It’s been a gruelling 2 weeks with my little sick Cubby. It began as teething related pain and morphed into some sort of virus with severe coughing, fever and runny nose. I’ve taken her to the paediatrician, family doctor and naturopath and everyone concluded the same thing that she was teething (as her gums are swollen) and she caught a virus since her immunity was down. Contrary to what I have been told from my family, who have been blaming me saying that I took her swimming, or I take her out too much, I’m an incompetent mother, or my favourite: “Just stay home every day”. I love the Indian “blame game”. No matter what I do, somehow it is always my fault. No one offers constructive solutions or encouragement such as: “It will be ok, you’re doing a good job”. It’s quite the opposite. Motherhood can be a thankless job sometimes! Anyways, regardless of the slack that I have been getting, let’s move on to little Cubby.
So, she stopped eating solids and only wanted to nurse, which was similar to the last time she was teething when her first tooth came in. The only problem is that she has lost 2 lbs. now and is 14.something lbs. and causing me more stress as she was already underweight! I had worked so diligently to get her up to 16 lbs and now I’m back at square one. It’s really frustrating. I took her to the family doctor on Monday and he looked in her right ear and said it was a little red and that maybe she had an ear infection. He gave us antibiotics. He is a great family doctor and never pushes medications on us; however, it didn’t sound too certain that she did have an ear infection. Regardless, I got the prescription filled and headed home to read the literature that comes with it. The pharmacist had told me that it may cause diarrhea and to give it with food. The ironic part is that I cannot give it with food if she is not really eating anything. Cubby has a sensitive stomach and the last thing I need is to give her diarrhea and she ends up losing more weight! Then I am stuck with another problem. Also, the diagnoses didn’t sound certain. I didn’t want to give antibiotics “just because” as I know they kill off the good and bad bacteria. RIght now Cubby needs all of the good bacteria that she can get. Although I give her probiotics, and I could increase them if I give her antibiotics, I just didn’t feel comfortable as once you start the dosage, you have to continue for 7 days.
I decided to wait until today (Wednesday) and see how she did. Remarkably, she has been doing much better. She is smiling, laughing and playing, which is a great improvement from crying and moaning. She still has a runny nose and a cough, but it is not affecting her sleep. She has slowly begun eating solids again. I feel a little better, and I know she is still teething as she is eating her blankets and her gums are swollen. I think that I made the right decision not giving her the antibiotics. I have nothing against antibiotics if they are needed, but I think that they can be over prescribed. I remember taking antibiotics at least once a month when I was a kid as I had chronic ear infections and tonsillitis. I also took them all through high school and university for chronic sinus infections. I can’t help but think that I may have wiped out all of the good bacteria and caused some of my stomach issues! (On a side note looking back, my chronic ear infections, tonsillitis and sinus infections were probably signs of my food sensitivities, but no one really knew back then and I just listened to what my doctor said and took what he told me to take. I remember taking Flonase nasal spray for my sinus infections for a year straight until my nose began bleeding badly and my sinuses were horrible; but my doctor told me to keep taking it. That was when I discovered the naturopath.)
I feel like Cubby is getting back on track. Feeding times are still stressful as I am trying to feed her to increase her weight. I think she feels my stress and urgency for her to eat. I know I need to calm down and take a deep breath before I feed her. I am just sick of hearing “she’s so skinny, how old is she, 7 months?”. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and all I can keep saying to myself is that I am doing the best that I can do. I feel ok with my decision not to give her antibiotics in this instance. I think she may be one of those children who get sick with a fever, cough, and runny nose when they are teething and their teeth are coming in.
Has anyone else had experience with giving their baby antibiotics? If so, how did it go? Any diarrhea or side effects?