Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Mother's guilt.

As I went walked along on the treadmill bopping along to whatever 90's techno I was listening to, I happen to glance up at the TV in front of me and noticed a headline

" A study has found that women who took Acetaminophen while pregnant, their children are at risk for ADHD"

As I kept pace on the treadmill, my thought immediately went to, " Fantastic, now another thing mothers are going to beat themselves up for.."

The thing is, it takes an incredible amount of guff to produce a human. For the man (sorry guys), your part is the easiest. For us women our job in the human producing business is a little more complicated. When we first discover we are pregnant, we told what not do, what not to take and what not eat. We are handed a bottle of folic acid and congratulated. Our bodies change and conform to help house a growing fetus.

Through our pregnancy depending on if this is our first or our third, we are cautious about what we are exposed to. There is no way for us to regulate the air we breathe outside of our own homes. We are forever worrying about if what we eat or drink is going to effect our growing offspring. We are checking our medicine bottles to make sure it is safe to take, as we trust our doctors to tell us otherwise. So with all of our constant hovering, why is it we still have guilt?

We give birth to our babies in that shred of hope that they are healthy. Born with all of their fingers and toes, insides and out. But yet when we are faced with a diagnoses of any kind, the mother's guilt morphs into this monster where it beats us up. 

I will never, ever forget the feeling I had when our middle child was diagnosed with Autism. It wasn't because I feared it. My first feeling was what did I do wrong? WHAT DID I DO WRONG?  Was there something I didn't do while I was pregnant? Or was there something I did do while I was pregnant? I had tremendous guilt. I was hard on myself for it. I wanted to hug this little girl and express how sorry I was for giving her this. It took me years for me to stop blaming myself and realized I did do what I was supposed to do during her pregnancy. But just as I thought I could look at myself without a guilty conscience, our youngest got diagnosed with Autism. It was that, that blew me out of the water. I started to think, maybe its just the way my body makes babies. That there was something defective with me. I still struggle with it. 

Now with this new study that has come out, we are going to have thousands of mothers, like myself looking at their children who are currently exhibiting signs of ADHD, trying to think back on whether or not they used Tylenol for pain. We are all going to be sitting here wondering if we had caused this. A mother's guilt is a strong one. 

Both my husband and I have created three very unique individuals. In my eyes they are the best little human beings I gave this planet. I will be forever grateful for having them in my life. But I will always have this thought in the back of mind on whether or not I could have done better by them.