- My colonoscopy went well and I did it without any sedation drugs! Everyone told me beforehand that I was crazy to do it without the drugs but it was important to me to try since I'm breastfeeding Way (and it kinda felt like they were daring me, so...). The lactation consultant at our hospital told me it was safe to get the drugs and go home and breastfeed him but something about having Versed and Demerol injected into my system less than two hours before feeding my baby didn't sit well with me. The procedure certainly wasn't as comfortable as those I've had in the past when I was mildly sedated but I powered through the cramping and minor pain and felt like a Rock Star Mama when it was over. Everything looked good (well, to the doctor that is...it all looked pretty gross to me) and now I don't have to forgo food for 36 straight hours again for another three years. Yeah, me! The downside? No more solo bowel cleansing for three years. Darn. I was able to finish a whole book last night, people!
- The Earl of Sandwich (our new most favorite spot on the planet) opens in the morning so Roger took me there after the test to scarf down my best sandwich ever--The All American--which quickly quieted my screaming hunger pangs, after I first slurped down a Starbuck's Espresso Truffle, that is. So much for losing a few pounds from that fast.
My discussion with our pediatrician, Dr. R., went better than expected today. That's not to say he didn't try to talk me out of an alternative vaccination schedule or that he didn't give me a lecture on the horrible dangers my baby boy may face if I delay certain vacs or that he didn't blame vaccine opponents for spreading misinformation that could potentially cause a future increase in some pretty terrible diseases in our population. But, he did listen. We spoke respectfully to each other. I showed him The Vaccine Book (he'd heard of it but hadn't read it) and told him that reading it had enlightened my view of vaccinations, leading me to make the decision that an alternative schedule is best for Waylon. I was calm and confident and felt strongly about my position so I knew I had a good chance of making a positive impact on him. And our appointment ended in a compromise and an unexpected hug from Dr. R. which, for a non-hugging kind of guy, was a pretty big deal.
I went in to the office today determined only to get the DTaP and Rotavirus vacs for Waylon. I'd planned to delay the Pc and HIB for a month. Dr. R. did his best to put the fear of God into me over delaying the HIB vaccine as he described the two cases of resulting meningitis he'd seen during his 20+ years in pediatrics (one patient, a baby, died and the other patient graduated from high school but will never have friends or a job due to his disabilities). And although in The Vaccine Book Dr. Sears describes the risk from HIB as uncommon, with only about 25 cases in our country each year, I felt that going ahead with it today, especially since the brand they were offering was aluminum-free, would be a good compromise to show our concerned doctor that I was willing to listen to and respect his opinions.
Still, it was obvious that he was quite bothered that I was challenging the norm. He told me that if I'd said I didn't want to vaccinate at all he'd have to "let me go" because as a practice they had decided not to support non-vaccinating parents (He also said he was not 100% comfortable with that policy because he felt that if the parents stayed in the practice he'd eventually be able to convince them to get their kids vaccinated.). I, personally, think it's wrong to punish parents (and thereby their kids) from having opinions that differ from your own. You know, "do no harm" and all that. He kept trying to reassure me that his frustration stemmed not only from me declaring my position today but the fact that he's hearing from more and more parents who are concerned about vaccinating and that slows things down. I'm sure he wonders why we can't all just be quiet and trust and obey. But questioning the norm can only be a good thing. I told him that doctors shouldn't feel threatened by educated parents who are thoughtful and concerned enough to read, to research, to ask questions. He agreed, but rather grumpily.
I asked him what he thought about the aluminum content in several of the vaccines and whether or not a baby's kidneys could be expected to excrete the large amount included in combo vacs. He wasn't sure (and according to Dr. Sears, no one is. No extensive studies have been done to show that excessive aluminum is or is not a problem. But wouldn't you rather err on the side of caution and give your baby only one aluminum vaccine per visit that he's likely to be able to excrete in his urine instead of possibly overloading his system with a heavy metal that, in large quantities, he may not be able to excrete causing it to accumulate in his bones and brain?). I asked him about the animal tissues (cow fetal blood parts and monkey kidney tissue) present in some of the vacs as well as chemicals such as formaldehyde and how safe they are or aren't. He wasn't sure about that either. Then, I (rather respectfully I'd like to think) offered to lend him my copy of The Vaccine Book. If his patients are constantly bringing it up I thought he'd like to know, first-hand, what he's up against. He (rather respectfully) declined and instead said he'd have his medical student give it a look. Well, small steps will still get you where you want to go, I guess. At least he didn't didn't dismiss the suggestion completely.
I think it's probably easy for all doctors, not just pediatricians, to fall into a pattern of following the status quo and not questioning things. They are busy. They have lives outside of medicine. They trust that the AAP and the AMA will do their due diligence and keep them informed of important changes in the way things are done. And while I'm sure most doctors keep up with studies released in various medical journals regarding things such as the safety of vaccines, not all studies are independent which makes you wonder whose agendas could potentially be behind them. The bigger issue here, in my opinion, is that doctors should not chastise or dump parents who ask questions, who need answers, who want to be reassured that what they're being told to do is safe, especially when it comes to the health and wellbeing of their most precious, adored children.
Luckily, albeit begrudgingly, our pediatrician is open to working with me on an alternative vaccination schedule. I fear that many parents across the U.S. aren't finding this same flexibility with their doctors.
This is all for him because I never, ever want that perfect smile to be erased from his amazing, little face.
I was all set to write about my rockstar mama day today but then I got my comeuppance. Why is that always the case?
I started out the day after having received a lovely gift: Waylon slept for seven hours straight last night, nursed for 45 minutes, and then went back to sleep for two and a half hours!!! Nicole said I shouldn't blog about it for fear of jinxing it but I wanted to write about it so when I'm old and bored I can read these blog entries and know how far we came in only a matter of weeks--it was only 2 1/2 weeks ago when things looked so bleak and now things improve every day. Anyway, the day got better: Roger took Delaney to preschool and Waylon and I had breakfast with a friend. Blueberry and walnut pancakes. Does it get any better?
Next, we headed to Target. I'd fed Way right before we left (I've been proud of my ability this go 'round to nurse in public. I rarely did that with Delaney, mostly because I was unsure of myself. This time I'm a pro, having nursed in at least 6-7 restaurants and public locations in the past few weeks. Go, me!). He should have been sated for a while. But, if I'd been paying attention to the way he's been cluster feeding the last few days (nursing every hour to hour and a half) I would have realized that Target was a little ambitious for today. When he started screaming from his carseat, atop the cart, I knew we were in trouble. I pulled out my sling and popped him into it, hoping he'd go to sleep. No such luck. He was in close proximity to the boob and he knew it. He only screamed more. I'd never nursed him in the sling--the logistics hadn't made sense to me so I hadn't tried it. But, I did what any self-respecting rockstar mama would do. I pulled out my breast, stuck it in his mouth and continued to shop. It's deceptively easy to nurse in a sling while pushing a cart through Target. I doubt anyone even noticed. If they did, I certainly didn't care. Mama had stuff to buy, places to go and the baby was happy.
We followed that errand with a trip to the grocery store to get fixings for dinner. Then we came home, had a quick lunch, ran our paperwork to our tax man and headed off to pick up Delaney from school. I was beaming at all I'd accomplished today. Look at me! I'm a mother of two and yet I can get things done. I rock!
But just as I was patting myself on the back, things got dicey and I was reminded that you can be a rockstar mama one moment and the world's worst mother the next.
Delaney has a habit of running into the street or a parking lot and ignoring our pleas for her to stop and return to us. It's dangerous. It's potentially disastrous. It's not something she does all the time but she's done it enough to take several years off my life for sure. No matter what we say to her, how we punish her, she continues to do it. And she did it again today when I picked her up from school.
My hands were full carrying her brother, her lunch box and the ridiculous amount of papers her two-day-a-week preschool sends home. With full hands I had to unlock, open, relock and close a gate for us to get to the parking lot, leaving me with no free hand to hold Delaney. On most days handling all of this is an inconvenient hassle. But today that hassle could have turned deadly. As soon as I unlocked the gate, Delaney pushed past me and started running. The gate to the lot is located right near a corner where parents drive around to park and get their kids. Some parents drive a little too fast. Some don't look carefully to make sure kids aren't in the street. And some parents are careful and considerate safe drivers. But I honestly believe that even the safest driver, had they come around the corner when Delaney was running, wouldn't have been able to avoid hitting her. Our only saving grace is that there was no car coming around the corner today when Delaney ran out.
My rockstar mama status was quickly cancelled out by the fact that I am unable to control my child to keep her safe. I am at my wits end. I don't know how to get through to her about how dangerous her behavior is. I've punished her. I've talked to her. I've yelled at her. I've pleaded with her. Nothing works. If only there was a rockstar mama school where they could teach me this parenting sh*t. Because, although I have moments of clarity, I really have no idea what I'm doing.