I don’t really know where to begin, and I’m sorry if I sound a bit melodramatic at times, but I don’t think I can get across in words alone the impact you have had on my entire family’s lives.
My little girl Grace was born 3.5 weeks early. Although it was a bit of a shock (I hadn’t even started maternity leave yet, and had no essentials in the house such as nappies or cotton wool!), it was a natural birth without any medical intervention whatsoever, she was healthy and after a couple of nights of observation at PRH, we were allowed to go home. Because Grace weighed in at only 5.4lbs, she was too small to breastfeed. She literally could not open her little mouth enough to latch on. I had never imagined that we would have any problems with breastfeeding, and wanted to give my daughter the best start in life that I could, so I opted to express my milk and bottle feed it to her. I bought an electric pump (best invention in the world in my opinion, even if you feel like a cow in a dairy farm!) and away we went. Even once Grace got big enough to breastfeed, by that time, we had both just gotten used to expressing, and it meant I could let Grace’s big sisters (I have 3 lovely step daughters) help with the feeding! I expressed for 6 months and all was well.
When I stopped expressing, I tried Grace on Nannycare. This is a goat-milk formula which you can buy from health shops and some pharmacies such as Abbotts in Lindfield. Again this worked well and there were no problems.
When Grace was about a year old, I started working more and more, and found I didn’t always have time to make the special trip to pick up her Nannycare. I decided to use an Organic cow’s milk formula which I could pick up at the supermarket along with the rest of my weekly shop. Not only was it more convenient, it was cheaper. Brilliant, right?! Wrong! This change triggered what became quite a serious problem for Grace. She had never been a good sleeper, in fact she had yet to sleep through the night even once, but now she had the added problem of chronic constipation. Grace went from going every day or every other day to going about once a week. And when she did go, she would desperately try to stop herself from going because she knew how painful it was going to be. Her stools had become compacted logs for want of a better description, and it broke all of our hearts watching our little girl in so much pain. We tried laxatives prescribed by the Dr, we tried massaging Grace’s stomach, I tried accupressure points, I took Grace to see a homeopath and an osteopath specialising in babies and children, I fed her more fruit, I fed her more vegetables, I fed her less meat, what more could I think of to do? I had not figured out what had caused the change. I would sometimes fight back the tears when watching her go, she would hold both my hands and cry out with pain, and there seemed like nothing I did made any difference.
I had grown accustomed to Grace waking in the night 3-4 times for a bottle, and although I was endlessly tired, I thought it was normal and that when she was ready it would pass. I also felt as though it was my own fault, I had decided to have a child, and now I was working 4 days a week, and not coming home until 6 o clock at night, and I thought my little girl just missed me and wanted to be reassured that I was there.
I had given up on finding a solution, until I fell pregnant again, and as the due date of my 2nd grew closer and closer, my friends and family kept asking me how I was going to cope with both children awake during the night. At first I just hoped that Grace would settle down and miraculously sort herself out for me before the baby arrived. This did not happen, so with about 3 months to go before baby is due I decided to try one more time, and googled ‘homeopathy’ and ‘toddlers’. My mum had told me that homeopathy had helped her when my sister was born. Up came the Perrymount Clinic’s details. I called and tried to make an appointment to see the homeopath. She was not available on the day that I could make it, but I was told that Christian the osteopath also worked with toddlers displaying the symptoms I had described to the receptionist, and he had an available appointment that I could attend. I’d never used an osteopath myself, and already had one failed attempt at handling Grace with one. I nearly didn’t take the appointment, but then thought ‘Whats the worst that could happen? I have to give it a go, and if it doesn’t work, I can see the homeopath later’.
I took Grace to see Christian on 11 April 2012. Within the first 2 minutes of meeting him, I knew I had found the solution to my problem! He was the first person that I had met that made the connection between Grace’s constipation, her obsession of milk and her inability to sleep through the night. He called it the ‘trilogy’ which made me laugh, but also made complete and perfect sense. I suddenly felt hope again for the first time in a long time, that not only could I help my daughter feel better, become more regular and sleep, I myself might for the first time in 2.5 years get a decent night’s sleep. This was a big deal! Christian told me that research suggested that there was a link between cow’s milk and all the symptoms Grace was portraying, and that in order to help her, I had to cut out the cow’s milk completely. Although this sounded a bit like being put in charge of someone who for years has smoked 60 a day, and having to help them through cold turkey, the mere fact that Christian had identified and explained the link between the milk and the symptoms, and the fact that he had helped other children like Grace and was confident we would be able to see an improvement in her, I felt too happy and hopeful to worry too much.
Christian then went on to explain how there are different levels of sleep, and that it was more than likely that Grace always flittered on the top levels rather than get into a deep sleep. This rang absolutely true too, I couldn’t leave her side even if she were asleep without her waking up. He carried on to feel her head and explained that she felt quite tense. He then started to perform Cranial osteopathy on Grace. When he started Grace was drawing a picture, sat on my lap. To a by-stander it just looked like he was placing his hand on her head. But then, Grace began to lay back, and after a couple of minutes I realised that Grace was snoring! She was in a very deep sleep, and looked so peaceful. ‘Wow’ I thought, I guess she needed that!
On the way home I raced to get some more Nannycare before the shops shut, as Christian had explained that if Grace wanted a bottle, she ought to drink this. When I got home I couldn’t help but tell the world what had just happened. Grace woke up after about 2 hours of deep sleep. She seemed so happy, and was really chatty.
That night Grace wondered where her milk was. I hadn’t told her what was going on, I just kind of hoped that she would not notice the difference in taste and would just drink the Nannycare without question. She had used to after all. No such luck. Grace refused to drink the Nannycare, and became very upset when I told her it was that, or water. ‘I want bottle, I want milk’ she cried. Although it was difficult, I was still elevated enough from meeting Christian and finding the solution, that I stuck to my guns. Eventually, Grace fell asleep. She woke up again at about 2am and again at about 5am, her usual snack times, and cried for a few minutes, before resuming sleep. The next day Grace was famished! She ate like the hungry caterpillar from the well-known children’s book! I then realised just how much Grace had depended on milk for filling her up, and that she may well not have been getting enough variety in her diet as a result. That night Grace went to bed at bedtime, fell asleep quite easily and DID NOT WAKE UP until the following morning. I remember waking up and checking that she was breathing! What was happening? Was it really going to be that easy? Apparently, so because one month on, Grace has slept all the way through every night. The change in her sleeping is as much of a contrast as black and white, night and day, and it really didn’t take half the work I expected.
That as a result is good enough. If that were all that had happened, I would still be ecstatic. But Grace is now regular again. And when she goes, all that happens is that she tells you she is going, or that she has just been. There is no crying, there is no desperate holding it in. It occurs as nature intended, and it is no longer a big deal for her. I don’t have to witness her in pain or discomfort and that is such a relief.
Grace’s appetite is 100% better than it used to be. She always liked food, but now she eats a meal rather than just picking at it. And she seems just that little bit brighter, smilier, chattier and more relaxed.
We went to see Christian twice more after our first appointment. Each time Grace was asleep (irrespective of the time of day) within minutes and was totally chilled out afterwards.
I don’t know how he does it, but he is by far the best alternative medicine practitioner that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Within one half-hour appointment he has transformed our lives for the better, and has shown me how with a little determination you can achieve amazing health benefits. I have not stopped telling everyone I know about how brilliant he and the other Perrymount Clinic professionals are. Thank god for people like them!
Not only that, but seeing the change in her little sister, my 16 year old step daughter has confirmed that she would like to train as an osteopath! She has always been interested in the human body, and wants to help people, and she knows she can with osteopathy.
I know that as soon as my 2nd baby is born (some time in the next 3 weeks), we will be seeing Christian again, and I can’t wait, its almost like watching magic.