Linking up once again with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out. Thanks Shell!
If you've been around 567K8 much, you know that Trace has some serious health issues. Not serious as in life threatening, but serious as in they seriously affect every aspect of our lives. Daily routine, feedings, sleeping, budget, you name it, it's seriously affected. Trace has a milk/soy allergy and (relatively severe) acid reflux. He has special formula (read: expensive) and takes Zantac twice a day. We also go to the Doctor every 3 weeks and monitor and record all his feedings, sleeping habits and "bathroom" habits. That's the backstory here.
When Trace was first diagnosed, I made a huge mistake.
I googled Infant Reflux.
Never a good idea.
I stumbled on some article detailing some of the potential causes of acid reflux. Potential is key here.
In my haze of exhaustion and stress, I read this article. Some causes include, but aren't limited to: allergies, immature stomach and esophagus lining, traumatic birth, birth via c-section, etc.
Stop right there.
Trace is a c-section baby.
Do you understand what I read that to mean? I caused his acid reflux. I CAUSED IT. By the simple fact that I am unable to birth children naturally, I caused it. My body is medically incapable of natural birth. I don't produce enough of the hormone to thin and dilate my cervix. No amount of medicine, pitocin or laboring could cause my babies to move down the birth canal properly and be pushed through naturally. It just wouldn't happen. I know this fact to be true. I spent 18 hours trying with Rory. TRYING. LABORING. CONTRACTING. I was in serious pain. She never was in "Distress," thankfully, but the potential was there. My heart rate was all over and my blood pressure was slowly starting to go up. The decision was made that she needed to come out via C-section. I didn't do anything "wrong," my body simply has a problem with labor.
Normally not a big deal.
Until I gave birth to a baby with a host of digestive issues which MAY, in the tiniest of chances, have been caused by a c-section birth. Immediately, my mind latched on to that fact and I was embarrassed. Actually, I was humiliated. I didn't tell anyone what I had read because I didn't want anyone judging me and thinking I had done something wrong. I wanted to appear the mom that held it all together, even in the face of all these trials with Trace. I wanted to be the proper mom who has perfect children, gets to shower each day and is smiling.
I was not. I was a mess of mom guilt, holding Trace during each of his crying fits and crying with him, confident that in some way this was all my fault.
It took me about 2 weeks to be able to admit to Dave what I had read and how badly it had scared me. Calmly and rationally, he let me vent and let me come to my own realization that if in fact the c-section did cause the reflux, it couldn't have caused the allergies. There would still be issues, natural birth or cesarean. Trace still wouldn't be "normal," no matter what we did or didn't do.
I can't tell you that there aren't times still my mom guilt doesn't get the best of me. I have huge amounts of mom guilt for having to work (and I love my job!) I feel guilty that Dave has to spend his evenings taking care of the kids instead of golfing or doing what he wants. (And I know they are 50% his too!) Mom guilt is a type of guilt all it's own. It's irrational and it's difficult to deal with, but it's something every mom has to deal with. And that's where the relief comes from. The day you wake up and realize you aren't alone in the mom guilt pool and that EVERY OTHER MOM feels guilty about things that are just as stupid. Thank goodness.