Trust Your Mama Gut Feeling

Trust Your Mama Gut Feeling | Twin Cities Moms Blog

A mama’s gut feeling should never be ignored. It is an amazing thing.

The first time I experienced strong Mama’s gut was when my oldest was four months old. At that time, we had already established a pretty easy routine. Eat. Play. Sleep. Repeat. She was a fairly easy, and very happy little girl.

One day in early March, she woke up a little fussy. It was odd for her, but I didn’t think much of it. Around noon though, I began to worry when she developed a fever. Being a first time Mama, I didn’t hesitate for a second and called the nurses line right away. They directed me to treat her fever with some Tylenol, but if it her temp were to get any higher, I was to call right back.

As the afternoon progressed, her fever declined a bit but she began to act even more strange. She was extremely sleepy and abnormally quiet. She also wouldn’t nurse which was really uncharacteristic for my milk-aholic baby.

My mommy radar was blasting. I couldn’t kick the feeling that something was majorly wrong. I decided to see if I could lift her spirits a little bit by giving her a bath. At four months old, she LOVED her baths. She usually was all kicks, smiles, and laughter.

But that afternoon, she fell asleep in the tub, and I. LOST. IT.

I knew deep down in the pit of my tummy that my little girl was sick.

I called the nurses line again, and they had the foresight to ask to hear her breathe into the phone. They listened to her for about thirty seconds before they told us to get her to the nearest E.R. as fast as possible. Her breathing was definitely off.

After what seemed like hours waiting at the hospital for the doctor to finally come and see our sweet little baby, the doctor nonchalantly walked in and gave us all a once over. That once over was a familiar one that I had already grown accustomed to receiving as a young mom (I was 21). I am sure he assumed that we were clueless, inexperienced parents, and he thought that all we really needed was some lessons in parenting.

His body language said as much. Casually he took a look at her chart and ever so briefly listened to her breathe.

“What she needs is just some Tylenol. It’s a probably just a virus that needs to run it’s course, she is fine, and she will feel better in a few days.”

He started to get up to go…

The hair was already up on the back on my neck and I was trying not to growl at this doctor. His diagnosis wasn’t good enough for me and I told him as much.

I argued with him that I thought something else was off, while my surprised husband watched his normally quiet wife turn all Mama bear. It was probably quite the show.

“…well we could give her an x-ray to rule out pneumonia …but it isn’t a comfortable test for a little one…I don’t recommend it…,” was his clipped response.

“Do it.” was my answer. At this point my mommy gut was screaming.

I am sure the doc thought that I had gone off the deep end.

And maybe I had. But I didn’t care.

He was right. It wasn’t a comfortable test. In order to take the x-rays, they had to stick her in this tube-like contraption with her arms over her head, while she screamed in confusion and fear. It was awful.

I wasn’t surprised though when the doctor came back in moments later and confirmed what I already knew.

She was sick. She had double pneumonia.

I was never more glad in my life to be right about something. I shudder to think of what would have happened if I ignored my mommy gut and brought her home without doing the x-ray. She didn’t need Tylenol. She needed antibiotics. And she needed them ASAP.

Sometimes Mama knows best.

Over the years I have experienced countless more mommy gut reactions that have prevented harm to my children.

Caleb was nine months old when he snuck a piece of peanut butter sandwich in his mouth before nap time. Thinking nothing of it, I tucked him in for the afternoon, only to be overtaken by mommy gut ten minutes later. When I walked into his room, he had hives all over his face and body. Thus, beginning a life of allergy testing, epi-pens and extreme caution.

Years later, I found our youngest child not once, but twice, as an infant choking on her own vomit in her bassinet. It was only that nagging gut feeling that made me go in and check in on her. I am so thankful that I did. It took several doctors appointments to discover that she had silent reflux and needed to be laid down in a special way and watched carefully after eating. My mommy gut saved her life.

Which is the reason why today I trust that gut feeling, even over logic. It annoys my kids sometimes, especially if it interferes with their fun but I don’t care. I’d rather ere on the side of caution than live with mama guilt and regret.

Am I alone in this? Who else has experienced Mama Gut? I want to hear your stories.

6 Responses to Trust Your Mama Gut Feeling

  1. Cindy April 22, 2016 at 12:28 AM #

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been harshly criticized for almost 11 months for disagreeing with the “experts” diagnosis for my baby. Sometimes it’s not always the most common problem (ex- virus vs severe pneumonia in your case). Mama’s instinct needs to be taken much more seriously by doctors than it is. Too often we moms are labeled as “first time clueless moms,” “over-reactors,” and the like. I’m also a RN and when I worked in peds I’d advocate for my patients’ parents. No one knows kids better than their parents. Good for you for advocating for your kiddos! Blessings, Cindy

  2. Molly April 22, 2016 at 10:52 PM #

    I can’t even begin to count how many Mama Gut sensations I’ve had, but I do hope to one day write them all down.
    I I have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old. My most significant experience was when my youngest was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16 months. It took 16 months of thinking/being told I was crazy before I was reassured that in fact I wasn’t. 16 months of doctor visits and phone calls, hospital stays, and pushing/begging for tests before I was proven correct.
    Cancer, although such a horrible disease, has given me my loud speaker for my Mama Gut. Oh boy, do I have some great Mama Gut stories within this journey.

    • Mellie April 30, 2016 at 11:35 AM #

      Molly, I am so sorry to hear that you and your baby had to go through that, but he/she was lucky to have you as his/her mama! If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of cancer was it and what were the markers for you? I hope all is well now, all the best.

  3. Old-mom February 1, 2017 at 5:09 PM #

    Been there. Done that. But wouldn’t pneumonia show up white/grey on the x-ray?

    If you are going to afvocate for and educate new moms, please use facts. The lungs are filled with air and, therefore, should be dark on the films.

    • Kbro February 10, 2017 at 2:10 AM #

      A chest readiograph (x-ray) is standard in diagnosing pneumonia. It allows the visualization of fluid accumulation in the lungs present with pneumonia. It presents as white “fluff” of “cloudiness” when you look at the image. The writer is completely correct and not misinforming her readers.

  4. KC June 11, 2017 at 9:20 AM #

    When my daughter was 13 months old she had a super high fever. We gave her fever reducer and called the nurse line and they said to just alternate Motrin and Tylenol to keep it down…I read about seizures with high fevers and we had company at the time so it was suggested we put her to bed so she could rest. I resisted and decided to just hold her in my arms…5 minutes later she had a seizure and we rushed her to the hospital! She spend the night in the hospital as they struggled to get her fever under control! So grateful I was holding her or we wouldn’t have even known!

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