I'm learning that being a mom is all about finding that right balance between believing everything you read/are told and trusting your mama instincts. Jacob Leigh came down with a pretty awful cold last week, which turned into an even worse case of croup. The seal like sounds he was making were heartbreaking. My boy was struggling so hard to breathe and had such a sad look in his tired eyes. I am all about natural and homeopathic remedies, so we spent several days and long long nights with him in a steamy bathroom with drops of eucalyptus oil on the shower floor, rocking him while huddled around our humidifier, lying him on an elevated mattress- so many different things we tried. He was getting a little bit better, but then on Monday night he got worse. We called our advice nurse, who told us that they recommend we take him in because he is not "up to date" on his vaccines (we have him on an extended vaccination schedule, so while he is getting them, we are spacing them out a bit). She was a little hesistant to tell us that, because really his vaccines would have nothing to do with croup. We started to drive to the hospital but it didn't feel right. We drove back home, with a sleeping and calm Jacob Leigh. I sat outside in the cold air with him for a long time (this is good for croup), then decided to check his chest again. This next part terrified me: he was working so hard to catch a breath that skin on his chest and ribs was so far indented it was nearly touching his back. It was horrible to see. He started really struggling to breathe, so we loaded him up again and headed to the hospital. At this point, he was breathing increasingly fast, about 80 breaths per minute. We got him into the ER where he got a breathing treatment to calm him down until the steroid they gave him kicked in.
I have to say that I felt a bit of guilt while we were at the hospital. I felt like, because I really believe in natural cures and am all about limiting unnecessary medication, I had somehow failed by bringing Jacob to the hospital. I know that might sound silly, but it's what I felt. Like maybe I could have done something else, even though we had been trying all recommended at home remedies for days. As I held Jacob in my arms in the dark hospital room, I realized those thoughts were crazy. Jacob was breathing better than he had in days, was finally nursing well, and was sleeping peacefully for the first time in a week. I am glad to have some knowledge of herbal remedies, I'm glad when they work, and I'm super glad to live somewhere where I have access to doctors and medicine that will help my boy breathe. From the time I was pregnant I've struggled to find this balance. I thankfully had the medicine-free birth I hoped for, but I did a lot of reading on the different medications and treatments that I could possibly need. I didn't love the thought of having to have intervention (ahem, pride), but I hated the thought of not knowing what could be put into my body. I'm reminding myself every day that what matters is that I'm educated on what goes into my family's body- natural or manmade. And to trust my mama instincts.
We're still fighting off the last of this sickness, but he's able to sleep now, which is working wonders for his recovery. I think he'll be back to his normal unstoppable self in no time! No wonder he was being so clingy, poor guy!!