(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)
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.