Trust Your Gut Instinct: My Lesson to You
Recently, we had a special guest presenting at our Caring Mums New Volunteers Training - Alison Barker, Maternal Child and Health Nurse from the City of Glen Eira.
One of our new volunteers, Jessie, shared with us that this session brought up many personal memories for her. Jessie was kind enough to share these with us - especially the vital role that the nurses played for her when she was a new mum.
Thank you, Jessie, for giving us this special window into your life.
"When my daughter was born, everything was fine. She was a healthy, strong baby without problems. Perhaps I had a problem of feeding her too much!
Fifteen months later my son was born; he had a few minor health issues but nothing major until he was about 7 or 8 months old when he started projectile vomiting, diarrhoea and incessant crying. He was so miserable and sad. He started to drastically lose weight each week.
I kept going to doctors, sometimes twice a week, where he was continually either diagnosed with flu or gastro problems! I went to different doctors trying to seek a reason, and soon they would say I was just being an anxious and nervous mother. I knew this was not right and I would say, ‘I have a 2yr old daughter, and I know there is definitely something wrong’. Soon he had a distended stomach and loose skin on his arms, so of course I became even more distressed and emotional and continued looking for answers.
By this stage I was going to the MCH centre each week and sometime twice a week for a weigh in to find he was still losing weight…(I can still picture the minus red “weight data” in my book). It was obvious that he was unable to absorb food.
This kept going on until he was almost 11 months old. I was eventually able to get an appointment with a paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
When I attended the MCH Centre on this particular week, I let her know that I was had an appointment but had to wait 3 months.
She was so upset that she called the paediatrician immediately and said, “No, you need to see this baby today, not in 3 months, not in 2 weeks, but right now!!” I immediately went to RCH to meet with the paediatrician. For the first time in a long time, I felt some relief.
My son was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and was put on an appropriate diet and his weight managed. Because of his condition, he was hospitalised for 3 weeks.
Just before his first birthday, he came home a changed little boy. He was a happy, playful, energetic boy from that day onwards. Today he is a very athletic, strong young man with three boys of his own, so thankfully I am pleased to say, it all turned out okay.
I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for the Maternal Child and Health Nurse who attended to both of my children, my son would have been very, very ill. I was very lucky to have had the Health Nurse I had… she listened to me and truly was a life saver.
From this experience, I realised that if you have an instinct or gut feeling something is not right, don’t give up… you need to be persistent. You need to be an advocate for your children. Living in Victoria, we are so fortunate to have this amazing free service. There is always someone there to talk to, give advice and reassurance".
If you need professional advice please call your local Maternal and Child health Centre or the Maternal and Child 27/7 hotline on 13 22 29.