Dear Seekers of Truth Regarding Motherhood

BE YOUR OWN HEALTH ADVOCATE


The stories you are about to read are from mothers who knew something was medically wrong with them. Due to THEIR persistence they received the medical attention they deserved. Now that you are a mom, you will have to be your child's health advocate too. Always trust your gut - you know more about your health and your child's health than a nurse or doctor. Make them hear your concerns!


Holly, mom of three

    What really floored me is that nurses screw up. Two out of the three
deliveries I had nurses made major screw-ups. One nurse gave
me an entire extra dose of a medicine, even though I was telling her I
already had two doses while I was in labor. Luckily, it wasn’t
anything that would harm the baby, but I was furious. She never
acknowledged to me that she screwed up or apologized. I did overhear
her telling the nurse at the shift change that she gave me the extra
dose by accident.
My third delivery happened quickly, like ½ hour quickly. As the Dr.
was stitching me up after delivery I told my husband that my left arm
was really hurting me. I lifted up my gown and realized that the
rubber band that they wrap around to take blood was still tightly
around my left bicep. It had been there the entire delivery. Even
though you’d like to be able to trust nurses and doctors you really
have to be on your toes during delivery. Both of these mistakes were
at different hospitals with different nurses.
I also had a postpartum scare after I had my second baby involving
retained placenta. The labor and delivery, although I was a week
overdue and induced went relatively smooth. He was on the bigger side
and slightly turned during delivery, but I managed to have him
vaginally. The two days in the hospital went fine with no
complications. Four days after delivery when I was home, I began to
develop flu-like symptoms, but I didn’t feel as if I had the flu. I
had no appetite, no strength, felt nauseous although no vomiting, yet
when I called the hospital and told the nurses, I was told, “If it
looks and feels like the flu, it probably is.” I tried to explain that
I literally had no strength to even stand, but they didn’t feel the
need to see me. I continued to feel poor, and finally, five days after
being home, they agreed to see me. The appointment was scheduled for
the afternoon about ½ hour away. When we were preparing to leave, I
suddenly had the biggest contraction I’ve ever had. I was on the floor
in more pain that I’d experienced during labor. I felt like my uterus
was going to literally fall out, so I was crossing my legs praying it
would stop. My husband decided we’d go to the ER only about seven
minutes away, but I couldn’t even get up to walk to the car I was in
so much pain. After having this contraction for ½ hour, my husband
managed to get me to the car and we began the drive. As we were
reaching the exit to the ER, my contraction finally began to subside,
so I decided I’d just drive to my schedule appointment. By the time
we got to the maternity floor at the hospital the contraction was
completely gone, but I was so sore down there from it and still
feeling like hell. I didn’t see a doctor
or midwife, only the nurse who would leave the room to go consult with
the Doctor, then return. I felt I needed an ultrasound and was finally
able to persuade them to do one. My husband, newborn and I would
have to walk down several floors to the ER to get one. When the ER
nurse saw me, she asked if I needed a wheelchair because of my
coloring. After the ultrasound we returned up to the maternity floor
and waited to see the nurse again. After they got my results they
realized I had retained placenta. I was furious to say the least. If
I wouldn’t have pushed it, they would have just sent me home. Instead,
they decided to prescribe me medicine that would send my body into
contractions again at home. I never did end up seeing a
Doctor. After two rounds of the prescription, I was able to have a
clear ultrasound so my body extracted all the leftover “gunk” and
given a clean bill of health.  If you’re wondering, I switched Doctors
and hospitals for my third baby – and had a fine experience with
delivery and postpartum.
On a brighter note, my health insurance offered these health
consultations where nurses who work for the insurance company will
call you and ask a ton of questions and advise you on care for
yourself and the baby. She encouraged me to fight for what I wanted,
in this case the ultrasound, and don’t give in until I was satisfied.
This is the advice I give to all expecting women. Lucky for me, I had
her to talk to through that scary experience.
 

 

Janeen, mom of two
NO ONE told me the epidural MAY NOT work.
I received the "painless" epidural that actually felt like a worm
traveling down my back and I kept getting freezing sensations in
my lower back as it was administered. I could still feel my legs and
could also feel contractions. I proceeded to ask the nurse if this is
all normal and she explained, "pressure is normal.” I figured I was
feeling pressure and it couldn't get any worse, right? I can feel
every single contraction that is seconds apart. I am screaming at the
top of my lungs and clinging to the side of the bed for dear life.
Also sweating like a wild animal.
Lost track of time because now contractions are so unbearable I am
having trouble breathing, I am throwing F Bombs and feeling the urge to
push. My doctor and the team of nurses strolled in casually with their
equipment and set everything up. During the pushing part I began to
vomit and shake because the epidural was not working at all. Forty
minutes later my son was born and he was handed to me and all I could
say was "holy shit what just happened?”
 

 

Sarah, mom of two
Immediately after giving birth to my first child my body stopped
contracting and my blood pressure skyrocketed. The doctors had to give
me Pitocin to get all the placenta to come out. During this time a
nurse was continually massaging my stomach so hard that I started
crying and screaming. I’ve never felt pain like this before, it was
unbearable and it caused me to throw up. I was also given magnesium
through an IV because my blood pressure was so high. They give you
this so you don’t have seizures, which made me really scared, not
helping my blood pressure. During my two day and night stay at the
hospital, nurses had to take my blood every four hours, even through
the night! It was awful, I was so happy to go home.

 


Eveline, mom of two
I had the craziest reaction to the medication given for pain after my
c-section. I had taken ibuprofen all my life, but the dosage and the
change my body went through during the surgery made me go into
complete kidney failure. Here I am, a new mom for all of six days and
I am rushed to the hospital for an eight day stay with my new baby at
home with my scared husband. Long story short, I was told I may have
to be on dialysis for the rest of my life because the doctors could
not figure out what was wrong. Luckily my father in law, also a
doctor, jumped in and said, “Lets try to give her the steroid
prednisone, and see what happens.” This was right before I was about
to undergo a surgery for a biopsy. Turns out, he was right. Within two
hours my kidneys started working again. Bottom line, if you think
something is wrong, go to the doctor.  I thought I was suffering from
the flu, thank god I went into the hospital.

 

 

FOOD ALLERGIES = MOM SACRIFICES


You will probably never give the topic of food allergies a second
thought unless you are smacked in the face with its restrictions. I
was too concerned with latching and over supply to even consider my
baby would not like, or be allergic to my milk. Here are the stories
of two different moms and the sacrifices they had to make in order to
soothe their newborns. Both babies were very uncomfortable in very
different ways and it took their mom’s persistence for additional
testing to get things right. Spoiler, they are both doing much better!

 

Eveline, mom of two
My poor son would scream twenty hours of the day and sleep the other
four hours on top of me because I was holding him upright. My son was
screaming because my milk was causing extreme diarrhea and he was
pooping at least five to seven times a day. I was month and a half
postpartum, I was SO tired, so emotional, so drained after caring for
a newborn who was in pain and a two year old toddler that was feeling
ignored. We had finally gotten our son tested for food allergies and
when I got the call with the results I walked up stairs, closed the
door and SCREAMED. I mean I cried, pounded the floor and thought, why
us? What did I do wrong? Was it that week I forgot to take the damn
prenatal vitamin?
Turns out, my son was allergic to dairy, soy, gluten and possibly
more. So I started eating rice, chicken, veggies and fruit. I lost so
much weight it became unhealthy. In the end, all my food sacrifice did
not help. My son had to be put on prescribed formula at seven months.
Within one week of formula feeding he was showing improvement. The
mommy pressure kept me going and in the end it failed. But my son was
better and that’s all that mattered. If anyone has similar troubles
like mine, the following sites helped us tremendously:
www.babycenter.co.uk/baby-poo-photos
www.mamanatural.com/baby-poop

 


Meghan, mom of two
No one warned me that the best thing I could do was to stop asking WHY
does my son have food allergies, and start just asking WHAT WILL HELP?
It wasn't until his two month appointment when he received his very
first vaccination that things started showing up. Please note this is
not a pro or anti vaccine story, it is a PRO your child story.
A day later I noticed a patch of crusty skin on his shoulder where
perfectly iridescent skin had previously been. Thinking very little of
it, I let it be. Then it started to spread. One morning he woke up
with gaping skin, raw, rubbed completely off from his face, and this
was just the beginning of months of unbearable discomfort, and crazy
attempts to gain control over my son's health.

The months to follow included rounds of doctor’s appointments to
dermatologists, pediatric allergists, holistic nutritional doctors,
chiropractor and everything in between. His entire body became raw,
crusty and unbearably itchy, which in turn was overtaken by
inflammation and open wounds. He could not sleep for more than an hour
or two before waking up to itch and scream. He started to regress. He
wouldn't look at anybody. He retreated and stopped interacting with
the world. He had gone on antibiotics, steroid creams, everything that
perpetuated even more flare-ups. Then began the mommy control phase.
Since I was exclusively pumping breast milk for him I started to
eliminate things out of my diet. Eventually I was not eating anything
with eggs, dairy, beef, gluten, soy, tomatoes and peanuts. This
basically left me with a hearty diet of unflavored meat, vegetables,
Arbonne's vegan protein shake and some fruits.

It takes three to four weeks for a food to leave your system, and then
another two weeks for it to leave the baby's body.  This means every
food I gave up I knew would take six weeks to see an improvement.  It
was exhausting. It disconnected me from bonding with my son. This
innocent baby who cried for hours and days and who had no relief. I
remember someone said to me one day, "Well of course you don't feel
connected, it is almost impossible to connect to a screaming miserable
baby." I demanded allergy blood work be taken to identify food allergies even
though everyone said he was too young for anything to show up. Well,
they did, everything we tested for came up horrendously high. I have
since learned this is a chicken and an egg scenario where as the body
in such an inflamed state can cause high readings or the high readings
can be an indication of what is bothering him. But let me tell you,
after eliminating all of those foods from MY diet, he started
experiencing relief. When we consulted with Johns Hopkins Pediatric
Allergy Center and made the decision to switch him to an amino acid
based formula while we introduced solid foods to his diet, he
continued to see improvement and is currently almost at an 80%
recovery.

I may be that mom who has to figure out how to create allergen free
pizza and cake for birthday parties to send with him, or to make sure
no one leaves crumbs on their floor. Eventually we will have that talk
about why we can't eat out at restaurants or why he can't have what
everyone else is eating. But for now we are cool with figuring out
what works and let the why's go.
 

 

Another Heads Up!
Call your insurance company and ask if your plan covers a free breast
pump. Many plans cover pumps and storage bags. This will save you
hundreds!