New Momma guilt
For the first-time, recently, my infant daughter woke up with a fever of 104-degrees F. My husband and I took no chances. We called the doctor at 7:30 in the morning. And we went into total freak-out mode.
We both stayed home from work to take her to the pediatrician. Once there, we hung onto the doctor’s every word and tried to interpret our daughter’s every whimper and whine. A family member thought our hovering was cute, a sign of a neophyte parents making too big of a deal over a little sickness. But there was no debating that her temperature was dangerously high. Besides, what else were we supposed to do? This is our first child, and we’re learning as we go.
Seeing our little one so miserable and lethargic was heartbreaking. And it plunged me into mommy guilt. Earlier, I had misjudged her low-grade fevers, which had been around 99.5-degrees F, for symptoms of teething. Who knew she was nursing an infection? What if I’d caught it sooner? Why didn’t I suspect it was more?
Seasoned moms and dads tell me that this is only the beginning of a lifetime of scrapes, bruises, stuffy noses and random illnesses. I’m bracing myself. I’ve even dusted off those how-to-care-for-baby books that my budding confidence prompted me to put on my bookshelf. They make for good reading while I’m keeping an ear trained on the baby monitor at 4 a.m. or popping into her room to take her temperature. No doubt about it, I have become that mom.
-- Sherri Day