Sorry for a bit of a heavy post on a Monday morning, but Violet has been sick since Friday and there isn't much else on my mind these days. Our normally happy and active little girl has been tired and listless - the sparkle missing from those big blue eyes. It breaks my heart to see her like this. Posting about home design and pretty products just doesn't seem quite right when your child isn't well, does it? So instead I'm going to write about some thoughts that have been swirling through my mind these past few days in between taking temperatures, wiping noses, and comforting my little girl. (For those who aren't up for a wordy and somewhat serious post this morning, I've included some photos of the babe at her happiest and healthiest.)
Between caring for a sick child and reading this post by Melissa over on Dear Baby, I've had a flood of memories from Violet's first few months return to me these past few days. Blood draws where they dug around in my baby's arm for what felt like hours while I restrained her, sang to her, tried to comfort her. Hospital visits where they couldn't get an IV into her arm, hands, or feet, so the doctors finally had to place it in her head. Upper GI's, endoscopies, and sigmoidoscopies. Patch testing and skin prick testing. Ultrasounds, CT scans - the list seems never-ending.
We've been through a lot, but one memory in particular stands out in my mind. Our last visit to the hospital emergency room. After an entire night of violent vomiting, our little girl was dehydrated and lethargic. Her little body was limp and her eyes vacant. I remember dialing 911, wondering if this was really happening. Wishing that it was a bad dream that maybe I could wake myself up from.
A long story short, after being up all night, completely dehydrated, and treated as a pincushion for the majority of the day, she was finally getting some much needed sleep in my arms when a sweet nurses' assistant dropped by to warn me that they would be coming to draw more of Violet's blood shortly. I politely, but flatly refused. Violet was finally getting some much-needed sleep - something much more healing than yet another blood test could possibly be at the moment. The nurse's assistant was very nice about it, said that she understood, but that the RN would probably be in to talk to me. And talk to me she did - she arrived minutes later, ready for combat. After some intense arguing, I caved under her insistence and allowed the blood draw despite my strong feelings against it.
Looking back, I blame my weakness on the fact that I was physically and emotionally drained at that point. It's one of the few things that I look back on in our experience with the medical world and think, I wish I would have done that differently. Most of the time I've been proud of how I've stood up to the naysayers and done the right thing for my daughter. Sometimes I think that hospitals and doctors get so caught up in protocol and testing that they forget their first and most important role - to help the patient heal.
One of the biggest lessons things I've learned since becoming a parent is to trust my instincts. I've been questioned, second-guessed, and even dismissed by others on everything from how often I nursed Violet to the symptoms of her condition. Had I not ignored those doctors, nurses, and yes, even family members and friends and instead done what I thought was right for her, who knows how sick she may have become.
I'm not writing this post to toot my own horn or to put down those that gave us bad advice. What I want to let other mothers out there know what I've discovered to be true, and that is this: you know what is right for your child above all others. No one is more in tune with a child's needs and feelings than her mother. Trust yourself and do what you think is best.
There is nothing in this world more important than the health of our loved ones.
Here's hoping for a healthier week. Hope you enjoyed the pictures :)