Slowly, over this past month, Cedar started to not seem like himself. More quiet, sleeping longer, appetite decreasing. He was chewing on his fingers, so we figured it was his two year molars again. Which it was, but there seemed to be more. He began coughing a bit but since he didn't have a fever, I thought perhaps it was from the drainage of the massive amounts of saliva from his teething. Boho Boy and I always approach our bodies holistically when it comes to wellness. We have always treated Cedar in this way and he seems to have thrived with a strong immune system thus far. With the help of our intuition and wisdom from our herb mama friends and family, we thought it would be soon that we would see an improvement. But it slowly got worse and finally, after two nights of holding him up on my chest all night so he could sleep without coughing and him laying down at the park (photo you see above), I knew I needed to take him to a doctor. I hesitated before because I was not comfortable with the doctor we have for him, who is with our insurance. We felt he wasn't very present and seemed to have his thoughts on getting to the long line of patients ahead of us. He also always thought Cedar was a girl when he first walked in the door. I tend to give doctors the benefit of the doubt, especially with insurance in our country these days but it didn't mean I felt safe with him. I consulted a circle of very wise medicine women and it was almost as if their permission that it was time to go to the doctor helped me get over my own fears and stubbornness about it. I felt so protected because as soon as I called the doctor's office, they got him in with a cancellation that day and we were fortunate to see another doctor. A beautiful French woman (oooh, la la), who made it clear the minute she sat down with us that she is very conservative with medication for toddlers. I knew she was right for our family. We so believe in helping to guide our own bodies with learning how to heal itself rather than relying on medicines that only fix the surface and not the root. But we also believe, for us, that there is a time to be more aggressive about it and seek the quick-fixing Western approach. Especially when it comes to Cedar getting enough oxygen.
She listened intently to our story about how we've most recently realized the air quality in our home is not at its best and we did a few things that we thought would help...but it seems my husband and I are still suffering from symptoms. Cedar has always had a strong immune system and we were grateful he wasn't affected but now I was curious if his current symptoms had anything to do with our air quality, which would tell us that it is not fixed. Now we're thinking the toxicity is deeper into the walls than we thought possible.
She checked Cedar, gently and all over and by the end of what felt like a long process with an emotionally distraught toddler, Cedar was diagnosed with a sinus infection, an ear infection and bronchitis. She told me that she doesn't see sinus infections in toddlers often. She does see them but just not often and especially in a situation where the entire family has similar symptoms. So, she was the second medical professional to suggest it is the air quality and said it makes perfect sense, as she has treated a few families with the same symptoms as a result from some sort of toxicity in their living environment.
That was it. I phoned my husband in tears and as soon as he heard what Cedar was diagnosed with, he said that's it. We're leaving our home. So, its all happening so fast. We'll be out of here in a month and in the meantime, will be doing all we can to protect and build up our immune systems. Its been so confusing to us how for so long, we have pumped our bodies full of vitamins and elixirs and mists and wholesome foods and yet still feel like we are walking around with the flu. Some days worse than others but it never quite goes away. Part of me wonders if our fertility journey was affected as well. We've been in this home for 9 years now.
With all this bigness going on, Cedar is where my heart and soul is. It is so hard to see him not fully himself. He is our first and only and perhaps our ever...and when he hurts, we hurt deep. So we are treating him both holistically and with antibiotics (and probiotics) and an inhaler. Lots of herbal rubs and minty baths and setting him upright in bed.
I have been so blessed to have been circled by dear friends that are sending us love and offering their help during this time. There has been mention of "packing parties" and trips to see us so that we can have relief while we pack and begin the process of a new life. I have been sent packages of herbal love and healing rituals, wholesome recipes for me and our family. I feel overwhelmed and not at all alone in this.
One thing that has been a huge comfort for Cedar is a song I sing to him to help him sleep. I wanted to share it with you. I first heard it from a band called Innocence Mission on their lullaby CD "Now The Day is Over". The song is called Bye-Lo Baby. You can listen to a bit of the chorus on this page. It is song #11.
What I do is switch the words around to add everyone from my immediate family. So that he knows he is loved deeply and thought of and protected by all of us. Its pretty guaranteed by the time I reach Cousin Seanzie...he is drifted off into dream land, no matter how poopie he feels. I close my eyes and imagine that family member holding and rocking him in the rocking chair, just like me...and I truly believe he feels them near.
Perhaps there is magic in the song. The band is from Ireland...the land of Pixies and Faeries, you know. ; )
I start from oldest to youngest:
- Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby bye.
- Mama will love you. Mama will love you. Mama will love you. All of her life.
- Daddy will love you. Daddy will love you. Daddy will love you. All of his life.
- Grandpa Lenny will love you. Grandpa Lenny will love you. Grandpa Lenny will love you. Up in heaven above.
- Vu Vu will love you. Vu Vu will love you. Vu Vu will love you. All of his life.
- Grandmarmie will love you. Grandmarmie will love you. Grandmarmie will love you. All of her life.
- Omi will love you. Omi will love you. Omi will love you. All of her life.
- Auntie DD will love you. Auntie DD will love you. Auntie DD will love you. All of her life.
- Uncle JJ will love you. Uncle JJ will love you. Uncle JJ will love you. All of his life.
- Uncle Jon-Erik will love you. Uncle Jon-Erik will love you. Uncle Jon-Erik will love you. All of his life.
- Auntie Pammie will love you. Auntie Pammie will love you. Auntie Pammie will love you. All of her life.
- Uncle Marky will love you. Uncle Marky will love you. Uncle Marky will love you. All of his life.
- Auntie La La will love you. Auntie La La will love you. Auntie La La will love you. All of her life.
- Cousin Kelly will love you. Cousin Kelly will love you. Cousin Kelly will love you. All of her life.
- Cousin Casey will love you. Cousin Casey will love you. Cousin Casey will love you. All of his life.
- Cousin Seanzie will love you. Cousin Seanzie will love you. Counsin Seanzie will love you. All of his life.
- Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby bye.