Pity PartyPosted: August 12, 2011
Yes, this is going to be a pity party, and you don’t have to come. Really. I’m not just being passive-aggressively self-pitying and saying you don’t have to come when really I expect you to come, goddam it.
Now that you can hardly wait to read on, here’s the story.
Das Baby’s doctors want him to get a G-Tube. That’s right, after all my smugness about “fixing” his eating problems by cutting out dairy, things slowly got worse again. His weight plateau continued (although he’s FINALLY up about half a pound), and his feeding problems returned: screaming, refusing, twisting away from the bottle, etc. By now, you would think that I would know better than to tempt the universe by declaring something resolved, but no, I just had to open my big bloggy mouth about it, and here we are.
So where is here?
Facing surgery (again). This time, he’ll have to be intubated and put under general anesthesia. Which terrifies me.
But before he can even have the surgery, they want to test how he does with tube feedings, which makes sense since he’s been off the NG since February, and to put him through surgery only to find out that he doesn’t do any better with tube feedings would be horrible. But it also means a two-week trial with an NG tube. Now Das baby hated the NG tube when he was one month corrected, and not terribly mobile. He’s now seven months corrected and incredibly active. The tube is going to drive him crazy, and I hate the thought of him being so miserable.
And, just to insert the NG tube is going to require a few days of hospitalization to make sure he tolerates it (no more Hipster Hausfrau and Herr Husband at-home tube insertions!). So that’s more torture for him.
And then it’s the surgery, and that excruciating moment where you have to hand your poor, innocent child over to the doctors (who are of course lovely and talented and trying to take the best care of him, but still…), and watch him disappear behind the double doors. And then you wait, knowing that he’s crying as they’re sticking him, and you’re not there to comfort him. And then, once he’s out, he’s lying there all floppy and vulnerable. And then they intubate him, which is always a bit risky for a pulmonary patient. And then the surgery itself. All while you sit in the waiting room trying not to think about anything, not wanting to ask for an update too soon, waiting for the moment when the doctor comes and you can try to read her face to see if your child is ok. Now of course I have friends who have seen their children through ten-hour heart surgeries (in addition to gads of routine procedures), and in comparison, a little G-tube insertion doesn’t seem like much. But any time you hand over your child to have him cut open is scary in a way I didn’t know I could be scared.
And then once the tube is in, there’s the maintenance of it, the fact that it may make his feeding issues worse rather than better (he still won’t feel appropriately hungry, and he won’t have to eat). It could also worsen his reflux. On average, it’s in for a year, but it could be shorter or longer. And there’s the simple fact that what should have been this important part of our bonding, a mother nursing her child, is instead a woman being hooked up to a pump like a fucking dairy cow so that a separate pump can inject the food directly into her child’s stomach. Herr Husband and I refer to these phenomena as the science fair project, when instead of relating to Das Baby naturally as our child, we have to relate to him technically and medically. I’m sure research has been done on this subject, but I think it’s incredibly detrimental to the parent-child relationship (and frankly a testament to the depth of our love for him that it doesn’t seem to have affected us too much).
The silver lining: I won the science fair in middle school and high school.
So I’m heartbroken and terrified and all kinds of other bad things. But I also want Das Baby to grow, and I have to believe that in fifteen years he’ll be happier to have had the tube he doesn’t remember than to have had a lack of nutrition affect his growth.
Das Baby has obliged my emotional state by taking an epic nap so that I can write this post and perform several rounds of weep in bed. And ask ugly questions like: Why us? and My water broke almost a year ago. When will this stop? And these are bad questions because 1) everybody has their shit, it’s part of life and 2) they tempt the universe to unleash even more havoc. Don’t do it, universe! I know I have far more for which I should be grateful (like a sweet, gorgeous, alive miracle baby) than about which I should cry.
Thanks so much for coming to the pity party today. I’m not normally one to treat Hipster Hausfrau like a public journal, but I needed to write this one out. If you’ve gotten all the way to the end of this torturous message, and want to leave some love in the comments, I’d be much obliged.