Wednesday, November 27, 2013

C'mon, Breastmilk! WTF?!!

Two tips for dealing with sick kids:
Acetaminophen is easy to overdose, and the effects can be deadly.
If you've got a sick baby who is likely to nurse all night long,
you may want to have some lanolin on hand.

I was anxiously rushing through the grocery store with Bellybean strapped to my chest in the Ergo, radiating heat into me from his 102-degree fever.  I knew I had to stock up on some supplies in case I got sick, too.  I had this weird sense that I was the only one in the store aware of the coming Apocalypse.  Well, Flupocalypse. 

I have been properly conditioned to fear the flu.  Poor Glenn
& the gang from The Walking Dead have been on my mind
while I've been freaking out a bit about my little ones being
so sick.  Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC, found here.

I smiled only thinly if at all as I passed other shoppers.  I was a little extra annoyed when people were oblivious to their shopping carts blocking my way as I hurried about, grabbing applesauce and eggs and four different over-the-counter medications.

Anxious that I was spreading germs, I didn't check my raspberries for moldy fruit on the bottom as I usually would.  I just hoped for the best, because I wasn't going to put them back and have some poor unsuspecting fool pick them up and catch flu from us.  When I checked out, I guiltily suggested to the cashier and the bagger that they should use antibacterial gel as I tried to rub some of it onto the credit card machine's stylus.

On my way out I grabbed some complimentary antibacterial wipes.  After I loaded my groceries into the car, I wiped down the sides and handle of the shopping cart before pushing it into the cart corral.  I thought I must look like I was wiping off my fingerprints, and wondered if there was anyone suspiciously watching me through a security camera.

Magoo had perfect attendance last year, but Monday morning when he'd crawled into our bed, I could tell as he snuggled up to me that he'd probably be missing school.  Though he'd been breastfed well past his third birthday, he tested positive for flu on Tuesday morning.  Sweet Pea already had an appointment for a persistent cough, and he was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  When his fever spiked Tuesday afternoon, we knew he had the flu on top of pneumonia.  And he'd had over two and a half years of Liquid Gold!  By nap time, the baby spiked, as well - despite getting antibodies through my breastmilk the whole time we'd been exposed to Patient Zero.

C'mon, breastmilk!  WTF?!!

We're supposed to have a virtual force field, aren't we?!  Shouldn't my children be immune to all bugs?  They aren't supposed to be able to get colds or ear infections or stomach viruses, dang it!

For that matter, I was breastfed - I shouldn't be overweight or have Celiac Disease!  And my husband was breastfed - he shouldn't have diabetes!

Of course I know that the benefits of breastmilk are measured in percentages of reduced risk - they're not a sure thing.  But still.

I remember being truly flummoxed when Magoo caught colds as a baby and toddler.  I was downright ticked off when Sweet Pea was literally sick without a break for more than half a year.

And when the whole house is hit with 103-degree fevers and Tamiflu is being vomited up in the night (worst.smell.ever.), well - then I get to feeling, albeit irrationally, a little betrayed.

But of course they get sick. It helps build their immunity, too, and they're sick less now as they get older.  Did I mention the perfect attendance last year?

And at least when they're little and sick, like Bellybean, I can comfort them by breastfeeding.

Do you ever get frustrated that your Liquid Gold isn't living up to its "promises?"  
That your Miracle Milk has failed to prevent this or that?


  1. I totally hear you! I was seriously offended when kiddo got an ear infection at 9 months old despite exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and breastfeeding multiple times a day and night past that. And then he wouldn't nurse because it hurt his ear to lie down! What is this?

    1. Ear infections stink! I hope your little one has fared well in that area since.

  2. Both of my kids were breast fed (though not as long as yours) and both got the junk including my daughter getting pneumonia. I think it helps but we can't expect it to be a forcefield against all ills. Hope everyone is well soon!

    1. We are all pretty well now, besides lingering coughs. Thank you! If only it were a force field! But I'll take what I can get. :)

  3. The first time my older daughter (now 27 months) was ever sick was when my milk dried up when I was almost 4 months pregnant and I had to start supplementing with formula (EBF to 6.5 months, and no formula or bottles of cows milk until 18 months). She was sick 3 times in that first month - so I felt totally smug that her previous good health had all been from mommy's milk. But then my littlest managed to wipe my self-righteous smile off when she got sick at 4 weeks old, and again now at almost 5 months old :(

    So the percentages are great, but at the end of the day our kids are all different, and they're all exposed to different illnesses - and they still need to pick up bugs to build their immune systems, and at least they are boosted by our antibodies while they are fighting these illnesses!