I have Bipolar Disorder. And I am, by nature, a very introverted person. Life has also thrown me a few curve balls that have, in a sense, caused me to build up certain emotional walls. I keep people at a distance and have secrets that I will take to my grave. I have very few close friends and I’ve always felt I didn’t really need many – I’m a very self-reliant person. Don’t misunderstand; I am happy with not being super social. I have a very tight-knit family and many people with whom I’m friendly. Therefore, it is not in my nature to accept that I need help, much less accepting actual help. I hate feeling dependent on anyone but myself.
Archive for August, 2014
Bella complains a lot about her little tummy hurting. At only two weeks old, the doctor prescribed her Gaviscon for acid reflux. After scouring the pharmacy for what seemed like an eternity with an overeager but completely ignorant sales clerk, I asked the pharmacist where I could find it. It turns out it doesn’t even come in baby (or even kid sized) doses. She calculated, based on Bella’s weight (about 6 lbs), how much of the adult medication to give her. It was “cool mint” flavored. I was hesitant to drug my tiny infant with such, but I was desperate to relieve her pain. We tried it but it only exacerbated the problem so we stopped. After that, Amor didn’t want to even chance giving her the second medication the Doc had suggested. One night, she was hurting so bad, it made me cry, so finally, I gave in and gave her baby Tylenol to ease her pain. Coincidentally, that was the same night little Brooksies got choked on spit-up so severely that we called for emergency assistance. The next morning, I took them both to a different doctor. She said not to administer any more Tylenol, as that could mask a fever, and prescribed Zantac for both of them. She also suggested giving Bella Simethicone for gas. So back to the pharmacy we went! That night, my sister-in-law, Tia came over to visit and help with the babies. She had been talking to her mother (my mother-in-law, Abuela), who had suggested giving the babies chamomile tea. I balked at the idea for several reasons:
1. I’ve always heard that you should never feed babies anything other than breast milk or formula.
2. If the baby drinks tea, her stomach may feel full of something that has no nutrients and resist
eating real food.
3. Babies who are fed food other than mom’s milk are more likely to develop allergies later.
4. You should never give your baby supplements without consulting with your doctor.
5. Could someone who lives over 3,000 miles away, whom I’ve never even met know what’s best for my babies?
6. And finally – If chamomile is safe and effective, why hadn’t the doctor or any other
professional I had seen suggested it?
Bella and Brooks took the prescription drug for about one week, during which time, Amor and Tia kept pressuring me to try using the tea. Finally, I did a little online research to see if it was safe. The results were mixed. The mommy forums were divided between posts claiming it was a miracle cure and those saying it was very dangerous. I could been contaminated if you don’t buy the right brand from the right country. It could cause severe allergic reaction. It could interact with other drugs in your baby’s system. Unsure of what to do, I prayed for guidance. During my extensive research, I came across the official recommendation from the FDA. It said that this herb has not been tested for safety and therefore should not be given to infants. That article reminded me of a different article I’d read earlier that very day. It was titled “11 Banned Food Ingredients Still Allowed in the U.S.” and had explained that these foods had been banned in many parts of the world because they are known to be unsafe. Although the article was not political, I remembered thinking, “It’s because the FDA is so corrupt. All these food companies who make millions of dollars have their lobbyists scratching the backs of Washington fat cats.” I had an epiphany. Drug companies are in bed with them too. And that was the answer to #6 on my list. Drug companies invent medicine. There is profit in studying, selling, and promoting that medicine. There’s no profit in studying an age old, time tested, traditional cure. I wonder what kind of kick backs my infant’s doctors are getting for prescribing all that medication. Altogether, my little baby, who weighed less than 6lbs, who was less than 3 weeks old had been given 5 man-made drugs, and I was afraid that tea was dangerous? How ignorant.
We gave Bella a very small amount of plain, unsweetened Chamomile tea that night. She loved the taste of it and took it well. It seemed to help, at least better than anything else we’d tried. Over the next few days, we increased from a few tenths of a milliliter to a few teaspoons before and after feedings. It certainly wasn’t a cure-all. She still spit up and had some pain, but it wasn’t nearly as severe. I am so thankful to Abuela and Tia for the idea and Amor for pushing me on it. I am also very grateful to the Lord for giving me the revelation. I told Amor, “I realized I was being an American idiot.” His reply: “I realized that too.”
Double Talk Quote: I was manually entering feeding information into my phone’s baby app, which we use to keep track of feeding time & amounts and diapering types for each baby. I said out loud, but to myself, “no that’s not right, he fed for 20 minutes from the left side.” Amor chimed in, to make a joke, “I fed him from the right side for 15 minutes last night.” I said, “did you enter it in?” He started laughing. I laughed too, realizing that that wasn’t the way he measured how much they ate (he bottle fed them, so the quantity would be measured in oz, not time). It was days later when it dawned on me that he couldn’t have fed him from the right side either! Hello.
Relatable: “American Idiot” by Green Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAJDP6edeVU
*Please don’t misunderstand: I Love the USA, just not everything that happens in the USA*
Bible Verse: Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Word that has Lost its meaning: Boring
Before the babies were born, I read and heard time and time again, “the babies need to be on a schedule.” For the first couple of weeks, I tried to get them in sync: feeding them in tandem, back-to-back baths and diaper changes, etc. However, it became clear that these two babies had not only unique personalities but also their own specific needs. For example Brooks gobbles with gusto, then can be burped and put to bed in a simi-comatose state, while Bella takes her time, often pulling away for brief periods in an effort to slow down the flow of the yum-yum (breast milk) let down caused by Brooks. Then she needs to be cuddled upright for some time to help her little tummy digest.
I’ve had these guys for a few weeks now and have observed several cycles:
1. The best is when they are up back to back. I change, feed and cuddle one, put him or her back to sleep just as the other is waking up. I take care of that one and they both sleep for a while.
2. When they both wake up demanding attention &/or food at the same time, they are double teaming me. It’s not easy when this happens, but it’s manageable.
3. The least preferable cycle for me is when they tag team me. That’s when one has been up for some time but finally start winding down. But just as he or she starts to fall asleep, the other twin wakes up. Then, I manage to get that one calmed down just in time for the first one to reawaken. And so it goes.
Last night, I got double and tag teamed. I didn’t have immediate help around, so I tried nursing one and distracting the other. Amor had been up with them for the first shift of the night while I caught some z’s from about 10 to 2am. Brooks was stirring, and I changed and fed him without incident. He had just finished when I heard Bella stirring. So I put Brooks down to change and feed Bella. All was well for about eight minutes. Then Brooks, who was only half asleep, had the unfortunate luck of knocking the pacifier out of his own mouth. For a few minutes he searched for it, gently whining while Bella contently worked on her meal. She was falling asleep, though so I sneakily switched her to a paci. I put her down and helped Brooks (now wide awake) locate his paci which, of course, he no longer wanted. So I fed him again. He became drowsy just as Bella started stirring and realized her feeding had been prematurely terminated. Finally, I put Brooksies in the rocker up on the bed and helped him relocate that paci over and over again as he gently whined and swung back and forth while simultaneously nursing Bellaboo. Finally, grandma arrived to save the day. Ahh thank goodness it’s Saturday.