Friday, January 11, 2013

Mother of the Year

We are fortunate that our Rainbow Baby is healthy but on the few occasions when she is not, my entire being is rocked to the core.

At about 5 months old she had a cold which I treated at home the way my mom did.  My brother and I hardly went to the doctor for the common cold, we were treated at home with rest, vitamins, Vicks vapor rub, and chicken noodle soup.  Throughout my life I have followed the same regimen with everyone in my household.  I applied the same to my daughter and her spirit, appetite, and diapers were normal though her nose floweth!

Two weeks later I am sending an email to her pediatrician concerned about the duration of this cold.  Three days go by with now response so I sent another email which was also not responded to.  Finally I called the advice nurse and according to the information I gave them about hew symptoms, what we were doing for her, and the effects of our efforts, they insisted on seeing her IMMEDIATELY!  Incurring a $40 for an urgent care visit was the least of my worries.  I explained to the doctor how two of my emails were ignored and he looked in the system to see that despite nurse assistance to the doctor the emails were left unanswered.  We left with a nebulizer, steroid, and an antibiotic.  Despite my innocent efforts, no "Mother of the Year Award" for me.

Earlier in 2012, we are treating what we think is a diaper rash that got so bad that we let her run around the house without a diaper so that maybe it would air out.  On a Monday afternoon I picked her up and asked her daycare guru about her "diaper rash" and she said it was actually a yeast infection (which I thought only happened when an antibiotic is administered).  My husband asked how she got it and I had to tell him that I did not know but it was just as likely as me getting one.  "Mother of the Year Award", go ahead and pack your bags for greener pastures.

Present day: we are hanging with my husband's father and family for Christmas and his wife (a retired nurse) clues in on how warm she is and that her chest is "rattling".  She has explained NUMEROUS times how I can tell if her chest is "rattling" but I have never been able to acquire the skill.  She gives two juice boxes for hydration and a dose of children's Tylenol as we hit the road.  Again, "Mother of the Year" I am not.

Two days ago: I change Lorelei's diaper which contains a nuclear green poo (she never has poo in the evening) so I jokingly text her daycare guru about feeding her pea soup (which I know she didn't) as I wonder about the amount of broccoli she has had in the last few days.  I pick her up today and low and behold the green poo was a sign that 9 of the kids at her daycare exhibited prior to being absent due to the flu.  She has been a cranky mess this week, her first week back after the holidays, and I wrote it off as a savant terrible 2's episode.  "The Mother of the Year" award is running and screaming away from me.


Where does this lament come from?  Why do I beat myself up so much?  I have three theories.

1.  INSTINCT:  I have heard it said that there is such a thing as a "Mother's Instinct"...apparently I need to call customer support for mine.  If it worked, I would have known Trey was in trouble and upon his birth he would and SHOULD not live.  And so it carries on to my living child, I do what I think should be done only to find out that I am doing more harm than good.

2.  EXPERIENCE:  I gave birth to two kids right????  I should know most of this stuff by now right???  The second time around should provide me with more information so that the aforementioned instinct would take over in any moment of doubt.  All of this uncertainty F@CKS with my pride as a parent and as a person.  When someone reveals something I didn't recognize the tears of disappointment and panic flow.

3. FEAR:  I watched sickness take my baby boy while I watched helpless.  After we lost him and went on to conceive Lorelei, I was in a state of panic constantly during my pregnancy, her birth, and throughout her life.  When she was born you couldn't hold me down to sew up the tears that had formed where she was born.  She had merconium in the womb (she pooped in the ambiotic fluid and was sucking it in) so John didn't get to cut the cord (but with Trey he did even though he was in distress and had a 6 inch cord WHAT!?!?!?!?).  They whisked her away to "the cart" where the NICU nurses evaluated her, Deja Vu NIGHTMARE!!!!  The midwife made the mistake of telling me she might have to go to the NICU so I was trying to stand up in the stirrups yelling, begging to hear her APGAR score and if she would have to spend time in the NICU.   (Strike 2 against midwives).  My cries were met with stares meant for a crazy woman.  My WONDERFUL husband explained the fact that we had gotten a score of ZERO and the child that received that score was no longer with us.

Well, it seems that my diatribe in that last confession defines my lament.  I am scared that I will exhibit the lack of motherly instinct that has failed me in gargantuan ways before and that I will lose yet another child.  I fear being outsmarted by the experience I should have had if Trey had lived.  I fear not being perceptive enough to recognize issues as a mother should.

So how does one recover from such defeat?  I will create my own "Mother of the Year" award:

Applaud my recognition of the things I do not know.
Beat myself with a wet noodle for making mistakes.
Cherish all of the things I AM doing to be a good Mother.
Decide to keep learning and do the best I can.
Encourage a more positive attitude when I feel defeated.
Forgive my assumptions.
Accept that I am not perfect.

I think I will win...

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