That's why it's called a shortcut. If it were easy, it would just be "the way".

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My First Mistake as a Mom

I keep my house clean. I constantly wash my hands. I disenfect his room and the house doorknobs occasionally. I pick him up constantly, talk to him, play with him. I am quick to change a diaper. I spot treat his clothes.

Yet I feel like the worst mom in the world right now.

Kids should come with an instruction manual. In today's uber-informed day, I google everything. For example, I have a vast knowledge of RSV, homeopathic remedies for babies, pros and cons to immunization shots and some little tricks, why newborn babies don't shed tears when they cry, what developmental milestones he should hit and when, how to wash clothes, special mixtures for diaper rash.

Yet somehow I missed this. In my defense, I went to go pick up the Tylenol one week after he was born, right after he was circumcized. I was a bit daffy still.

So at two and a half months old, I took Karsten in to get his first round of immunization shots. Usually babies get them at exactly two months old, but it is was Christmas with lots of parties to attend and the immunization shots forces the body to be sick so it is wise to keep the baby away from potential germs.

So yesterday at 3:00, before we went to the pediatrician, I gave Karsten 8 ml of Children's Tylenol as the nurse had instructed so it wouldn't be so painful because he would be stoned. He was a champ. He didn't get a fever, hasn't been too fussy except for some gas. This morning at 9, I gave him 8 ml more because he had a slight fever but he was still all smiley and happy with me.

Tonight about 8:00 his fever seemed a bit warmer and he was yelling and even offering him food didn't quiet him. So I put some milk in a bottle and added the Tylenol. As I was doing this, I noticed that 80ml was enough for a 35-47 pound kid. That's roughly three times more than Karsten weighs.

So I went to go make sure I had the correct dropper. I did.

I called the pediatrician's office and had an after hours nurse call back.

Apparently Tylenol comes in a strength for children and another type for Infants. I had Children's Tylenol in liquid form. In my mind, infants are children so that was the stuff I bought when Karsten was 9 days old.

So I have overdosed my kid with Tylenol which is potentially fatal. My first mistake as a mom is a fatal one.

My husband called his mom who said the same thing the pediatrican's nurse did. He should be fine because he had only 2 doses which were 18 hours apart and there are no apparent side effects yet. We should make sure he gets more liquids than normal. (Yea for me, I get to wake up every 3 hours like he's a newborn again. Small pennance for how bad I feel though.) If the spot under his ribcage feels hard or is really tender to Karsten or if he turns yellow, we are probably in big trouble.

We googled acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. An overdose could require a liver transplant or it may result in death. Acetaminophenis a toxin. Ever hear of a teenager trying to overdose on a bottle of asprin? Tylenol is more likely to work better.

So I called Poison Control Center. 1-800-222-1222 I didn't have to look that up. I now have it memorized.

The guy on the phone was very nice. He asked questions like Karsten's age, weight, potency of the Tylenol. After doing some math he told me that the doseage he got was three to six times what he needed but it didn't pose a real problem.

My holistic doctor called me after I left a message for her. She told me to take milk thistle, a liver maintenance pill, viatmin C, enzymes and acidophilous every four hours for the next two days.

He'll be fine. I just wonder why my first mistake couldn't be putting his shirt on backwards?

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