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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Children Teach Me


I never understood what people meant when they said their children taught them, until I became a parent.  When I was pregnant, I imagined all of the things I would teach my children.  I realized the  gravity of the task of raising a human being and teaching them about life.  Then, as I began to parent, I realized the cliches were all true; you really do learn about life from your children.

I had to take my son back to the ER today (went straight to All Children's).  I held him as he was examined, evaluated, given medication, and eventually given another IV.  I held him as he fell asleep in my arms, exhausted from fighting illness, sleep, and those trying to help him.  By the end of our visit, after a nap and some fluids, he was sitting on the bed, hamming it up for my mom and me.  Making silly faces and laughing, the type of belly laugh only heard out of a child.  He hugged me when I picked him up to get him ready to go home, and though I was the one who had allowed people to do things he couldn't understand to him, I was still his favorite person.  He still trusts me enough to know that I'll do the best I can to care for him.

As I sat looking at the few pictures I took while we were there, I realized how very lucky I am to have these two little people in my life.  They teach me something new about the world and myself every day.  They teach me about the person I want to be, and make me strive to make them proud to call me Mommy.  They've helped me find strength and resilience, patience and courage.  No matter what I may teach them along the way, it pales in comparison to what I've already learned from them.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mother's Intuition

There aren't many things that make me angry.  I tend to be a pretty calm person (though my husband may argue that point), and it really takes a lot to anger me.  Someone messing with my kids, however, will do it every time.  I got angry today, a lot.

I learned a valuable lesson today, or actually just re-iterated it to myself.  Mother's Intuition is a very real, very powerful thing.  I didn't listen to mine today.
Waiting room at Urgent Care 
My son has been ill for a few days now, with a nasty stomach bug, which has been traveling around our area for quite a while now.  Sparing the gory details, there were many a changed diaper, outfit and sheet this weekend.  Little man has been refusing to eat since Friday, and not wanting to drink much of anything for about a day.  I started to get worried about dehydration, and decided to take him in to be seen.

Barring one unfortunate encounter with a PA there, we've had pretty good luck with the Urgent Care center near our house.  So I decided to take him there to start.  As I left the house, something in me told me to just take him up to All Children's Hospital, which is where he's had his surgeries.  Round trip, it would have been an extra 30-40 minutes of travel time.  I wanted to be able to get him home to rest as quickly as possible though, so I opted for the Urgent Care Center.
Playing peek with Mommy while waiting
When I arrived with him, I made it clear that my main concern was dehydration.  After two hours of retelling his situation too many times to count, I was told that they were unable to do a pediatric IV at that location - valuable information two hours prior, when I would have left to take him somewhere more qualified for this particular concern.  He was given tylenol and an anti-nausea medication.  I was handed an envelope and instructed to head to the affiliated hospital's emergency room.

As I left the Urgent Care, I told myself I should just get on the interstate and head up to All Children's.  I then convinced myself that the local hospital would be faster, therefore allowing me to get little man home to bed sooner.  So I ignored my instinct again, and took him to the local hospital (which is very good, but not equipped to deal solely with children).
ER Waiting Room
We got to the hospital and got registered, and I got busy occupying him for about 2 hours while we waited.  We finally got to our room, and I told the story yet again.  I'd whittled it from about 5 minutes to 30 seconds - hitting the most important information in a very abbreviated fashion.  Enter three (very young) medical professionals.  They were going to put the IV in my son, so they could start the rehydration I'd asked for 5 hours prior.  I instantly got nervous.  One of the two men in the room seemed slightly rattled, and the other two were looking to him for direction.

Fast forward through 20 excruciating minutes for my child (and me) of IV attempts and failures, multiple trips in and out of the room for supplies (one would think you'd have that all on hand before you poke a 14-month-old), and me feeling as though I'd held my child down so others could torture him.  He finally got the much-needed fluids, and they ran some blood tests to rule out more serious conditions.  We waited while the fluids reached their prescribed amount.  I listened to 3 people repeat the same information to me before I signed the paperwork that freed us.
Asleep in my arms while rehydrating
On my way home I began to feel exceedingly guilty about putting him through all of that.  Had I listened to my instincts, we would have cut that ordeal in half (at worst) in length, and it would have been nowhere near as traumatic.  Had I taken him to All Children's originally, we'd have been in a place totally equipped for, and experienced in care for a chile his age.

On our drive home I apologized to him numerous times, though he couldn't hear me through sleep, or comprehend my words if he had.  I vowed to him to do better at listening to my own advice, and I filed in my own head this particular reiteration that Mother does, indeed, know best.