No mother ever wants to have a child with a problem. Especially first time mothers. We are already so scared that we are going to “mess up” or do something wrong. So, for the most part, we are acutely aware of every little nuance of our child. Practically from the moment they are born!
When I had my second child, I definitely felt a little more confident about being a mom. I had the nursing thing down after doing it for 14 months with my first. I knew what I did and didn’t want to do this time around. I knew I would co-sleep at first, but then move the baby to his own crib quickly so that I could start sleeping better. When something goes wrong though as a mother, you just know. You do.
When my son was brand new, I felt like something was off. He seemed fussier than my first. Gassier. He would squirm all night long and never seem to get comfortable. But, this was my first boy and I questioned my intuition. “Maybe boys are just gassier. Maybe they don’t sleep as well.” Thoughts like that made me doubt myself. But, as time progressed, I continued to notice other things. His stool did not have the normal breast-fed baby smell. It seemed stinkier, didn’t look right, and seemed to have mucous in it. I know it sounds silly to say that poop stinks, but his was definitely worse than my daughter’s! By far.
Again, I shrugged it off until I started noticing tiny streaks of blood in his stool. Yet, I had seen this once or twice with my daughter. When I saw it with her, I brought it up to the pediatrician and she just said that is very typical in newborns. Well, my son’s continued to get worse and worse. I saw more and more. So, I turned to the best source out there…the internet. I discovered he may have an allergy to milk. After talking to my pediatrician (a different one) she confirmed he probably had a dairy allergy. I cut that out of my diet. The blood did not disappear, and only after cutting out soy protein did we start to see normal stool.
At 5 months old, we decided to introduce rice cereal. Your typical baby first food. Things went downhill from there. Without going into months of detail (which I easily could), we knew that there was a problem. Again, my gut told me that something was wrong. But, babies aren’t allergic to rice. I had so many people tell me that. But, my instincts were telling me different. It turns out that my son has a rare disorder called Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome or FPIES. It took months of begging people to listen to me to finally get a diagnosis from an allergist. But, he had an intolerance to rice and oats. I was right.
Even if you are a first time mom and you have a gut feeling, you should follow it. So many times we’re afraid doctors will think we are crazy (and some will), but most of the time, we are right. Something is wrong. But, trust me, everything will be OK if you follow that thing that God gave you. The mother’s instinct. I had so many people say to me, “Good thing you trusted yourself” or “Good thing you didn’t give up”. It’s true.