Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Am Starting to Understand Those Christian Scientists. Go Figure.

Okay, some of you know about this. Most of you don't. Here it is: the details of my baby girl's harrowing medical traumas and my ensuing HATRED for the medical community 

(Sorry readers who are members of the medical community. You probably don't suck, but 
some of your peers do. Seriously. Like, they suck A LOT.)

Reminder: We had a beautiful baby girl on 8/9/10 (And my dad was super-pissed that she was born at 2:33 and asked me to LIE on her birth certificate and say she was born at 2:34. I could not make this stuff up.). I was on the fence about the whole hospital/doctor vs. midwifery stuff, but in the end realized I could not give up on the idea of that magical-sounding super-drug: The epidural. I cannot complain much about the labor and delivery itself except having a blood pressure cuff on my arm during the entire labor that went off EVERY FIVE MINUTES and I still had bruises from two weeks later. But other than that, the docs were not up in my biz and they didn't cause me to threaten them with bodily harm. In fact, the labor and delivery was actually ENJOYABLE.

Then, a few hours after my little Josephine was born, they whisked her away and a pediatrician sat us down and said she could just have some amniotic fluid in her lungs or she could be DYING IMMEDIATELY and they would go ahead with 58,000 aggressive interventions in order to save the life of our little miracle.  

I SWORE I would not be that mother who was like, "OH!  A doctor said it? It is law! All else be damned!" and I would ask questions, do research, and not ignore my gut instincts. However, when presented with this situation, my husband and are were like, "DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!!" and didn't ask any questions. One hour later, the results of the test came back, and oh, what do you know? She just had a little amniotic fluid in her lungs after all! She will be fine in an hour or so. Too bad we already hooked her up to all those machines and started her on those antibiotics, because now she has to stay there for two days!

And so began the needless suffering of my daughter. She came home two days later with bruises, multiple pin pricks, and a red face from where they ripped tape off when she was finally off oxygen.  

Two weeks later, the diarrhea began. I went to the doctor and informed them that my daughter had about 20 diarrhea diapers a day and was not feeding well. For the next TWO WEEKS, I was in the doctor's office about three days a week because the all the doctors' best advice was to "keep an eye on her and bring her in a few times a week for weight checks to make sure she is still gaining weight." And I did.  And day after day I repeated her symptoms and told them she cried about 20 hours a day, didn't sleep, struggled to eat, and our house was slowly being overtaken by diarrhea.  

I finally saw a new doctor at the same practice, and she finally decided to check and see if there was blood in her stool. When there was, she sent us straight to the hospital and said we would be there for a minimum of two days.

There, we saw horrible things, like the baby cage ...
(I held her in my arms all night instead of locking her up in THAT)

... an "IV specialist" who spent and HOUR AND A HALF torturing our baby because she couldn't find a vein (even though the nurses at the hospital where she was born could do it while making small talk with us), and nurses who would have given my baby incorrect medication and food down her feeding tube had I not inquired as to their intentions.

When we finally left the hospital, the gastroenterologist had decided she probably had milk protein allergy induced colitis, and the only foods I could eat for the next 6 months were fruit and vegetables (minus tomatoes and citrus), meat (except red meat) and potatoes.

Two weeks later, this miracle diet had done NOTHING to help my child. When we went to see said gastroenterologist again, I said it seemed like it was not the milk protein allergy. He said, "You're right. It looks like it isn't" while he wrote down on her paperwork: "diagnosis: milk protein allergy."

So he gave up and said we should just get used to our daughter being in agony.

Then, my mother-in-law suggested I read about milk oversupply. Hmmm. Look at that. Josephine has EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM listed. I called a lactation consultant, and she about lost her shit when I told her how many ounces I could pump in five minutes.  My breasts were what the La Leche League called "overly enthusiastic about their job." It turns out my little lady was only getting foremilk, which is all carbs and making her gassy, and without the fat from the hindmilk, she couldn't break down all the lactose, which built up in her intestines and led to a crummy tummy.

Two days later, with a little boob training, we were seeing results. After I gave the medical community a MONTH of our lives and I lost thousands of joyous moments with my new baby, blamed myself, and probably scared the crap out of my husband with all the times I sat and cried while I held our crying baby.

So now, what do I do? I have no trust, and a lot of anger. I need options here besides doctors.  Plus, my daughter developed her first cold and starting cutting her first tooth in the past few days.

Let's take the edge off of this rant-y post. Here are my three favorite options for replacing Western medicine:

1.  Magics. Come on, I've read the Harry Potter books enough to know that all I need are some Latin phrases and concentration. Plus, my dad has an authentic Harry Potter wand. He would totally lend it to me if he knew it were for the benefit of his granddaughter.

2.  The Interwebs. Everyone knows all problems can be solved with a short Google session. And you can totally tell who is credible based on the prettiness level of their web page. That's why I would take medical advice from The Bloggess before WebMD any day.

3.  Positive Vibrations. I'm not a pray-er. But I DO send out positive vibes for people. And I like to think that my super-powerful brain sends out extra-powerful vibes. I am likely responsible for many friends getting jobs, securing a second date, and getting good grades. I'm just THAT GOOD. So why not focus that energy on my baby? I'm pretty sure my genius brain could combat pertussis or pneumonia. What CAN'T it do, really?

Let the voting commence! Write-in candidates are also acceptable.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Funny Stuff My Husband Says, Vol. VI

And now, faithful friends, I bring you the long-anticipated "Dad Edition" of Funny Stuff My Husband Says.  I've got a doozy for ya, folks.  To see past episodes, click here.

Jeremy:  [Looks at baby] Oh, cute outfit, Josephine!  You have little giraffes on your shirt!

Veronica:  Umm, excuse me?

Jeremy:  What?

Veronica:  Those aren't giraffes.  Not even a little.

Jeremy:  Horses?

Veronica:  Closer.

Jeremy:  Fancy horses?

Veronica:  Dear god ...

"Umm, Dad?  Have you ever been to a zoo?"

Veronica:  Yes, they are those fancy white horses that have black stripes. See you after work.

Jeremy:  What?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Still Not Dead. I Swear.

Even though I claimed I wasn't dead six weeks ago in my last post, I bet you thought maybe I was after all. Well, not yet. However, my life has absolutely been turned upside down (and I am typing this with one hand, so cut me some slack).

My beautiful, wonderful, amazing little baby has been having some health problems for the past month and was even hospitalized for a few days. It was the most horrific experience of my life. We still don't have an answer, but at least some of her symptoms have subsided. What we have left is a little girl with bowel problems, some rockin' gas, and is in constant pain and discomfort. So, lots of screaming from her and lots of crying from me because I wish I could make my baby happy and comfortable. We are working on it.

Despite all of that nonsense, and the fact that I still find myself in a doctor's office at least three days a week, there have been so many moments of absolute BLISS since my baby girl arrived.  

She is so beautiful ...

So funny ...

Very expressive ...

And totally sassy.

And while she does not-so-awesome things while I nurse her, like grab a handful of nip with her abnormally strong baby hands and TWIST while she digs her baby talons in, she also does amazingly awesome things like grab one of my fingers and hold it to her face the entire time she's eating.

She also lets me put big headbands and bows on her, so it's good to know she is obedient when it comes to being a well-accessorized baby.

Last night Jeremy and I talked about how we used to wish things for ourselves, and now we only wish things for our little Bean. I don't get wistful thinking about whether or not I will ever get to travel to Europe one day; instead, I get wistful thinking of all the firsts that are in our baby's future, and all the good things I want her to experience and be and do.

Even though I am not sleeping much because my little lady only wants to sleep stretched out on my chest like this:

Although I wish I could take away every single moment of pain she has felt so far in her short life, I wouldn't change anything else for the world. Our little Bean is our whole world now. Showering, eating, blogging, breathing -- none of that is important anymore.  

And I couldn't be happier.

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