Tuesday, March 30, 2010

a mother's instinct

you can tell your baby has a fever just by looking at her.
you go check on your child in bed for no reason, and notice her blankets have come off.
you turn around just in time to see your toddler about to put a marble in his mouth.
you only push so hard on the swing.
everyone else says it's not broken but you take your child to the ER anyway, and it's broken.
you pack two more diapers than usual and you end up needing them.

it's a mother's instinct. and i'm still learning to trust it.

it was completely against my usual self to even buy the Flintstones Vitamins. that i gave them to my children shocked all of my friends. looking back, i'm even shocked at myself.

over a period of two days Bubba had one vitamin: half each day, with breakfast. looking back, i can't even tell you why i felt like my kids needed vitamins.

on the third day, the spots appeared. little red spots on his tummy that i thought might be mosquito bites. how did he get mosquito bites on his tummy? i knew they weren't mosquito bites. i didn't give him a vitamin. i didn't know it at the time (i thought i'd just forgotten) but that was my mother's instinct.

on the fourth day, the spots had grown big enough to connect and they covered his tummy, chest, sides, underarms and back. hives.

on the fifth day he looked sick. he was tired, his eyes were red and had dark circles. not typically my big eater anyway, but by the fifth day he didn't want to eat anything. not even Cheddar Bunnies. the Pediatrician wouldn't say it was the vitamins, but couldn't say exactly what caused the breakout. "it could be a number of things," she said. it was the vitamins, said my instinct.

i whipped the vitamin bottle out of my purse and for the first time i looked at the ingredients. still shocked at myself for not doing this before buying them.

Sucrose, Sodium Ascorbate, Stearic Acid, Maltodextrin, Invert Sugar, Gelatin, Vitamin E Acetate, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Niacinamide, Corn Starch, FD&C Red #40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake, Magnesium Stearate, FD&C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12. Contains: Soy.

there are more artificial ingredients in the vitamins than in most of the foods Bubba eats.

i battled my instincts all weekend.

we spent the sixth day at an Urgent Care Clinic. we spent the seventh day praying over, consoling and comforting a very sick toddler. all the while kicking myself for ever setting foot in the children's vitamin aisle. my instinct sat in the corner, nodding her head, saying "i told you so."

it wasn't until i finally decided to trust myself that everything was ok. take him off of all medication. take him home. let him sleep. the hives cleared up, his swelling went down, the fever broke, his smile returned, he ate again. he is well.

the Flintstones Vitamin incident is now just a memory, a story to tell, a small mountain we overcame. but because of it, my instincts and i are stronger and closer that ever before.