is an understatement.

I’m also more than a little frustrated – I have been dragging Hugo to local community nurses and our GP worried that something was wrong, and no one picked it up. He is a happy boy who has been meeting his milestones. While he is slim, he doesn’t look overly skinny (to me, at least) and Elena has always been petite. The only thing wrong was his sleeping. He’s just such an easygoing child that he didn’t think to let us know. I suspect I’ll have to teach him to assert himself when he’s a little older!

Ending up at sleep school was a confronting experience but it has been, overall, a good one. We’ve worked out that Hugo needs more calories, so now we’re feeding him solids three times a day and I’m breastfeeding him militantly. He has been getting better stretches of sleep at night, so that’s a major bonus. The approach seems to be working. Fingers crossed this is the start of some weight gain and a happier Hugo.

Talking to the nurses, too, I have come to a clearer understanding that I really haven’t recovered from the trauma of Alex’s meningoencephalitis last year, and that that period has impacted our family dynamics and my stress levels. I guess I’ve always had a lucky life and the realisation that really bad things can happen to you while you’re going about your business innocently has shaken me somewhat. I can see that we’ve had some great support from some people, but that others who should have come through for us haven’t. That’s a tough thing to accept and work on, but I guess that’s part of life too. I have some strategies to help me juggle everything a bit better. I suspect there’s a cleaner in our future.

I’ll write some more about our time at QEII when I’ve had the time to process it more thoroughly. I had trouble finding information on what to expect during our stay, so I’ll put together a synopsis of our experience and thrust it out into Internet-land.

Anyway, the good news is that we’re home. We seem to have found the root of Hugo’s unsettledness. It’s 6.30PM and both children are fast asleep. Sleep school success?


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3 Responses to Failure to thrive

  1. Carly says:

    A very honest post Ruth, and one with a happy ending insofar as Hugo is sleeping! better! You are doing an amazing job, and the bubs are so lucky to have you both xoxoxo

  2. Shauna says:

    I can remember days/weeks of Zombie parents in this household with our children ‘tag teaming’ us during all hours of the night. I never really understood the true nature of tiredness until children.
    My solution was co sleeping and demand feeding. Somewhat exhausting and seemingly never-ending, it’s not a fit for every family.
    I am very glad that you have found some support with the discovery of Hugo’s food needs as well some new ways of helping everyone with sleep.
    Wishing you lots of zzzzz’s
    Love Shauna

  3. fee says:

    Oh Ruth, I do feel your pain. I went through a similar situation with my little boy (now a very healthy almost 5-year-old) – sadly I can relate so well to those emotions 😦 All my hopes and prayers are for plenty of sleep and a quick turn-around from the recent dramas.
    With love, fee xx

    p.s. Thank you SO much for your lovely, honest blog. You seem like such a great Mum and it’s refreshing to read both the ups and downs (some of the other blogs I’ve read make me feel like the only Mum whose life isn’t 100% rainbows!)

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