Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Neuro/MRI Update

Here's the latest update on my getting an MRI....

So I had hoped to get my MRI done the weekend Ken was home so he could do the bottle feeding and help sooth Connor to sleep since I was under the impression I wouldn't be able to breastfeed for 24 hours after getting the contrast and had what I thought would be enough expressed milk for 24 hours. I hadn't heard from the MRI place to get scheduled so I went ahead and called them that Thursday. They didn't have my authorization yet and said they would check for me about the contrast dye and breastfeeding. I didn't hear back from them that afternoon as I had hoped (so I could get the MRI Friday) so I called them again on Friday. They now had my authorization for the MRI and proceeded to tell me that the paperwork that comes with the contrast dye says that I shouldn't breastfeed for 72 hours and they couldn't get me in until Monday. Are you kidding me!? My mind was in a bit of panic mode as I didn't know how this was going to work with me only having enough breast milk that I hoped would last for 24 hours and that I had accrued over a month (mostly because I only pumped here and there not thinking I needed to have that big of a stash). There was no way I was going to get 48 hours more worth of breast milk to freeze in just a few days. Not knowing what to do in the moment on the phone, I went ahead and scheduled for Monday thinking that at least Ken could help with some of the bottles before leaving, and hung up. Que meltdown. I started bawling thinking about having to go for 72 hours of pumping and dumping and bottle-feeding Connor when I didn't even know if he would take a bottle from me (he had only taken one from Ken) and that I would run out of breast milk and have to give him formula and would he even take it. Ah! Thank God Ken was home for this. He took my phone and called the MRI place back and canceled the appointment for Monday and said I just wasn't ready to do this yet (which clearly I wasn't) and would call and schedule it at a later date. Once he calmed me down, I started thinking that I could do the MRI when my sister came down over Easter break and she could do the bottle-feeding while I pumped and at least I wouldn't have to go through that 72 hours alone. I still didn't like the idea of having to go that long, but at least I would have time to pump more and talk to Connor's pediatrician about what formula to have on hand in case I ran out of milk. So I called the MRI place again (at this point they must think I'm nuts) and schedule the MRI for the day after Easter. I then calculated and figured that if I pumped 3 oz a day, I should have enough for the 72 hours by then. Over that weekend, Jessi came by and I told her about it and she totally understood my meltdown (which was nice) and suggested I try to give Connor a bottle while Ken was home just to see if he would take it from me (thank you Jessi!). Well we tried it and he did, but it felt too weird so I passed him over to Ken to finish the bottle. Connor was still mostly falling asleep while breastfeeding though, so I was still nervous about that.

Over the last few weeks, Connor has started being able to fall asleep in other ways than just on the boob, which made me feel a little better about the 72 hour thing. (Well except at night...) Then I came across a link to a website I had heard about but hadn't really looked at much yet, This site has great parenting and breastfeeding information and apparently had a list of medication and such that the AAP approves for breastfeeding mothers. We'll it also has a list of contrast dyes that are approved, jackpot! So before Connor's two month check-up, I called the MRI place to find out what dye they use. They told me it's called Gadolinium... so I checked the list and it's approved! And Thomas Hale, PhD (author of Medications and Mother's Milk rates it as safe (L2). Woohoo! So I brought this information to Connor's appointment to discuss it with the pediatrician. I asked her, given this information, would a precautionary 24 hours of bottle-feeding and pump & dump be sufficient... and she agreed that 24 hours, especially since Connor has such a sensitive tummy, would be good. Best news of the day! Now I only have to make it through 24 hours and my poor sister only has to get up during one night to give Connor a bottle while I pump.

I'm feeling so much better about the MRI now. Now let's just pray it's clear!

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