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   Saturday, January 21, 2006  

Another post about my boobs

I am not an entirely crunchy granola type. I have elements of that in my personality, but it does not define me. Unless of course we're talking about my views on parenthood and what makes a good parent.

For myself (ok, and the lowercase, but his involvement in all of these is obvious and I assure you that my desires are what I want based on what I want for him), I wanted a full term pregnancy.

I wanted a natural delivery without medications. Granted, I wanted this in a hospital with a perinatologist delivering my son, but "natural" nonetheless.

I wanted to breastfeed from the start and never give my child a bottle of formula. I was a breastfed baby who self weaned at 3 years old. I wanted to let my son self wean at the age of his choosing (and if that meant I was offering my breast to a 5 year old before bed and any naps he might take, so be it). Please note that I was not opposed to bottles of breastmilk and intended for my son to have at least one of those per day to keep his daddy involved.

Now, for some brutal honesty. I know that "breastmilk is best." And I know that modern formulas are supposed to be healthy, good alternatives. I know that it's a matter of personal choice, etc. But...and here's where I've been afraid to admit it before...I think mothers who never attempt to nurse their babies at breast are bad mothers. And no, I don't really mean that. It's irrational and I know it isn't so. But when I give my son a bottle? That is how I feel. Like a bad mother.

I've had to give up a lot of things in my quest for a child, and I have admittedly gotten a rather perfect one, but there are some things I didn't want to give up.

Until recently, I have been a pseudo-vegetarian. I say that because it's become a bit ridiculous to classify what I am otherwise. When I met my husband, I was an "ovo-lacto-vegetarian" (I ate eggs, dairy, and veggies). He introduced me to sushi and I became an "ovo-lacto-pescatarian" (same as before but with the addition of fish). Now, because of increased protein needs and utter hatred of things like nuts (they make me gag), I eat lots of turkey and chicken. And I know there are proteins in things like beans and tofu and the aforementioned nuts...they aren't "complete" proteins. Meaning it takes more for your body to get the proper protein chains and they have to be consumed in certain combinations or whatever (or maybe I'm totally not remembering that correctly from when I stopped eating meat as a teenager twelve years ago). So, for my little one, I started eating things I wouldn't otherwise.

And then this week it happened. Even though all the medications I am on had my supply increasing and the supplements all seemed to be working, my son went on a nursing strike. He refuses to latch to the breast even with the nipple shield and after much finagling when I do get him latched, it is a decidedly poor latch (it makes the shield crinkle up around my nipple. It will stay smooth with a good latch). He isn't suckling much there.

Then when I take him off after my maximum try of 40 minutes of trying to get there and actual nursing, I offer him a supplemental bottle. Since mid-week, he now has trouble "finding" the nipple of the bottle once it is in his mouth. He shakes his head back and forth searching it out -- the same way a baby will do when searching for the nipple when latching to breast. And he cries. And I have to get a nipple to touch his tongue or the roof of his mouth just so all while he's moving about in order for him to recognize it's there and latch to the bottle.

Feeding time now makes me cry. A lot. And I hate breastfeeding. I have been trying for nearly 3 months (Monday morning at 4am it will be 12 weeks since his birth) and he still has not mastered nursing. My supply is a delicate bitch and simply won't stick around if he isn't nursing. And he isn't. I can only do this for so long.

Tomorrow I will meet with the lactation consultant. Three weeks ago when I began working with her, I felt that I hadn't given it my best shot yet. But now I feel like I have. I have tried desperately to nurse my son. It is something that I want more than anything.

But at this moment I have very little hope left. I have nothing telling me to persevere and I will be successful. I know he will never be exclusively breastfed, but I had hoped that he would be mostly breastfed. I had hoped to get down to only 1-2 bottles per day necessary. I had wanted to be able to wear my son out in public and nurse him from the safety of a sling (Dee has kindly offered to send me one she has never used). I had visions of sitting beneath a tree this summer overlooking the lake nursing my son. I imagined the freedom I would have to just be out and about without having to worry about carrying around bottles and keeping them from spoiling or lugging water to mix them up on the fly.

It's still what I want. I still don't want to give up. But I feel like yet another of the things that I felt I needed to do for me to be a good mother is being taken from me. I wanted to have that special bond with my son, that special thing that nobody else could do for him but me. And the truth is, I don't. Since this is my only chance, I felt like I deserved it. And I gave the effort all that I have. But I just can't get him to latch and it just isn't working.

I think I may have to give up. And my heart is broken. It's so broken that today I haven't fed my son at all -- I try to nurse and when he won't, I pass him off to Mr. W to give him a bottle and I leave the room.

I have an emergency appointment with my LC tomorrow afternoon. Maybe after the visit with her I will feel better about the situation, but I find it highly unlikely. Be prepared folks. Either I'm going to be full on enthusiastically telling everyone they should persevere no matter what because IT WILL WORK... or I'll be depressed to all hell at having to fold away yet another of my dreams of what motherhood would be for me.

   [ posted  @ 4:36 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (14) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Another post about my boobs":
My sister was the lactation Queen of Cape Cod. She nursed her boys practically until they were in college. I wanted nothing more than that wonderful idealic closeness to my girls.
My first child did not want me or my breast. I struggled and struggled and tried and tried, until she got her first tooth and bit me and drew blood. That was at 3 1/2 months old. I stopped on the spot. And then I cried and cried and cried. I felt like such a failure. Here I was stopping and my sister was still nursing her 3 year old!
I used Isomil and it came premixed in cans, and so it was almost as easy as nursing, and in the long run, better for my nerves.
Second child, was a better nurser. She seemed to like it. All was going well until I became deathly ill and needed surgery. In one day I went from being Dolly Parton to Twiggy on top! She too went on formula. And I cried.
But they did fine and eventually so did I.
I know it's hard. Nothing has gone like it should for your pregnancy or after. But one day when lowercase is a full uppercase, you can use this to make him feel guilty! LOL
Hang in there and remember, the definition of a good mother is how much love you have in your heart. And I know you have way more than most mothers I know!
Hugs!!!
I didn't want to breastfeed my twins until the first time they latched in the NICU and it was awesome. Then they were daignosed with acid reflux and after a few months, we had to try rice cereal in their bottles. It didn't work but they stopped breastfeeding.

They are 11 months and 1 week and I have been pumping 8 times a day since they stopped latching on. They take bottles of breastmilk and that makes me feel great. I take 6 pills of Domperidone every day to keep my supply up and I have been renting my Medela Symphony for 1 year.

Even if they won't take my breast, they get my milk and that is the best I can do.

Don't beat yourself up !! I have lurked through your story and as a mom to twin 33 weekers after 7 weeks on hospital bedrest, (and 11 IVFs, 4 IUIs and 2 Clomid cycles), I could relate to you.

You are doing a great job and mazel tov on the lowercase.
I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I can appreciate how you feel. Before my daughter was born I had every intention to nurse. I even dreamt about the bond. But then I lost a lot of blood during the delivery and came down with double pneumonia and needed a blood transfusion to get better. I was on such heavy antibiotics that I couldn't nurse. I was so sick that even if I could, my milk wasn't good enough so I "pumped and dumped" until she was 1 week and have been expressing milk for her ever since. She got so spoiled by the bottles that she won't suck hard enough to nurse. But, I feel good knowing that I can at least feed her my milk. Hang in there. You are a great mom. Don't give up.
I have 10 week old twin boys born at 35 weeks and I have had the same problems as you describe.

We were in the Special Care Nursery for 15 days and the boys were tube fed, bottle fed and eventually had 1 or 2 breast feeds a day. My littlest one was born 4lb11oz and had a lot of trouble latching on, so until he got a bit bigger I expressed and gave him a bottle. The plan was always to go back to breast feeding later (as you can do - this is not necessarily the end for you) but by the time he caught on to the whole latching on thing, I no longer had enough milk to feed both of them. They are getting 3-5 expressed milk bottles and 1-3 formula bottles per day.

Like you I had grand plans for breast feeding but realised that these expectations and the subsequent disappointment are a major cause of post natal depression, and I had to accept that so long as my boys were receiving my milk, they were getting the best I could offer. It really doesn't matter (nutritionally anyway) where it comes from so long as he gets it. And watching my husband feed gives me great joy, not to mention how excited everyone else is to be involved - people make appointments to come and feed my boys!!

I understand your disappointment at the loss of the connection, but be assured you are his mother, he knows that, and nothing will ever change that.

Don't loose heart, this may be a temporary setback.
Katie
I forgot to comment on what prompted me to post in the first place!

My son also did the searching thing with the bottle in his mouth - he looked like a bird waiting for his mum to bring him food.

I promise you, he outgrew it pretty quickly. When your lowercase does it (and it doesn't doesn't stop) try taking the bottle out, give him a quick cuddle for distraction, and start again.

The best bit of advice I've received - every stage will end eventually.
Katie
Oy vey! I'm sorry you've hit this roadblock. I hope you go easier on yourself and I hope you can find the strength to keep going so that your dream can come true. Honestly though, a healthy lowercase is what matters most to me.
luv you, L
Miss W i am really sorry you are having this problem - especially after what you have been through.

I have only just got the hang of BF - its taken 8 weeks. I too had supply problems as Rowan would fuss alot at the breast and I couldnt pump much out. I saw a LC and she suggested trying manual (hand) expressing to increase supply, as well as better attachment. This worked a treat for me. Apparently pumps don't work wonders for everyone.

Good luck and don't beat yourself up about having to stop. Your son will thrive regardless.
Wishing you the best with this. There is no right or wrong answer with breastfeeding and I'm so sorry that you find yourself feeling lost in the struggle. From the multitude of bloggers I've read it appears that you are certainly not alone in all of this and hopefully that will help a little. Whatever you end up doing it will be alright, for lowercase and for you. You are a great momma, because you care about this and try. *hug*
It sounds like this is very hard for you. So I hope it will all work out.

Good luck!
You know my story. I wasn't sure if I'd want to do it, I did, I tried, my supply sucked and I gave up. A part of me wishes I could've continued, but the bottles ended up being my saving grace.

You do what you can for these little ones, and I know you. I know that you'll do everything possible to make this dream come true for you.

You're an amazing woman and a dedicated Mom. The Lowercase will know that. If not, I'll tell him myself.
I'm so sorry about all this. After feeling like you were robbed of so many other "norms", I'm sure this seems even worse. Not that it is at all the same situation, but one of my babies has recently begun getting worse at latching, both on the breast and the bottle. I don't understand the sudden change at all. I too will be calling a consultant about it.
Well, hang in there, and know that you are already such a fantastic mother because of the amazing care and consideration you so obviously have for your child.
I think that deep down I agree with you that if you aren't somehow prevented from breastfeeding by circumstances beyond your control, you should try it. It really sounds like you have given it a great try and given your son (who's growing extremely well based on your previous post) a great start. (My son finally got the hang of things such that I could ditch the nipple shield at six weeks old, and I was going CRAZY-- I really admire you for sticking it out as long as you have.) So, if you have to switch to formula so be it. The upside, with any luck, will be much less energy, time and heartache around feeding and much more just enjoying your baby.
Muffin Man absolutely hated nursing. HATED. IT. He hated facing away from the room, missing out on everything. He was miserable. And so he got a combination of formula (at night, makes for better sleep!) and breast milk and I had to pump at every feeding, formula or not, in order to have enough breast milk for him. On the upside, he got lots of good cuddle time with his daddy. On the downside, I felt like a failure. Why the heck did nature give me these ginormous appendages, if he's not going to drink from them?????

But he thrived and your son will thrive and you gave it your best effort.
I hope you're doing ok; it's been a while since this post, and you seemed so upset. Check in when you get a chance, ok?



   Friday, January 20, 2006  

Changing fonts

Sunday my little lowercase weighed 5 lb 8 oz. Today he went in for a weight check and a vaccine. He now weighs 6 pounds even.

To quote Mr. W:
He's still a lowercase, but now he's in a different font. He's gone from 6 point to 8 point.

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  Comments about my post, "Changing fonts":
Way to go lowercase!!! Glad to hear you are doing what you're supposed to! Keep on gaining that much needed baby fat!!
Go Baby! Now we need a picture...
So glad he is gaining weight and growing. When does this lower case become an uppercase, 10 pounds? Good going!
Awww... that's so cute! Yay little 8 pt!
How cute is that!!
Did you find a sling yet? We found the Maya Wrap too difficult, but we loved the simpler styles like "Chic Papoose". We also used one from a company called "Walking Rock Farm" and it was great, because it's adjustable and easy to put on and use. My husband slept with our newborn (who was 6 lbs, 2 oz at birth) in the sling (safely, sitting up in chair). I would recommend finding a sling that comes in two sizes and getting one for you and one for your husband. I think the "Peanut Shell" comes in multiple sizes, but I don't have experience with those.
I agree, Babywearer is a good place to check out!



   Wednesday, January 18, 2006  

Expert advice needed!

Mr. W and I are taking the lowercase to visit his grandparents (there is no logical, sound reason they won't come to us, but since his birth they have been here a total of two times and his grandmother has never held him and touched his skin only once). It's not so much that we're going to see them as it is that Mr. W moonlights as the network engineer for a real estate agency in the county in which his parents live and needs to do some work there.

Now, the tricky part. My mother-in-law is slightly insane and loves to shop. She decided that our pack and play wasn't good enough for her grandson (you know, the baby she won't touch) to sleep in at her home. So, she bought a port-a-crib for him to sleep in there. She went all out and bought a full bedding set for it as well.

While this is nice, it poses quite a problem. They have quite a large house. The lowercase will sleep in the room with Mr. W and myself on the second floor. The family room where daytime hours are spent is on the first floor in another wing of the house. They have no other baby furniture. They will be offended if I bring my pack and play. My baby still sleeps most of the time and will need to be in bed.

This means that either I will have to take my monitors and be far away from my son while we are there or spend all of my time in the bedroom and not associate with anyone else (not a good option as they will be offended at that).

I decided that I'll buy a sling and wear my baby while he sleeps so that he is with me and nobody will be offended. But I don't know what makes a sling "good." I had initially registered for this one, but that isn't based on any type of research, just that I wanted a sling and that was the one that I found at Babies'r'Us. But is this one any better? Or this one? Or from Babystyle, this one or this one? Or is there another one entirely?

We're likely going next weekend (January 27-29) so I need your words of wisdom right away to ensure that it gets here in time. In fact, I'd like to order it by Friday of this week. Be very specific in your comments on which one is best, why you like it, what makes it better, etc. Also, if there is one that just won't work for someone who is only 5'0" and has a baby who is 5 1/2 lb (yes, he reached 5 lb 8.5 oz on Sunday!) or one that will work better for that...let me know that too. If any of them come with accessories that are "must haves" or things to avoid (I've heard both about the support pillows that can be placed inside the sling for newborns) tell me as I'll order that at the same time.

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[Reposted 'cause I accidentally screwed up half the links.]

Oooh! Oooh! Slings! I can't give you advice about which specific is best for you(especially since you are so much teenier than I am) but that's OK because Moxie can! She just last week had a post about slings in her new advice blog. She explains all the different types and their pros/cons.

I will suggest that you look at one kind in particular since w is so little: pouch slings. They are fitted, so you would order one that corresponds to your height. You don't have to mess around with adjusting them and they are very cozy for the baby. There are many gorgeous ones to choose from at .

For even more info on slings, go to
The Baby Wearer. You do have to register there but there's a wealth of info and reviews on slings, plus links to purchase.
Ok, it hates those last two links. Trying again
Hotslings.

and The Baby Wearer
After having a friend whose son could ONLY sleep in his crib, we try very hard to make our son be able to sleep anywhere...we did this w/our 4 yr. old when he was little and with our current newborn...

They take a nap every day in the bouncy seat, on the floor on a blanket and in the pack & play. Sometimes, to try and wake him up, I move him from location to location (which for some reason doesn't usually wake him)... but setting son on the floor on a blanket should be fine for a nap. Or even on the couch or ottoman if someone is sitting w/him all the time. Hope this helps - I forgot about the ottoman one, that works well too, as long as someone can sit there w/him.
Jen gave you great links. I haven't checked out Moxie's advice but I'm sure it's wonderful. I have a pouch from Hotslings and loved it. I've heard great things about the new native, too. Pouches are really easy to use, and if your baby likes the cradle hold (laying down) they are the easiet most versitile choice.

But my all time favorite was the Maya Wrap. www.mayawrap.com My son practically lived in the thing for 6 months and I used it almost daily until he was a year old. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get it, it's fantastic. The babywearer site has lots of pictures of all the different carries and it comes with a video too. The other nice thing is that some babies don't like the cradle hold, but with the Maya you can rig it so even a newborn can be fully supported upright against your chest/belly.

I think the sling will be a great solution for you. I would take the monitor too, though. You may want to put him down early at night or for some meals and you'll need to be able to hear him.
I'm not sure about slings myself. But if you're interested, I have a brand new one of the same type you registered for at BabiesRUs that I've never even taken out of the box. It's yours for free if you want it.

I never used it because J loved the Bjorn from the get go (started out wearing it at 6 lbs but it's not as cozy or close as a sling) so we always used that. Let me know if you want my sling--if so, I can priority mail it to you or UPS or whatever so you have it in time for your trip. E-mail me if you want it.

I'd bring the monitor too--nothing like peace of mind, no matter where you are.
When the girls were small I had a little bed that folded up into what looked like a diaper bag. (do they still make these?) Anyway, it would e small enough to place lowercase in and set anywhere without taking up any space.
Then simply say to your MIL that as he is a preemie, you do not want to be too far from him. If she says anything, have hubby set her straight! I'm going to go looking for that bed now. If I find it I'll come back and post it's location.
http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_1/602-2687178-0342223?%5Fencoding=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin=B00012CHFI

First year close and secure sleeper. Target has them for $39.99
I swear by the Kangaroo Korner pouches. I was a committed baby wearer and I used the New Native and eventually the Bjorn. Nothing is better than the pouches from Kangaroo Korner. The fleece ones are comfy for Mommy and Daddy (adjustable) and can be used up to age three! I have given them to many a friend. I think the first one you registered for is more complex than need be. Good luck and I think, no matter what you use, you will love wearing your baby. I wish I still could! (DD is too heavy now). It's the "#1 seller here: http://www.kangarookorner.com/
I will second the Kangaroo Korner adjustable Fleece pouch. The pouch is very adjustable and is very comfortable. I have used it for little babies (you can put a folded blanket in the bottom of the pouch if they seem to be getting lost in it)and I just used it with a hip carry for two hours at the zoo with a toddler. I would recommend calling as they are very helpful.



   Friday, January 13, 2006  

Housekeeping

I realized I never posted the end of the Great Cell Phone Caper.

There's a really good reason for that. I just did not want to believe that the end had actually come.

You see, I like to think that even those who live in the most poverty-stricken and crime filled neighborhoods are truly good people. I want to think the best of everyone. Quite frankly, I do think the best of everyone which is likely why I find myself hurting much of the time (many of you probably remember that when I'm working, I'm an elementary teacher in the inner city).

After the phone call from the boy who has my phone, we were fairly confident that he would, in fact, return the cell phone. Honestly, why else would he have called to tell us he isn't that kind of person and how truly sorry he was that we were going through all that we have.

And then? He didn't return the phone. We waited a day or so and ordered a new phone. Ver1z0n overnighted the phone to us and I got it yesterday at noon. It's been activated and at some point the voice mail will change to stop saying that the boy has stolen the phone and to please urge him to return it.

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  Comments about my post, "Housekeeping":
Ahh how sad. Are you still stuck with the bill?
Crap. I'm a lot like you - always believing the kids and their sad stories, just to find out that about half the time they're lying through their teeth. But I'm still going to believe that people are fundamentally good. It's too sad otherwise.

So sorry you had this situation on top of everything else.
I'm like you, I want to believe the best in people. Unfortunately people like to prove me wrong. (((hugs)))
well, shit.

I was so hoping that he would've done the right thing. But alas, our faith in humanity just fails us, again.

So sorry, love.



   Thursday, January 12, 2006  

Adjusted age: Zero

It has been ten weeks and three days since my son was born. He is now officially developmentally zero.

In many ways he is a typical newborn but in so many others he is lightyears beyond that. Of course, in some ways, he is behind the typical newborn.

He still basically just eats and sleeps, however he has a few times a day where he is alert and exploring his environment with his hands and eyes. Those alert times last anywhere from an hour to (occasionally) two or three hours -- on those occasions he won't sleep again until after his next feeding.

He can support his head better than most newborns that I've seen and every now and then will roll from his belly to his back or his back to his belly. The rolls they are rare and I believe will eventually become nonexistent.

He responds to noises, to light and dark, to toys placed in front of him.

But he is behind typical newborns in other areas, particularly in size. He weighs just over 5 pounds now. He is only now starting to outgrow some of his preemie clothes.

He is behind in his ability to feed. He simply doesn't get breastfeeding, and as a result my supply is quite low. I'm taking medications and herbal supplements in order to correct the problem and am using a supplemental nursing system (a bottle that clips to my clothing with a tube that is inserted into his mouth along with my nipple; the system works on negative pressure such that when he is getting milk from me, none comes from the supplemental tube and when I am not actively letting down, he is getting milk from the bottle. This is an all around good thing because even when I am not directly supplying his milk, I am getting the stimulation that is required to cause me to produce more milk. It may allow my body to catch up and cause the supplemental system to be unnecessary, or it may not. Either way, I am able to feed my son at my breast.)

In an odd twist, I find myself slightly saddened at the loss of my teeny-tiny little man. Yet at the same time, I am ecstatic at the development that I see on a daily basis and find myself looking forward to what is to come.

In short, his story is very similar now to that of any other premature baby. He is developmentally ahead, behind, and on target with other age zero babies. What the future holds, I don't know. I only know that I can't wait to get to know this miraculous little boy.

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  Comments about my post, "Adjusted age: Zero":
Glad to hear lowercase is doing so well. I love to read the good reports on his progress.

How did the cell phone deal work out?
Happy due date, baby W. Now you can get on with things!
So happy to hear that all is well. So happy!
Happy Zero Day to you!
Happy Zero Day to you!
Happy Zero Day little lowercase!
Happy Zero Day to you!

Hooray!
I just found your blog a few weeks ago via another blog and I LOVE reading it. I too had a preemie in summer 04. She was born at 29.5 wks at 2 lbs 9 oz...she was in the NICU for 8.5 weeks. She came home at 5 lbs 1 oz. She too did that weird rolling over and head lifting up that amazed me...but as you said, she stopped when she plumped up! I thought for SURE she would be super woman...ha She is now 19 months old and doing so well...has about 60 words and is walking all over. Only 20 lbs but she will be a petite one. Bless you & your family and hang in there. Please ocntact me if you need tot alk. been there before!
I just found your blog a few weeks ago via another blog and I LOVE reading it. I too had a preemie in summer 04. She was born at 29.5 wks at 2 lbs 9 oz...she was in the NICU for 8.5 weeks. She came home at 5 lbs 1 oz. She too did that weird rolling over and head lifting up that amazed me...but as you said, she stopped when she plumped up! I thought for SURE she would be super woman...ha She is now 19 months old and doing so well...has about 60 words and is walking all over. Only 20 lbs but she will be a petite one. Bless you & your family and hang in there. Please ocntact me if you need tot alk. been there before!
He's making such great progress! As he gets larger he will get strnger and will be able to nurse better. So don't get too down about that. Isn't it great holding your baby to your breast and feeling that closeness! There is nothing like it!
Congratulations to lowercase on his zero day!
Happy Zero Day!
Grow baby grow!!
Hooray for you little W and congrats to you all on another milestone! More photos soon?

:)



   Sunday, January 08, 2006  

The saga continues

I am in shock. My faith in humanity has been somewhat restored.

I was on the phone with my grandparents tonight when I answered a beep. The caller was my cell phone thief. He said he got my number because it showed up on the caller id of my cell phone when we called it while searching the house for it.

He was well spoken and polite. He told me that he couldn't get a cell phone on his own because of credit issues (he's about 16 or 17 and thus has no credit yet). Because of that, his cousin told him that she would just get him a phone on her plan and then he could pay her for it. He already paid her for the phone and thought he just had to pay her the monthly usage for the phone.

He said the phone was brand new and appeared to have never been used (apparently his cousin erased my phone book and the pictures that I had stored on the phone). And he said he wasn't going to return it because he thought it was his friends messing with him. He heard my son crying and apologized for waking him up and felt bad because he knows what it's like to have a family member in the neonatal/pediatric icu as his niece was there, too. In fact, he said he thought he knew who we were because he had been in to visit his niece. I have a feeling that he was one of the very large African-American family who were in the waiting room a lot of the times that I was in there making calls on my phone and that he recognized my voice when I answered the phone.

He wanted us to know that he was not a thief, that he had never stolen anything in his life and was not the kind of person who would do something like that.

And he assured us that he would drop the phone off for Mr. W at the newspaper office tomorrow morning. I'm realy hoping that he's telling the truth, because I just so want to believe in this boy...in the good of humanity. In the fact that there are decent people in neighborhoods where the police assume that all young people are gang members and refuse to get involved (I mean, who knows, if they did get involved maybe the whole gang violence problem that resulted in 54 homicides in 2004 in this relatively small city would ease up and eventually just go away?).

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  Comments about my post, "The saga continues":
Wow. Impressive.
This is the last thing you need. I hope they guy returns this to you. I've had phone stolen and it is a pain. Did you shut off the serive yet?
I really hope he comes through. That would be a much better end to the tale.
I hope this works out. Maybe his Grandmother told him that she would kick his butt if he didn't. From what Grandma said to you I think she may be the moral compass here. I'm praying for that.
I hope he comes through too - I am always (often) naively believing in the goodness in people. Best of luck. keep us posted
Aaaaand...? We're hanging on the edges of our keyboards here! :)
That is good news. I hope he is 100% on the level and you get both your phone and your faith in good people restored.



   Friday, January 06, 2006  

A thief in the NICU

Before I launch into a tirade, I'll give you the goods...the stuff you want to hear. The lowercase update.

My little man is now huge. He had his two month physical and vaccinations. He weighed in at a whopping FIVE pounds and is 18 1/4 inches long. To most of you this seems small, and for a two month old it is. Hell, for a newborn it is. But, we are still a full week away from his due date. He will turn "zero" on Thursday, January 12. We're celebrating with cupcakes and ice cream. In two weeks we have to return to the pediatrician for a weight check and his Prevnar vaccine -- the office had run out today and didn't expect the shipment in until late afternoon. Obviously, with his size and his history of temperature instability, they didn't want to put any more stress on him and agreed to let it wait for two weeks.

Now...the tirade. And oh, what a tirade!

On Dec. 20, I remember using my cell phone in the lobby of the hospital during the nursing change of shift. After that, I don't remember using it specifically, though a call from my phone does show up on my parent's caller ID on Dec. 22 (the day we brought the lowercase home).

I always keep my phone in the back zippered compartment inside my diaper bag (along with my wallet and iPod) and so I assumed that is where it has been for the last two weeks. Two nights ago, we decided it would be a good idea to charge it, so we went to my diaper bag and pulled out my wallet and my iPod and realized the phone was GONE.

We called it and it went straight to voicemail. We searched our coat pockets, closets and both of our cars (even though mine hadn't been driven since late November). We checked the online statement and the last call it showed was on December 20. Obviously, it hadn't been stolen. If it was lost outside the home, some kind soul turned it in to hospital security.

Yesterday afternoon I called the NICU. I spoke to my favorite PCT (similar to an orderly) and she hadn't seen it but transferred me to the charge nurse who also hadn't seen it. Because we were in an annex of the NICU during part of his stay, I had them transfer me to the PICU. The charge nurse on that floor hadn't seen it either but put up a sign telling anyone to call me if they found my phone (a brand new $300 camera phone -- GAH!). Then I had them transfer me to the information desk in the main lobby as the last calls I remembered placing were from there. They said they keep lost items at the desk for 24 hours before sending them to hospital lost and found which is housed in another building. Again my call was transferred.

For a split second, we thought my phone had been found. One was turned in on December 20. It was a flip phone. It was silver. It was an LG. Mine was a Motorola.

Yesterday evening, Mr. W decided to call it again. Some boy answered my phone. He said that it was his. Mr. W was taken aback and hung up. Then he got mad and called it again. He asked the boy where he found my phone, only now the boy effected a spanish accent and pretended to speak very little english.

We called Ver1z0n and were told that the theft/loss insurance we had taken out was never entered on our plan and so we were liable for all charges. The statement that we saw online was the DECEMBER billing cycle. As of yesterday, the kid with my phone had gone above my 600 free minutes and racked up over EIGHT HUNDRED dollars in charges. That we are responsible for. Because we have no insurance on the phone. Even though we thought we did.

We then called my voice mail and found that the thief had been getting lots of mail on my phone. Most of the calls were from his grandmother asking him to bring her things. So...we called her. And we asked her what her grandson Will's last name is. She gave us his full name and his address. In the WORST part of the city. We told her where it was lost and she went on a tirade about what a low thing her grandson did, stealing from someone with a baby in ICU. We told her we wouldn't press charges or ask for any money for his bill if she could get her grandson to turn the phone in to security at my husband's office (the local newspaper). She said that she would try. She also told us that he said he had been given the phone as a gift by "some fat girl."

Today, when we called his grandmother, she said that he told her he would not return the phone. She instructed us to press charges so that he could finally be taught a lesson. She said she was tired of his nonsense. He also told her the truth. He said, and this is a direct quote:

I stole it from some white lady's purse in the ICU with all the sick babies.

Mr. W called the police to file a report and they highly reccomended we didn't. When he told the officer the boy's name and address, he said that it would be hard to prove and repeatedly said that if he is a gang member you don't want your name and address on file, because if he is a gang member your personal safety is at risk over a few hundred dollars, and if he is a gang member you just don't want to deal with that on top of everything else, because, you know, if he is a gang member your wife and child might not be safe either.

Apparently...he's a gang member. And he has my fucking phone. And I can't do anything about it. He can't be held accountable because he's in a gang and it's just not safe. So, he gets to do what he wants when he wants and to whom he wants with no consequences. Somehow, it just doesn't seem fair.

   [ posted  @ 10:28 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (8) ]
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  Comments about my post, "A thief in the NICU":
Awww f-word, what a bunch of cr@p. I have to watch my languange now, there are babies around, heh.
I am sittinghere, fuming! I cannot believe that the hospital security would allow this little gang boy to hang around where he could prey on stressed parents!
I hope the phone is cancelled so it will die on him and that some how someday he gets his!
Meanwhile happy to hear that lowercase is doing so well! Bravo, great news!!
That is absolutely ridiculous! I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this but glad to hear that lowercase is doing so well!
WOW! There are so many things wrong with that story, I don't even know what to say! It really is scary that a random guy could be hanging out in the NICU to begin with. I used to leave my bag by the isolettes when I went to pump, and I never thought anything of it. I guess I'm lucky no one stole anything! I'm sorry for the inconvenience and the incompetence you've had to deal with. Glad to hear your baby is well!
Ohmigod, I'd be BEYOND livid. On so many levels. For so many reasons. AAAAGH. I can't even come up with sentences because my brain is spinning so hard with anger and frustration for you.

But I would fight with Ver1z0n, I think, about the insurance. You didn't screw that up; they did.

Anyway, the far more important thing is YAY LOWERCASE!!!! Way to go, big guy! Two months and 5 lbs!

and... pictures? :)
Ok that's just crap... It's not hard to prove he stole it ... he has it. 800 dollars is not a few hundered it's many hundred. Grumble. Sounds like the police not wanting to get involved. Which is crap again.

I'm so mad for you... you have his address, name and info. If the cops won't do anything about it, I know a couple a guys in upstate who would take care of him for you *wink*

So sorry you have to deal with this at all.

Really glad little W is doing so well. Hurrah for 2 months!
So glad to hear the lowercase is doing well and packing on the weight. Absolutely great news.

I agree with Jen -- your phone company should eat this. You've probably already spent many many hours that you don't have to spare on the phone with them, but if escalating doesn't get you satisfaction, I'd cancel and find a new phone company. What a crock. If you thought you had insurance but it hadn't been "entered on your plan" it sounds like either someone didn't go over the details of the contract closely enough or they just screwed up. Really makes me mad! And I thought there was a way to file a police report anonymously; or at least so that your address isn't part of the public record?

Sorry for the assvice, just wanted to rant a little bit on your behalf. So infuriating.
What a terrible thing and ... and...I don't even KNOW what to say. I would work with the police to at least get a letter indicating that the phone WAS STOLEN and the reasons that you were suggested to NOT press charges. Maybe then they will have some compassion. Also write a letter to someone at the TOP of verizon, even if you have to pay the bill first. The people you talk to on the phone are only so empowered. The good news lowercase is ROCKING with weight and good news and THAT is wonderful.


 
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