Blogging our first pregnancy and child rearing, all the ups and downs, tears and laughs and overthinking that not only comes with being knocked up and a new Momma, but with just being me.
I want to get real for a second here. I feel like, for the most part, I blog the happy stuff. The lovely moments as a growing family, the fun we get to have, the joy we feel so freely watching our boy grow and develop. Sure I complain about sleep issues, maybe I talk a little about the worry you always carry with you as a mother, but I feel like for the most part I don’t talk that much about some of the less joyous sides of this journey.
Long story short, I got sucked in to the google/youtube/babycenter vortex yesterday and this morning searching for some info about the shivering I’d been seeing Emilio doing lately. At first I thought it was cute, oh he’s shivering cute!, but then I was curious to see if it was normal. Then i got slammed. Shudders, Spasms, Tremors, Seizures, Autism. Then I started thinking about other little things he does, like after he’s done eating and asleep, he’ll arch a little and stretch his head back, like he’s stretching, again I think it is cute, but then the other night he did it while I was holding him up and then turned his head back and forth a few times, and while he was falling asleep on me in the early hours of the morning this morning he was twitching a lot (Matt does this too as he falls asleep, heriditary?). I know, and actually even more so after doing some reading, that this is all normal behavior as an infants brain and nuerological system develops, but still. And then of course, it lead me down the autism path and watching videos and doing reading and worrying. Not just worry, deep anxious worry. Does he exhibit any signs of autism? On the one hand, it is really early to tell, and on the second, no, except he doesn’t always respond to his name when I call him, but again from what I’ve found totally normal.
Here’s where this has all lead me, besides a Friday funk, how do you know when it is just overthinking anxiety and how do you know when it is motherly instinct. Meredith at Say Hola Lola, her motherly instinct kicks ass and as a result her Lola is on an amazing path of progression after an early detection of Infatile Spasms and diagnosis of West Syndrome.
Do you just know? I can talk myself out of all of this, does that mean I’m just being anxious because I’m prone to be? When I talk to Matt about it, he doesn’t share the same worries, does that mean I’m overthinking it all because there is definitely dad instinct too? If everything I’m reading is telling me this is normal and all the videos I’ve watched aren’t at all like Emilio can I just chalk it up to Momma worry?
It is hard, being a parent, having this piece of you out in the world and still completely helpless and at the mercy of you taking care of him. What if I’m missing something? What if my general go with the flow, chill Momma attitude is causing me to miss something?
I’m anxious, and it doesn’t feel good, and sometimes my anxiety is just that, anxiety and I have to let it run through me and out in whatever way it will. But other times, anxiety comes when deep down you know something is wrong and right now I can’t tell if that’s the case or not. It brings me back to a period in my pregnancy when I was exactly like this about the possibility of Downs. Emilio had some fluid in his Kidney at the 20 week scan and when I googled it, of course it came up as a marker for Downs. But, in all my research everything said, you need multiple soft markers and a hard marker for it to mean downs, and this was just one soft marker. I was able to let it go, but it took a few days.
My boy, he’s so happy, he’s thriving, he’s funny and silly and he loves us so much. He’s reaching milestones, he’s growing, he’s about to get a tooth! I need to focus on that, I know, but it can be hard sometimes, to not be consumed by the worry, because it is all on us, taking care of him, making sure he’s taken care of, making sure if there is something wrong we get it “fixed”. It is all on us. And as much as I don’t want to miss a single second of this time and his growth, I don’t want to miss what could be a tiny cue of something deeper that we could start battling now if that’s the case. So how do I balance keeping a keen eye, and just enjoying the journey? Do I just count on my instinct to come out when I need it?
There isn’t an answer here, I know. Or maybe there is and I can’t see it through the anxiety fog. I just wanted to share, with all the other Mom’s and Mom’s to be the hard pieces, because that’s the reality of this journey. There are great amazing days, weeks, months and there are really hard days where you’re anxious and sad and just want to curl up with your baby and keep the scary big world of diseases and problems and issues out.
Like every good Jewish Mom, I have to remember, you worry about everything so when something does happen you’re prepared.