Flashing my “First Time Mom” badge

I don’t have Mommy instinct.  There I said it.  To everyone who said “you’ll just know what to do,” I say “you lied”.  I don’t know what to do.  When C was a wee one and went through a fussy spell every night in the early evening, I read “Happiest Baby on the Block” to learn how to soothe her.  I decided what to dress her in for bed because it was what a friend of mine dressed her daughter in.  When she got to the age that I thought she should be learning to put herself to sleep, I asked another friend for advice and bought “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”.  We decided to start solid foods because the doctor said we could.  “Just knowing” has not been a part of my parenting experience.

So.  When I kissed the back of C’s head yesterday afternoon and it was hot enough to make me take her temperature (101.4) I immediately flashed back to our child birth class.  The one where a pediatrician came in and talked to us about when to go to the doctor.  My head was spinning as I texted friends, talked to my mother-in-law and called Craig.  My thoughts were jumbled, 90 miles an hour and went something like this: 

“My baby has a fever. OMG.  MY BABY HAS A FEVER.  It’s 101.4.  That’s high for babies, right?  The doctor said to bring her in if it was more than 101 and they were under 6 months.  Or was it 100 degrees and 3 months.  I can’t remember.  I think it was 101 degrees, under 3 months.  But she’s 5 months.  So, what do I do?  I should call.  No, I’m not calling.  She could be teething.  I’ll give her some Tylenol.  Ok, I should still call.  They’ll make me bring her in and it could be nothing.  Maybe I’ll give it an hour.  No, in an hour the office will be closed.  I think maybe I’ll call and ask if they can see her.  But Oh, hell, I haven’t showered yet today.  I’ll wash my face while I call.  OH MY GOD MY BABY HAS A FEVER.”

Craig made the decision easy and told me to call.  So I did and got an appointment for 6:10.  Where she played and giggled in the waiting room.  Another mother even said to me, “She sure doesn’t look sick”.  Then they took her temperature and found it was 99.4.  Could be a difference in thermometers, could be that the Tylenol kicked in.  Doctor gave her a clean bill of health and said to watch her an if it got to be 104 to bring her back. 

OHHHHH….104 is the magic number.  OK then.  Here is my first time mom badge and my $20 co pay.   Have a lovely day.

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5 Responses

  1. Oh, how I can relate to this! When my first one was almost 2 months old she woke up with a “fever” on Christmas Eve. She also wouldn’t eat, and I was somehow convinced she was deathly ill. Since it was Christmas Eve, we took her to the ER, where they looked at us like we were aliens. Apparently, she just wasn’t hungry, and maybe my thermometer wasn’t accurate? Oh, and I’m a nurse. And it was the small town hospital where I worked that we took her too. Embarrassing.

  2. But an occasional $20 for peace of mind? Could be worse!
    I had very little mom instinct for my first! It’s better with my 2nd (who I’m holding while typing
    one handed right now!) Of course, it probably isn’t so much instinct as it is experience. 😉 I practically memorized What to Expect the First Year with my first, I read it so much!

  3. Holy crap, I figured out how to leave a comment.

  4. That’s so tough. After 1, I really base it on how they’re acting but under 1 it’s so hard to tell. You did the right thing!

  5. I freaked out when I thought we had thrush….I google imaged thrush…don’t do it…EVER!! I brought her in b/c I had no idea….it was nothing and I also was handed my first time mommy badge.

    You did the right thing. I don’t mess around with fevers.

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