Monday, January 14, 2008

Check-Ups and Mates

Most of this post is around a month due already... but you know how I insist on details so...

the OB check-up
My check-up got delayed by some three weeks. Anyway, I am healing quite nicely anyway. My OB did ask me about family planning and whether i've also considered my options already.

So I raised my questions on injectables and here is what she said:
1) Injectables usually have worse side effects than pills. So you'd have more acne and bloat more and more likely suffer from headaches. This is a one-time big-dose injection of pure hormone after all (every three months).

2) Injectables lengthen one's infertility phase... sometimes even up to a year which is why she doesn't normally advice it for women with irregular periods who might want to have another kid or two in the near future.

3) Injectables do not affect milk supply for breastfeeding women, however, unlike pills (the two-hormone ones).

So for the meantime, it is condoms for us (although I haven't had my period yet due to my purely breastfeeding stint). And I will probably schedule a pap smear middle of this year.

I also asked, just in case, what I should know if I happen to get pregnant anytime soon (like this year, even if we don't have plans). She assured me that my CS wound would be completely healed by the time the next baby will be due... however, getting pregnant this early will probably result in a lower birth weight for the next baby as my body has just recently invested in Yakee.

How about you mommies, how have you maximized your OB visit lately?

the pedia check-up
A month ago, we switched pediatricians. There isn't anything wrong with the lovely and soft-spoken Dr. Caedo but since hubs is a very busy man, going to the pedia's clinic in Asian or Makati Med will always be a hassle.

So we switched to a neonatal specialist who was referred to us by hubs' cousin (a pedia before in PGH). He was her professor, thesis advisor and wedding principal sponsor. He actually holds clinic in Asian too, started last August but we only found out about it after our first visit with him. One other plus for Yakee's current pedia is that Dr. Barias (the good doctor who tried helping us with PY) and my OB know him. Then again, they seem to be all products of UP and PGH :)

Anyway, we went there on a Tuesday. After the initial interview, Yakee received his 5-in-one shot for only P3,200 (including consultation fee!). Yakee was supposedly due for oral rotavirus vaccine too and I asked his new pedia baout it. He told us that as a policy, he doesn't really give it, explaining that the ones who really need the vaccine are the ones who cannot afford it (meaning the poor). Those of us who can afford it (and our former pedia said it will cost P3,500) are also able to afford distilled water and most probably keep everything sterile for the baby. Plus, the vaccine only protects the baby from rotavirus, but not from other viruses and bacteria that will cause diarrhea and he'd rather parents just continue being vigilant about sterilization and hygiene rather than spend for this vaccine and be complacent. So I opted not to get it anymore and just continue being paranoid about Yakee's things.

The pedia also advocates breastfeeding but voiced his concern that after six months, breastmilk shouldn't be the baby's main food anymore. He said breastmilk is only best for babies up to two years if it is complemented by the right diet, where the baby should actually get his nutritional requirements. I guess he's encountered many mothers who use their breastmilk as an excuse not to feed their babies real, nutritious food. I assured him I will feed my Yakee accordingly (and have actually started bargaining with hubs about junk food, fast food and sweets... all of which I intend to delay introduction to Yakee).

I know... coming from a Mom who has just consumed half a roll of cake in 24 hours, that sounds rich. But it's actually what kids are for: to challenge the parents to live healthier lifestyles.

the soulmate
At that visit, there was only one other baby waiting with us. But what are the odds of Yakee sharing the same birthday with that baby girl?

She was born via CS too, at 9:36 AM (Yakee was born at 9:59) and was there for the same shots that Yakee got.

Her name? Adriana Nicole. Her nickname? Nokee. :)

They're both due back on Feb. 12 for their next shots. Sigh. I hear wedding bells already :D


Tomorrow, however, am bringing Yakee back to his pedia because we had to rush him to the ER last Saturday night.

See, he pooped three times that day which was abnormal (he usually poops every three days or so) and his last poop had traces of blood. I was immediately panicked!

I also feel a lot guilty because it seems to be an intolerance to a drug i'm taking, which is being passed onto him thru my breastmilk. The ENT who first prescribed my meds actually advised me to STOP breastfeeding, saying i'd be passing bacteria to Yakee through my breastmilk (just goes to show that even doctors don't know much about breastfeeding, and that this should be addressed by the national health system).

I refused to stop breastfeeding and cried and cried to Jojo about it. I know that lest am HIV positive or getting cured for cancer, I can continue breastfeeding because there are generally alternative drugs I can take for most common ailments (and my gosh, this is only acute sinusitis anovah!). What I did was consult Yakee's pedia who changed my antibiotic prescription to something more suitable.

Still... like what I said, Yakee seems to be reacting to something i'm taking. To Decolgen, a decongestant, for that matter, which is really, really weird. It could still be a coincidence. We're being asked to get his stool cultured for more info but he hasn't pooped yet.

But given my strong allergy history... I can only sigh. Like what I told hubs, I cannot imagine the implication of Yakee being allergic/intolerant to the decongestant am taking (which, if it passes onto my breastmilk, will only be in very miniscule amounts!)... what it would mean for him in terms of diet and drugs.

And lest somebody out there wonders why am still breastfeeding, here's why:
1) Yakee has been exposed to the same germs that our household has been exposed to. Not breastfeeding him, if only for the meantime, will also mean not passing onto him my antibodies. He actually showed signs of colds last week but seems to have recovered within the same day.

2) The incident with Yakee's poop may just be coincidental to my taking new meds. After all, he didn't react to Neozep when I took it for two days the week before. And decongestants ARE safe for breastfeeding moms, as well as some antihistamines and most antibiotics. Not breastfeeding him now, when he's actually hit by something else, would only compromise his immune system.

3) Breastfeeding actually protects babies from allergies, both in the short and long-term. I cannot help my allergic history. My husband can't help his either (he had asthma as a child). It actually wouldn't be a surprise if Yakee inherits some of our hypersensitivity, but breastfeeding will provide him some amount of protection... whether by fortifying his immune system or decreasing the severity of his reactions.

Don't believe me? Then google breastfeeding and allergies.

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