An Autocidal Life, Part 9: In Which Babe’s Babe Borrows Blood Baddies

A new grandma, almost killing her new grandson!? The brand new babe’s father, cheering her on?

Yes–That’s in THIS post 🙂

Murderous Grandma Matroishka Doll

But She Looks So Harmless!

(If you missed the beginning of our exciting and sometimes-gross-but-still-riveting story, here it is.)
He Got More Than Just Her Eyes

Where Babe’s babe almost dies.

First, let me introduce you to “before” Justin. Here he is at two days old:

Just in Lap 1 Babe had been dangerously food-allergic; she wanted to be extremely cautious with Justin. He was to be breast-fed only.
When Justin was exactly fourteen days old, and Joe’s parents came to visit, this was emphasized to them by Babe. Just before Babe herself, foolishly, stepped out of the house for her first breath of freedom in two weeks.

Little White Girl Thinking Duh

You Left Your MOTHER-In-Law In Charge With Your Brand New Baby!? 😮

Joe’s mother disliked Babe (as did Joe, unknown then to Babe). With Joe’s blessing–and with Joe’s dad Bruno proudly filming–Brunhilde fed Justin his very first bottle of formula.
Later, after a frantic race to intensive care, the pediatrician told Babe: “He was an hour from death.”

Newborn White Baby in NICU Iincubator

Justin was highly milk-allergic. Thankfully, once IV fluids were given, and the last of the formula cleared his system, he perked up.
Then, the hospital, just like Joe and his parents, ignored Babe’s instructions: They gave Justin more milk formula AGAIN.

South Park Those B-stards

Why would they do this? Were they morons?
Yes. Yes, they were.
They did it because they assumed BABE was a moron, and her family were morons, too.
The hospital doctors made the usual assumption specialists make of laypeople:
“They is dum.” And, in this case:
“There’s no milk allergy–That dim mother-in-law gave that dim baby a dim dirty bottle!”
But, when Justin got sick AGAIN, the dim doctors learned their lesson, didn’t they?
No. Remember who the morons really were:
Those super smarties gave Justin SOY formula next.

Keep Calm and Kill Those Bastards  

And they did that even though Babe was right there at the NICU, her recently-preggers Behemoth-boobs a mere room away. Plus, stockpiled in the NICU fridge, a truckload of Babe-certified boob-juice from her additional 12-14 ounces per each two-hour pumping session.
Thanks to the doctors at the hospital Cedars Sinai, just like Brunhilde and Joe, deciding they knew better than Babe, it was proven again that her fears were justified: Justin was highly soy-allergic, too.
By this time, little Justin’s system was just overwhelmed. Besides getting weak and deydrated from the soy, he got a horrendous rash from head to toe that looked exactly like a very bad case of acne.
Neonatal Lupus Baby
The pediatrician suspected neonatal lupus. She consulted a neonatal lupus specialist from Children’s Hospital, who agreed.
(ASNIDE: ‘Fess up: How many of you were thrown, even if only for a sec, by that “She”? Because when we see “pediatrician”, most of us are programmed to think doctor=male… 😐 )
A positive ANA test (remember that, from seventeen posts back in this neverending series?) lent support to the lupus diagnosis. The lupus specialist reported this back to Babe’s pediatrician, who shared this with Babe.
Yet, when Babe spoke directly with the specialist afterward, he pooh-poohed neonatal lupus to Babe.
Remember THAT? That lupus bible’s advice about keeping us ladies in the dark?

Frumpy Old Mushroom Women

But That Is the Old-Fashioned Way!

Modern Mushroom Women

Today’s Chic Mushroom Women Know Better.

Neonatal lupus is usually no big. It’s when a baby doesn’t have lupus, but has lupus symptoms because of time spent sharing mom’s blood.

Not all babies of lupus moms show symptoms–just as with adults, it is theorized that physical or emotional stress can bring these on. The symptoms almost always go away as the baby’s own blood supply gets going.  

Justin was okay, once Cedars got done messing with him. He went home after five days. He was pale, and weak, and sort of despairing-looking, as if he had barely survived some awful experience. Which he had.  

Meet “after” Justin:

Shell-Shocked Justin

Shell-Shocked Justin, Not Quite 3 Weeks Old

In addition to multiple “finger stick” blood draws each day from his heels (Babe counted up to thirteen stab marks in one heel before she stopped, crying), Cedars had administered a spinal tap, without anesthesia.

Babe heard his terrified screaming during that test through two sets of double doors and down a long hallway.

These posts are…difficult. They mean I must review the time of my marriage.
When I walked in and saw the unholy triumvirate smiling down at tiny Justin with that bottle of formula jammed in his mouth;
And Brunhilde looking up at me with the smuggest, most self-satisfied smile on her face;
And Joe giving a quick mini-version of the same;
I am not a skilled enough writer. I don’t have the words to encompass what I felt. Those two cared more for victory over me than they cared about the little human being held by Brunhilde.
Afterward, when I held Justin, he was logy [draggy, tired]. Later, my always-hungry always-crying boy wouldn’t feed, and he wasn’t crying properly: His usual ear-piercing screams were now the sounds of a weak, sick cat. He even refused water. THAT is when I called the doctor and told her what was happening.
I began with his cat-crying. She said “Get him in here NOW!! Don’t wait to call an ambulance–run lights if you can!”
My in-laws had come to stay for a week “to see the new baby”. Yet, instead of coming to see that baby in the NICU, they and Joe didn’t visit Justin until the evening of his third full day there. Joe denied this later, and I’m betting would still deny it today, but the hospital has the sign-in records that show the truth.
I, of course, was there every day, all day, and most of each night, holding and singing and talking to Justin whenever they would let me, and bouncing and rocking him so he wouldn’t cry.
I hated my f#cking in-laws and husband for not giving a sh#t about him. But they were simply being like most people today. Why go out of their way? I was doing that. Why should they?

Justin’s NICU release records reflect that the sole cause of all his troubles was an intestinal infection caused by inadequate bottle cleaning.
Thus, blame falls on non-medical folks’ incompetence, which follows medical prejudice, and lets Cedars off the hook for their threatening his life with their milk and soy almost-fiascos.

Below is the ending that the LAST post in this series should have had. I accidentally had it appended to the draft for this side journey. Oops. After a coupla’ days, I’m actually gonna wipe it offa’ here and paste it onto there and just pretend like it was always there. Y’all will just forget this ever happened. 🙄
He Told Her So
Where Babe’s doctor feels smug.
Babe’s lupus doctor was disturbingly unsympathetic about her severe arthritis pain, which was very different from his warm, sympathetic office manner on every visit before she’d told him she was pregnant. Dr. R. was clearly still irked with her for ignoring his advice–or rather, his orders. He took obvious pleasure in actually saying the words: “I told you so.” Babe had to go back on the drugs. She would have to stop breast-feeding her baby.
She was ashamed that most of what she felt was relief.
Study Questions: Would you have stayed on the drugs through the pregnancy?


Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 2

I was born ill, with a rash, and swollen face and eyelids. My eyes were a bit Asian to start with, so my mom figured me for “a Mongoloid baby!” as it was called then, or Downs syndrome. No such luck. Couldn’t rid herself of me that easily (for back then, upper-middle-class white-skinned women could, and sometimes magically did, rid themselves of such babies at the hospital).

Black and White Face

This Isn’t Like My Usual Posts. Here Is the Only Picture.

She was stuck with a sickly baby, and she never failed to resent it and me equally. Each time she talked about how I was sick as a child, the anger would rise in her all over again. How dare life saddle her with such unfairness?

I was allergic to all milks and formulas and all grains but rice. (Mom had chosen not to breastfeed me. Learned her lesson on that one, and breastfed my younger siblings!) Even after limiting my diet, I was still wheezy and rashy. That may be why they put me on toddler steroids. (Dumb question for any endocrinologists in the audience: Could that be why I’m so naturally buff today?)

I had my first trip to the E/R before the age of two, when I stopped breathing. Mom gave me mouth-to-mouth holding me with one hand while she dialed for the fire truck with the other. Our small town didn’t have an ambulance.

At my first celebrated birthday, age three, I couldn’t have a regular birthday cake. That would require regular wheat flour, eggs, baking powder (which has cornstarch)–all things I was deadly (literally) allergic to. So mom made me a cake-shaped mass by molding a cylinder out of Rice Krispie Treat goop.

According to her, I came into the room, took one look at that obviously-p#ss-poor substitute for a birthday cake, and angrily piped out (in my teeny toddler tones):

“Dat’s not a cake! And if dat’s not a cake, dis isn’t a birthday!”
and huffed out of the room.

My mom responded by deciding that she would never again throw me another birthday party. That sounds fair. One moment of toddler disappointment and tantrum repaid by a lifetime of parental spite.

My sisters and brother had parties at home, with mom-written invitations going out to their friends or classmates, but not I. I never questioned this, growing up. If you are raised as the lowest dog of the pack, you accept your place.
Not nice, but no death-camp, by any means.
Episode 2 of a 7-part series that will be posted daily. Following that, the focus will shift away from my mommy issues.

The first time I realized that my not ever having a birthday party was not normal, I was eighteen, in my second semester of college. The marvelous Maria and I were sitting around the campus lounge eating subs with a couple of friends and the topic of birthdays came up. “What a coincidence,” said I. “It happens to be mine today.” In the conversation that followed, it came out about no parties, and my friends reacted with tremendous surprise, followed by pity and embarrassment for me. I sat there, overwhelmed by shame at their pity, and the sudden realization that the way I’d been treated hadn’t been normal. I struggled to hide that I was trying not to cry.

Then, Maria spilled her entire 16-ounce ice-cold bright-red Hawaiian Punch right down the crotch of my white pants. (They had to be white.)

When I left the bathroom after abandoning all hope of rescuing the pants or my dignity–I looked like I had both incontinence and the most fluorescent bladder infection ever–I came back to the table to find a birthday candle poking out of my sub sandwich and my friends singing “Happy Birthday”. Now realizing that Maria had spilled her punch on purpose in order to get me away so that she could scout up that candle, and wanting to wring her beautiful brown neck for this, I instead had to stand there with a pasted-on smile of pleasure while the icy red punch of loving friendship continued to drip down the insides of my thighs.

THAT was my first-ever birthday party. (It is still the only one I have ever had, but, based on the experience, I think one birthday party was enough 🙂 )
Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 3

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