Monday, January 03, 2011

So Far, So Good...


So far the g-tube is good.  
So far no other major conundrums have come up.  
So far 2011 is OK.  


I thought about doing a hospital wrap up post, but the idea of that sorta depresses me.  It was hard and I'm not sure I feel like reliving it.  I think not being able to feed your baby for 30+ hours could legally be considered torture.  Yeah...it was hard.   

Since it's been a crazy couple weeks followed by a semi busy weekend, I don't have a real post prepared...I'm just shooting from the hip here.  But there's one thing I've been thinking about since the hospital.  Like I said above we couldn't feed Lamp for a long time.  This was supposed to allow the g-tube site to heal and hopefully stop the leaking.  Initially our doctor told us we would try to wait 24-48 hours.  Then she was like, Well we really need to wait the full 48 to give it the best shot.  When she told us this we were about 24 hours into it and I couldn't imagine going another 24 hours without feeding Lamp--she was getting more frustrated, tired and hungry by the minute.  (And fortunately we didn't have to wait 48 hours...but for the sake of brevity I'll skip the long explanation.)  Anyway, as our doctor was telling us this she could tell I was upset.  Of course I wanted to give this whole g-tube thing the best shot, but I was really having a hard time putting Lampy though all this.  What had started out as a fairly straight forward surgery, had snowballed into this situation that was rapidly getting more and more out of hand.  And so to try and help me get through this she said something along the lines of, I know it's hard...but it's not like it's really hurting her or anything.  Of course she's uncomfortable, but she'll be fine.  

And this is where I totally disagree.  

I told B that a traumatic experience, even if it's for your own good, can still be traumatic.  Especially when you don't understand why it's happening.  And this is coming from a mom who believes in crying-it-out for sleep training purposes, so it's not like I'm a total softy when it comes to babies and crying.  Of course in the long run I think Lamp will be fine, but we both have noticed a difference in her.  Mainly the way she cries.  She discovered her painful cry while in the hospital, and now she uses this cry all the time.  Additionally, she was getting to the point where she was going down really easy for naps and night time.  Even in the hospital she drifted off to sleep fairly easily.  But now she's harder to get to sleep and she wants to be held while going to sleep quite a bit longer.  I also feel like she wants to eat all the time, like it's her last meal...like she never knows when it's going to go away again.  Sad.  It seems to me that this experience has altered her a little bit.   

It reminds me of when we moved from New York to Ohio.  Sassy pants was 2 1/2.  Old enough to know something was going on and something was changing, but not old enough to know what exactly or why.  She was a wreck during those last few weeks in New York, while boxes were being packed up and her stuff kept disappearing.  When we finally settled into Cincinnati and she started making new friends I noticed something.  When we used to leave her friends houses in NYC she always gave her friends hugs goodbye.  It was something she always did.  When she made new friends here and it was time to leave she refused to say good bye or give them hugs.  Refused.  She'd scream and cry and throw a tantrum.  She's gotten better about that, but it's taken a while.  Additionally, to this day she still tells me that she misses New York.  And she always mentions two friends by name...Noah and Graham.  Mom, I miss Noah and Graham.  Recently she even told me she likes New York better.  And for the first time last month she said, Mom I can't remember what New York looks like anymore.  Oh, that tugs at my heart strings.  She experienced this very real loss at her tender age where she experienced sadness and longing... and it changed her.   

Again, I know in the long run she'll be fine.  Hard things happen to people and kids (much harder than moves and surgery) and they adapt and grow.   

But what do you think... Part of the learning and growing process?  Have you seen something like this happen to your own kids where you know they changed in some way?  Was it permanent or temporary? Can you ever go back?  


  

22 comments:

  1. Wow, I don't even know what to say. What a hard thing. I'm glad you are aware of your baby's feelings because I agree, they feel pain and sadness. Your doctor is a dufus for not understanding that.

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  2. Linda P.12:20 PM

    Oh, I am so sorry for the pain you have watched little Lamp go through and so sorry that she seems changed since she went through that ordeal. I bet that with a little time that she will be her old self again. Praying for that right now. Here is a great big hug to you because I know you could use one. Sometimes I need one, too.

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  3. Glad things are getting better for little Lamp. I put my vote in for no more hospital stays! The time I saw my kids affected the most by a big change in their life is when I started working full-time. They were home with their dad, so no day-care, but it totally ripped my heart to shreds when I'd be pulling out of the driveway and see them crying in the doorway. We start a little thing though ever day when I'd come home they'd say "Mommy, you came home!" and I would tell them "I will always always come home" After just a bit they adjusted and I don't feel they have been permanently affected by the change. And I think in a similar fashion, little Lamp somehow knows that you will always always be her mommy and be there for her no matter what, to comfort and soothe her. I think because of that she can endure hard things. I think having loving parents and family sure makes a big difference when you're going through hard times, whether you are a little baby or an old grandma.

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  4. yes, School. My son has ADHD and beginning school transformed him from easy- go- lucky to more serious and sometimes frustrated- Demands put on us, change us, and I guess we have to surrender to it- some paths are harder than others, but with all of us having a commonality that we all have a cross to bear at some point in our lives- keep up the good work.

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  5. I had similar worries with my 3rd son. He was in the hospital 9 times his first year of life due to a heart condition (that was surgically corrected when he was 9). He was poked and prodded and I so worried about long term affects. I remember days when they actually sent me out of his room when they couldn't find a vein in his head and I was sobbing with his screaming. He was also on high powered drugs the first 5 years of life that gave him night terrors and sleep walking. Okay enough of that story. He is 26 now, very happily married and will receive his masters in math at BYU in the spring. But far beyond that he is a very sweet, kind, good person. All that worry, all those prayers back then. Heavenly Father is in charge. You know little Lampy was born with a sweet gentle personality and spirit. She came here like that. And she has YOU for a Mom.

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  6. Graham still misses sweet Sassy-pants, and talks about her very frequently. We have moved twice since New York, and he hasn't found the strong friend base yet that we both had in the big city. I haven't found anything close to the perfect me-friend and Graham-friend combo that we had going on:( It makes me really want to settle soon, and knock off the moving around. I don't want him to be a lonely kiddo, without life-long friendships (or for me to be a lonely mom!).
    You have an amazing connection to your girls, and I think that you understand more than anyone about their emotional changes. Let me know if you want to plan a reunion from the good old NYC days:)
    xoxo, Suz
    P.S. Give that Lampy a kiss from me, and tell her about her someday-buddy, Audrey. They will just have to be buds, since the rest of us miss each other so!:)

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  7. At the end of August my husband and I moved from Southern Utah to Southern Alaska. We have 4 kids. My 3 year old boy decided to deal with the move by forgetting he was potty trained for 6 months before we left. We've been here for 4 months and he still struggles every day. He has also become afraid of everything, especially bedtime and has to have his door open and the light on and someone in his room. He used to go to bed on his own and want to be alone with the door shut. Here's to hoping it gets better although when you're in the middle of it, it seems like it may never. Good luck.

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  8. I'm guessing the doctor meant that fasting for 24 hours wasn't going to do any physical harm - and said that to try to alleviate your worries. But to a mom's protective nature, suffering is suffering no matter what the source and our reaction is the same. Doctors have to be able to hurt babies all the time (stick needles, cut them open), so that's just the way they have to think. It's not going to do lasting harm and will do good in the end. The trauma may shape them, but all trauma does. My sister had to be in a hospital for months with her legs in traction when she was 2. She probably was very traumatized not having her mother around, but she is fine now - a wonderful, patient mother with no relationship issues. She's probably the most nurturing of all the siblings, maybe because of her experiences.

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  9. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Dear Lamp-

    We don'y know you in person but we know your heart. It is a Lion heart! We know because out of our four little boys we have one. It is the one that wasn't going to make it, died almost four times, and was tender and happy without reason.

    Lamp you are like our boy Guy. He's a little older than you so know your Lion heart will get you through and at time protect your mom from pain and worry.

    We love you...Shine on!!

    The Kimballs

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  10. Thanks everyone for your comments. Sometimes it's just good to know others have gone through similar things. And of course it's good to hear about those wonderfully well adjusted older kids whose negative, traumatic, or sad experiences didn't hold them back. Like I said, I know my girls will both be ok, but it's always hard to see your children hurt even though it's an enevitable and in my opinion a necessary part of life.

    Suz--awww. We miss you guys too...we definitely had a good thing going there in the towers. That would be super fun to have a little reunion...I'm not sure Lampy will be travel ready for a while, but you guys are welcome here in Cincy anytime!

    Ellen--I totally agree. I know what the doctor meant and she's actually a great doctor, i was just taking a different spin on her words. I realize that through some of my experiences with Lamp I may come off sounding a little anti-doctor....which I'm not at all. I'm very grateful to them and like you pointed out they have to hurt people for their own good all the time...in fact what a nightmare it would be if we had a doctor who made decisions based on temporary pain, vs long term results (reminds me of parenting in general and of course heavenly father). I was more just opening up the discussion on how we can be changed through trials or hard times, even at a very young age and what that can do to us longterm.

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  11. (smiling)

    Thanks Kimballs.

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  12. I truly believe that she will get over this emotional trauma, as well as the physical trauma. My daughter has had so many surgeries over her 7 years ... and I have felt the same emotions as you described, repeatedly. I hate when the doctors cut and dry tell you "It's only xyz - she'll be fine". Well, tell that to her when she's wailing because she doesn't undertand! Tell that to my mama heart, when she's crying that pain cry. My daughter often changes some after a hospital stay. A lot of home, love, and snuggles return my precious peanut to me each time. I hope that Lamp is back to "normal" soon!

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  13. Hey Amy! Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and your girls are so beautiful! I hope everything turns out well for baby Lamp (she is SUCH a cutie)! Lots of love your way! And if you're ever in Provo let me know!

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  14. Change is always hard even for our good. I have tried to teach my kids, "Learn from this. Even if you hate it."

    I am always reminded of one of my favorite talks by Rex E Lee's wife. It dealt with crayons and not always being able to use our favorite colors.

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  15. I want to encourage you to ALWAYS be your child's advocate!!! Speak up, ask questions and if you think a doctor is dismissing you, then tell them to stop and listen to you. I worked in pediatrics (RN) for 10 years. With all that said, I want to share something with you that you may not want to see/hear. Our children/babies take their cues from their mothers. Even if you don't think you are showing any negative emotion, if you are feeling it, your children are feeling it too. I knew this from my ten years as a neonatal/pediatric nurse. When God finally (it took 8 years) blessed me with my own children I made the same mistakes I swore I would not. I had a difficult move when my oldest was just two and my youngest was 5 months. The key to all this is to prepare, prepare, and prepare. Even at that young age, you can prepare children for most of life's challenges. Children will usually rise to the occasion and surprise you. Now when it comes to feeling emotional (like when you are in the hospital), then TAKE A BREAK!! Please remember this motto...HAPPY MOM=HAPPY BABY.

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  17. Oh, Man! I know how you feel. I don't know if this is consolation at all, but my family moved around all the time, because I was an Army brat. Yeah, it was hard, but I grew and now I can make friends really easy, because I had to learn how to do it.

    The most important and best thing for me was having my family. Family is everything. Family is always there and with good parenting and lots love expression of love, the girls will always know where home is. This is all character building and they know you love them!

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  18. You don't know me but I was hooked onto you by the bloom blog and just as i indicated i'm totally hooked! i along with everyone else admire your courage and strength..

    you have gotten some really great advice and my only 2 cents (if it's worth even that) is YES these things change our children no question about it.. it's how we deal with it that matters..

    When my oldest boys were 2 and 4 their newborn brother was born with a very severe heart defect that took his life at 20 days old.. we sheltered the boys for the most part of all that was going on.. they stayed with their grandparents while we were in the hosp. every day hoping and praying for a different outcome than what happened.. we were as honest as we could be with their ages told them no question was wrong or bad or even if they saw mommy or daddy cry we wouldn't be mad that thy asked it.. they went to the funeral, the burial etc. etc. both their birthdays were very close to their brother's birth so we had missed their yearly checkups and ended up having both of them at the same time quite a ways after their brother passed away.. we get them ready and in the car to go to the dr. both hubby and I decided to take them together cuz it might be hard dealing with both at same time etc. the boys are unusually happy and even excited... we were confused but glad they were in such good moods.. we pull up to the dr's office and my oldest announces "we get to see baby___ (name of his brother)" we were shocked and confused.. we always told the boys their brother was at the doctors (hospital) and thats why he couldn't come home.. eventhough we had explained death etc. etc. he associated going to the dr to seeing his brother.. of coarse we had to explain all over again (and we ended up explaining a few more times too)... its funny what these kind of things "do" to out kids.. I have said that experience changed the DNA of our family...
    4 years later when I was pregnant with our last child the same son asked "will this baby die??"... and to be completely honest we had to answer "we certinally don't THINK so, everything points to a very healthy baby".. (and yea she was!)
    its all in how we deal with the changes/ challenges/ trials..
    you are doing great.. this has taken a bit of a turn to what i had intended and i've rambled way too long sorry!
    so I guess short answer, YES Lamp has change but you are fantastic mother who can deal with what ever is placed in front of you..
    big hugs

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  21. Random lurker with a long, rambly comment. My kids have gone through some difficult stuff at young ages and so far they seem to be OK. My oldest developed 'reactive lungs' from a cold at age 1 1/2 and had to be hospitalized twice in a four-month period. According to the doctors it was somewhat 'routine' as a childhood illness and she would outgrow it (she apparently has), but it was so hard for us as parents. The second time she was in the hospital she spent most of the time tugging at the oxygen tube in her nose saying sadly 'nose'. It broke my heart to see her sick and in pain and not understanding why. When she was a little older my husband and I separated for a few months--my daughter was 3 1/2 and my son was almost 1. I know it was disruptive for them and they had some regressive behaviors, like my daughter began wetting the bed and her pants. But we made it through and now a few years later neither of them remembers that time at all (at least not consciously).

    Part of why we are here on Earth is to grow, and sometimes we grow through suffering. I think that is a weird thing to say when it refers to a baby, but to me there is a difference between suffering for a good outcome and suffering needlessly. As her mom your job is try to do as much as you can to prevent needless suffering. I liked what a previous poster said about the mom setting the tone. I have tried with my kids to acknowledge their pain when it happens and to empathize as much as possible. I had a somewhat traumatic childhood and one of the things that made it even harder was the fact that my parents mostly ignored any pain or emotional trauma I experienced. Even things like the times we have moved that have been hard for my kids I've made sure that I have prepared them for the fact that it will be sad, and sat with them and told them "I feel sad too". Hopefully it helps.

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  22. ugh, I'm just catching up on this now...I would feel the exact same way. all I can think of is to hold her, hug her, feed and rock her as long as she wants for a while. Maybe she'll learn that even if she has to go through something hard, you will be there to comfort her. So sorry migs, this is so hard.

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