Mothers Know Best.

Sorry for a bit of a heavy post on a Monday morning, but Violet has been sick since Friday and there isn't much else on my mind these days. Our normally happy and active little girl has been tired and listless - the sparkle missing from those big blue eyes. It breaks my heart to see her like this. Posting about home design and pretty products just doesn't seem quite right when your child isn't well, does it? So instead I'm going to write about some thoughts that have been swirling through my mind these past few days in between taking temperatures, wiping noses, and comforting my little girl. (For those who aren't up for a wordy and somewhat serious post this morning, I've included some photos of the babe at her happiest and healthiest.)

Between caring for a sick child and reading this post by Melissa over on Dear Baby, I've had a flood of memories from Violet's first few months return to me these past few days. Blood draws where they dug around in my baby's arm for what felt like hours while I restrained her, sang to her, tried to comfort her. Hospital visits where they couldn't get an IV into her arm, hands, or feet, so the doctors finally had to place it in her head. Upper GI's, endoscopies, and sigmoidoscopies. Patch testing and skin prick testing. Ultrasounds, CT scans - the list seems never-ending.

We've been through a lot, but one memory in particular stands out in my mind. Our last visit to the hospital emergency room. After an entire night of violent vomiting, our little girl was dehydrated and lethargic. Her little body was limp and her eyes vacant. I remember dialing 911, wondering if this was really happening. Wishing that it was a bad dream that maybe I could wake myself up from.

A long story short, after being up all night, completely dehydrated, and treated as a pincushion for the majority of the day, she was finally getting some much needed sleep in my arms when a sweet nurses' assistant dropped by to warn me that they would be coming to draw more of Violet's blood shortly. I politely, but flatly refused. Violet was finally getting some much-needed sleep - something much more healing than yet another blood test could possibly be at the moment. The nurse's assistant was very nice about it, said that she understood, but that the RN would probably be in to talk to me. And talk to me she did - she arrived minutes later, ready for combat. After some intense arguing, I caved under her insistence and allowed the blood draw despite my strong feelings against it.

Looking back, I blame my weakness on the fact that I was physically and emotionally drained at that point. It's one of the few things that I look back on in our experience with the medical world and think, I wish I would have done that differently. Most of the time I've been proud of how I've stood up to the naysayers and done the right thing for my daughter. Sometimes I think that hospitals and doctors get so caught up in protocol and testing that they forget their first and most important role - to help the patient heal.

One of the biggest lessons things I've learned since becoming a parent is to trust my instincts. I've been questioned, second-guessed, and even dismissed by others on everything from how often I nursed Violet to the symptoms of her condition. Had I not ignored those doctors, nurses, and yes, even family members and friends and instead done what I thought was right for her, who knows how sick she may have become.

I'm not writing this post to toot my own horn or to put down those that gave us bad advice. What I want to let other mothers out there know what I've discovered to be true, and that is this: you know what is right for your child above all others. No one is more in tune with a child's needs and feelings than her mother. Trust yourself and do what you think is best.

There is nothing in this world more important than the health of our loved ones.

Here's hoping for a healthier week. Hope you enjoyed the pictures :)


  1. I love this post. It's one of those things that we as moms (maybe especially first time moms?) don't do our instincts, even when it means standing up to the "authority" on the matter. I couldn't agree with you. We live in a time of amazing scientific advancements and experts on virtually every medical issue but sometimes it's just all too much. It's exactly the reason I choose to give birth naturally at home. Every single doctor and nurse I talked to about it looked at me like I was insane and frankly I think it was just because I'd be more "work" for them then what's become more the norm in our society. Don't beat yourself up about it of course. In the end, we all do the best we can at the time and then have to move on and learn from it. I hope sweet Violet is feeling better soon. She's one lucky little lady to have you as a mom!

  2. Hope little Violet is feeling better today!

  3. Directions Not IncludedSeptember 26, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    I hope she is feeling better today. You are a great mom and being an advocate for her health is huge. Trust your gut. I'm not a mom but the same applies for your own health. Given my health conditions and how long it took me to be diagnosed with a genetic autoimmune, it is my biggest fear for when I have my first child. I had to fight doctors for years to try to convince them there was something wrong. It shouldn't be that difficult.

  4. hugs to you, lauren. i completely understand and i hope violet gets better soon. the time i've felt worst about a decision i made as a mother was allowing the doctor to do a chest x-ray on my daughter because she had a fever lasting over three days (but she had no other symptoms). i *knew* she didn't have pneumonia, but i allowed it anyway. i almost cried watching her get hit with radiation for what i knew in my gut was no good reason. she didn't have pneumonia, of course. and yes, sleep is so important! i had that same experience after hospital birth - stop checking me and LET ME SLEEP! keep it up, mama. you're doing a great job.

  5. Good job, Lauren. I work in a hospital, and everyday I see so many needless procedures and testing. Now doing these diagnostic tests is my livelihood and I believe that what I do helps people, so I'm not saying they are not worthwhile. The thing to remember for anyone in any healthcare situation is that you (or your child) are the patient, and YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE--anytime, for any reason. Don't let people talk you into doing things that you don't feel are right. There are always options and these should be discussed fully with your provider to make sure that all of your questions are answered and that you as the patient feel comfortable with everything that is happening to you. I think you are a great momma and Violet is a beautiful little girl.

  6. Thank you so much! I agree that the tests are worthwhile - just the timing was so, so wrong. Thanks for reaffirming that patients have rights! I'll remember that if we are ever in a situation like this again.

  7. Thanks Kristin! Glad to hear someone else can relate. I felt the same way after giving birth. Luckily I had a nice nurse who put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on my door!

  8. I agree - it shouldn't be so difficult. I so often felt with our first group of doctors like they didn't believe anything I told them. Luckily we've found some great pediatricians and specialists now who take our concerns seriously.

  9. Thanks Dina! Yes it's so hard to know when to take advantage of modern medicine and when it just starts to become invasive. Glad you stuck to your guns and things worked out for you!

  10. Here's hoping little Violet feels better soon. And it takes a strong mama to stand up to everyone and everything but really and truly no one knows what your child needs best more than you do.

  11. Lauren,
    You are the best Mom I know. You have been amazing through all of this awful stuff with Violet. As Grammy I often felt helpless because I had never seen anything like what Violet went through. The only thing I could offer was support. I was lost in the advice department.
    Love you

  12. Aw Lauren, that just broke my heart to read that :( I don't even know you, but I'm hoping little Violet is better. xoxo



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