Anyone who has experienced the privilege and the fear of bringing a new baby home from the hospital knows what a mixture of emotions you experience as a new parent with the responsibility and joys of having a new addition to your family. Only new parents know what it is truly like to have a lack of sleep and what it feels like to know that you were directly responsible for bringing a new life into the world. There is no greater joy in all of life than having a new baby, and yet there is perhaps nothing that is scarier as well. One of the things I hate the most about having an infant in the house is the inevitable ear infections that come with it.
I have brought five children home from the hospital in the past ten years, and I have also been around when many friends and my sisters have brought their new babies home to stay. We have all experienced the unmatched joy of adding a new life into the family, but we have also experienced the fears and the frustrations that come when our precious babies get sick and we aren’t sure what to do about it. My first experience with an ear infection came just a month after my oldest daughter was born.
I wasn’t sure that she had an ear infection at first, but all I knew was that she was more sensitive than before and that she cried way more than just when she was hungry. I let it go for a couple of days, thinking perhaps this was just a stage she was going through. When the crying became worse and more consistent and she seemed to be getting even more sensitive with each hour, I made a few calls to my mother, my sisters and then finally my daughter’s doctor. I got the same response from all of them: it sounded like my little daughter was experiecing her first ear infection.
I made an appointment to bring my daughter Ava into the doctor’s office that afternoon. Until then, I tried everything possible to soothe what I now knew was a cry caused by great pain. We walked, I sang, I gave her massages, but nothing seemed to help her pain now. Our doctor’s appointment later that day confirmed that she had not just one ear infection, but that she had in fact a double ear infection in one ear and a single ear infection in the other. Of course, being a new mother I wondered what I had done to cause this problem. When the doctor and later my mother assured me that I had done nothing wrong, I began to feel better as my little girl began to feel better with the help of her meds.
I’ll tell you, having a child with an ear infection is one of the scariest things as a parent. Get good information about the warning signs from your doctor and monitor your children carefully from the beginning.