For those of you that look forward to these few and far between posts, this might be an unexpected change in tone. Nevertheless, while having a baby comes with it’s fair share of comedic moments, it also comes littered with a heavy dose of real-life can’t-laugh-my-way-out-of-this moments. Those are the times when the you realize that you’re a grown-ass adult that has to suck it up and deal with all the unexpected cards life has dealt you, sorry for the cliché.
Matilda has been diagnosed with psoriasis. I’m sure several of you have stopped reading and fired up google. Before you pass out at the sight of your search engine results, let me just say, please pay no mind to the images that pop up. At least in our case, the breakout looks like nothing more than a bad diaper rash. But apparently it might be psoriasis: the skin disorder with all the weird commercials on TV. Why am I coming forth with this on my otherwise light-hearted blog you may ask? Well, I promised to create a real and unfiltered depiction of parenthood, so it is what it is.
Throughout my pregnancy my husband and I were adamant about doing things as naturally as possible. I abstained from as many artificial substances as possible, never took medication, etc. Anyways, as month nine came along I started feeling incredibly uncomfortable. What had otherwise been a great pregnancy became a living hell. I needed the baby out, now. So, by week 39 our natural labor birth plan was tossed out the window and HELLO INDUCTION…Nine hours of artificially induced contractions later I was asking for an epidural, three hours after that I was pushing, and an hour later Baby Tills arrived. Only, she wasn’t crying. Turns out Miss Matilda had swallowed fluids during labor; at first we thought this had not presented any complications but on day two of our hospital stay she was admitted into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) where she remained for ten days to run a course of antibiotics. Now, if that’s not the natural method, I don’t know what is. Here’s another myth buster for all you nature-loving freaks (my hubs and I included) out there who believe that if faced with this same situation you would refute your doctors wishes to pump your baby full of meds; you won’t. It doesn’t get any more anti-medicine than my husband, but believe me when they tell you your baby is in danger you will agree to anything. Fast forward ten days and we’re finally home with Matilda. Life is great. Then we take her to her first pediatrician appointment and they tell us she has developed thrush. The antibiotics apparently did a number on her intestinal flora and shut down her immune system, therefore she developed a yeast infection, joy! So we’re told we must now lather her in more antibiotic ointments…as you can see by now, the cycle is never-ending.
The latest in our list of medical adventures was a stubbornly persistent diaper rash. What we originally thought was an adverse reaction to regular diapers has turned into a full-fledge nightmare. After having again attempted to attack this latest ailment with natural remedies: changing from conventional diapers to wallet-draining hypoallergenic eco-diapers, switching from wipes to water and cotton pads, lathering her in every natural butt balm on the market, soaking her in oatmeal baths, dousing her in pure aloe sap, sprinkling her with corn starch…the list goes on. After having done all of this we tried prescription diaper rash cream, nothing. Finally we were told to see a pediatric dermatologist and voila: a “working diagnosis” of psoriasis! The cause? Either genetic predisposition or an auto immune response to some other ailment or infection. Considering there is no history of psoriasis in either of our families, the answer to our question would be the latter. The culprit: those lovely ten days of meds that caused the yeast infection that sparked the ongoing cycle of, you guessed it, psoriasis.
From what little research I’ve done so far what you tend to find out there on the Internet is pretty scary and not very helpful. I’ve come to realize that when people welcome any word that starts with “ps” into their lives they tend to get crank up the drama factor big time. I refuse to do the same. I’m hoping this latest diagnosis is the last of the few ailments that have sprung up due to the antibiotic treatment she had to undergo upon birth, but one can never be sure. The ironic thing throughout all of this is that Matilda has never once seemed bothered by any of the discomforts that she’s already endured in her mere months on earth. She never complained about her IV as a newborn, nor did she flinch when I had to make her swallow a disgusting syrup to cure the thrush, nor is she fazed by her “diaper rash”. She is, quite literally, the happiest baby I’ve ever met. I’m the one that is flustered and shell-shocked every time I’m told something new has sprung up. In fact, in re-reading this I’ve come to realize that the situation sounds a lot worse than what we’re living. Theoretically, this sucks, especially with this latest surprise; but in actuality we’re doing great and thriving as a family. I don’t foresee that changing. Furthermore, we are told she will most likely outgrow her current condition, and that this could potentially be a severe case of dermatitis eczema. If it is psoriasis this could be something that she might have to deal with her entire life. However, I chose to remain optimistic and hope that she will indeed outgrow it. We’re also not giving up on taking homeopathic preventative measures. I will be sure to update the blog with more info once we embark on that journey. For now, the important thing is to get her current flare-up under control and then we can begin exploring ways to ensure that her skin stays silky smooth and outbreak-free.
The following links are products I have come across and that seem to be good alternative ways to keep the ‘ps’ in check:
I’ve also purchased the following Aveeno Baby bath product to add to her tub:
Again, I will report back once I start seeing results. And please, if you know of anyone with a similar situation, please share this post. Positive feedback on this matter is hard to find.
All-in-all, I have to be honest and say that there are days when I’m about ready to file a formal complaint with whomever the f*&% is responsible for handing out the “tough situations” to new parents, ‘cause considering we’re only 6 months in I’m pretty certain we’ve gotten our quota and then some. And while I know we’ve passed all with flying colors (believe me, NO ONE should be sent home from the hospital baby-less; hands down the WORST day of my life) it still doesn’t mean that I don’t envy those moms around me whose idea of a tough situation is that their baby won’t latch onto their boob or isn’t napping as much as they’d like them to. Although, in those cases I must say I’ve more than lucked out with a baby that loves to eat anything you put in front of her and that has slept through the night since she was six weeks old and still does 3 two-hour naps a day. Had to throw in a little shameless bragging, yes I did.
Ultimately, reality bites, but all you have to do is turn around and bitch-slap it right back!
One Happy Baby!
01/25/13: After much research and a second opinion, it was determined that Matilda's psoriasis is in fact a yeast infection that has spread and yes, developed into a dermatitis/eczema outbreak. With that said, it saddens me that we live in a time when doctor's don't take the time to listen to concerned parents and truly determine what is going on with a baby.
If you or anyone you know is having a similar problem, look for these common signs of a yeast infection:
- bumpy outbreak in the diaper area with red dots/specks
- irritated and inflamed skin
- baby does NOT seem to complain nor be bothered by the rash (BIG BIG sign that it's yeast!)
- if your baby has ever taken antibiotics they are very prone to developing yeast
Anyways...now that that scare is over with...back to bitchin' about the trials and tribulations of mommyhood...