Some People make me SO ANGRY

[deleted account] ( 11 moms have responded )

As you know, one of my very good friends was diagnosed with HIV virus recently, when she was tested because of your current pregnancy.

I met her for lunch today. She is devastated that she will not be able to breastfeed her new baby (Breastfeeding increases the chances of infecting the new baby by 25% to 40%). Her first child became infected through her breast milk (which is devastating itself on its own), so she has decided not to breastfeed the new baby. She has already begun researching milk banks, formula, etc. so that she can be sure she makes the best choice for her little one.

So we're having lunch, and she starts telling me about her research. This....i don't even know what to call her--not a lady, not a woman, not even a the next booth turns around and starts bombarding her with all this Breast is Best information, statistics, and a HUGE guilt trip over not breast feeding. My friend held it together and told her she had a medical condition that prevented her from breastfeeding. The Breast is Best advocate turned back to her soup, but I could tell by her condescending expression that she was condemning my friend.

We finished our lunch then walked out to the car. As soon as the door closed, she broke down. She cried so hard she was purple! She screamed, and cried, and hit her steering wheel. I didn't know what to do. She shuttered when I tried to touch her. I wanted to go back in and put that woman's head through the window, shave the skin off her face with a shard of glass, and cut her breasts off so that she could know the devastation of not being able to breastfeed. But of course I didn't. I just sat there and watched my friend cry....doing nothing. I've never felt so helpless.

Does anyone know how I can help her?


Johnny - posted on 09/11/2012




You did help her. You listened to her pain and you sat with her letting her know that you were there, you are her friend, and she has someone on her side. Sadly, there's not much more you can do to help her. It sounds like she is doing an amazing job of planning for her baby and researching the best options on her own. Sometimes doing that sort of stuff can be an empowering process for the person going through it.

I do wish you'd at least gotten that sancti-bitches license plate number so we could all hunt her down and harass the shit out of her. But I've got virtually no doubt that one day she will reap what she has sown. I'm not a believer, not even in karma, but I do notice that when people go around making people miserable, speaking without thinking, and judging, things have a funny way of biting them in the ass. This "person" sounds significantly deserving.

My heart aches for your friend and her family. In the early 90's I volunteered in the HIV/AIDS clinic for mothers & children at our local hospital. I was just in high school and I just helped change diapers, keep the kids entertained during their mother's clinic visits, and made sure that there were plenty of nutritious snacks. In those days, there was not as many treatments and most kids stayed infected. I know it has changed quite a bit since then, although I am admittedly quite ignorant on current prognosis'. I can just hope that your friend and her kids do well. As for breastfeeding, gah, we all KNOW that it isn't the be all and end all. It's important and the best way to feed most kids. It's also the WORST way if you are HIV positive. Your friend should be commended for the care she is taking of her children.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/11/2012




Another thing to consider is that HIV patients have a much better survival rate now than they used to, and her first child stands a very good chance of being able to finally receive something that will work, and keep working. Medical advances being what they are these days, I'd say that they all have a very good chance at this point.

Sending good thoughts and love her way...Shawnn

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/11/2012




Kelly, so far, you've done just fine. Although, yes, the temptation to have it out with the ignorant bitch in the next booth was strong, you held it together and gave the support and love to your friend that she needed most at that point.

Sounds like, all things considered, she's doing fairly well in coping with this, and you can help by being a supportive friend, shoulder, and listener for her. Like Johnny said, the other bitch will have it come back to bite her in the ass someday. Unfortunately, she won't see it as the result of her uncaring, judgmental attitude, but as a personal attack...but that's the way those people are.

A few things to consider, depending on your views: 1) Karma is a bitch, and it'll bite you in the ass. 2) God (if you believe) will help those who help themselves, and help others who are loving, supportive and caring. 3) The bitch will probably end up a miserable old woman who's alienated anyone and everyone in her life due to her actions. ( you know darn good and well that those types of people are assholes no matter what the situation...)

Stay strong for your friend. If you find any resources for her, let her know, but most of all, let her know that you're there for her. I agree (I read the other post that you did on her) it's totally unfair, what she's having to deal with, and compounded with the knowledge that she'd inadvertently infected her other little one has got to be hard on her. You, my dear, are a wonderful friend to have in her corner, and were I in her situation, I'd be very, very glad to have you.

Give her some love from me as well. She's been on my mind since I read the other post...


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[deleted account]

Because she just found out, she will probably not be medicated to the point where her child's risk for infection by breast milk is minimal by the time it is born. According to her doctors, the HIV virus transmission through breast milk itself is very rare, and only happens if the mother's viral count is very high (which hers may still be at that time, but there's no way to know yet). More commonly, it is transmitted through sores and rawness around the nipple that breastfeeding causes. Once the baby starts to teeth, they have open wounds in their mouths, and if the mother still has rawness, the strong suction of the baby's sucking can cause that rawness to bleed, thus exposing the baby. That is her biggest concern because she stayed very raw and sore throughout her bfing experience with her first. The nipples may be tougher this time around, but the risk is still high.

Sylvia - posted on 09/14/2012




That was a really ugly thing to do :( I'm so sorry your friend, and you, had that experience. What is it about pregnant women and babies that makes people think it's their job to harass total strangers and micromanage their lives?!

I read a study a while ago which found that when the mother is on an appropriate drug regimen, exclusive BF and exclusive formula feeding were about equal in terms of maternal-child HIV transmission and that the highest-risk choice is actually "mixed feeding" (BF but with formula supplementation). The researchers speculated that the mechanism may be that BF exposes the baby to the virus, but the micro-damage that formula can do to the baby's gut is what gives the virus a way in. So if there's micro-damage to the gut from formula, but no HIV exposure from BF, the risk of transmission is low, and if there's HIV exposure from BF but no micro-damage to the gut from formula, the risk is also low.

I'm still not sure I would take the risk myself, though; I certainly wouldn't condemn someone else for choosing to formula-feed in that situation. I don't know what's wrong with some people -- it's like their empathy gene went missing or something :(

Becky - posted on 09/13/2012




Ugh, why can't people just mind their own damn business?! I'm so sorry for your friend. I'm sure that your being there for her while she grieved was more helpful to her than anything else you could have done. Wishing her and her family and new baby all the best!

Stifler's - posted on 09/11/2012




That's really upsetting :( Your poor friend. Some people really need a kick in the arse. All you can really do is encourage her and support her with whatever she chooses.

Momma - posted on 09/11/2012




It brings me to tears.

Kelly, you are doing exactly what she needs. You are one awesome friend and I am sure she cherishes it! I know I would have had a very hard time trying to control myself, as well as you did. That lady would have got me boiling to the point of, well, complete rage. However, you did the right thing for your friend. It was what she needed, someone to be calm, cool and collective.

I feel so terrible for your friend and family. It has to be a very heart wrenching experience, especially knowing your little one is also infected. I cannot say how I would feel. I would be in complete despair, it sounds as though, your friend is a strong woman. Breast is great but it is not the be all and end all. Her baby will do just fine with whatever avenue she decides on. She is obviously ensuring to weigh her options and go with what is best for her and her "soon to be new arrival". She deserves a lot of praise for that.

I am wishing for everything to go good for her and her family from here on in and everything to go wrong for that old bat, in the other booth. I do believe in karma and well, it is a bitch!

[deleted account]

Thank you, Johnny. I didn't realize I posted this on this board. I meant to post it on the "Mom's Who Need to Vent" board. I had posted the other day about her giving me the news, so the regular moms over there knew what was going on.

She was infected while in the hospital giving birth to her first baby who is now 18 months old. It was a stupid freak accident, but it went undetected, so now she, her husband, and their first baby are all HIV positive. She found out about her diagnosis during the round of standard testing they do at all prenatal visits when she went to her OBGYN after finding out she was pregnant with their second baby.

The prognosis is not as bad as it was--it has come a long, long way, and with proper treatment, life expectancy of those infected is not much shorter than it would have been if they'd not been infected. The biggest concern is her first baby. From what I understand--and my understanding is not very deep--there are numerous treatments to keep HIV from becoming AIDS. Over time, the body builds up a resistance to treatment, and patients are forced to switch to a new treatment method until eventually, they have built up resistance to all of the options available. Thus, those infected early on will have a shorter life expectancy than those infected later on simply because they will run out of treatment options sooner.

With proper treatment, her new baby will have a less than 1% chance of becoming infected.

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