It's taken me three babies, and four long years to really learn how to trust my gut. To figure out that the little voice deep in the back of my subconscious, my intuition, is actually pretty spot on.
When my eldest was about 3.5 months old, I took her to my local GP. Her ears were red, and beginning to split, her gums were swollen, cheeks were flushed, and she was chewing on everything... not to mention the drool! I wanted to check up on her redding ears, just to be on the safe side, and rule out an ear infection. I mentioned this to the doctor, and told him that I was fairly certain she's just teething, but wanted to some reassurance. His response startled me. He said,
'No. It's not possible. She won't start teething until she's at least 6 or 7 months old'
And then he promptly sent me on my way.
Prior to becoming a mum, I had worked for many years in childcare. I'd seen a teething babe or two in my time, and thought I knew the symptoms. Until this moment. I was sent on my way without any reassurance or idea of what it could be. Thankfully less than two weeks later,
SHE CUT HER FIRST TWO TEETH.
Just shy of 4 months old, my sweet drooling babe smiled her first toothy smile. We both suffered through our first teething experience, without so much as a drop of panadol to calm the gums, because I figured that someone that ‘knew better’ than me… actually knew better than me. After all, who’s more knowledgeable than a person having acquired a degree in medicine?
Well, lo and behold. The clueless first time mother was actually correct. Yet, looking back (ah hindsight you wonderful thing), this was the first of many moments in these early days of motherhood that made me really question whether or not I knew what I was doing.
Like that time my two year old (again, my eldest… sorry first chid, you’ll always be my test case) actually had severe sleep apnea, and instead of taking me seriously, we got sent to sleep school. Upon our first conversation with the nurse at sleep school, we got turned about face, and sent back to the doctor. The child couldn’t breathe (the actual reason for the lack of sleeping), because she suffered from SEVERE SLEEP APNEA.
Or the time I suspected reflux in my youngest, and I was swiftly told that,
‘Babies wake a lot at night you know’
Or the time, that I wanted to have my newborn checked for a tongue-tie, as the suspected cause of said reflux, to then be told,
‘She’s fine, no tongue tie in sight’
Only to seek a second opinion and hear the words,
‘Yep, you’re right, a posterior tongue tie’
In each case mother did know best. Mothers go through the symptoms with their babes; they feel every tooth cut through, every cough and every temperature. We're the ones there in the deepest dark of the night, stroking foreheads and comforting or cuddling the aches and pains away. There is a reason we have that 'gut feeling' when it comes to our babies. We're their advocates. We need to push for answers, simply because they can't.
Sadly, it still happens. However, multiple 'Ah-ha!' moments down the track, and I've developed a bit more confidence, and the skills to really put my foot down when needed. To know when to stick to my guns, or when to seek a second, third, or even fourth opinion.
More often than not our mumma instincts are bang on the money, it’s time we were all allowed to trust them a little bit more.
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version