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    A Mother’s Instincts

    September 4, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Sometimes, a mom just knows. She knows that a child just lied to her, she knows that a decision is a bad one, and she knows that her child isn’t just normal ill, but seriously ill. Sometimes, moms just know.

    This is something I’ve been learning along my mothering journey. When E. was first born, I knew a few things early on, but I allowed doctors to talk me out of it because of the fact that they were experts and I was a young just-turned-twenty-four-year-old who didn’t know much about children at all. For instance, I really thought I knew that my milk supply was less than what it should be. I mentioned it to my then-OB, who brushed me off with “all women doubt their milk supply.” I told my family practitioner, who simply offered me free formula. I was right, and I might have saved us a lot of pain {and money}, but I didn’t know that I should trust my instincts.

    Now, this is not to say that a mother’s instincts are always accurate. That would be akin to saying that moms can, to some extent, tell the future. There have been times where I had that instinct, where worry becomes a sick knot in my stomach coupled with this amazing sense of urgency, and it turned out to be nothing at all. {Like that time I thought A. had a brain tumor. Ahem.}

    But I think that it is worth listening to our instincts, especially when they are urging us to err on the side of caution.

    It was primarily instinct that drove me to get a nonstress test the day O. ended up being born. In fact, I had almost called the doctor at 2am that morning when I rolled over in bed and thought I felt a limp little body slowly float to the other side. I remember thinking that wasn’t what a live baby inside the womb was supposed to feel like. I was convinced something was wrong, and I remember telling Si that morning to pray for our baby because I was sure there was something wrong with him.

    While I was on the monitor at the hospital being prepped for surgery, my nurse told me another, even more dramatic story that I thought I would share. She said that there was a reason why she took every mother seriously. Apparently, a couple years ago, a mom came into the hospital. She told this nurse that she didn’t really have any reason to be there. She was showing no signs of labor, she was not in pain, and her baby was moving normally. This mother simply had a bad feeling. My nurse was assigned to this mother, and put her on a monitor.

    Nothing happened. Everything appeared normal.

    So, keeping the mother on the monitor, the nurse began packing this woman up to go home.

    And that was when the baby’s heart stopped.

    For five minutes.

    They rushed the mother into surgery, and thankfully her baby survived. The baby was so caught in his cord that his own movements would deny him the oxygen and nutrition he desperately needed.

    And somehow his mother just knew.

    So although I don’t think that mothers should fret and worry about every possible tragedy that might occur, there is definitely a place for listening to the prodding of our instincts. I truly believe they are given to us by God as a form of protection for our children.

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