Tuesday, December 13, 2011

MSNBC on Micro Preemies


The fact that some of these people are arguing against saving these babies is what hurts me the most (in the comments).  Who would ever look at my son and say he wasn't worth saving?

The article itself says little to offend, except to further the idea that many preemies aren't worth saving. The lack of information and knowledge out there is frustrating and infuriating, and the fact that people routinely ignore this issue for Breast Cancer Awareness makes me even angrier. And yet, I don't exactly know what to do about it - I'm going to participate, no question, in March for Babies. I'm very much looking forward to it. Still, it doesn't seem like that is enough.

It's the gestational age of a baby, much more so than the weight, that matters in saving him or her. Even then, yes, sometimes the complications are very great. However, people labor intensely to save 80-year-olds when they are struggling to survive; how much less worthy is a child who hasn't even had his chance yet?

It makes me feel helpless and angry. If you're reading this, please share this information - no parent should have to lose his or her child if that child could be saved, and no parent should have to fight the naysayers who think that our children aren't/weren't worth saving.  It's just sickening.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

8 months

Dear Little T,

This month has been a roller coaster.  While you are absolutely more adorable than ever, you are impossible to capture on camera. It never does you justice.

Thanksgiving sucked, because you have been so sick.  The continuous rattle in your throat and chest has made into my very own little Model T Ford.  We're best buds with the doctor now (a new doctor that I love). She even calls us at home and meets us on Saturdays.  Seriously, I totally love her.  The pharmacist also knows us by name, and I am not even kidding. She recognizes us before I tell her who we are, and lets me know if your prescription is ready yet or not. 

This month alone you've been on three rounds of antibiotics, most of which are so strong that runny, snot resembling poops are becoming a way of life.  I've actually lost track of the number of times I've lifted you up and thought, "Oh. He's wet. Wonder if he had a bit spit up? Oh, NO. NO, that's NOT spit up. Ewwwwwww!" and then we're running for the bathroom. The scenario that follows is a bit like this:

Mommy holding baby out from body, rushes to bathroom. Then, Mommy twirls in circles, wondering where on earth she's going to PUT baby while she runs the bath. No more spreading of the poo! Somehow, she manages to wrangle the baby out of the PJs with one hand, balancing baby on the edge of the sink, pulls the diaper off, dumps in sink. More twirling while we once again worry about where to put baby. Finally, giving up, puts baby on towel or blanket on carpet outside of bathroom, while warning dog away. Dog will most certainly lick baby parts, which will lead to Daddy, Mommy or both throwing up and adding to mess. Mommy finally gets bath run, plops baby in bath, begins to scrub. Baby then produces more phlegm-poo, and scenario begins again, only this time with wet, naked baby.

Usually this happens on the nights when Daddy is working, of course. Mommy is about to join the cast of the The Walking Dead because of the lack of sleep - not only from the phlegm-poo scenes, but from the Very Full Monster Wet Diaper (VFMWD) that you somehow manage to produce while you are asleep for like, an hour (seriously, people, how does one kid pee that much?), which also produces a similar bath scene to the phlegm-poo scene, the HONGRY wake ups at midnight, 2 or 4 or 5 am and, my personal favorite, the Breathing Treatments.

Yes, Breathing Treatments (with Albutirol, another reason the pharmacist knows us), with a capital BT. Apparently, you wheezed. I was a little worried you hadn't kicked your cold before Thanksgiving, so we went to see the doc, and Lo, Little T is wheezing. I couldn't hear said wheezing, I still can't identify said wheezing if my life depends on it, but you were. (Actually, when I did finally identify wheezing, a week later, we had a full scale panic alert. Mommy + no sleep + sick T + wheezing = Trail of Mommy Tears.  We went to see that poor doctor on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and she called us at home on Sunday, and had her office staff call us at home on Monday.  Anyway, the Breathing Treatments were every four hours around the clock, and Daddy was working all those nights, so I got up and gave them to you.  You don't like them. I don't like them, either. The face mask, made to look  like a friendly, cheerful fish, has no appeal for you. You straight up scream when I tried to put it on you. It's clearly made for a child twice your size, anyway. I just ended up sticking the blowing tube of steam-like medicine (not hot, just steam-like) in your face and letting you breathe. It smells a lot like new plastic. You like to nom the end of it sometimes, but I figure if it makes you happy and you'll put up with it, we're good.

A week after this begins, you're better, but  not well. So, back to the doc we go. The Breathing Treatments, (which apparently aren't all that unusual for little kids, even "Termies" as we call full term babies) are almost over, but you still sound like a little Model T. Now you're on steroids. Maybe that's why you've been so irritable this week - Baby 'Roid Rage.  Anyway, you finally seem to be actually getting well, which is almost new to us, since we haven't seen it since summer time.

Moving on from illness: Somehow you are growing so fast, it's unbelievable. You eat more than any baby I've ever seen, and yet you're still so thin for a baby. It's odd, but I guess you're eating to make up for the lack of extra baby fat. I figure that, and then I have a good cry, because I still feel like it's my fault that you didn't get the time to get that baby fat. You are, however, bigger than one of my friend's one year old daughter, which astounds me. She's pretty wee, but she looks like a normal one year old to me. It's fascinating to watch her stand. How does a kid do that? You aren't even sitting up yet. Actually, we'll sit you up, and you'll totally fold yourself over in half, and have your face literally on your knees. Then you push up with your hands, which is totally cool. The house is filled with squeeing and excitement (mine) when you do it. Of course, when the camera's out, you'll just roll to your side, as if to say "ha! Ha, Momma! I defy your camera!" Contrary kid.

Along with growing up very quickly, your hair is getting long on the top. You still have a bald spot in the back, but long hair in the front. It's very stylin'.

Since it's December, I get to sing you "Baby, It's Cold Outside", my favorite Christmas song. There's no snow, of course, and if you think about the meaning too hard, or at all, it's a little creepy for me to sing to you, but whatever. It's a song, and you don't care yet, anyway.

We went to see Santa today. I really thought there was no way we'd get you to smile, but you were hamming it up for the 8 year old girl in line in front of us.  - I hope you cry. Although, you totally smile any time you see just about any one, but especially Daddy. Every day, and every smile is like sunshine for us. Your Grandma Deb visited today, and she said what I often think - just seeing you makes her(my_whole day better, and brightens her(my) mood. I know just what she means. I wish I could bottle up your laughter and save it forever.


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Duggars and loss

It's been announced, yes, that Michelle Duggar has had a miscarriage.

I'm so deeply conflicted about this. I'm absolutely sorry for them. Losing a child, especially that far along in pregnancy, is so painful. Regardless of how many children one has, a parent anticipates a child for so long, feels him or her moving inside of her, and to have it die... I can't, and won't imagine. It devastated me to go from being pregnant one minute to waking up a couple hours later and not being pregnant anymore. My baby was alive, and is a beautiful boy now. I don't know how I'd face life if I'd lost him.

I am grateful that she has other children that she has the opportunity to take solace in, but I imagine, too, that she has to provide comfort, as much as one can, to those children. If she gets pregnant again, it's never going to be with the innocence of anticipation that someone who has never lost a child, or had a preemie, has. I know the thought of being pregnant again fills me with as much fear as it does joy, for many reasons, but primarily the fear of loss. The fear that I will love that child so deeply, be literally connected to him (or her) and then lose that child prevents me from even considering another at the present.

So, yes, while on one hand I am not terribly surprised that this pregnancy did not go well, I feel true sorrow for her and her family. I know her body is probably tired, and I disagree with her that she could go on trying for children, or simply not preventing them, because I think God allowed us discover birth control so that we could better take care of our bodies, and take better care of the children we have.  My father himself comes from a large family, and I know there were times where he and his siblings did not feel they, as individuals got enough attention. It's not that they weren't cared for, but they lacked something. I would never choose that for my own children.  I think there's selfishness, even greed, in that.

Nevertheless, no one deserves the pain of losing a child. Just having my own son has made me much more sympathetic to that. I loved him before he was conceived - I yearned for a baby. I adore this child, and I have known women to face life without a baby that they felt moving and living inside of them. I cannot imagine the pain of that loss, not truly. I can try, and that in itself shakes me to my core. I honestly do not, cannot, imagine living after something like that, or wanting to. I'm not saying or advocating suicide if one loses a child - not at all - I just don't know how I could face it.