Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rookie Mom

Do you ever feel like a bad mother?

I feel like a colossal jerk today.

M and I took Will in for his six month well baby check last night. He was his usual happy little self, flirting with a lady in the waiting room, laughing at the fish in the big tank, and charming the doctor with his winsome smile. She started to examine him and. . .

No, wait. I must first back up to last week, when Will started poking and tugging at his ear. He didn't seem overly bothered, more like he was just exploring it. Oh, and he had one really terrible night of sleep, when I was convinced that something was wrong. Other than that, there was no fever, no redness to the ear, no incessant crying. I did call the doctor's office the day that he was messing with his ear and they attributed it to teething.

Okay, back to the story.

So Dr. S asked how things were going, was impressed by his social skills, continued "stellar" growth chart (the little Monkey weighed in at 18 lbs, 6 oz), and asked him to call her four month old son to give him the news that sleeping through the night is a good thing (I love it when a pediatrician admits that her baby isn't SSTN at four months!). We mentioned the ear tugging and pulling and as she looked in his left ear, she started explaining how teething can cause ear pain, and blah, blah, blah. . . ear looks great. . . then she looked in the right and. . .

Major. Ear. Infection. Including a middle and inner ear infection and a possibly already-ruptured eardrum. His little ear had so much fluid and debris she had to clear it out before she could see the drum itself and it was still hard to see because of all the junk in there. She seemed really surprised that he was so happy and peaceful with such a raging infection.

As a result, Will is taking his first antibiotics (yeah, it's not good when they prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection) both orally and in the ear. He gets a little extra Ty.lenol for the pain and we have to go back in two weeks.

So much for Mother's Intuition, although even Dr. S said that based on his disposition earlier in the exam, she would not have thought she'd find that ear in such awful shape. It doesn't make much difference, though, I still feel bad that he's been in pain this whole time.

In addition to the whole ear drama (including having to hold him down while they cleaned out all of the wax), he had his normal 6 month vaccines plus a flu shot. Lucky, lucky little guy! He was having a good time at the doctor until all that started. Once we were done with all of the torture, I went to lay him back down on the table (where all of the "fun" had happened) and he was not pleased. He started crying again and I had to quickly finish dressing him before I gave him what he really wanted . . . boob. Luckily, that still solves everything.

We got him home after a quick stop at the pharmacy and I expected a real bedtime struggle. Nope. He barely stayed awake as I gave him his first dose of the pink stuff, some Ty.lenol, and put his sleep sack on him. He went into bed without a peep and stayed there until this morning.

He seems fine this morning, no fever, no fussiness. He hasn't had breakfast yet, and I had noticed he wasn't eating as much the past couple of days, so that will be the final test to see how he is doing after all that.

But I still feel like a moron.

15 comments:

Joy said...

I just wrote a post about how much I mess up and feel bad--- we are all there. You did the right thing; you noticed he was tugging on his ear and took him in! And now he'll start feeling much better!

the d'angelo family said...

Don't feel bad...this type of thing happens. I just took my son to the Dr. last week for this horrible cough he's had to find out his lungs are perfectly fine...it's "just a cough"...oh, but he had an ear infection. I never would have thought that. He's always been a bear and I've noticed him tugging/pulling on the ear or it being red...this time, nothing.

Rookie mom you are not...my son is 3 now...I'm far from rookie myself. It's a learning curve for all of us and I can tell you, each illness is different and it's always going to be something you didn't think it would be.

You're doing a fantastic job with Will. He's absolutely adorable and I hope you're enjoying your new position as SAHM!! Congratulations!

Tracy said...

I probably would have made the same mistake! Don't beat yourself up too much...you can't help it if you have a happy little (I use the word loosely...ha ha!) guy. I'm glad he seems to be recovering well from a rough visit.

((HUGS)) to you both.

p.s. I seem to recall you telling me about hanging out with some mommy friends? They didn't urge you to call the doctor, did they? So it's easily missed.

Ms. J said...

Stop that right now . . . you will have PLENTY of other opportunities to beat yourself up once Will enters toddlerhood, and begins sporting all sorts of FUN bruises on his body (esp. his head) the day before important events!

I buckled my kid's right thigh into her car seat the day prior to a pediatrician checkup, so she sported a LOVELY welt/bruise for the doctor to view. I 'fessed up, lest she suspect abuse, and she just chuckled and said "yeah, I see that sorta thing all the time!"

Dr. J has conked her sleeping head into the door frame while carrying our now 26 pound turkey into bed. And when she didn't even rouse, when then fretted over whether she had a concussion. And then we grabbed a giant flashlight and peeled her peepers open to see if her pupils were dilating. But when she have a Chinese baby (hooded eyelids AND super-black eyes), the task is quite more difficult! Yeah, NO concussion, but a pissed off Lil Pumpkin 'cause she was now woken up by rookie parents!

I share this so you don't feel quite so bad . . . the important thing is that Will hasn't been in pain!!! He's just a tough cookie!

Jen said...

Nah, that just means he is so generally happy and well cared for that he is able to ignore a little pain. :)

Laura said...

I'm sorry to hear about poor Will. But you are not a bad mommy, so don't feel guilty. Just a couple of months ago my husband came to me with a symptom he thought to be worried about. I told him to quit being a baby. Yeah. A day later, he had emergency surgery on the thing I thought wasn't such a big deal. So....and as someone who had a lot of ear infections as a child, they aren't necessarily painful, especially if the eardrum ruptures (no more pressure against the drum). I don't think I had a painful ear infection until my teens. So, he really might not be in pain. Anyway, I hope Will is back into tip top shape soon!

Lori said...

You are not a moron! If your child is actin like themseves there is no way to know that something is wrong!! I have had the exact same experience and couln't belive that one of my girls was sick and I had no clue!

Don't beat yourself up!!!

Gibson Twins said...

OMG Katie, those things HAPPEN! Please don't feel so bad about it, we've all done it. Here's my proof:

When the twins were one year old, I noticed that they one night started crying a lot. Allison 10x more than Ryan. No one slept. Instead of doing anything on the spot, I just gave out some Motrin/Tylenol and waited to call the ped in the morning. Took Alli's temp that morning at 9am and it was 99 so gave her Motrin again. Got to the ped's office at 11am and the nurse was about to take her temp and I said "oh it was 99.1 2 hours ago". Yeah she took her temp and it was 104.6!! What kinda moron mom did they think I was?!

Got back to the exam room and both kids had ear infections. Ped called in the several med students in the office because she just had to show them this double ear infection FOR FEAR THEY MAY NEVER SEE SOMETHING SO BAD AGAIN! OMG I wanted to die right there. Too bad even for oral antibiotics so they gave her two antibiotic shots AND drops. No mother of the year award for me that year...

JuliaS said...

Oh honey {{hugs}} for you and Will. I have to say though, get used to feeling like a moron - even though you really aren't, it just comes with the territory and eventually your kids get old enough that they start telling you they think you're a moron too!! (That is a teenage thing though and not a reflection of your true nature) :0)

I swear sometimes I feel like the dumbest mom on the planet and I've been doing this a long while!

The fact that you care so much about this and it bothers you so much shows that you are a very good mommy who is concerned and cares about her son's health and wellbeing. A bad mommy, if it got caught at all, wouldn't care and not feel guilty one bit! So, see, you feel like a moron, so that makes you a good mommy!

(And I cannot tell you how many times I have thought my one of my kids must surely have an ear infection because they were tugging at their ears, only to discover they were just tugging at them because they discovered they had ears to tug!) They do have otoscopes you can buy for your home first aid kit. I think I got mine at Target in the baby first aid aisle near the thermometers. They are very easy to use and usually have photographs for comparison of a normal eardrum and various stages of infection/fluid.

Life in Eden said...

Ok, so you've heard it -- don't feel bad. My first son actually ruptured his drum with puss all over the crib before I had any idea he had an infection. He's just one of those kids who never runs fever with ear infections. I did realize with time that sleepless nights were his only symptom. But occasionally that was other reasons too. So you just can never be sure. Plus those things can change so quickly. He ear might not have looked so bad 24 or 48 hours ago, hang in there!

Ashley said...

You are not a bad mom! You just have a baby with a high pain tolerance, which isn't a bad thing! When I brought my twins in a few weeks ago for their 6 month check-up's, I was convinced that one of them had an ear infection because of the ear tugging. It turned out that his ears looked great, but his brother (who showed no symptoms whatsoever) had a double ear infection. It happens to the best of us! Oh, and also, my twins (who were due on Sept. 2 also) weight 18 lbs. 6 oz and 17 lbs. 9 oz. at their 6 month check! I just thought that was funny that one of them weighed the same as your little guy! Yay for good eaters!

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I would venture to say that most days I feel like a complete moron. If it makes you feel any better, I find that I often think something is wrong with Lemy only to find out that she is fine (reflux not included in this of course since I know she has it--despite what the ped says). Anyway, we are learning and until they can speak and explain what's going on I think its just always going to be a crap shoot. ((HUGS))

Mrs. Piggy said...

Oh yes this happens! I pull this stuff all the time. You feel awful but its always good to hear other mom's dont always know either :) Hope Will gets better soon!

Fertilized said...

I feel like a moron most days too. This mom stuff is not set in stone and there are so many variables. Wil just is a Champ or you would have been to the Dr sooner. What a trooper. Hang in there mom.

uncomplicateme said...

4 days in and I can already tell this mother thing is a crapshoot sometimes. You reaaly just don't know what's going on in their little bodies. *hugs*