I feel like it has been a while since I’ve checked in! We are in the midst of a time of somewhat intense parenting. My one year old had a virus two weeks ago, seemed like she was better, then started to seem worse again so we took her back to the doctor. He said she has a sinus infection and she is teething all four molars right now. I know time makes things foggy, but I do recall the molar teething period as one of the most difficult times of toddlerhood with Ben. I hope this passes quickly, and in the meantime, we are doing our best to give Ella as many snuggles and as much nursing time as possible.
Thankfully we found an integrative pediatric practice in Miami Beach so we are able to work with natural remedies as well as traditional medicine if need be. I really hope to stay away from antibiotics because we have had pretty bad experiences with them in the past. When Ben was two he went to daycare and within three days had strep and a double ear infection. I was upset, partly because of course I felt bad for him, and partly because I had been told that breastfeeding was supposed to offer him some sort of magical shield of immunity! What had all those sleepless nights been for!? I’m half kidding, but I was a bit surprised. It turns out that even two years worth of breast milk is no match for the antibiotic resistant strains of illness that fly around daycare.
We gave him antibiotics and sent him back to daycare a day later. He got better and finished the course of the medicine. Then about two weeks later he got sick again. He took antibiotics again. He got better. Then about two weeks later he got sick again. I also got sick while working at the daycare. I took antibiotics. I got better. Then about two weeks later I got sick again. I took antibiotics again. I got better, then about two weeks later…Do you see where this is going? From what I understand this happens because the antibiotics kill the harmful bacteria that are making us sick but they also kill many of the beneficial bacteria that comprise our immune system. Now when my kids come down with something that I know antibiotics would fix quickly I always feel conflicted. I want them to feel better, but I try to remember our experiences with using antibiotics in the past. Being a stay at home mom I am thankful that I even have the option to decide. When I was working full time and Ben was in daycare we gave the medication because we needed to get back to work.
Now with Ella it’s different for a few reasons. She seems to be sick more than I remember Ben being at this age, probably because he is bringing germs home from school and camp. Also she is the second baby so we have a little practice and hopefully a little perspective. I still feel just as much “in it” and totally consumed when my little one is sick, but I also feel like I am more able to see how quickly the time goes and that this will pass before we know it. I try to focus on just being present with her and keeping her as comfortable as possible while she is healing. Sometimes I feel totally calm and capable of caring for her, other times I feel like if I hear another squeal, scream, cry, or moan, I am going to run and hide. In this type of situation and in general, I am always working on being more mindful with my kids and finding a way to balance the demands of ‘life’ with the demands of ‘childhood.’ Life goes on, childhood speeds on like a melting ice cream cone. Everything feels so immediate and intense with little ones around. Sometimes the hours of 4-7pm feel like they last a week. Other times 4-7 weeks go by and I can’t remember what season it is (that’s partly because we live in Florida, but still!).
This is more for another day, but before I go I want to say that I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want in life. I’m working on how to clarify the core of what I actually want so I can see more opportunities to find whatever it is. That sounds pretty esoteric! I’ll let you know what I discover.