Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: A Hefty Dose of Mom Guilt

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.


Heather said...

It can be a never ending cycle.
I have been amom for fifteen years and I can say that it does get better when you look at your kids and realize they are turning out just fine.
Still it does sometimes rear its ugly head.

Jenny said...

Mom guilt is the worst but we wouldn't be good mothers if we didn't do our research and care. My son had acid reflux too when he was born and it was just no fun!
Stay strong mama!

stopping by from pyho

Shell said...

Google is evil, I'm convinced. B/c we can find all sort of things to drive us crazy out there. I hope you can totally let this go b/c this isn't your fault!

Katie Hurley, LCSW said...

Mom guilt is so hard. My oldest had the same issues as your Trace, and I had a C-Section due to complications. I'm glad I never read that, because I'm sure I would have felt the same way. But my two closest girlfriends had natural births and babies with severe allergies and reflux, so I think it just happens to some kids and not others.

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

Not one mom in this world who doesn't have the occasional mom guilt! If you didn't you wouldn't be a good mom. We can blame ourselves for lots of things but its really just life! Hope he grows out of it. Hugs! Visiting from shells!

Stephanie said...

I HATE mom guilt but even knowing when I am being ridiculous doesn't stop the feelings. It is nice though to have a husband you can listen and help us see another view and maybe help us work through these feelings when they begin to overwhelm us.

Leighann said...

My daughter had severe reflux.
She was born vaginally.
She started out on zantac twice daily and is now on prevacid once daily.
The pain and discomfort she was in when she was first born was heart breaking and she still suffers from gas and bloating but we're dealing with it.
Mom guilt is horrible and mine turned into PPD.
A good support system is key.
Hang in there, you're doing great!!

Kimberly said...

First - thanks for coming to my blog earlier! I really appreciate the comment! I agree with you; people like "him" make me sick.

I too have mom guilt. I stay home with my kids, but if I have to run errands by myself, I feel guilty. If I want to work out in the evening while they're still awake I feel guilty. There's guilt everywhere, and you're so right - you're NOT alone!! My son had severe reflux and was on certain formula and several medications for it. But he wasn't born via C-section. I don't think that's the cause of anything, but I do understand where your worries come from. {{Hugs}} to you!!

Also, I'm following you back now! (And sorry for such a long comment!)

Neely said...

Kate you are such an amazing mom! But dont google medical stuff :)