Sunday, July 15, 2007

The reality of being a mom

The last 4 days have been really tough. Who said being a parent is easy? No one.

Squiggles woke up on Thursday morning with a cough and bad congestion. She had had it for a couple of days but stupid old me thought it was part of the myriad noises that she keeps making. It's so heart rending to see a child suffer, but when that child has only completed one month in our world, it seems doubly unfair.

The first question the pediatrician asked was who in the house had the infection. None of us did. She told us to watch her carefully for the next 2-3 days and to call her everyday to let her know how Squiggles was doing. In the meantime she would suck the congestion out from her nose and prescribe some nasal drops, cough syrup, saline spray and give me a machine to help her inhale some other medicines. All of this for a simple cold. She's so tiny, why should she have to ingest so many medicines? And what's all this bullshit about breastfeeding providing the child with much needed immunity? I might as well switch to formula.

To remove the congestion from her nose, the nurse inserted a tube into her nose and used a machine to remove the mucus. How she wailed...pitifully and in pain. It was so difficult to watch and yet I made myself do it. My mom was with us and even with her experience she had her eyes closed. Squiggles cries as much as any other baby I guess, but to hear her in pain made me feel like the lowest scum.

Unsurprisingly guilt was the dominant emotion. We shouldn't have taken her out when she was just a few weeks old. I shouldn't have had yoghurt because it has a cold effect. I shouldn't have had any juice either. Maybe we weren't wrapping her up warmly enough. Maybe the aircon was too strong. No, the bathwater was too cold for her. Or maybe we shouldn't be massaging her till she's older.

So many things that a mum is responsible for, so many things that can and will go wrong. I need to prepare myself for it. DD needs to prepare himself for it. We had so many arguments as we saw her suffer. Everything I was doing was wrong and should be done differently. A child's illness can bring out the worst in a parent.

The last four days have gone in a blur of medicines. 3 times a day for 5 days. The worst was the inhalation - a mix of medicines converted to mist ready for her to inhale. A tiny mask over her face to ensure the mist didn't dissipate. Sigh.

This experience also made me think of all the parents whose children were seriously ill. I can't imagine how they cope. It must be so hard. May God give them the strength to deal with it in the best possible way. In comparison what we were going through was insignificant in the grand scheme of life. I promised myself that I would be calm and strong. And I was. I'm proud of that.

Tomorrow we see the ped for a follw up. My fingers are crossed.


Moppet's Mom said...

Aww, poor baby. Hope she's feeling better now. For what it's worth, our babies are a lot tougher than they look.

Take care.

Squiggles Mom said...

MM - She's much better thanks. The ped says a little more care and we should be through.

Moppet's Mom said...

That's good to hear.

I've tagged you. When you have time and Squiggles is all ok.