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Since I posted this a few days ago, something has been weighing on my mind.  There are several reasons I have hesitated to discuss our efforts to conceive a second child on this blog.  The first, which I alluded to in my last post, is that I have been afraid to open the flood-gates to this topic for fear that it will become all I write about.  However, there is more to this thought.  By acknowledging our efforts here, I give this thing more control in my life.  I haven’t wanted to discuss its power over me, because I don’t want to acknowledge that it has a life of its own, and one that threatens to control mine again.

For this reason, initially, I refused to take my temperature for the first several months of trying.  I refused to log onto Babycenter or any of the other online community groups that feed this fire.  I refused to acknowledge that little glimmer of sadness that creeps in every time I hear that a friend is pregnant.  And, I still refuse to use ovulation predictor kits.  Refuse.  Refuse.  Refuse.

However, one by one, these things that I have run far away from have come back to find me.

The other issue is this – and I am trying to say this carefully so as to be mindful of everyone – I am not infertile.  I do not have a great story of infertility.  I cannot wear that badge.

I have a child.  I was able to become pregnant with – and stay pregnant with – a beautiful, wonderful child.  As I have heard others say, if this is the only child I have, I will be sad about it, but I have a child.  I will never go back to the place where I fear that I won’t have a child.  If you are there, please know that I am writing from the other side.  I remember those feelings, and for what it is worth, my heart is with any of you who read this from that place right now.

Although we struggled to conceive our child, and she did not come easily, I did not experience years upon years of waiting and trying.  I have friends who have, and I know two couples right now who eventually used IVF to conceive.  The last of these two couples is expecting their first child in May, and this is a child who they had good reason to believe that they would never have.  Before I knew this couple’s story, I must have unintentionally injured this future mom simply by talking about my little baby.  It had to be so difficult for her to listen to me, and I didn’t even know.  I do not want to be unmindful again.

I am writing this post so that anyone who might read what I have written or what I may write in the future on this topic will understand.  I have struggled in the past.  I am struggling now.  But I have a child.  We worked hard to have her, and I still battle several hormonal issues that continue to complicate our efforts now.  But, I am not the story of infertility.  I do not claim to have walked the roughest road nor waited the longest wait.  I have not cried unimaginable tears over the loss of a child, nor have I endured countless invasive medical attempts to conceive one.  Conceiving my first child was not easy, but it was when compared to what I know others have experienced.  Furthermore, my daughter is here, and I know this makes all the difference.  I want you to understand where I am coming from and where I hope to go.  We are simply trying again.

Uncle!

 

I will apologize upfront if this post turns into a gory discussion of poopy.  That is not my intention.  But for about three weeks, Bear has been having strange and frequent bowel movements.  I will spare you the details, but this change coincided with the culmination of her transition to whole cow’s milk.  Once we had stopped nursing and stopped giving her bottles with formula (which was also cow’s milk-based, by the way) and started giving her bottles of only cow’s milk, her trouble started.  And, nearly every time I change her diaper, I see trouble staring back at me.

Last week, I called her pediatrician’s office about my suspicions that Bear may not be tolerating milk well, and after describing Bear’s symptoms to the nurse, who later described them to the doctor, their consensus was that Bear had a virus.  I was told to call back in a few days if things didn’t clear up.

Today – one week later – I called again.  I described the same symptoms to a different nurse, who apparently had another discussion about them with the doctor.  Again, the consensus was that Bear had a virus.  This time, the nurse, who kept referring to Bear as “he,” told me not to worry too much about this, offered the suggestion that I cut back on the amount of milk that I give to “him” and told me to buy a probiotic to help replenish the good bacteria in Bear’s gut that this mystery virus had cleared out.  I did not share with her that I’d had a similar discussion last summer with a nurse in her office about probiotics and that the nurse told me then that Bear’s pediatrician never recommended probiotics.

At nap time, I decided to give Bear a little soy milk to see if she would tolerate it better than cow’s milk, andin hopes that we could go a few hours without a dirty diaper.  She drank down about four ounces and rolled onto her side for a nap, so I carried her to her crib and left her to sleep.

After a few minutes, I heard coughing.  Then, more coughing.  And a few minutes after that, Bear began crying hysterically.  I walked into her room our found her sitting in the corner of her crib covered with white vomit.  She continued coughing and produced strings of thick mucous.  After a bath, I dressed her again – still crying – and she continued coughing up mucous.  She puked again, and then I noticed that her face was covered with a red rash.  She continued coughing and began pulling at her tongue.

I REALLY did not want to call her pediatrician’s office in light of the helpful response that I had received early in the afternoon, but I was concerned that my daughter was having a real allergic reaction, and I was on the verge of putting her into the car and taking her to the hospital.  A different nurse called me back, and I quickly explained the issue, including all that I had been told by the other nurse earlier in the day.  This nurse agreed that it sounded like Bear was having an allergic reaction and asked concerned questions about her possible lactose intolerance as well.  She agreed to call me back after talking with the doctor.

When I received a call back, it was the same nurse but now with a completely different demeanor.   She told me that the doctor said that she had “dealt with the problem this morning” and advised me to try the soy milk again this evening to observe the response (like my daughter is a science experiment).  When I asked if she was certain that I would not be sending my daughter into anaphylactic shock, she tersely answered, “I’m just repeating what the doctor told me.”

I feel badly enough that I inflicted the soy disaster on Bear in the first place, and I am in no mood to do it again tonight.  We did offer her a little (with Benadryl in hand), but she refused to take anything more than a sip.  Smart girl.  Tomorrow, I’ll be taking her in to visit the doctor to see this issue through, and then I’ll be in the market for a new pediatrician.