Knowing When to Trust Your Mom Instincts

I don’t claim to be on expert on parenting, I mean, I’ve only been a mom for 8 months! I feel like I fly by the seat of my pants (and by google!) just to get by every single day. Everything is new for me. Everything is new for Olive. But the one thing I do know for sure is when to trust my mom instincts. 


Everyone loves to offer their opinions on what we should be doing, what we should be doing differently and what we are actually doing “right”. Sometimes its frustrating. Sometimes its helpful. But more often than not I just try to take it with a grain of salt and brush it off my shoulder as people just letting us know how they did it. Olive and I go to a baby group every few weeks and I was asked by one of our friends around the 3 month mark “Have people, you know, have they started parenting FOR you?”. She went on to explain her troubles with the opinions of others in respect to cosleeping, feeding (solid foods), and many other topics. I kind of giggled to myself at the time because I didn’t think people would do that to us, but I did listen when she said “do what you know is right for YOUR baby”. Not long after, when we decided we still didn’t want to move Olive to her own room we started getting the “advice” she was talking about. For the most part I could ignore it, because hey, Olive was still nursing and it was way easier for me to look after her during the night when she was next to us. Maybe I am a mom of convenience , but this is what worked for me. Olive is rounding the corner on 8 months and she is still in our room, and that is exactly what Scott and I want!

About three weeks ago I didn’t trust my mom instincts. Olive spiked a fever for two days. We gave her tylenol and kept the cold washcloths on her. Everyone told us she was teething so that’s what we believed (even though her first two teeth came in without any cries, without any pains, without any fevers). I did, however, notice that her mouth was awfully white. At first I thought it must just be milk, but when I tried to remove it, it didn’t budge. Off to Google I went, and up popped hundreds of links for Thrush  — and then I started to worry. We headed to the nurse a few days later to get it checked. She had a good look in Olive’s mouth and decided that it was just milk, and that Olive was teething. I thought “she is a healthcare professional. She has helped me so much up to this point. She has checked Olive over head to toe so she must know that everything is okay”. That is when I should have voiced my concerns a little bit more.

Fast forward two weeks… I began having the most excruciating pain when I was nursing Olive. I would wake up to blood all over my nipples and large cracks that seemed to grow by the hour. At first it was only on one side, so I concluded that Olive must not be latching properly because of her new bottom teeth. But then it started on the other side. The same intense pain when I fed her. Something was not right. I started hurting all the time, even when she wasn’t nursing. Olive wasn’t nursing long enough, therefore I felt like I was going to explode like an over-pumped basketball. I tried to be strong and I tried not yell when she would latch on, but it was nearly impossible. Finally I decided it was time to go see my doctor. I made an appointment, bundled Olive up, and off to the doctor we went.

One look at me, and one look at Olive, it was clear she knew the problem. It was Thrush, and Olive had passed it on to me. For the two weeks that I tried to convince myself that it was just milk, and that she was latching improperly, we were really swapping yeast back and forth each time I fed her. I was devastated. I explained to my doctor that I had been to see the nurse about this problem. I thought it was Thrush but was told otherwise, and I trusted her. For two weeks I painfully fed Olive. For two weeks I feared that I would no longer be able to nurse her – one of the best gifts I could give her. For two weeks I worried. 

Now, as both Olive and I are one some intense medical treatment, I question myself. I ask “should I have been more firm the first time? Should I have gone to get a second opinion sooner? Should I have just trusted myself?” I didn’t want to come off as Doctor Google Mom when I went to see the nurse. I think that is why I didn’t think twice about her incorrect diagnosis. I didn’t want to say “HEY, IT’S THRUSH”. 


Having gone through this situation, I have learned to be more vocal about issues. I DO know what is best for my baby. I am her Momma, and I need to protect her. Yes, the medicine has and will continue to make us both feel better, but I can’t help but be hard on myself for not fixing this situation soon. I learned early on to trust my instincts when it comes to small things like where Olive should sleep and what she can or cannot have to eat. I learned the hard way when to ask for a second opinion when it comes to the health of my baby and of myself. Lesson learned.

Olive says “Trust yourselves first Mommas!”


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3 responses to “Knowing When to Trust Your Mom Instincts”

  1. Karen Hamilton says:

    Don’t be too hard on yourself Stacy. You’re a GREAT MOM! Olive told me so! 🙂

  2. Sue Rumack says:

    I believe that a mother knows her child better than anyone else on earth. My first born almost died because of a disinterested doctor and because I was too young and inexperienced to trust my intuition. Once was all it took for me too become the lioness, and take control. My child survived, eventually recovered and I learned how to do what every mother must learn to do.

    • TLRB-admin says:

      Wow Sue. That is the ultimate “trust your mom instincts” story. Thanks so much for sharing and I’m glad the story turned out on a positive note!

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