I am usually confident in my parenting choices, usually secure with any thoughts related to our children's well-being. After I analyze facts, I make a decision and I trust that my instincts won't mislead me. If I feel one of the kids has strep, when I take them to the doctors and request the swab, I am correct. When they have a cold, I am typically good at telling whether it will pass on its own or require medication. I am usually right on with my mommy instincts. However, as we journey further into the neverending desert of CDKL5, I feel like I am losing my footing. It is as if I am standing in quick sand and no matter how much I try, I am being swallowed alive. I have lost my ability to differentiate between what is “typical baby” versus what is cause for concern. I am so frustrated I am in this position because I don't know what is "red alert" and what is "yellow alert". I find myself second guessing every thought, every decision, and every idea that infiltrates my head. In short, I have lost trust in my mommy instinct.
This makes me sad. This makes me angry. This makes me fearful.
I first took notice of my disappearing instinct about two months ago. Sonya was fussy and she kept throwing her head back. It went on for about four days and each day I grew increasingly concerned. I mentioned to somehow she had been similarly cranky about 3 weeks prior, and she was diagnosed with an ear infection. The thought never occurred to me that she could have another ear infection so close together; and no way could she just be a cranky teething baby. Naturally, I assumed she was experiencing symptoms of a sensory integration disorder. I went onto Amazon and like all moms who have a cranky baby who tilts her head; I purchased two books about a sensory processing/integration disorder and called it a day. It was the following night when talking with Sam that my lightbulb went off and I realized I should probably bring her back to the pediatrician. In the end, it was another ear infection.
My second experience was after watching Sonya make movements during her sleep, which caused me to panic. I am starting to think I may have some post-traumatic stress from this whole ride. Every little twitch, jerk, head movement, sigh, blink of her eye, change of her breathing, or slightest change to her sleeping demeanor has me leaping from the bed hovering over her like a helicopter. Could it possibly be that she is just moving in her sleep and making a typical baby movement? Nope, psycho mommy over here is 100% sure her brainwaves are now in a constant state of seizure. It is only natural to schedule an EEG to rule this out so I can go back to being a neurotic, sleep deprived, hovering mommy; after all, it seems to be working out just fine.
We can skip over plenty of others and focus on the current situation. Sonya has been in and out of the pediatrician's office for two and half weeks. Both of her sisters finished antibiotics this past weekend and so I was nervous she would catch strep as well (yes, I know it is so rare for any child under two to get strep. I also happen to have three kiddos who ALL had strep when two or younger and one of them did not even have his tonsils...so I tend to have over achieving rule breaking children). Each time I have taken her in, they have told me it was "just a cold". Over the weekend, her cough grew worse and so I had a panic attack when I remembered she never had her DTap shot, and what if she has pertussis? The doctor humored me by doing the swab (results will be back next week) and gave us another round of antibiotics to get rid of the potential "sinus infection" she might have resulting in all of her symptoms. She has been sleeping a lot more than she has been awake and while I am slightly concerned, my mommy gut is numb. Am I just being a good old nutcase or do my concerns have any real validity? Half of me says take her back to the doctors, run more tests; find out what is really wrong. The other half...it tells me do not listen to what the other part of you is saying.
Whether consciously or subconsciously the words "What does your gut tell you?" cross through the mind of every mom on a nearly daily basis, yet when these words flash inside my head, I am lacking the confidence to know the answer.
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