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Thread: Premmie Mums #7

  1. #19

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    Hi Natalie and welcome to the group. Congratulations on Hollie's birth.
    My youngest daughter Gemma is now 7 months old. She was born at 33 weeks, 1800g. She was in NICU for 2 weeks as well. Luckily we had no reflux problems, but we dealt with poor weight gain for a looong time. You may see an improvement this month. With G, once she was 3 months old, she turned a corner. It was as if she woke up & started feeding & growing. However, really good weight gain did not happen until 6 months, once I started her on rice cereal mixed with formula. As long as your doctor is happy with her weight gain, don't worry. Everyone tells me that it will creep on over the first year or 18 months.
    Lots of people have problems with reflux anyway--without prematurity. But I know it makes everything much harder.
    DS no 3 also had terrible problems with weight gain (he was not premie). It took a full year before he stayed on the 25th percentile. It seemed that nothing we could do could make it stick to his bones. He's now a tall, skinny 2 year old. It is frustrating, but time will help a lot.


  2. #20

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    And Raven congrats on Willow's birthday!! I always think it's the MUM who really deserves the congratulations on birthdays. She looks gorgeous. I hope we are doing as well at one year.

  3. #21

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    Raven- willow's photo's are great she does look like a gorgeous princess! im glad it was a great day.
    Tiff- How did you know or find out that Ivy had a middle ear infection? ive been wondering what signs and symptoms babies show for ear infections
    Natalie- as Castle also said Nixon didnt really start to gain a lot of weight until he was about 6months either. until then he was a lot smaller then babies his actual age or even corrected age but after 6months he just took off like a rocket, now he a plump little boy with fat rolls!

    speaking of birthday parites i have to start getting Nixon's organised. We are having it back up in Sydney combined with his cousin Alyssa who is 4 days his junior. Mum and dad have offered their place for the venue, my sis and I have put a list together now we just have to get some invites.
    Q: those who already had a 1st bday party, do u do up lollie bags? if so what did u put in them? Tiff if i remember correctly u had some really awesome bags u gave to the kiddies?? we are inviting about 20 children but half of them will be under 1yr old.
    Last edited by nickers; March 4th, 2007 at 10:51 AM. Reason: can't spell

  4. #22

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    Nic, for the first couple of bdays I did not do lollie bags at all. I just focused on having a good time with the parents lots to drink, yummy things to eat....for one party I think I gave the mums each a nice lip balm.
    When the older boys got bigger, I still rarely did lollies. I like to go to Bunnings or similar & get things like a mini measuring tape, a roll of masking tape, & make that up into bags with a Freddo or pack of Smarties each. Sometimes GoLo or the $2 shop will have goodies too....plastic magnifying glasses...a set of nesting plastic boxes. Believe me, masking tape alone is enough to make a group of 4 year old boys VERY happy.

    It will be fun planning girl parties now!

  5. #23
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    Nic,
    With Ivy she is usually unwell with a cold to start with. The first couple of times I was too late and her eardrum perforated and that's how I knew. Mostly now, it goes something like this... Ivy has a cold (usually a very runny nose) then she will pull her ears,stick her fingers in her ears, hold her hands over her ears, run an incredibly high temp, between 38.5 - 39.8 degrees and scream. Boy, does she scream and she doesn't settle either, she just wants to be held and comforted and I can't put her down. Lying down is the worst for her, she can't seem to bare it. Usually, I check everything else before I assume it's a middle ear infection and then we hightail it to the docs.

    Having said that, with one of my other girls, she was so chronic that in the end, she didn't run temps anymore, it was only when her behaviour changed that I figured something wasn't right and with another of the girls, I never had any idea until the drum perforated, her behaviours never differed. She would be sick though, with a cold or asthma or something else.
    I'm sure Castle could tell you alot more on the S&S of otitis media.
    When we go to the docs, they look to see if the drum is clear, translucent, red, bulging (with fluid) depending on what they find, depends on the severity of the infection. Latest research suggests that up to 80% of infections are viral but another paper suggests that all babies under the age of 18 months be treated with ABs as it is difficult to ascertain which it is, without a swab or bloods. With Ivy, if it Viral, her temps tend to stay low grade, high 37's up to mid 38's. Ivy has had so many now, I can get on top of it quickly, IF I can get into a GP!!

    How exciting to be planning Nixon's birthday party! I remember when you announced his birth!
    We had a combination of big kids and little kids party bags. For the older kids I had a mixture of lollies and party treats. I found some great stuff at Spotlight's Spartys - a bendy man, a big packet of nic nacs for pinatas, stuff that kids think are cool.
    With the bubbas, I put in a bib, a jar of baby food, a baby juice popper,some fruit sticks and a little photo frame, or something like that. We bought plain coloured paper bags and pasted a photocopied photo of Ivy and Noah on the front. They turned out really well.

    The best thing we bought for the party, that kept all the kids amused for ages was a bubble machine! The party was outside and the kids chased the bubbles around everywhere. We had such a good day.

  6. #24
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    Hi Girls

    Thanks for the warm welcome and tips on the reflux. She has been on Losac for 2 weeks now so I will give it a bit longer to start working.

    I developed pre-eclampsia and thats why Hollie was early. They incuded me as I was going downhill, she was quite happy in my tummy

    Well my home computer is currently getting fixed so I can only jump on here when I am at work. I only work a couple of days a week for some extra cash and Hollie is with her Nanny...

    Again thanks for the warm welcome and I look forward to getting to know you and your bubs better

    Natalie

  7. #25

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    Hi there everyone,
    Welcome Natalie!
    And a late happy Birthday to Willow!!! Raven, glad to hear that the day was great!

    Nic- We had party bags for Kyla's 1st. In the baby bags I put some lollies (for the mum), bubbles, cos every baby loves bubbles, and a little toy (they have great things at 'Socrates' like glowy flashy bath toys).

    Kyla's doing good. She's pulling herself up alot more but is still going over heaps on her ankle. THe physio has arranged for a pead. orthopeadic person to come out to the group and fit her for orthotics which should help stablise her a bit. In the meantime we had to get some little boots fitted which really straighten her out when she stands but she really doesn't like them much!

    I'm nearly at the end of my down-reg cycle for IVF now, one more week on syneral (which is giving me awful headaches!) and then hopefully will start the injections if all is well!

  8. #26

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    Hi Nic,
    I saw in Tiff's last post that she said I could give you more on signs & symptoms of ear infections....LOL, I feel like an expert because I have continued to get them as an adult.
    First of all, I've seen an ENT off & on for them & he told me that, no question, the reason I continue to have problems is b/c my parents let it go untreated, or tried low-key treatments, for far too long (years). My eardrums are both scarred, I don't hear well out of one ear, and I have a permanent hole in that eardrum from the grommet which was not put in until I was 15. So, it really is worth being aware of the problem & getting help if needed. Tiff & I had a long chat about this in the previous thread & you could look at that too.
    She really gave you most of the big tips. Almost all of them start with a cold or some other kind of URI (cough/sore throat). If you get a strep infection in the ear, these characteristically have a VERY sudden onset and a lot of pain. The child seems OK and 20 minutes later is screaming in pain. These are the ones that you have to treat ASAP with an antibiotic because they lead straight to perforations. With a strep infection, also there is usually a notable fever.
    Prems are at especial risk for ear infections because they can pick up gram-negative nasties in the hospital nursery, which are very hard to get rid of. It's generally agreed that the bacteria which cause ear infections in the first few months (for any baby) are not the same as the ones children tend to harbour as they grow older.
    There are other bugs which cause infections in the ear & not all of them have the whammy punch of strep. The fever might be lower & the pain not as acute. When the kids are older, they can tell you more..."My heart is beating in my ear" (throbbing) or "it just hurts" or "it feels like my ear is full of water" (often happens with a low-grade, long term problem).
    With a baby, it's more difficult to tell. Classic signs would be, very unsettled, screaming, pulling at the ear, disrupted sleep (lying down causes painful pressure in the ear). However, as Tiff said, every child is so different. I am very robust & don't "look sick", rarely have a fever, and that has been my pattern throughout life with ALL illnesses. Two of my boys are like that and with each of them I've taken them in to the GP & just said, "I think there's something wrong," and found a BAD ear infection. And that is given that I am VERY aware of ear infections & would be anxious to get them in if there were obvious signs; but for them all I could really see was unsettled behaviour & a couple of night wakings.
    There's been a lot of press over the last 10 years about bacterial vs viral infections. Personally I think, & have done some reading to support this, what happens is that a secondary bacterial infection starts after an initial virus. I have a Handbook of Paediatrics (given to me by a nurse friend with strict instructions never to let a doctor know I had it). It says that when aspirates from middle ear infections are cultured, 94% show bacteria present. As for the other 6%, there could still have been bacteria, all it means is that they couldn't culture anything but a virus! Viruses seem to set up bacterial infections in the ear because they impair eustachian tube function, they alter normal bacterial patterns in the ear nose & throat, & they wear down your normal defences anyway.
    The ENT also told me that in order to diagnose properly, you have to be able to view the eardrum. Sounds basic but if it's covered by wax you can't visualise it. This is not something that you the parent can tell. This wax is deep inside & has to be removed by the doctor. Also, the definitive diagnosis is made by using a pneumatic otoscope (blowing air to see how/if the eardrum moves). You are not going to see those 2 things done at a GP's office. The point is, "overdiagnosis" of otitis media is from doctors just looking in the ear & saying "yes it's red, let's start meds". Redness alone is not enough.
    LOL, one of the most embarrassing things for me when I saw the ENT as an adolescent, was the wax removal. He would look in my ear & then take me into another room. He would put a wire thing, probably some kind of curette, down my ear, & take out the wax. Inevitably there was an enormous amount of sticky red wax; as a teenage girl this was mortifying. But I could immediately hear better with it gone! Then he would use the pneumatic otoscope, which I also hated, but that is the only way to tell if fluid is behind the eardrum (unless it's bulging & about to burst!).
    For those who tend to have ear infections, I think it's important to:
    1. get on a cold ASAP. Wipe often, blow gently if possible, try not to let the nose get stuffed up. When it does the eustachian tubes get blocked.
    2. Keep the ears warm when the child has a cold/ear infection. The reason is that many of us have eustachian tubes that are shorter than they really should be, and very sensitive to fluid. A cool change in outdoor temperature, for me, makes my nose run a little. The extra fluid produced seems to easily go up my tubes to my ears & wreak havoc there. I know it sounds silly & grandmother-ish, but a hat really does make a difference in cool weather or when you have a cold.
    3. Warm air indoors. DRESSING warmly is not as important as having the AIR warm. This is a biggie. You can feel warm & be well dressed, but if you're breathing cool air all the time, then you have the problem above, with fluid production. Several years ago whilst on holiday in NZ, I read a thingie in the paper there saying that the WHO recommends an average indoor air temp of 18 for optimal good health. All I could think was woo hoo! someone is on my side! It doesn't mean that you need it so warm inside that you could wear shorts in the house all winter. But if your child has a cold, it will help to leave a radiator on in their room, turned low, all night.
    4. Active treatment of coughs & sore throats. Instead of waiting to see how it goes...use a good cough syrup, especially at night. For sore throats, lots of liquids to drink and hard lollies to suck on. The ENT told me that "medicated" cough drops are fairly worthless, any hard lolly will do--barley sugar etc. Of course, not an option for babies.
    5. Frequent hand washing. I also got some alcohol gel & have it in a little bottle in my handbag, for times when I can't get to running water.
    I have LOTS more information if you could possibly want to know any more after all this! just let me know.

  9. #27

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    Hi all,

    Tiff & Castle i just wanted to say thanks for all the info on ear infections. now i know what to look out for and will use those posts as i guide if in doubt!

    So how is everyone?
    Nixon is well, he is commando crawling everywhere now and getting faster at it,thismorning he followed me around the whole house while i vacummed which was cute but took me twice as long to get the job done!
    he still really only saying dad that is clear, lots of other mumble that i cannot make out i am dying for him to start saying mum! Maybe by his first bday he will surprise me with it.

    speaking of which Ronan's First birthday is this Saturday! Hope he has a fabulous day Racs!

    hope you are all well

  10. #28

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    Hi Nickers,
    How cute - Nixon following you around! Is he all over his vomitting now?
    Rac- Ohhh. I can't believe that Ronan's 1st b'day is nearly upon us!! Hope you are both doing well.

    Kyla's first molar has just broken through. I think it's causing her a bit of pain poor thing.

  11. #29

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    They often say Dad first! It's easy to tell who's really exciting in their life.

  12. #30
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    Hey Nic! Great news about Nixon's crawling and following you. Very cute

    We are good. Ivy and Noah are both having small periods of time where they are standing alone. Noah can stand unaided for about three minutes now. It's amazing! I never thought we'd get there...well, ok, I knew we would but it just seemed a long way off! They are tag team tornados at the moment. They have the morning ritual of demolishing the loungeroom and then we are good to go for the day! Ivy, who started letting go first, is having real issues staying upright.

    Not much else to report. Ivy had another ear infection last week that resulted in perforation. She is so much better this week though. Next week we have our long awaited hearing test and then the week after that, we are off to the ENT (YAY).

    Carrie, good to see you around. How is everything going with you? How is Kyla?

    Rac, wishing you an amazing birthing day and Ronan the best first birthday ever!!!

    Castle, what is your gorgeous girl up to?

  13. #31

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    Hi Tiff,
    I just had a look at your latest photos. Ivy and Noah are getting BIG! I love the ones of them with the girls. They are doing so well standing up by themselves!
    It must be difficult having to cope with ear problems all the time though. Is there a reason that she keeps getting them?
    Kyla's doing good. As I said, her 1st molar is coming through and she will see the orthopeadic person on Monday.
    As for me, I started injections yesterday for IVF - so start send good vibes this way!!!
    PS- How cute are those starbunz nappies. I've been really slack and haven't used cloth for a while. I just can't seem to get on top of the washing and ironing. But I HAVE to soon.... I feel bad!

  14. #32
    tiggy Guest

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    Oh Carrie, I will be sending every good vibe I can muster your way. Hoping that you have a successful cycle!
    Hope Kyla's appointment goes well too.
    I think with Ivy's ear infections, she's just prone to them. Short eustatian tubes and I wide bridge accross the nose, reflux and being prem, it all stacks against her. All my other girls had it too. Noah is blissfully unaware!
    Yes, they are getting big! Noah is 11kgs and Ivy is just over 10kg but they are tall too. They grow up so fast!

    ETA: Yep love the starbunz but am loving the Berry Plush too atm. Don't feel bad. THe washing and ironing are piled to the sky in this house!

  15. #33

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    Hi all.
    Gemma is doing well & looking soo adorable. She wants to walk & run around the house & yard with her older brother(s). However, have to crawl first! She spends lots of time on her tum and can pull & 'clock' around incredibly far. The event of the morning was that she pulled her knees under her & started rocking a bit. I actually hope it holds off till after Easter b/c we are going away & it would be much easier with a non-crawler. She's not sitting alone either. The ideal would be to have a sitting, but not crawling, baby whilst on holiday.
    Gotta tell you that I do very little ironing. I love the look, but...unless it's essential, I don't. Essential: DH's shirts, many of mine, anything linen... Non-essential: school clothes.

  16. #34

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    Tiff- The reason I ask about the ear infections is because when I was little I always had them and burst ear drums. I had my tonsils and adenoids out to no avail and they finally worked out that it was a milk allergy for me.

    Castle - Sounds like Gemma is going great guns! What's the bet she starts crawling when you're away - just to add a little extra excitement to your life!!
    I also try to iron as little as possible. But usually end up leaving things sitting in the dryer for too long so they get crumpled...and then I HAVE to iron them.

  17. #35

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    Just dampen a hand towel (lightweight, ideally) and put it in the dryer with the wrinkled things!! And then use the buzzer to get them out on time. Cheers!

  18. #36

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    Castle- that is it pull and 'clock' around is what Sam & Joel do all day ... I haven't heard that before thanks.
    Joel is up rocking on all fours now a week or so but nothing more than a few thrusts and flops forward. Both are sitting but still topple over forwards reaching for toys or backwards when they have had enough sitting.

    Carrie - goodluck with cycling - all my strength and vibes to you. I wish you another miracle :wink:

    Nic- Nixon is going great by sound of it. His pic is gorgeous what a winning smile.

    Tiff- wait till Noah & Ivy really take off ... who will be chasing who and who will be following you too. You must be so proud of them both.

    Castle - hope DD is comfy sitting around.I was glad mine weren't crawling when we were caravaning last week.
    Your ears sound like mine. You have alot of knowledge - more than I know. But your story sounds just like mine.
    I had very good medical care as child to no avail - my ears are crap.I still have constant infections and dud hearing in both ears.Them smoking (parents not my ears) I guess didn't help matters. I have seen so many ENT's specialists - had surgery a few times child (partial mastoidectomy)/adult and had grommits as adult too. I give up now. Tell me more I will have to do something soon.

    My niece (Ms9) has terrible ear infections too (so did my bro) and my SIL is at her wits end - Ms 9 has large perforation -was due to have surgery in April school holidays -tympanic graft. But has had 3 infections/weeping so far this year - ENT DR today said won't operate till clear for 3 months - also poor ENT specialist told SiL he has prostrate cancer and having surgery soon - and won't be back for at least 6 weeks after that () .
    SiL said she might have to look for new ENT Dr - we are in Sydney.

    I hope my boys are spared this.

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