Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Diego can't nurse right now, and so there's major mayhem over here.

I had a CTA today -- a CT Angiogram, like a CT Scan with intravenous iodine contrast, which intensifies the view of the brain more than a normal CT scan. As a consequence of the iodine contrast, I cannot breastfeed Diego for a minimum of 24 hours. Well, I could breastfeed him, but the pamphlet from the pharmaceutical company that the nurse gave me says in effect "we [the drug company] pretty much know that this contrast is passed undiluted through breastmilk to baby. We don't know what this does to baby. The mother may bottle feed baby for 24 hours."

I've heard that some doctors calmly say there's no necessary waiting period to breast feed after getting iodine contrast. But then there's the technician today who, when answering the question I asked everyone from receptionist to phlembotomist to nurse to technician, said gravely, "well...every hospital has a different opinion, but we recommend...48 hours."

48 hours is a long time to wait for a delayed flight, say, or a golf marathon to end on a major network like ABC or CBS. 48 hours is a long time for a sleepover with your best friends when you're all 13 -- and these are your best friends. 48 hours is a long time for even the most pleasurable of activities.

So imagine 48 hours of uninterrupted baby-crying. Baby's in pain because I'm denying him my nipple, offering him instead a silicone rendition of it, which is nothing like the real thing. And he knows it. And I am listening to him wail, screeeeeeching like a favorite pet being run over by the neighborhood gang -- over and over -- just for the torture. And as bad as this pet tragedy sounds, baby-being-denied-real-nipple-crying sounds worse. To me it does, anyway.

Imagine how long this event feels.

His confusion and distress create in me a frenzy -- a chaotic ache to quell my child's trauma.

I am drinking so much water right now, trying to push this iodine contrast out of my body as fast as possible. My kidneys are double-timing it.

Daddy is caring for baby right now. I think they're bonding. Daddy's all baby-whispering in there, getting Diego to take the bottle. Diego knows by now that Daddy has no boobs, so it's easier for Daddy to get him to take the bottle. But true to baby-whispering form, Daddy is doing what seems to have been impossible only moments ago: get him to suck my milk from the artificial nipple. Bless him.

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