Score Another for Experience and Intuition

When I look at Leo, I am incredibly thankful for our past experiences in parenting, for I believe those experiences have helped us follow our intuition with him. Experience told me he wasn’t nursing correctly. Intuition told me there was something wrong even when two doctors told me otherwise, and his tongue tie was clipped. The experience of Charlotte’s intolerance to bovine protein allowed us to quickly spot Leo’s intolerance to bovine protein.

Most of all, our past experience and intuition told us something was very wrong and led to Leo being diagnosed with gallstones. We were in tune enough with him to figure out that, in addition to bovine protein, he also cannot tolerate soy (including soy lecithin), tomato, alcohol, or anything fatty (even good fats like avocado and nuts, though I still eat those in small amounts).

Recently he had another ultrasound to check on the stones and see if the medication was helping. It isn’t. We don’t know the next step yet, as we don’t meet with the specialist again for another week or so. Since the meds haven’t caused any improvement, I am thankful we’ve followed our intuition about restricting my diet, as otherwise I think Leo would be in much worse shape. Likely he’d be projectile vomiting more frequently and forcefully, as well as screaming a lot more. As it is, he’s generally happy, though he does still have pained screams on a daily basis (worse if he’s burned through his hazelwood necklace – he goes through them quickly, but they help a lot). But he is rolling, scooting, and trying to sit unassisted, so obviously he’s not being hampered by it, thank God. I also thank God that we knew something was truly wrong and acted on it quickly, and that our doctor listened to us. I don’t know what the future holds, but so far our intuition has been a Godsend.

Book Nook: Knights, Nobles, and Knaves

On our last library trip, Kieran decided he wanted a book about dragons. He asked the librarian where such books would be, and we set off to the call number he specified. We didn’t find a book just about dragons, but I saw The Big Book of Knights, Nobles, and Knaves by Alissa Heyman. I told him knights sometimes fought dragons, so we took the book home. It is filled with stories from Arthurian legend, among other stories, and yes, there’s even a dragon. We’ve loved reading the stories together. I’d read and enjoyed most of the stories before, so having the opportunity to share them with my children and see them love the stories too was priceless. I might need to own this book. After all, you’re never too young for Arthurian legend.

Dehumanizing Babies

There are times when it seems to me that we dehumanize our babies. My evidence?

Exhibit A: babies can’t smile. When said baby does smile, most say it’s just because he’s passing wind, even if it seems to be in response to, say, his mother’s voice or being happily full after a feed or having a pleasant dream. Heaven forbid we should acknowledge that a baby can have and express emotions.

Exhibit B: CIO/CC. We don’t expect that all adults will have an exact sleeping or eating schedule (unless maybe you’re Sheldon Cooper, but maybe he just has bathroom schedules). We expect that adults might sometimes have trouble sleeping and need reassurance from another person. But we treat babies more like animals that have to be trained in that way, and some rigidly schedule feeds even if their own meals are not so scheduled.

Exhibit C: babies can’t feel pain. Little or no anesthesia is sometimes used for painful procedures such as circumcision. When Leo had to have blood drawn, the lab technician insisted that it didn’t hurt him, despite his screaming and trying to move away from her. Had I not been putting all my effort into comforting him, I would’ve shouted at her that she must be blind if she couldn’t interpret his reaction as an obvious response to pain. Not only that, but their reference for pain is smaller, so I’d imagine it is perceived to be more painful than I might register the same procedure.  Sometimes procedures like that have to be done, but they should be done as gently as possible, recognizing the baby as a person deserving respect. I’ve had plenty of technicians showing respect and concern for me when I’ve had blood drawn, but the same was not shown to my son (yes, I know it could’ve just been that particular technician, since I’ve also encountered at least one disrespectful technician for my own lab work).

Exhibit D: insisting something is ok because the baby won’t remember it. There are some who acknowledge that babies can feel pain, but rationalize that not being gentle or providing enough anesthesia or doing an unnecessary procedure is ok because the baby won’t remember it. Ability to remember it or not doesn’t make it ok to treat the baby as less than deserving of respect.

Exhibit E: how many people talk to the baby and not just to his parents? I’m thinking primarily about doctors and nurses addressing the babe before doing some procedure. Some certainly do this, but some do not. Whether the baby understands it all or not, it is surely common courtesy to let him know what is happening and speak to him as well as to the parents, in my opinion.

These things may seem minor, but I think they are worthy of consideration. I’d imagine most don’t even think about how these things might somehow dehumanize the baby – I didn’t at first. Then I started paying more attention and thinking about it in relation to my children. It’s caused me to rethink my interactions with them, certainly.

Book Nook: Squid and Octopus

We found a new book we love: Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu. I think I was drawn to it because of the title being similar to Frog and Toad are Friends, a book we dearly love. This book contains 4 short stories, also like the Frog and Toad books. And just like those stories, this one is hilarious. Not only are the stories funny, but the author also includes various asides by background characters. While we just picked the book up at the library, we enjoyed it so much that I wouldn’t mind owning it.