Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Orchidopexy - testicle undescended and removal.

We are back from the hospital; B had to have his testicle removed. When they told me, after the operation, I did feel sad and disappointed even though I had basically assumed all along that they wouldn't be able to find the missing one. Turns ot that they found a 'nubbin' but not a properly formed testicle and so because it's a cancer risk they removed it. Poor old B has 3 wounds - one in his bellybutton where they put a camera in, one on his abdomen and then finally in his testes sack where they removed the nubbin. He is ok though and has needed surprisingly little pain relief. In case it is of help to anyone else reading this who has a son with the same issue here is what happened.

I was told I could only feed him up to 7.30 am but after reading up about it online and finding out the operation was unlikely to happen until after 1pm I let him feed at half past 8, not a big feed but he wanted it so I let him. After that I took him to my mum's house as she had offered to help distract him. I am still breastfeeding so was worried about him pawing at me and getting distressed. At first he was ok, quite easily distracted with a beaker of diluted juice but as time went on I had to do things like take him rond the block and show him stuff to keep his mind off wanting food. At about eleven I re-read the leaflet they had given me and realised I had made a mistake. I thought fruit juice was ok but it said 'dilued squash (not fruit juice')! Although he had only had a bit I was really worried the whole thing might have to be cancelled. Anyway, at 11.30 I had to stop giving him water and I drove to pick up my husband and then onto the hospital. As soon as we arrived on the ward I mentioned the fruit juice and was told it would be ok. at first were told we might get bumped into second place as his operation was more complicated than the other little girl waiting but it turned out that we were first. B was ok but did root around in my jumper quite a lot and we had to keep on distracting him, poor thing must have been starving.

in the ward we were given a single bed but told a cot would be provided if we had to stay over so I told them we co-sleep and no need. A nurse and anaethesist came to put 'magic cream' on his hand to numb it for when they tried to find a vein for an anaesthetic (I think) and he was weighed and had his chest listened to. A doctor came over to explain the procedure and get our consent but I barely heard a word of it as they had wanted to examine him and then just left me to console him and change his nappy while they explained to D. That was a bit annoying as I felt like I didn't know enough about it all. Then not long after D took him down to be put under. I was a coward and sent him to do it and am glad I did as apparently it wasn't very nice. D was definiely a bit shaken up by it. Then we went to get some food. It's very strange knowing your son is being operated on but not being there, I felt awful for being away from him. Just over an hour later we headed back to the hospital where D dropped me off. I went back up to the ward and waited. Not sure how long but probably within the next hour they came to tell me he was in recovery and then took me down. As I walked in I could see a male nurse giving him a cuddle (he was crying) and as soon as I got him back I was able to give hm a feed while the nurse filled in the paperwork. B was really grumpy, hot and upset. It took a while for him to calm down and then they put me in a wheelchair while I held him and pushed me back into the ward - that was very strange as I was fine but they just won't allow you to carry them all the way back. After about 40 minutes B finally went to sleep and had a rest while a doctor came to explain that they hadn't been able to bring his testicle down because there was nothing but the nubbin there. He and the nurse showed me B's wounds and explained how to care for them, gave me some medications for him and that was basically it. we didn't have to stay the night which was good as it was noisy and hot in there and it was so much better being at home. B has been ok since, not needed much in the way of medication and has been quite active so seems to be fine. Just have to keep an eye on his wounds and make sure they don't get infected.

I am still a bit unsure about what they did, the doctor's accent was quite hard to understand. I wish they would give you some kind of letter when you leave, explaining what just happened.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mums, Know your place...Second.

If anything is guaranteed to firmly demonstrate your place in the pecking order it's the kind of email I received from my mum this week entitled 'Important'. Not only that but she also messaged it to my husband on Facebook. Bless her. I have been sick, really really sick. It started last Sunday night with diarroea which turned into sweating fever by Monday morning. For four days I felt extremely sick and was on and off the toilet for most of the week, the rest of the time I was trying to entertain the baby who naturally was full of beans. It was Hellish to be honest and seemed endless. Throughout the week I kept in touch with mum who told me to keep drinking water and to keep an eye on baby B in case he got it. After about 48 hours I updated my facebook saying how horribly ill I had been and did anyone else have it, how long would it last, could it be food poisoning and so on. On Wednesday morning I woke to this email

"if B still has it you MUST phone the doctor, he can get dehydrated so fast. Important to get medical advice if it has gone on for more than 24 hours for him"

to be fair my mum did have a particularly bad stomach upset a couple of months ago which almost hospitalised her - at least her partner was that close to phoning an ambulance - so I can understand her worry ... BUT... when I posted on facebook it was about ME (me me me!) not about B. I had to laugh because it does just show how unimportant you become when a baby is born.

B has his operation for an undescended testicle on Monday. I am scared but will write more about it later.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

things on my mind...

1. I am becoming so bloody judgemental of all things to do with parenting. Anything that does not fit my way of doing things is wrong. I always was judgemental but now that it is all centred around one subject it's becoming scary. On the one hand I feel awful for feeling so disappoined in people who make certain parenting choices, on the other I actually feel I am 'right' to feel the way I do. Things I hate are early weaning, controlled crying, people giving their small children fizzy drinks, hitting cildren, dads wanting to bottle feed, telling children they are stupid, formula, routines, girls in pink, boys with guns, 'princess', 'little man'... the list goes on. Maybe I read or know too much? I am just forever asounded by the lack of basic knowledge on childcare issues that my friends have.

2. My boss doesn't know that I can request exceptional leave for my son's operation; she tells me that because the operation is planned I have to take annual leave. All my older workmates are shocked that I have not been given exceptional leave because over the years they have all had exceptional or domestic leave for children who have had hospital stays. I am considering calling in sick just to get those days back.

3. The operation is scaring me. My son has an undescended testicle, in fact they can't locate a testicle to bring down. In just over ten days he will be having a pretty routine operation to try to locate and bring down the testicle. It means an overnight stay for him and so for me. I am really scared about the anaesthetic and the after care. Poor little thing. Plus on the day I am not allowed to feed him (breastfeed or other food) after 7.30 am. I am really not looking forward to that.

4. My sister is having a shit time. She gave birth in a shit hospital and had a shit labour where she lost 4 pints of blood and had a third degree tear. Her daughter was given another baby's antibiotics by mistake and now she (my sister) is back in hospital because of retained placenta. It is 3 weeks after she gave birth and her midwife signed her off and dismissed the fact that she had terrible stomach pains. Between 2005 and 2008 six new mothers died in the hospital my sister gave birth in.

5. D's mum is here for 5 days and I will be in work for 3 of them which means my son will be in creche and so my mil won't be able to see much of him. My husbands wants his mum to have lots of time with her grandson. One solution would have been for him to take time off work and B to stay at home but this has never been suggested. I feel quite stressed out because my husband says he wants our son to see his grandmother but nothing has really been arranged to make that possible. I tend to keep my mouth shut as often when I do try to contribute I am accused of negativity. I just hope no one thinks it's me who's rubbish at planning?

6.  I really really hate the way women have become so obsessed with being hairless and being fake and tanned and big busted. I worry about how I can bring my son up to realise that those things are not right or normal.

Feeding babies - a mother's job?

Do you know what I really hate? I really hate it when men say that they feel left out because they can't feed a newborn. I just want to shout 'tough titty' - no pun intended. To be honest, until recently, I had never come across a real live man who felt this way; I had only ever read about them on-line. I have to say I am becoming a bit of a hard-line lactivist and I do truly believe that every woman can breastfeed (and should attempt to) but far too many of them are given such shit advice that they end up with inadequate supply or other issues. So it really does irritate me when I come across someone who, by saying they would like to feed the baby, is maybe unknowingly scuppering their partner's chance of successfully breastfeeding. The first 6 weeks of breastfeeding is just so important - it is when a woman builds up her supply, gets the baby and her body working in tune. It's not about bonding (although of course that is a lovely side-effect for mothers) so there is no reason for a dad to feel like they can't bond because they can't feed. Dads can bond in a whole load of ways; if bonding only came through breastfeeding then we would have a whole generation of mums and daughters who are not bonded because they were bottlefed.

A friend told me in the early days after the birth that her husband was feeling useless and finding it hard. He asked me about when she could start to express and I suggested they wait until she had been feeding for more than 6 weeks. However, because of a recent medical issue, she has had to express and so now he has achieved his goal - to bottle feed the baby. Photos on facebook and big grins from him. It just makes me so annoyed though.

Why do some men do this? They can change the baby, wear the baby, bath the baby, sing to the baby, dance with the baby, kiss the baby, sleep with the baby, rock the baby, stroke the baby, talk to the baby, dress the baby... why does 'feeding the baby' become such a massive thing. Why fixate on the one thing you have always known you are not biologically able to do? Dad's can't carry or birth the baby either but you never hear them making a fuss about that.