Monday, January 12, 2015

When It Matters.

I never intentionally check out of this space; life just gets in the way and I realize one day I haven't done the thing I enjoy the most. And then I wait until I have to be here, because sleep will not come with a brain still running full speed, even if I am exhausted at 9pm.

We all do our bests as parents. We all feed, clothe, and love them in the best ways we can. One can not quantify being a good parent. I know I do my best. I buy her organic baby food when I don't make it myself. I breastfed for as long as I possibly could, and now give her the best formula I think my money can buy. Her diapers are eco-conscious and low in chemicals. I balance modern medicine with more natural choices; we go to a chiropractor and her well-baby appointments. When she's not feeling well or is restless, she sleeps between me and her dad. Her wish list of toys for her first Christmas was made with development in mind. I ration all medications and read about hexane and DHA and grains and cow's milk and plant milk and and AND. It doesn't matter. None of that matters. Money can't buy love but love certainly is not enough. We have to be reasonable, encourage our children, love them, let them go, push them out, and then welcome them back in. Take them to the doctor when they are sick, raise to be respectful and kind to others, teach them to work hard, to love others, be nice to pets. When they graduate, drive cars safely, help those less fortunate, join the military, become doctors I can promise you it doesn't matter if their diapers were eco-conscious or their formula all-organic or if you breastfed for 22 months or if you went through a drive-thru twice a week.

Squish wasn't herself this past Friday, and we ended up in an after hours pediatrician's clinic, with a diagnosis that probably was right but not severe enough to warrant the antibiotics I gave her four times. Her behavior improved but the side effects of the medicine increasingly got worse. I decided to pause dosing her and called the nurse's line. I know this is risky. But it had been 24 hours since her last dose and the side effects were getting worse, not better. Even though it wasn't an allergic reaction, something terrible was happening to her and I was the one giving her the thing that was doing it to her. I know, I know- probiotic, thick diaper cream, yoghurt. But none of that was going to help her diaper rash stop from getting so bad it did eventually become raw. None of that was going to help her to absorb her food's nutrition faster than she could expel it. I bargained for an appointment, and in the end I learned a very important lesson: I am her mother, and I know when something isn't right, and no nurse's line is ever going to convince me otherwise ever again. Not even for a few hours. She's going to stay off the amoxicillin and we're going to get her gut and little butt healed as fast as we can. None of this would be happening if I hadn't kept calling, kept asking trusted friends, kept listening to myself, although I didn't listen fast enough.

This isn't my fault, but I still feel a ton of guilt. I did the best I could with what I had at the time. In short course, I will have my happy baby back. Her perfect little butt will heal. We will recover from this. She is loved by so many. Her grandmothers have been here to help since dad is off to Walter Reed for more surgery with his father in my place (this was decided months ago, and another source of guilt and concern for me and a separate post). I know it will be okay.

I am sure worse is down the pipeline and this will be a foggy memory soon enough, but I won't forget the day I realized that I might just be a great mom: it's the same day I felt like like an inadequate one.

And that's one thing that matters.


  1. Awesome, just awesome! You are a great mama, and she is lucky to have you!

  2. Kat - you are doing a great job!!