Today was the day we've been waiting months for! Today we took Benny to the paediatric allergist for allergy testing and dietary advice. Benny's skin prick test showed a positive allergy to egg. They can not test for intolerance's, so based on his history we are told to assume he is intolerance to dairy, soy, wheat, nuts and fish. At the moment we are allowed to feed him rice cereal, potato, Swede, green beans, pears, chicken and veal. We have been given a prescription for elecare, the hypoallergenic formula he's been on for the last 2 months. We were initially worried about taking him off breast milk and putting him on this formula, but they say we did the right thing, so we're happy. We are planning to introduce all these foods slowly over the next month, and have him eating 3 meals a day within a month. We have to go back in 3 months for more testing. At 6 months (now) false negatives are possible, but in 3 more months, testing is more reliable. In 3 months, we will also get Ethan allergy tested. Ethan will be following the same low allergy diet as Benny as we think he may have some food intolerance's too (based on his screaming issues last week). If his allergies show the same results in 3 months, we will slowly start giving him 'food challenges' by introducing different foods and seeing what happens! We are now planning to live in a egg, fish, and nut free house. We also need to try as many tactics as possible to keep dust mites to a minimum as egg and dust mite allergies are linked. We were told that our skin care techniques for Benny are good. We are to continue to be vigilant about moisturising his skin and keeping it clear and eczema free. Benny is allowed to start swimming in outdoor pools as long as we wash him after and put a barrier cream on his skin. Unfortunately the local pool only has indoor lessons, so we will have to take him swimming in his Nana's backyard pool for now. We are very happy with today as we finally have some answers, we finally have a prescription for elecare, we can now start him on more solids and we are told most kids outgrow their egg allergy by 3-7yrs old.
We've had our most difficult week so far this week. It all started on Tuesday. . . . . . . . . . .
Tuesday morning Sal was having a sleep in (we take it in turns when Sal doesn't have to work) Tracie was out in the living room with the boys. Ethan was lying on the ground having some floor time. He started to get a bit whingey (like you do when your sick of being on the floor) so Tracie bent down to pick him up. On the way down she felt sudden pain and heard her back crack . She picked him up anyway, and discovered she couldn't stand up straight! Poor Tracie gave her self a nasty back injury. She went to the doctor who says she's probably pulled some muscle or ligament or tendon or something. She was given pain killers and told to rest (very difficult thing to do with 6 month old twins!!). Sal managed to get the week off work to help her with the boys. Tracie's mum came to visit this weekend so she's been helping too. Tracie has had to take masses of pain killers to even move so she's had to 'pump and dump' all her breast milk. It's almost painful to see all that lovely breast milk going down the drain. It's now Sunday and Tracie's back is still painful but she's suffering through it and cutting down the pain killers so Ethan can have some milk. Not sure if it's the right thing to do, but read the next story and see what you think.
Ethan has been a very unhappy baby this week, and we're not entirely sure why. He has had a few changes this week: 1)His mummy hasn't been picking him and and cuddling and carrying him as much. 2)He had some avocado for the first time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 3)He's had more formula this week than he's used to and a different brand of formula. (When we knew he'd be needing more formula because of Tracie's back injury we went out and bought some. We bought a different brand because the last one was making his belly upset when he was on it before) Perhaps this brand is no good either???
On Monday and Tuesday he was ok. Wednesday evening poor baby cried for about 2 hours before finally settling to sleep and sleeping through the night. Thursday was a terrible day. He slept ok in the morning but cried and cried and cried when we tried to put him down for a 3pm nap. He finally slept when we took him for a walk in the pram. Thursday evening he went to sleep ok at 7pm. Woke at 8:30pm and SCREAMED for ages We ended up taking him to an after hours medical centre at 10pm to make sure he was ok. Doctor said he's fine. We bought him home and he cried and cried and cried some more. He was finally rocked to sleep at 11pm. He woke again at 1:30am and cried for another hour. After being rocked back to sleep AGAIN, he slept until 6:30am. Friday was just as bad. He was a MISERABLE whinging and grizzling from the moment he got up. Tracie was having her turn for a sleep in (because her back was super sore and she was exhausted from the night) so Sal took the boys for a walk. We were away about 2 hours, and Ethan had another sleep in the pram. Ethan fought us again when it came time for his 3pm nap. It was about an hour of hysterical crying! Again he had a small nap in the pram. We don't really like to rely on the pram to make him sleep, but he was SO SO SO over tired he just needed some sleep! Friday night was better, he went to sleep without a problem and slept through the night. Saturday was also fine. He was a little tireder than normal, but slept well, and only had minimal (and normal) grizzles about going to bed! He slept through the night and is back to his happy self this morning. We're still not sure what exactly his problem was. We think he might have had some type of belly pain that got worse when he lay down as he was alright when he was awake. The uncontrollable hysterical crying only started when he knew he was about to go to bed. It was almost like he was afraid of bed. Thank god he's ok now. Last few times he's gone to bed without a fuss.
CAT PAINS Our poor pussy cat hasn't been too well this week. She's been using the kitty litter A LOT more than usual. She's had that problem before, and she had urinary tract infection. We noticed some blood in the kitty litter on Friday so we took her straight to the vet. He also thinks she has a urinary tract infection so she was given some painkillers and antibiotics. She's getting better now. We hope that will fix her problem. She's not so kitty litter obsessed now. On Friday when we took the cat to the vet Ethan was screaming and screaming. It was chaos, he'd been crying for an hour, Tracie was trying to settle him, Sal was on the phone trying to get some help on the 24h parents helpline about Ethan crying, and trying to catch the cat at the same time. It came time for us to go, so we left the boys (and a screaming Ethan) with their grandma. We've never left them before, but she took them for a walk in the pram and they both went to sleep. We were worried about leaving them, but looking back it wasn't so bad. I used to be afraid to leave them, I feel like I could leave them again now - It's really not so bad!
I can't believe our little boys are already 6 months old. Time flies when you're having fun. They are getting so big and strong and so very clever and funny. They both have very different likes, dislikes, abilities and personalities. Below are a few pics of Ethan that I took the other day. I tried to do it like a photo shoot, but it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be! Hahaha.
Ethan is our happy and usually easy going baby. He smiles a lot and loves his mummies. He is a good sleeper and will sleep 12 hours at night without a peep. We wakes us up at 6:30am talking to himself. He has 2-3 naps during the day and usually goes to bed at 6:30pm. He has recently discovered his thumb and likes to suck it for comfort when he is tired. He will occasionally take a dummy, but not very often. He is usually pretty good at settling before a sleep, but will rarely put on a big fight. Last Sunday and Monday night it took him THREE HOURS to settle and go to sleep. We were exhausted, but thankful that is not a regular event in our lives!
Ethan spends his day rotating between floor time, his exersaucer, his rocking chair and his mummies arms. He enjoys all these places and loves to play with a variety of toys. He is getting better at sitting now, and we are encouraging him to sit with some new toys. He can now sit with his back straight and his arms in the air for several minutes. He often sways off centre but about 95% of the time he can correct his balance and stay upright. He is enjoying sitting upright and gets very excited by his new "sitting" toys. Ethan loves small donut shaped toys that can fit in the palm of an adults hand. He can hold them easily an chews on them constantly. He doesn't have any teeth yet but chews on everything he can and dribbles A LOT!!!!
Ethan is still enjoying him mummies breastmilk and drinks about 200-250mls 6-7times a day. He is not very interested in solids. We have given him rice cereral several times that lead to him being very irritable, unsettled and gassy. We thought he might be having issues with the iron (it's got added iron) so we swapped him to oatmeal which he really didnt like very much either. We read that avacado was a good food to try so he had some avacado yesterday and today. His facial expression said "are you sure about this mum?" but he ate a little - and wore the rest!!!
Below are my attempt at a photo shoot with my little Benny.
Benji is a slightly more high maintaince child. He gets bored more quickly than Ethan and likes to be entertained. He also enjoys spending time on the floor, exersaucer, rocking chair and mummies arms. He rolls around the floor very well and is very good at getting him self from his back to his tummy. The problem is, he can't get back!! After about 2 mins on his belly he starts to cry until you come and roll him back. He has managed to roll from belly to back about 10 times, but he's rolled from back to belly about 100, so we must have rolled him back 90 times by now..... silly boy! Benny likes to play with a variety of toys. He still loves his teddy Rodney and books made of material that have some cellophane type thing inside that makes them crinkle when he touches them. Like Ethan, almost everything Benny can pick up goes into his mouth. Benny still has 2 teeth and they are getting bigger all the time.
Benji also sleeps from 6:30pm to 6:30am. He usually wakes up a few times in the night and we have to put the dummy back in his mouth. He goes back to sleep, and so do we. He is still sleeping wrapped up, and is getting very good at escaping from his wraps, pulling out his dummy, scratching himself and then crying about it!! Like I said, he's a silly boy.
Benny is still having problems with his allergies. He is still on the hypoallergenic formula that we've been getting from Tracie's cousin, and we are taking him to the allergy clinic next week. We are looking forward to getting some answers finally! His skin is much better these days, but he still gets red welts when he comes in contact with something he's allergic to. He often breaks out after a trip to the shops, when we forget to wash our hands after eating or when he's at a party where everyone is eating finger food and touching him. We are hoping that after our trip to the allgery doctors we will know how to treat and prevent his allergies better.
We have to seperate his and Ethan's toys as they drool all over everything and Benny is allergic to Ethan's saliva as Ethan is still having breast milk. It makes life more difficult but we have our systems to help. Each boy has his own exersaucer, rocking chair, side of the car, side of the pram, cot, towels, bottles and toys. When-ever possible Ethan has blue and Benny has green items (dummies, teethers, sippy cups, rattles, chairs, blocks etc) It makes it easier to keep each boy chewing on the right toy!
Benny likes his rice cereal. He gets a few tablespoons once a day. We will soon be increasing it to twice a day as he's doing really well on it. He opens his mouth very well and is getting better at moving it backwards in his mouth and swallowing it, instead of spitting it out like Ethan does! We are looking forward to giving him more food once we've had him allergy tested.
Considering we're aussies, we dont usually celebrate halloween, but Uncle Graham (who lives in USA) bought the boys some very cute halloween costumes before they were even born, so we had to do a little dress-up and photo shoot!
Sorry the boys aren't their usual smiley happy selves, but it was a little hot in their outfits at this time of the year!