Mamas, I need some kind caring advice...
I'm very tired and sleep deprived. I need kind caring advice from wise mature Mamas. My sweet adorable little 1, Michelangelo, will be turning a year old March 7 and he's doing very well and healthy and teething like crazy, but I have a painful difficult dilemma. I've been a client of WIC and I've been receiving their help with Gerber Soy Formula for a year now and baby food for a few months and we recently found out that WIC will stop helping us with formula when he turns a year old and we're running very low on it - we have only 2 cans left and several cans of baby food - though we're now making some of our own - blended banana, etc. I'm not sure what to do. We're also giving him soy milk and almond milk and we feed him portions of our homemade meals, including mashed potatoes. We are receiving EBT assistance benefits, but the cans are $16 a piece and at the rate he drinks the bottles, they go fast and that's a big chunk. He especially needs to drink it when he's teething because it's the only thing that soothes him and nourishes him and helps him feel better. He was on a long BFing strike for a few months and then his teeth began to come in and I re-visited attempts to BF but it didn't go very well and ouch the biting OMG it hurt very badly. :( I'm in contact with a lactation specialist who wants to help me and hopefully she can help me, but in the meantime, we're in a real bind and need help. We could give him more portions of soy and almond milk and we are doing that. We're introducing a sippy cup to him to wean him off the bottle, but he's so darned addicted to the formula and the stupid bottle it's frustrating and infuriating and stressful. I'm trying not to cry as I write this, but it's been a very painful difficult year and I'm barely trying to heal and recovery from all the heinous horrors that were done to me at the hospital where I gave birth to him and the NICU with the nazi doctor, not-to-mention the crazy creep who made false allegations. The following are the painful traumas I endured at the hospital, the NICU, and this past summer:
This is my painful story…
I gave birth to my son, Michelangelo on March 7, 2012, at a well known hospital women's Birthing Center, Lovelace, in Albuquerque, NM, at 1:18AM. I'd barely slept and I was exhausted and after an exhausting extremely painful natural drug-free birth, I was relieved to go to sleep at 4:30AM. I'd barely slept 2 hours when the hospital nurse staff began coming into my room to check my vitals and my son's vitals and they wouldn't let me sleep. We were on sepsis watch because of some issues with the birth. The 1st round of nurses checked our vitals and left and after 2 more hours of sleep another round of nurses came to do the same vitals check. I was exhausted and miserable and wanted to be left alone, but they were doing their job. On top of it, I'm severely chemically sensitive and all the nurses who checked on us stank of overpowering synthetic perfume and made me feel very ill. I was in tears and begged them to leave us alone, but they said they had to keep checking within the 48 hours of the sepsis watch. As if the checking wasn't bad enough, the nurses wanted to make sure I could nurse my son properly, and they checked that as well also while I was severely sleep-deprived and now not feeling well from all the horrible perfume exposure. The pediatrician on staff checked on us and wrote out a report about us. 1st she stated that I was having trouble nursing and I was nursing infrequently and I wasn't feeling well and I was feeling very tired. Then, on the same report, she added a new statement the next day and stated that my nursing was going well and I was feeling better and baby and me were well and ready to be discharged, and it couldn't be further from the truth. I was having trouble. She also stated on the report that my baby had mild jaundice and was under birth weight. Several nurses asked me how I felt and if I felt I was ready to return home and I wasn't sure how to respond because I was so exhausted, but I missed my home and I was tired of being there, but I couldn't think well due to the sleep deprivation, so, I said I don't know, I guess, maybe. They told me that if I could walk from the bed to the door and walk out, I was fine and I was ready to be discharged. Again, all the nurses stank of perfume and I felt dizzy and I couldn't think well and I wasn't able to give them a good answer, but we were discharged anyway.
We had been home for a few weeks and we were happy to be home, but my nursing wasn't going well and my son kept falling asleep at the breast and we took him to a pediatrician, who said he was dehydrated and lost a pound of weight and needed to be admitted to the NICU asap. She instructed us to take him to the NICU. We did and then the nightmare continued, far worse. 1 of the 1st things the nurses said was that no one is to blame. At 1st, we were exhausted and couldn't think well and didn't respond, but as we talk about it today, we say that they said that so that won't have to have capability and are free of liability, which is far from the truth.
Our beautiful little boy needed to be put on an IV and had to be fed formula around the clock and as if that wasn't bad enough...
The arrogant pompous NAZI doc who had a Napoleon complex insisted that he be fed dairy formula and he chose to discuss it with us after we'd barely slept and when we expressed our chagrin and said we eat a non-dairy diet and intend to raise our son with the same healthy non-dairy diet and we are opposed to dairy and that it's extremely unhealthy. He adamantly disagreed with us and insisted that soy is not binding enough and Mikey needed to put on weight fast and soy wouldn't be enough, I was on the verge of tears and disgusted with his arrogant ignorance and my husband was mortified, but we knew our son was in the danger zone and needed to gain weight fast and we didn't have the strength to argue with him, so, we begrudgingly agreed. And...as if that wan't bad enough...
The next day...the arrogant doc insisted that we take over the job of the nurses and take over the feedings around the clock...which meant more sleep deprivation and that we would be forced to feed our son dairy. We were mortified and could not believe what we were hearing! :( So, fast forward 72 hrs. later...we've barely slept with unkind hyper nurses coming and going from Mikey's room waking us to feed him...1 night I was exhausted, barely slept...and I was feeding our son the dairy formula and I closed my eyes and bawled, feeling my heart breaking and feeling very depressed and feeling mortified that I was being forced to feed our son milk!
The 2nd to the last day, the male doc had been replaced by a female doc who wasn't much better, but after we expressed our chagrin, she said Mikey was gaining weight and was much healthier so, she agreed to switch to the soy formula...we were glad, but still mortified by all the stress and trauma we'd suffered there...then, the doc said that now our son had high blood pressure and she was concerned about that and we were still sleep deprived and we were starting to wonder when they'd let our son go home. I tearfully explained that it was unreasonable to expect me to adhere to their expectations and demands in this stressful environment and that I could much more easily take care of my son and make sure his needs are met at home especially with the support I will be receiving from various organizations who will be doing home visits.
Angry and fed up, we met with the Executive Director of the hospital and pleaded our case, imploring in tears and insisting that our son be released from the NICU. She listened and sympathized and understood how we felt and admitted that the hospital had eroded our trust and that we had suffered enough. As you will read further, she discussed the situation with the doctor who was on staff at the time, and they agreed to release our son the next day.
Finally…upon her recommendation...after we went home to get some much needed rest...we returned to the NICU to feed our son and they gave us the good news that our son could go home...BUT...while he has put on weight and is much healthier...he's congested...his nose is stuffed and we have to use a syringe squeeze bulb to extract the mucus from his nose and we can't sleep because he keeps crying because he's so congested, he can't breathe! We're beyond angry and we're devastated and traumatize and wish we'd never even heard of the stinking hospital!!! And I'm now having night terror nightmares every night because of that horrifying ordeal we suffered there!!! I continue to have to feed him formula because he is addicted and I'm heartbroken and in tremendous painful grief and am forced to relive the horrible trauma every time as a result.
In closing, I wish to stress that this child was not born in any of the non-affiliated hospital birthing centers. We purposely chose it because it's in a hospital. We are extremely disappointed with our decision and the fact that he had to be admitted to the same hospital's NICU after being born in their birthing center speaks volumes and we believe that they should be held responsible for their actions and inactions.
And then, another horrible trauma ensued...
This summer has been brutal, possibly the worst summer we've ever endured. This is mostly because an R.N. who was sent by a non-profit organization that helps new parents to do home visit wellness checks, fell in love with our baby boy and developed an inappropriate close relationship with the 3 of us. 1 afternoon, when we were enjoying some lovely quiet time as a family, during our meditation and breastfeeding, we got a disturbing pounding knock on the door, it severely rattled and startled us, and much to my husband's shock and chagrin, it was law enforcement, and he was holding our son at the time. He tried to talk to the officer thru the door, but the officer couldn't hear him, and demanded that he open the door "now". We had no idea why they were there and we didn't know what to think. The next thing we knew, he forced the door open wide, walked into our home, began asking us questions about the welfare of our child, our lifestyle, our care for him, and asked us to identify ourselves, and reported and conferred with his associate officers to verify our information. We also have 2 cats living with us and they are strictly indoor and when the officer insisted on opening the door, I panicked and started to cry because I was afraid the cats would run out the door and run away into the wilderness and the officer was very arrogant and made no apologies and insisted that the door remain open and the cats would not get out and I said, "um, sir, with all due respect, they are stealth and can easily get past him and run out the door." He didn't care and my husband calmly reassured me and was very vigilant and kept his eyes on the cats and silently nodded to me "that it's ok." We've had a few painful horrifying traumas of the cats getting out and running away and 1 cat disappeared for days and never came back. We were devastated and grieved for days and weeks and still miss him. Once we answered all of the officer's questions, we politely asked him if we could please take the conversation outside and discuss the matter outside where there was fresh clean air because the officer stank of cologne and I felt like I was going to pass out. He didn't understand, but reluctantly agreed and the 3 of us stepped outside to discuss it. We then discovered that there were 3 or more officers outside accompanying him waiting to talk with us. We could not believe what was happening and we were in shock. I really grew tired of explaining why i'm chemically sensitive and that I was trying to protect the health and safety of myself and my family, especially my child, who's very sensitive and I have the right to protect his health. I mentioned my website www.notperfume.com and explained that I'm an organic green author and I spoke of my book that discusses the issue of toxic chemical fragrance.
At first, the officers blew me off and dismissed it arrogantly and unwilling to listen, but then the more I explained, they finally stopped arguing with me and listened to me. Unfortunately, that didn't change the situation. They were still investigating us and so far, we didn't know why. Finally, after we pressed them, they finally told us that they were responding to a welfare check because someone anonymously called and reported us with complaints of child neglect living in an unkempt unclean home. According to the anonymous report, the person was someone who had been inside our home. and when the officer asked us about what the person did when they were working with us, we told him about the nurse and the wellness checks, he called her to vouch for us and our situation and she totally trashed us. She told him it had been in that condition since the 1st day she started visiting us. We were devastated and shocked that she would betray us and stab us in the back this way and we didn't know what to think. In the meantime, they told us that they were waiting for a visit from the state agency that investigates child abuse cases to do a more thorough welfare check and determine if our home was suitable and habitable for a little child, and we were in limbo, waiting for this person to show up. I continued holding our baby boy, who started crying and then fell asleep in my arms and I had barely eaten, I was exhausted, and overwhelmed by the madness of the situation. We felt as if were being treated like common criminals and we didn't understand what was going on. We kept asking questions, trying to make sense of the nonsense and the officers continued to put us off and wait.
It felt like an eternity when the investigator finally arrived. At this point, there were more than 1/2 a dozen law enforcement officers standing next to the investigator talking to us and we felt very alone and very vulnerable and terrified! Finally, after inspecting our indoor environment and taking photos, they stepped outside and told us we had 2 options - the 1st was we could stay with family nearby until our indoor environment was clean enough and suitable for habitation and the 2nd was that they would take our baby into custody until our home was suitable and then perhaps they would return him to us. My heart sank and I felt as if my entire world was crashing down around me and I was terrified that they'd take my son away from me and I'd never see him again! The only family we had nearby was estranged relatives and I was devastated at the thought of having to stay with them, considering we have a strained relationship and don't get along very well, but what choice did I have? It was either that or the unthinkable. I bowed my head and managed to stop crying long enough to say just above a whisper, "ok, we'll go stay with my relatives." My heart felt heavier and filled with more grief and anguish than ever before and I wondered how on Earth we'd get through this crisis and then I prayed to the Great Spirit and the Angels to help us and make this right and heal and bring more harmony to our family.
In a caravan amongst all the law enforcement officer vehicles, we drove from the lovely town of Tijeras to the noisy polluted insane dysfunctional city of Abq. My husband drove in silence and we barely uttered a word as we drove to his parents' apt. We were totally horrified by this and it felt like a nightmare that we'd hopefully wake up from very soon. We walked up the stairs and dreaded walking into their apt. and we sat on their couch, looking down in complete silence, filled with tremendous painful emotional anguish. The investigator and the law enforcement officers stood there talking with us for what felt like an eternity and after discussing the situation, the investigator told us she'd follow up with us the next day and I implored her to please only wear natural organic fragrance and cosmetics so that we would be able to breathe and not have to suffer any health problems. At first, she agreed begrudgingly, but she understood and agreed and said she would do her best and use only Aveda or Burt's Bees, which was fine with me.
The next day, the investigator returned and met with us and we talked for over an hour, which felt like an agony eternity, and she reviewed the report with us and read to us the claims that were written there. They were all false allegations - cat feces everywhere, a bunch of trash dumped everywhere, caked on unsterile formula baby bottles, aversion to soap, and the absolute worst 1 yet, I'm a detached Mother and I show no interest and I'm completely disinterested with my child, which couldn't be further from the truth. I Love my son with all my heart and he's the most important person in the world to me, as is my dear husband. They were entirely false allegations and we were aghast and could not understand why she would say any of this, especially since she seemed to care about us and was always supportive. We discussed it for a while and then she told us she would stay in touch with us and then she left. The next day, my husband gave it a lot of thought and tried to make sense of it and then, he figured it out. She apparently snapped, was mentally unstable, enduring an ugly divorce, and fell in love with our little boy, and thought that if she made enough grossly exaggerated false allegations, our son would be taken away put up for adoption in the courts, and she'd swoop in with her sweet loving clean appearance as a nurse and mother and plead her case and they'd award her adoption of our son. The whole thing sounded way too creepy to be true and I shuddered at the horrifying thought, but then I thought about our last home visit with her. She said she was very fond of us and she "especially loved our little guy" and as she checked his vitals in his bassinet, she turned to look at me with a very creepy sinister face and said, "I can see how much you care about and love your son" several times. At first, I didn't think anything of it and I didn't want to, but as I sat there on the couch talking with my husband, a horrifying creepy feeling came over me and I realized that she really was after our son and wanted to take him away from us.
What was supposed to be a few days or a week of investigating our and making sure we were following the rules, turned into the longest 4 months of summer in hell! We were forced to stay with relatives with whom we have a strained relationship, had no privacy, and as a result, I was not able to breastfeed my son due to lack of privacy and then started teething and went on strike and that just added to my painful heartbreak grief. The apt. bldg. we had to stay in was occupied by tenants who smoked and wore tons of synthetic fragrance, which added insult to injury and made us all very ill, and we continued to feel more and more depressed. We suffered severe sleep-deprivation due to the insane noisy city and noisy insane tenants. One of the worst parts is that none of the false allegations were investigated and the nurse got off totally scott-free and neither the law enforcement nor the investigator would investigate her. They refused and all they cared about was the concern about us as negligent parents, despite the fact that the false allegations were extremely exaggerated and falsified. It seems in this world that anyone can make false allegations against a person and regardless of whether or not the accusations are factual, the accuser can make any claim they wish and will not be investigated. This is truly a mad, mad, mad, mad world. The investigator left us hanging and we got fed up with waiting for the case to be closed so we called and after we spoke with her supervisor and her supervisor's supervisor, my husband finally reached the investigator, who had been out of town and wasn't returning our calls, and she wrote a letter stating that the investigation was closed and we were safe. We were delighted and relieved and grateful but the emotional damage was done and now we have more trust issues than ever and we feel even more trespassed on and no one will be allowed into our home unless we intuitively feel safe and comfortable with the person. It was a harrowing summer and I continue to cry 1,000's of tears and I am forced to relive the painful trauma everyday!
Please pardon the rambling, I hope this is easy to read and follow. I know we need to wean him from both the bottle and formula and I would give anything to get him back to my breasts and I know he wants it too and loves bonding and connecting deeply with his Mama. I just feel so very overwhelmed. :( Thank you for listening.