Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ways in which I've broken my baby

Seeing as how I'm a professional woman and all, which means I'm controlling and rigid, I'm trying to be as mellow as I can about Bun Bun's overall health. But in her brief lifetime, she's already gotten busted in a few small ways that give me a little peek into the future. A future filled with guilt.

1. It's HOT here, and has been HOT and will continue to be HOT, and we were a tiny bit careless about keeping her neck folds clean and dry, and she got a rash. So I was like I'll clean it off with some alcohol, and then apply some diaper rash cream. The rash went from slightly red to angry and blistered, in, like, five seconds. Then it peeled and is now fine, but still. I felt bad.

2. We have been LAX about TUMMY TIME. Perhaps because it has such a stupid name. Maybe I'd do better if it were called Regular Abdominal and Neck Muscle Development Periods, or RANMDP. Anyway, she hates it, and I was like so fucking what if her head gets flat? It will all work out in the end. But at her two month check up, we were told because her head is flat (which it totally is. Ooops.), she has a tendency to spend too much time with her head turned to the right, and her neck muscles are getting stiff. I immediately recalled having read about this in one of the infant books, and had even been paying attention to which way her head tended to turn for a while, but then I...forgot about it. The pediatrician* said she needs physical therapy or to see a craniosacral therapist. For the time being, we're drastically ramping up the RANMDP, including all forms of not-on-her-back time, like on-my-chest time, and doing some exercises for her neck. But DAMN! Be warned, friends. Tummy time is FOR REAL.

3. Vaccinations. There is something super special about knowing your happy, innocent child is about to be hurt and not being able to do anything about it. I made Mr. Bunny hold her as I just couldn't, but when she screamed in rage and pain and obvious disappointment that the world had turned out to be a cruel and heartless place and that her parents had utterly failed to protect her (she has a very expressive cry), I burst into tears. I knew it would be an unpleasant experience, but I hadn't anticipated how awful it would make me feel. I'm so glad we get to do this over and over.

Speaking of busted, by claiming that I had mastered breastfeeding, I clearly tempted the wrath of the thing from high atop the place, and got a plugged duct. Hot compresses have been flying, and I think I may have beat it back. But yes, your Schadenfreude is entirely appropriate and understandable.

*More on the pediatrician situation some other time--can you bear the suspense?


  1. Oooh, the heat rashes are so bad! It's been regularly in the 90's here, and with our old house...well, it doesn't stay much below 80 inside either (we finally got a window unit for our bedroom so Isaac wouldn't melt into a puddle at night). I have just taken to slathering him with coconut oil from head to toe, including the folds. It seems to work, and he likes it :).
    A friend gave me this crazy toy - it's a tummy time spinner, which the baby lays on and it spins around this mat thingy with pretty colors and toys on it. Isaac somewhat enjoys it, but he doesn't exactly loooove tummy time in general.

  2. I guess I've broken my baby too. Whoops. Mac gets "smegma" (grossest word EVER and nasty stuff to boot) in his neck folds all the time. I've taken to using wipes to clean his neck everytime I use wipes to clean his parts. Give it a shot (but make sure you don't use the SAME wipe). That didn't need clarification did it?

    Tummy time was our enemy until about two weeks ago. But we had "standing" time which I figured was the same. Head shape TBD. Stay tuned.

    Shots. Sad. Ow. But better than getting hepatitis. Necessary evil, not baby-breaking.

    Plugged ducts are devil bumps, I'm sorry to hear you have one that needs exorcising.

    Riveting comment: over.

  3. you know this, but you are much more scarred by what you describe than is your babe. I promise. these little ones are pretty hardy little souls.

    On tummy time, based on my vast experience(joking, just in case you don't get it, which is unlikely, but you are tired...) here's how tummy time went for us: hate it in the beginning, then start to really like it once he could turn his head from side to side. then hate again when he kicks and doesnt go anywhere and can't see much. Then love when all of a sudden he could do a baby cobra position. Then LOVE when they can push onto the elbows. Then HATE when they are up on their elbows kicking like crazy and just spinning in circles around a puddle of drool. The point is, it's cyclical, and so you are getting near a "like" period soon, so that's awesome.

    On damaging one's child: I dropped my baby at 3 months. While standing, so he fell a good 4 feet. I still feel nauseated when I think about it, but he was just. fine. Although I did make a tearful call to/ visit to the ped. So you are not the only one who feels this way. Promise.

    Oh and since Blogger hates me, it's Irrational, but it's making me be Anonymous.

  4. OMG I had the neck thing with my son who is now 6. I remember vividly my Dr. laying him down and showing me how he only wanted to look right and I needed to adjust my nursing and make sure he was looking around. I had never heard of this, which made me feel even worse. I died inside (and cried all the way home, I was FUCKING depressed as well at that point from lack of sleep & nursing what seemed like 24/7). It's funny how I am 6 years later with him and his neck is just perfectly fine but at the time it was so devastating that I had "broken" him in some way.
    I love reading of your journey with Bun Bun. It goes so fast, don't blink.

  5. I think every pediatrician everywhere diagnoses every baby in the world with torticollis. (OMG, spell checker wants this to be tortilla soup.) I didn't even know until I reviewed an insurance claim statement. We were SUPER LAX about Torture Time (more fitting name) and Jackson has a normal shaped head. Honest. No helmet or PT needed. And our pediatrician assured us that any time spent in a wrap or carrier or on our chest counted as "tummy time" so long as he wasn't flat on his back. Once she can roll from side to side, and then all the way over, she'll like it more.

    And I've done the same shitty thing with a rash. Jackson has sensitive skin and he had this all-over body rash a couple of months ago that flared up bright red when I applied a new kind of lotion. We went through several weeks of him screeching the Death Monkey Cry whenever he saw me come near him with lotion of any kind. So, it happens.

  6. Ohhh them tasty neck, leg, and arm folds what nasty sticky delights they are. I do what oak does-- spot cleaning with baby wipes. Tummy time sucks, so far Js head seems to be roundish. Shots didn't bother me--does that make me a bad mommy? Or just a jaded nurse.

  7. We didn't do a ton of tummy time--maybe a few minutes each day--BUT we did a ton of time with Arlo on our chests, and he has an amazingly strong neck. So, chest time, in our experience, is very sufficient.

    Nothing in his neckfolds, but I am finding some seriously skanky, crusty shit behind Arlo's ears at bathtime. I think it must be dried breastmilk that dribbled back there when we nurse at night. GRODY.

    Maybe this will make you feel better, or perhaps less alone in the baby-breaking department: yesterday Arlo pulled the Wii console down onto his head. And last week (UNDER DAD'S WATCH, NOT MINE) Arlo rolled off of our bed. We have a platform bed, so it's not super high, but HOLY HELL.

    I will hold Arlo's hands during his immunizations, but I refuse to watch as they poke that needle in. I just watch Arlo and try to distract him, and OH can I tell the exact moment they stick him. It slays me every time. UGH. I cried during his first immunization, but now I'm just poised and ready to quickly scoop him up and rock and cuddle and nurse.

  8. I was glad to have a winter baby, because otherwise DJ would totally have rashes on his neck. We found the crust behind his ears too. Oops.

    And yeah, the needle sticks are a drag. The nurses though do them all in less than four seconds, though. And it's a lot better than a lifelong liver disease!

  9. I try to tell myself that after all the needles I went through to get the baby, they can cope with a few jabs themselves, but it never works. Still, better than polio, etc.

    My son also hated tummy time and also received notice of a slightly flattened head (although I didn't get the full on red alert lecture). I also got experimental with where he went on his tummy, and found that his changing pad was the most tolerated place. So tummy time became combined with airing out the bottom time.

    My daughter is a freak baby who actually likes being on her tummy--it's the one way in which she's easier than my son. I cannot tell you how much that helps. As usual, ease of parenting comes down to the personality of the baby as much as your own skills.

  10. OMG vaccinations. After the first round of them I wondered how bad it would be if we never went back to the pediatrician at all. I mean, she STABBED MY BABY. argh.

  11. Yeah, Champ basically has stuff growing in his neck folds. I mean....

    And I SUCK at making them do tummy time (agreed, bizarro term everyyyyyone seems to use), but do give them a lot of chest time. Same not-much-official-tummy-time–treatment....and yet....Honey's head has no issues but Champ's is super flat on the right so I know the ped is going to have things to say about that at next week's appt. Oh, how they loathe tummy time!

  12. I admit I didn't get on the tummy time bandwagon until g was around 4-5 months old. I think in retrospect we were probably all right because I chose instead to risk SIDS and allow him to sleep on his stomach from around 6 weeks (talk about bad mothering but it felt like either that or not have him sleep AT ALL).

    And Vaccinations. I didn't sleep for days when those appointments were nearing. It didn't help that I also hated our first pediatrician's office with a passion. We have had a far better experience with our second office so I now do believe that there are decent pediatricians out there but some just.plain.suck!

  13. Oh man, I remember the time the doctor told me to wash behind her ears at an appt. I was dismissive, "well, yeah, of course". Who doesnt wash behind her baby ears?

    Holy crap, this momma. There was a pile of crud an inch thick back there. I had to use baby oil and sweat equity to get that barnacle business off.


    Best wishes on tummy time. It is hard ass work.

  14. That little trip to the doc for the vaccines sound really pleasant, mama bunny. Jeez. My friend who works in attachment always says that becoming a mother is like having your own heart start to beat outside of your body. Maybe that was such a moment for you when she got her shots.
    I like RANMDP much better than tummy time. Tummy time as a descriptor just makes me wince. Let's start a petition to get this changed.

  15. i can bear the peds suspense, because i am so confident that you will say, "we dumped those losers and got ourselves a real doctor."

    the vax scream was horrible, though not as bad at 4 months as at 2. the 2-month set was the occasion of his very first tear, proving that my child has inherited my sense of knife-twisting dramatics. on the plus side, we realized that even though we'd messed some things up, he'd never made THAT sound at something we'd done, so we apparently *could* be worse at this gig.

  16. My baby is 10 weeks and I've been reading your blog the whole time, nodding my head.

    I'm terrible about getting in Tummy Time too. Our ped told us to make sure to turn his head to the left, since he looks to the right so often so I hung a few of these ( up in his crib and he likes looking at them and it seems to be working. Also, I kinda do Tummy Time after I burp him by just laying back and letting him hang out on my chest and look around. -Meghan

  17. The good thing about any breakage? Babies are malleable (or so I've been told) and there's plenty of time to address it. Tummy Time sounds terrible, even if it is for real. I've always hated lying on my tummy. I can sympathize.

    So sorry about the vaccinations:(

  18. Aaww man. You're freaking me out. Ian hates TT too. Now I've got to check to make sure he doesn't need a craniosacral whatsit appointment.

  19. It is stupid that it's called tummy time, it just sounds like it's fluffy nothingness that you don't need to worry about. I hope that the exercises and ramping up tummy tummy really helps with bun bun's head.