A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam




The first year of Brody’s life was “oblivious” bliss.

Tom was in remission, my two older boys were thriving, and Brody was a cute, chubby, bundle of joy. I was happy. Life was good. I didn’t want anyone or anything to upset the new order of things.

Little did I know, a perfect storm was brewing.

We had a few “minor” health issues pop up for Brody before his first birthday. Rather than addressing the issues head on or even questioning them, I swept all my concerns and fears under the rug. I could not bear the thought of more bad news or visits to the hospital. I had my fill. The previous year, dealing with Tom’s cancer, had sucked all the life and fight out of me. I was suffering from Health Scare Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

But… ignoring my mother’s instinct and not questioning the doctors was a big mistake. Compared to Tom’s cancer battle, I felt my gnawing mom concerns seemed silly and perhaps paranoid.

Tom’s last radiation therapy could not have been timed more appropriately. His last treatment was the day after Brody was born. To celebrate both milestones, I adopted a “don’t worry, be happy” attitude. I was only willing to bask in the sun of my new “normal”  worry-free life. The previous stormy  year was a consciously  forgotten memory.

Brody was born via c-section at 37 weeks. He was delivered early because he wasn’t moving around enough and his heart beat had periods of irregularity.

Within minutes of his birth, he was whisked away for observation because he had wet lungs. This led to 24 hours in the NICU hooked up to IV’s, allowing me very little contact and not being able to nurse him. It was devastating to me, but to the nurses, no big deal. They tried to reassure me this was very common and not to be alarmed. He would be fine. Well maybe they were right. Compared to Tom’s cancer it wasn’t a big deal.

Finally, I got my son out of the NICU only to be told he had newborn jaundice. Once again, I got the pep talk that it was very common and not to worry. They would put him under lights and voilà he would be perfect. Well, okay compared to Tom’s cancer…

It took two weeks for the jaundice to “clear” up. But interestingly, up to a year ago he still occasionally would still get a yellow tint to his skin.

At two months, Brody went in for his scheduled vaccinations. Within hours, Brody had a high fever, was inconsolable, and let out a high pitch scream any time he was touched. I can not even begin to describe how loud and ear-piercing the screams were. Never before had I heard this sound. It rattled my nerves. I called the doctor in a panic who very calmly told me he was having a reaction to a vaccination. He suspected it was the Pertussis part of the DTP. He also went on to soothe my fears by telling me it does happen and it is perfectly normal. He would document it and recommended Brody no longer receive the pertussis vaccination, but the other shots would be okay. As he hung up the phone he said, “Give him some Tylenol and he’ll be fine.” Well, okay – compared to Tom’s cancer…

At three months, he was diagnosed with Strep A (unusual for young babies according to the doctor). The doctor prescribed antibiotics, told me not to be a “nervous Nelly” and shooed me out the door. Well, okay – compared to Tom’s cancer…

I had noticed thrush before in Brody’s mouth, but now it was out of control. I tried every “potion” out there and it took months to eradicate the yeast. Also, during this time I began to notice Brody would suffer from frequent bouts of diarrhea. With the diarrhea, came acid like burns on his bottom. He would cry in agony any time I would wipe or bathe him.  Once again, the doctor soothed my fears by explaining that Brody had nothing more than toddler’s diarrhea. It would eventually go away. Well, okay – compared to Tom’s cancer…

At ten months, Brody had surgery for his hypospadias repair. The anesthesia worried me, but I tucked those fears away reassuring myself that children all over the world have surgery everyday with no complications. Luckily, the procedure went well and he seemed to bounce back from it quickly.

As a mom of three boys, I couldn’t help but to compare Brody to his older brothers. Why was their first year of life not as “eventful?” How come they did not have the same type of health issues?

Why did I allow others to assure me everything was fine, when they were not. In hindsight, I wish I had not ignored my mom instincts and been more proactive and informed before making important decisions regarding Brody’s health.

To read more – Healing Brody

Photo by Ana Luiza Santana


Author: A Ventography!

A Ventography is about: 1. Encouraging and empathizing with other parents on the autism spectrum. 2. Recycling and simplifying information on the latest autism news and health and diet tips. 3. Asking thought provoking questions designed to make us rethink what we've been told about autism. 4. Helping connect the dots that show, in some cases, autism is more than a brain disorder. 5. Challenging parents to rethink what they've been told, refuse the status quo, and escape the whirlwind of confusion.


  1. This story is just a little too familiar – to so many of us. Yes, ignorance is bliss…I miss it – sometimes. But it’s also pretty freakin’ dangerous too, huh. Learned that the hard way too – never again. I don’t like how your story is going – but I’m willing to bet that with time and a smart mommy – it will have a happy ending…


    • Thanks for reading! It is so important for us to never ignore our mom intuition…even if it may seem a little paranoid or silly. I have not always been right, but I have learned the hard way it is better to question than sit back and do nothing. Hope you will stay tuned for the rest of Brody’s story. -Leah


  2. My son David was my second son and born by C-section – he too had wet lungs and they took him from me for while so i was unable to nurse him right away. Both of my boys went through bouts of diarrhea and thrush.


    • Thanks for sharing. Do you know what triggered the thrush and diarrhea? -Leah


    • The doctor originally said it was from me not cleaning the bottles correctly but i was sterilizing them and washing them after each use- so that wasn’t it. After a round of Nystatin (of course) they did better. With the yeast on their bottoms, it was simple, the antibiotics that gave them those reactions were: Amoxicillan, Augmenten & one other that the name escapes me at the moment – really similar to the others. The only antibiotic that didn’t give them a reaction was Omnicef (the one that isn’t supposed to be refrigerated) I quickly learned on my own to always give them a probiotic like culturelle so they wouldn’t suffer.


    • You are right about the probiotics. They are so important to have on board when on antibiotics. Thanks for the info. -Leah


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