When you have a baby people love to tell you about the dangers of food allergies, adult laundry detergent, and stranger germs.
On top of that, there is the actual medical advice you receive from doctors, nurses, and the ever-so-trusty internet. Whether it be essential oils or the newest research on infant Tylenol, you store the information for a later date, and keep on keeping on.
As you get further from the newborn stage, you worry less about the occasional cough or sniffle, attributing it to allergies or the latest daycare bug floating around.
Until the day it is more than a cold, which is what happened to Sloan just days before her first birthday.
It was a Friday afternoon and I was on my way to pick Sloan up from daycare when I got a call from her teacher saying she had been sick a couple of times in the last hour, and that she needed to go home.
Only a few blocks away, I left my cart at Hy-Vee and raced to daycare, knowing she had never been this sick before. Once I grabbed her things, got the full story from the teachers, and loaded her into the car, the next task was getting home without having to pull over.
What I've Learned
- Children will always look to you when they’re confused or don’t know how to react. Keeping as calm as possible in a hospital setting will help tremendously with your little one’s emotions.
- Google is fine, until it scares you into thinking your baby is in critical condition. Do your research and find the local Ask-A-Nurse number. It’s what they’re there for.
- Don’t let people alter your sense of intuition. As a parent, you know your child better than anyone. If you think something is wrong, listen to your gut and trust yourself.
We ended up pulling over twice in the four blocks it took us to get home. I knew something was not right, so instead of pulling into our garage, I called Reid and met him at urgent care.
The doctor on call decided it was a stomach virus, suggested we grab some Pedialyte, and sent us home with instructions to bring her back if her symptoms worsened.
The weekend offered zero relief from the so-called virus, leaving us intently watching our very pale and tired baby sleep away the day, only waking up to cry and cuddle.
Sunday morning rolled around and I was ready to take her to the emergency room. Everything in me was screaming something was wrong, but trying to balance the multiple pieces of advice I had been given left me at a standstill.
Which is exactly where I went wrong.
I knew that she shouldn’t be sleeping as much as she was, or that her intake should have been better. What I didn’t know was how torn I would feel when trying to justify my decisions.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and something clicked in my mom brain. I packed her diaper bag, threw on some comfy clothes, and drove my almost 1-year-old to the emergency room.
Being the 42nd person in line, I was apprehensive about sitting in the waiting room with a baby at 9 p.m. by myself, but I knew she needed this.
After what felt like hours (it was actually three), we got back to a room and I knew immediately I had made the right choice, especially when one nurse turned into three, all with something different in their hands.
Vitals were taken, questions were asked, and after I got settled on the bed with her on my lap, IVs were started.
My little patient was severely dehydrated and before I could even text Reid, they were getting us a room to spend the night.
Let me tell you, having to restrain your baby while they get poked and prodded is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. What’s even worse? Knowing that I could have potentially prevented an overnight stay.
Between beating myself up for not bringing her in sooner and trying to keep her calm by watching CocoMelon on my quickly dying phone, I realized that the best thing I could do was cuddle her and wait for the doctor.
Three bags of fluid and countless games of peek-a-boo later, we were home the next night, snuggling on the couch and finishing off some Pedialyte when I burst into tears.
My sweet, innocent, nonverbal child was doing her best to tell me that something was wrong and I let the doubt and fear of being “that mom” win.
Being “that mom” means listening to your intuition, but it also means listening to your child. If you think that something is wrong, it is so much easier on both you and your baby to be reassured than admitted.
I’m not saying you need to run to the hospital for every scrape or bump, but never let outside opinions dictate what you think is best for your baby’s health.
Drawn to a more holistic solution? That’s great, as long as you trust your choices and listen to your little one, whatever you do will be the right choice.