Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mommy Instinct

Oh man does it suck to have a sick kid!

The little one has respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which is a really common virus, in adults it's just a bad cold and we usually don't even know it's RSV, in kids it's a lot worse though. It still acts like a bad cold but it's a lot easier to have breathing problems and lung infection, oh and it's highly contagious and takes a good week or two to kick. Major bummer when we have family coming into town and a memorial to plan for my grandfather. Q has been going to the doctor daily and started 3x daily nebulizer treatments, he seems to be on the upswing so we're hopeful that by the middle of next week he will have some of his energy back and will be able to spend time with his cousins.

While it would seem that we are on the way out of this mess, RSV can get nasty and so we still have to watch the boy carefully. Everything I read says to trust your instinct, watch for labored breathing, wheezing, any other signs of respiratory distress, and mostly to trust your gut and go to the dr or ER as soon as you feel like you need to. My husband, mother and doctor would all agree that I have a strong (and good) instinct but I find myself really scared and doubting my instinct a lot this week. I mean, how could I make decisions on my kids well being based on anything less than fact? I know trusting your instinct isn't really a gamble but if I'm good at listening to my instinct I'm equally as good at doubting myself when under pressure, and there's nothing like sleep deprivation and a feverish lethargic child to make me feel under pressure. It all comes back to one question for me - how can you ever really know?

If I had to answer my own question I guess I would say you never really do know. You do your best, you hope you're right, and when it comes to things most precious (like my boy) you err on the side of caution. I can tell myself that, but last night when Q had a coughing jag that made me jump out of my chair screaming for my husband to come quick I had to stop and think about what my instinct was telling me. Was I a overreacting first time mom or was my instinct saying something important? On the one hand I was ready to jump in the car and run straight to the ER. But on the other hand I wanted everyone else to listen to his breathing and tell me what I should do, make the decision for me. I am embarrassed to admit that I also thought about the ER bill that we just got done paying for my husband, what they could and would do for him at the hospital (nebulizer treatment) and my sleep deprivation before I decided that if no one else heard anything amiss then we would just stay home and see if anything else changed. It sounds like a decision someone else would have no problem making but I keep beating myself up for not listening to, or not having a good instinct.

Does everyone doubt their instinct? Does it help or hinder to doubt your instinct? and how?

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