"That they (the older women) admonish the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mom Monday

Where I have been. :) That's a long story. Unfortunately, it wasn't because I had my new little one, although it's down to 2 weeks, so don't be surprised if that post shows up soon. No, I spent the entire exhausting weekend looking after a sick little girl. My 21 month old battled a very high fever (sometimes hitting 104) from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon. This leads me to my thoughts for Mom Monday this week.

In my daughter's 21 months of life, she has seen the doctor zero times. My midwife (I had a home birth) suggested I look up vaccination information and decide for myself. Sadly, there was so much conflicting information, my husband and I couldn't decide, so we did nothing... which ended up being a choice. Some people say they are linked to autism, some say no. There is definitely mercury in some of them, which in my opinion can't be a good thing, especially as freaked out everyone is about mercury in fish. Let's not eat certain fish with mercury while pregnant, yet inject our children with mercury. The shots that don't have the mercury aren't as effective or have some nasty side effects. Then there's the risk of side effects from all the shots. Then there's the fact that some of the shots are made from aborted fetus'. I couldn't tell if the shot themselves were made from aborted fetus' or the original developments were. That's how confusing the information out there is. I'm an educated, reasonable person and I was very confused.

My daughter has never had much more than a cold before. Sometimes she'll run a low grade fever while teething. So when she was feeling hot and acting very strange Thursday night, I assumed it was an I-tooth, gave her some infant Ibuprofen and put her to bed. When she woke up Friday morning, her temperature was at 103 under the arm (so about 104) and she didn't want to do anything but sit on my lap with her head on my shoulder. I called the nurse's hotline and all she said was to take her to the ER. Thad and I considered this, but opted to give her more Ibuprofen and wait to see how she did. There were no other symptoms at all, not even a stuffy nose (except from when she was crying). Within an hour her temperature was down and she was running around playing again. The rest of the weekend followed this pattern, plus a few cool baths and ice popsicles. I gave her any fluids I could.

By Sunday morning, the fever seemed to be gone and she was acting normal, so we skipped the Ibuprofen and went to church. By the time we left church she was back up to 104 and once again just wanted to sit in my lap. Thad and I were torn and finally decided to pray for her to be healed and put her down for her nap without the Ibuprofen. We decided that if she woke up with the fever still we'd take her to the ER. Honestly, I was greatly surprised when 3 hours later she had broken a sweat and the fever was gone. Seriously, she was down to about 99. I watched her carefully the rest of the night and she was fine (except she stayed up a little too late and got a little warm again). All day today, she's been fine, just a little tired.

Sorry for the long story, but I really do have a point. I had never been through the agonizing experience of watching your child be sick. I had never known the helpless feeling of not knowing what to do to make everything all better. Usually, I can just fix whatever problem my daughter is having: hunger, thirst, boredom. I was torn between taking her to the ER and giving her body a chance to fight the problem. It was confusing that she'd be fine for a while and then suddenly be sick again. I know that antibiotics are being overused and I didn't want to end up just coming home from the hospital with a prescription for an antibiotic. Trust me, I am not of the camp that says "medicine is evil" and if your child dies, well, it must have been God's will. Although I don't agree with all of the opinions and actions of the medical field, I do think they've certainly saved many lives and have their place. But to me, a doctor and presciption is the last resort, not my first choice. I was online looking up fevers and called my mom and talked to many people for advice.

My lesson was in empathy with other moms with sick children. I can understand better now how hard these choices can be. I am so thankful my daughter is better now and that she was able to heal without medication. I understand now how crazy your life can get with a sick child (plus Thad was working Friday and Saturday nights) as you can tell from my absence! My attention and focus were on my daughter, spending time with her cuddling, watching movies and relaxing. I think I should spend more of my time in this way, not just when she's sick. I also learned the very great importance of praying and looking to God for your children, especially when it's difficult to do. I'm sure all you moms out there have been through this, so I understand you better now! I feel like I've reached a new level of training in momhood. I have passed one of my first courses on children's health. :) Do you have any thoughts or lessons you'd like to share about your courses in children's health?


Holly on June 1, 2009 at 7:27 PM said...

oohh, poor Libbey! And poor Janeen! I am so glad she is better. I know what it is like to have sick babies. As you know, we don't vaccinate either, and try to avoid medicines as much as we can. (they can be overused too often!) It's terrible not knowing if you should wait just a little bit longer and see if they get better, or take them to the doctor. I've had to make that choice many times, and I hate it!


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