Thursday, March 16, 2006

Breast Milk vs. Formula

I have to rant for a second here because I'm so tired of reading about how it's a mortal sin to choose formula over breastfeeding.

I breastfeed and have done so exclusively since J was born, however that's a choice I made. What's so wrong if someone choses to formula feed?

Go ahead tell me it keeps the child healthier, creates a stonger bond and makes them smarter. I've come to the conclusion that this is a bunch of bull. Like I said, I breastfeed. J is only 3 months old and has already been sick, ending in a hospital stay. Where were those magical antibodies everyone talks about? We are bonded, but it has nothing to do with the fact I breastfeed. He actually gazes into my eyes more when I give him a pumped bottle then when he's at the breast. My brother was exclusively formula fed and couldn't be any smarter. He got a full scholarship to UC Boulder and is studying Engineering. He has his pilots licence and wanted to go into the air force, but once he got the scholship he put that aside. My other brother was breastfed until he was almost 3 and isn't nearly as intelligent.

So why do I breastfeed? I don't really know, it's just the choice I made. Is it easier? Not really except for in the middle of the night otherwise it would be much easier to drop a scoop of formula into a bottle and go, especially when we're out and about. Maybe I shoudln't care what other people think, but I'm modest so I won't just pop it out anywhere. And it would be so much easier to be doing formula when I have to go back to work.

I choose to breastfeed, because I wanted to. Not because someone shoved it down my throat! To each his own.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

ER Story

Well my baby is still sick, he was sicker then we realized, but now seems to be doing better. On Friday morning he didn't seem much interested in eating, which is very unusual for him as he's usually my little piggy. :) He also didn't want to nap. R ended up needing to drop some paperwork off in Newport, so we took him for a ride where he was able to fall asleep and stay asleep the entire 3hrs. I knew he really needed that so it was a good trip since we got some time to talk as well.

R dropped us off at home and he slept on and off, but still seemed happy, just restless and wanting lots of cuddles. When R got home he said J seemed warm and we could both tell his wheezing was sounding really bad. I called the Dr. but they said they had taken their last patient, but that urgent care was open until 8pm. I decided to wait and see how he responded to his next breathing treatment at 6pm and go from there. Before I started it I decided to change him and take his temp. The numbers kept getting higher and when it reached 100.4 that was too close for comfort and I told R that we were taking him in. I took it again just for good measure and it was 100.6. We got to UC at 6:30pm and got in about 7:30pm. Thankfully he fell asleep in the stroller. When they started doing the initial workup on him they did an oxygen test and he was in the low 90%. The nurse said he looked "molted" while lying down and because he was so young they would put him at the top of the list. The Dr. came in and looked him over and decided to first try a breathing treatment since he was due and Prednisone. After that they sent us over for a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia. When we went back in the Dr. said it looked like the very beginnings of Pneumonia and gave him an antibiotic shot which the nurse warned us was pretty painful. I guess in adults they usually give a pain killer first. Of course he screamed for awhile, but finally calmed down. The nurse said we would see a great improvement tomorrow and to just take him into the Ped for followup. Before we could leave she wanted to check his vitals again. At first she couldn’t get the oxygen machine to work, but then it kicked on. Still in the 90s, low 90s. The all of a sudden it's dropping to 89, 87, and even as low as 84%. In case your wondering it should be 100%. At that point they called the Pediatrician on call and they were relaying all the info to her as his O2 numbers changed. We were the only ones left at the UC and everyone was asking what was going on. The nurse brought us water and cookies as it was now going on 10PM. Thank goodness we ate an early dinner.

The Ped on the line says he needs to be at least 93% and the next thing I know they're hooking him up to oxygen and telling us an ambulance is coming to take him to the hospital. Everything was a whirlwind from there. The ambulance arrives and it takes forever for them to figure out how to get the car seat on the gurney. This is a new state law that they must be in the car seat secured to the gurney. Finally we’re whisked off to the ER, with R following in the car. They get him out and unto the bed and immediately start trying to figure out his levels. By this time he's screaming and everything is in disarray. One of the nice nurses picks him up and try’s to comfort him. I think this is where I kicked into super mommy mode and had to be strong and remain calm to be able to answer the Dr’s questions. The nurses tell me to sit on the bed with him and then tells R to get up there too. They finally take him out of the triage room and move him into an ER room where they plan to take a urine sample via cath, blood work, chest x-rays again, more breathing treatments, oxygen, and start an IV. By now it's about 10:45PM. They do the chest x-rays right in the room which he's not bothered by. R leaves when they do the cath to go to the waiting room because R's mom has come up but then calls me to say "don't let them do anything unless it's absolutely necessary, he's not a damn guinea pig". Well they’re about to do an IV and blood work and I tell them they have to wait until R comes back. The male nurse dosen’t get the whole co-parent thing. No one else had any questions or problems with this but for him I spell it out in black and white. He still seems confused, but whatever. R finally gets back and I explain that his urine was cloudy and they want to do more testing as well as get IV fluids started because he's mildly dehydrated. R’s okay with it, but losses it when that same Jerk has NO IDEA how to deal with babies and goes into his hand digging for a vein, I mean digging, pushing it in and out. We both wanted to scream at him. Finally he gives up and the other nurse does it. She gets the IV on the first try, but can't get blood out, so they'll have to prick his heel. Damn do you think you could poke him a little more? Of course by now he is just screaming and inconsolable. It take forever for them to fill 3 vials from his heal and his blood is everywhere. It makes me so sad to see his blood on the sheet. They’re finally are done and he’s exhausted. Finally everyone leaves us alone while they wait for the results and a bed up in the hospital. The only time they bother us in the next hour or so is to do a nasal swab to check for yet another virus. He’s out, finally getting some rest without people poking at him. They come back at about 12:30am and tell us we are moving upstairs.

We finally get upstairs and the nurse, Micky, asks "which one of you is going to stay?". We look at each other as if to say "which ONE?" I say "we're both going to stay". He said "oh that's okay, just as long as one of you stays". He said sometimes both parents try to leave, seriously? It's been a long day and we are tired. They bring me a pump since J isn't nursing much due to the IV fluids. We try to rest on the oh so comfy pull out chairs. Every 4 hrs they come in to check J, suck out his nose, and give him breathing and percussion treatments. I wake up every time feeling I should be awake to help in someway. We are now slaves to the alarm that goes off if his O2 levels drop too low.

Saturday is a long day. R goes to the house to feed the animals, take a shower and try to get me some things I might need. I try to rest as much as possible but it's hard. At least they feed me, I guess cause I'm the nursing mom, which I thought was nice. Nursing is difficult with all the wires and what not attached to him. We had visitors, first grandma and mataunte and later my friend Ka. After trying really hard, Ka and R convince me to go down to the cafeteria. We ask Micky if he wants the cell number but he says it's ok. When we go to pay they don't have any money so I have to go get out ATM card. As I'm coming down the hall I hear J crying, very upset. I run in, feeling horrible, extremely guilty. I apologize profusely and Micky says it's ok that they were just warming up a bottle. I feel horrible and vow that I will not leave his side again. He tries to reassure me and tell me that everyone needs to step away for a minute and some parents see it as a holiday and try to leave for a long period. I can't even imagine how someone could do that. I call downstairs and tell them they will have to come up to get the money because I'm not leaving.
By Sunday J is off the O2 (and IV antibiotics) and is doing well on "room air". We wait for the Dr. to come by and check on him in hopes that she will let us go home. She comes by and says he is doing well, but is worried about the fact that he isn't nursing well yet. The nurse convinces the Dr. that we will be doing the same thing here as at home, so she decided to discharge us. We get home and are exhausted.

All in all for what it was the experience was a good one. The nurses we're all very nice and treated us with the utmost respect. Mickey was a great guy who showed us pics of his daughters and had a gentle bedside manner. He changed J on more then one occasion and tried his best not to wake us during his checks. Elona was also a sweetie. She asks about our family structure and seemed interested in he's health and comfort. Diana was nice too, but we didn't get to know here much since she was only there a few hrs. on Sunday. All I can really say is Thank You for taking care of my baby.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sick Baby

My baby is sick!

It started on Monday with a little congestion. Then on Tuesday it turned into a yucky cough. By last night, Wed, the cough was horrible and it sounded like he's wheezing when he breathes. I woke up today and it still sounds like he's wheezing. At this point mommy instinct kicks in and tells me to bring him to the Peditrician. I call as soon as they open and get an appt a half hr later.

By the time I get there I of course am second guessing myself but figure if it's nothing then I'm just a crazy new mom and if it's something then I'll be glad I went. So the Dr. comes in and askes whats going on. I explain that he's been wheezing since last night and he asked "what's your definition of wheezing?", so I tried to explain. He said well wheezing is ... and I said yeah that's what he's doing, or at least I think so. I should mention my Dr. doesn't like to treat just to treat, so he wants to see if I'm being overprotective and what not, which is fine. He then listens to Justus and says he is in fact wheezing. I say, I'm glad I brought you in buddy and the Dr. says "me too". Not really what you want to hear the Dr. to say. He then says he is going to try to test his oxygen level and give him a breathing treatment. Huh? I didn't expect this! Well it turns out he has Bronchiolitis which is caused by the RSV virus, different then Bronchitis. We were sent home with a nebulizer and I have to give him a treatment every 4 hrs which doesn't treat the cold, just hopefully helps him breath better and not wheeze. It's hard to try to keep a mask on a 3mo old!

Apparently this is common this time of year and should clear up on it's own, but I really have to watch him to make sure his breathing doesn't get worse which would warrent a trip to urgent care or the ER. Even through these horrible coughing spells that make him turn beet red and sound like he's choking and going to cough up his insides, he's still all smiles.