Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Pediatrician vs. The OB

Tomorrow is September 28th, and I thought this day would never come. Thomas will be six months old, and that alone brings up bittersweet feelings. However, tomorrow is also the day of his circumcision. Why is he getting it done now at six months and not six months ago? Good question. My pediatrician said he was able to get it done. However, when the OB looked at it, he decided not to do it. He told us, after he numbed Thomas leaving an ugly bruise, that he had a wandering raffe (a crooked line, not a crooked pee-pee). This could be indicative of hypospadias, a more serious condition. When I told the pediatrician what the OB said, she disagreed but said that since the OB is the one performing the surgery, it was ultimately his call. So then to end any chance of us having the circumcision done before we left the hospital, the OB called in the Urologist (and by Urologist, I mean an Urologist Resident student). He said there may or may not be something wrong with him and that we would know more in six months. WTF?? I was petrified. Not to mention this Almost Urologist had a super thick Eastern European accent that I needed subtitles to understand him (which come to think of it, I was on so many meds for my C-section, I don’t think I could’ve read that fast, but anyway . . .) And to make it worse, the OB flat out said that he doesn’t like doing circumcisions and didn’t want to take any chances. I interpreted that comment as there probably wasn’t anything wrong, but because he hates this part of his job, he saw an out and took it.

At Thomas’s newborn check-up, the Pediatrician explained that there is some political game between the Pediatrician and OB. One time she hounded down an OB when he refused to perform a circumcision and told him there was nothing wrong and needed to do it. The nationally known Urologist that will be performing Thomas’s surgery said he thinks there is little chance of hypospadias, too.

I feel we were caught in the cross fires of this Pediatrician and OB. Now my little baby boy needs to go under anesthesia, and have more complicated post -surgery care since he is older and more mobile. To put it plainly, this sucks!

Have you ever been an innocent victim of political bullshit?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Be Careful for What You Wish For and Other Reflections from My Sick Bed

Well, I finally got a break from my babes . . . in the form of pneumonia! I was shocked when Dr. S (whom I love and adore) told me I had pneumonia. And it was not just a touch of pneumonia. It was the kind that I couldn’t catch my breath. At 2am, I thought my nose was just stuffy until I tried breathing from my mouth and couldn’t take a deep breath. I was very scared when my inhaler wasn’t working longer than 20 minutes. What healthy, young-ish person gets pneumonia?!?! It sound so 19th century. Oh, I know! A mom of a preschooler and demanding baby who wore herself down, that’s who! All those times I would silently (and sometimes not-so-silently) pray for a break, and I finally got one. I decided to take this as a little nudge from the universe to take some time to reassess how my life was going. These were the reflections from my sick bed:

- I will never underestimate what I do again. Ever. I turned the lives of three people (five if you count the babes) because one, little person couldn’t do her job. Harrington was running the babes to my parents’ house before and after work. He was taking Marie to preschool during his lunch. My parents (when they weren’t running Marie around to preschool) turned their house into a daycare facility for Marie and Thomas. I knew I did a lot, but to see how it took three people to fill in for me on my sick days really put things into perspective. (And it really did feel like I was calling in sick. I was sitting on the couch watching movies and the clock wondering if they day was running smoothly and according to plan, much like I did when I called in sick as a teacher).

- My babes actually do miss me. I thought they viewed me as that cranky lady who killed all the fun in the house. When Marie said she wanted to be just like me, I thought she might have Stockholm syndrome since I am always nagging her to wipe her nose with a Kleenex rather than the back of her hand or put her toys away. Nathan probably thought I was a jail warden for all the time he spent in his crib not sleeping. When I saw how needy and clingy they were after a two-day absence, I was surprised. Maybe I’m not the fun police that I often feel like I am.

- Along that same theme, I thought Marie was going to love preschool. She loved it the first week, however, there was a change of heart when I couldn’t bring. She cried because she wanted me to take her. She also cried the week after when I could take her, but perhaps that was from an undisclosed ear infection. I understand that mommies are important, but sometimes it’s easy to take that for granted when I am always there.

- So during my sick days, I was able to watch Ellen in peace. DAMN! She looks awesome! I hope I get better looking with age (especially since my birthday is in a few weeks)!

So I felt with all the stress of Marie being sick and Thomas’s sleep issues, I was starting to feel upset ; upset because I was not present and enjoying them. After not being able to take care of them and seeing that what I do really matters, I’ll think twice before letting my frustration get too overwhelming. Which brings up another matter. I am really upset that I let myself get this rundown. I think if I was just grownup enough to say, “I need a break.” And by break I don’t mean a Target run for diapers. I mean a real break away so I can rest and recharge. So I am going to have to carve out a plan and put a premium on it so catching 19th century illnesses doesn’t become a regular occurrence.

Do you ask for help when you need it? How do you recharge your batteries?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Suck it, Marge!

Dear Marge:

This is Marie’s Mom, and if you don’t remember, she was a former patient of yours. She was diagnosed with macrocephaly at birth. When I was told that that was a big, fancy word for a big head, I didn’t think it was a big deal. The implications of that, along with a low tone diagnosis at 4months were when I realized that this was a big deal. That and the pediatrician recommended that she see a neurosurgeon for regular visits were a clue that something was not right. We discovered that she extra fluid around her brain (hydrocephaly) and was not sure if she would need a stint to drain it. We were not sure if she would have cerebral palsy because of her low tone. It was a very stressful time. At 9 months of age, she qualified for services. And that’s when you entered the picture as her first physical therapist.

She used to cry whenever you came over to work with her. You seemed to lack that gentleness that is helpful, if not necessary, to work with babies. It was hard for you to accomplish anything with her because she had a hard time not crying with you. You also asked me to leave the room since you attributed her crying to my presence, not your roughness and general crabby demeanor. Being a new mom, I stood in the kitchen peaking around the corner, watching my poor baby girl crying while you tried to execute your exercises. I endured that and a lot more because I was desperate for her to get better. However, what was most memorable about you is when you told me she would be destined to be a leaner because she would never have enough strength to always stand straight and that I would be lucky if she walked without braces and by the age of two.

Well, Marge, that little baby is now three years old. As she RAN into her classroom the first day of preschool, many things came to mind. Most were the normal things a mom of a “regular” kid would be thinking: I was so proud of her for being independent and brave. She looked so cute and happy. But then another thought ran across my mind, and it was, “Suck it, Marge!” I say suck it because here was this baby who you said wouldn’t walk until she was two and possibly with braces and she RAN into that room. And you know what? She RUNS everywhere, and she CLIMBES up the ladder to go down the slide. Oh, and she JUMPS, too! So, Marge, be careful what you say to new moms because it could wind up biting you in the ass. I understand you needed to be honest about Marie’s condition, but perhaps you could take some professional development classes on bedside manner because your ambivalence about her condition was heart wrenching to hear. And if I could, I would forward my therapy bill to you because you did a lot of damage with those comments and telling me to leave the room because my baby was crying because of me. She was crying because of you and your negative energy.

So, Marge, suck it! My baby girl is in preschool and doing great! No thanks to you, of course.

Yours truly,
Marie’s Mom

P.S. Tell Noelle her note about Marie’s “anti-social” behavior is coming soon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Green Milk and the Bad Break Up

I am nearing the end of a really bad and painful break up. No, my marriage is still intact. It is with nursing. Thomas just wasn’t that into it. At first, he nursed like a champ. He was done really quickly, no fussing so I was feeling really good about it. And then there was the first nursing strike. Three weeks later there was another one. When he came back from his strike, he would bob on and off like he was bobbing for apples. I was so confused. But during those nursing strikes, he would shriek and cry like he was in pain. So I gave him a bottle and that calmed him down. I was confused because he hadn’t had a lot of bottles at that point. After much sleuthing, I figured I had really fast let down and coupled with his acid reflux/colic, he could enjoy eating more from the bottle. Emotionally, that was really hard to accept since I nursed Marie for 11 months. Wasn’t I supposed to make things equal and fair for both kids? Not to mention the pressure to breast feed is enormous! I felt so guilty! (And still do). But breast feeding wasn’t working for him. When I gave him the bottle, he ate so peacefully. When he would nurse, it would have to be in a quiet, dark room so he wouldn’t get distracted. Marie was having issues with me always mysteriously missing. Thomas would cry after eating, and I wouldn’t know if he had had enough or what was wrong. When I say crying, that is an understatement. It was the most painful, horrible crying I had ever heard. When I would try to put him back on, he would arch and cry even more. I should also mention that I wasn’t a breast feeding so much for the emotional connection because I felt that I was able to achieve that through other ways. I mainly breast fed for the nutritive values. I felt that I was robbing him by give him *gasp* formula! Here was my question: Do I push for breast feeding at the cost of his enjoyment of eating and the stress it was putting on my family or do I what would make him most comfortable? I chose not to push my agenda and go with what would make him happy. So now Thomas is an official bottle-fed baby. He seems much less fussy, and although I don’t think the bottle was the only factor, but it definitely helped.

So I thought that would be the end of it. I would slowly wean my production with the pump and be done with it. My body did not want to accept the fact that Thomas just wasn’t that into me. After I was down to one pumping session a day, my milk turned green. It was similar in color to a McDonald’s shamrock shake. I eventually called the doctor, and they wanted to see me. When I showed Nurse Practitioner S the color, she was not too shocked by that, but by the amount I was still producing. I could still produce up to 8 ounces! (Seriously, I would have been the village wet nurse). To my shock and horror, they tested me for “irregular cells” (read: cancer) and bacteria. Thankfully they turned out negative. So Nurse S tested for blood. None. She was still shocked that after a week of not pumping, I still was super engorged. So I had to choose between two courses of action: a ductogram, which is really invasive procedure with needles and radioactive dye or wait for my milk to dry up and go for an exam. I choose the second one since she didn’t think the ductogram would be really helpful or necessary.

So here I am, still waiting for my body to accept the fact it is just not needed in that way anymore. I am sad (and concerned), but I feel isn’t that what having kids is all about: letting go of my expectations and doing what is best for them? I guess it would be easier to move on if my body cooperated. Anyway –

Has anyone out there ever had to adjust their expectations in order to do right by their kids? And have you ever heard of anyone having green milk that was not related to diet?