Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week Derailed

It's been a rocky week with my son Arthur being sick.  He's had a stomach virus for the past week and a half.  I could barely get Arthur to eat... finding myself at the receiving end of the good picky toddler eating advice I try to give others, and not doing too well with it this time around.  About all I can get him to eat is Cheerios and follow on milk.  At a grazing rate at best.

Monday got very interesting because Arthur started vomiting and so he had it coming out of both ends. Concerned about his hydration, my husband and I made the call to take Arthur into A&E (Emergency Room).  He was weighed, temperature taken, blood pressure and heart rate taken, and his blood sugar was measured with a heel prick by the nurse.  His sugars looked good.  We waited to see the doctor.  She more or less gave him a full physical, checking to see how well his skin plumped back, checking his abdomen and his little boy parts.  Everything looked fine, though she wanted to consult her seniors.

About fifteen minutes later, a nurse shows up with a cup for a urine sample.  Okay... definitely different from what would have happened back in the US (they would have cath'd him immediately and then I may have had a small battle to fight to make sure they didn't retract him in the process since he's an intact little boy), but I'm willing to try less invasive ways of getting urine samples.  Let me tell you... convincing a 15 month old to pee in a cup at 1:15am in the morning is a true challenge.  I'll give you a hint: get him drinking.

We struggled with this as Arthur didn't like the nipples on the hospital bottles; they didn't have sippy cups on hand; and he was refusing anything from a syringe.  They were about to admit Arthur into the hospital for the night if we couldn't get him to drink.  I sent my husband home to get a sippy cup while I soothed our sorely over tired toddler.  Arthur gleefully started drinking chilled water from his sippy cup and then the magic happened... I got him to pee in a cup.

We got enough urine to test and they did find a little something, so he was sent home with some antibiotics.  I didn't start him on the antibiotic until today since I wasn't sure if he was over his vomiting.  Tuesday, he would have gone to nursery, but I held him back because I thought he was too sick to go.  He did vomit again last night, not nearly as bad as on Monday.  And then he vomited again today when he was at his grandparent's house for a few hours while I got a shower and caught up on sleep.

We have another doctor's appointment set up tomorrow morning to make sure she's informed of what happened on Monday and to get some further advice.  The A&E doctor wanted us to get Arthur to drink sugary drinks, but he's refused anything but follow on formula.  Eating solids hasn't improved either.  And I'm concerned because Arthur is looking skinnier.

At times, Arthur even rejects the follow on milk.  Its like he's gained a sense of how much he can drink now before getting ill.  Consequently, I've been having to talk and cuddle him to sleep rather than being able to let him fall drowsy on the bottle.  This isn't a terribly bad thing-- I've been wanting to bottle wean him at nap time and bedtime at his pace anyways and this sickness is certainly accelerating that pace.

I'll sit still, Indian style, with Arthur positioned in my lap exactly as if I were nursing him.  I cannot relate the number of times I still wished I nursed him, especially since he's so ill anyways.  Both the comfort and the nutrition would do a world of good for him.  Its even possible he wouldn't have gotten sick in the first place if he was still drinking my milk.  My husband tells me, I shouldn't blame myself-- we didn't have nearly the amount of support that we have now.

So tonight I came to a decision and its a bit unconventional, but you know what?  It certainly couldn't do any harm.  When my next baby arrives in October and once this baby and I have nursing down, I'm going to start giving Arthur my milk again.

And while that's out there, I'll say something else too.  I am doing placenta encapsulation-- by hand, out of my own kitchen even.  If it prevents the PND (PPD) that I experienced with Arthur and boosts my milk supply, more power to me.  It shouldn't harm me, nor anyone else.  So, I'm going to do it.  I made that decision several weeks ago but have been sheepish about saying much on it.

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