Monday, July 25, 2005

Drained

What a day. The strawberry broke. I wasn't prepared for the sight of so much blood. I knew there would be blood, but how can it not be a shock to look at your baby and see their face completely covered in bright red blood, with more blood streaming steadily, on and on? It bled for nearly TWO HOURS. It completely saturated a 16"x16" microfiber towel. We were on our way to the in-laws for a birthday celebration. I don't know if he rubbed his eyes or rubbed his face against the seat belt shoulder strap. He was asleep and it happened in the blink of an eye. We went to the emergency room. I was distressed that he was gushing so much blood and didn't know what to do, since it wouldn't stop bleeding. It's not a bit like what you see on shows like ER or Gray's Anatomy. It took nearly two hours to see a doctor. The triage nurse saw him in the first 20 minutes, took his weight and blood pressure and told me to keep on putting pressure on it, just as I was already doing. He bled on and on. He fell asleep. Still bleeding. At least he held still better when he was sleeping. He didn't like me holding the towel to his face and kept squirming while he was awake. It stopped bleeding just before the doctor saw him. Diagnosis? Bleeding Hemangioma. Yes, I know. Treatment? Plan A. If it happens again, apply pressure until the bleeding stops. It will eventually heal on its own. Plan B. Anesthetize and Cauterize - inject a needle that close to my baby's eye, to numb the area, then burn him and leave a lifetime scar? We chose Plan A. During last Monday's checkup our doctor had told me that it could break open and it would bleed, and it would probably grow back, and eventually it would diminish and disappear on its own. She just didn't mention how much it would bleed, and what to do if it did. I was expecting something I could put a bandaid on. I did tell Mr. Man that the treatment is to wait it out, that it would eventually heal on its own. He wasn't too impressed with that solution, but in the ER, hearing the doctor pose Plan A and Plan B, he was amenable to Plan A. Go figure. (But I'm glad that he was no longer adamant about more drastic action such as Plan B.)

We made it to the birthday celebration an hour and a half late. We have another new mom in the family. Her little guy is 2 weeks old and she herself is looking fabulous, as though she'd never even been pregnant. She's had no trouble at all nursing. I'm so jealous. Really. The little guy knew just what to do. He latches like a pro and drains her efficiently, in 10-15 minutes. TEN MINUTES! I remember our struggle, where Buggaboo would chew me raw for 30-40 minutes at a time, every two hours, and hardly draw anything out. I'd have to pump afterwards, another 15-20 minutes. Clean up the bottles and get them ready for the next round. 5-10 minutes. Then do it all again. Do the math. I spent over 12 hours a day trying to feed my baby. How I longed to be a breast-feeding mother! I tried SO hard, with nipple shields, a tiny feeding tube along side the nipple, or against my finger. There were so many obstacles. The breasts were too big, which made it difficult to position him. The nipples were too big for his sweet little mouth. He couldn't get a good latch. The milk didn't come in well and he didn't have the patience to try to draw it out, and I just didn't produce enough milk. Maybe it wouldn't have been so emotionally difficult had I not had my heart set on being a breast-feeding mother. And to see this new mom and her little guy sail so smoothly into it! I'm so happy for them, truly, and surprised at my concurrent feelings of jealousy. In the self-pity confines of my mind, my selfish thoughts are why couldn't it have been that easy for me?

I feel drained.

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