If you happen to use our guest bathroom (kid’s bathroom) I know you will have some questions. I know you will most likely not say anything right away but I know your mind will be filled with so many questions. From what is wrong to why in the heck is that just out in plain sight? I know you may hint at it or even make a comment about our bathroom decor. Don’t worry you can just ask. I’m okay with it and really everyone else should be also. That big red box sitting on top of our toilet is a sharps box. Yup, it holds needles and yes, you did see correctly that my six-year-old daughter’s name is written across it. That red box with My Little Pony, Minions and Cinderella stickers all over it is just a normal part of our life now.
Each night we have a family routine that involves my sweet, tiny six-year-old to get a small shot in her arm or thigh. We all sit on her bed and play a part in this nightly routine. I prepare the shot and get everything ready to go, her twin brother sits near her and holders her hand, her dad wipes her arm or thigh with an alcohol pad and I sing her a song from when she was baby. This sounds like a long routine but in a blink of an eye it’s over and we start their bedtime routine. This is something new for us but not something we did not expect. Since our tiny 29 week preemie twins came into the world we have had to add in some “not so routine” routines into our life. Our daughter, Quinn, was diagnosed with failure to thrive due to premature birth.
First, feeding tubes became the part of the routine at home when the twins were unable to eat on their own. Then, full length leg casts were required to correct my daughter’s club feet. Next, a DOC Band to help correct a flat head due to being in the NICU for eleven weeks. All of these routines had been hard at first but then just became our new normal. Thankfully our pediatrician has been preparing us for this new routine for about two years.
When I first tell people that my daughter is taking growth hormones I normally get a strange look. I’m sure that before going through this with my daughter I may have thought why would anyone give growth hormones to a six-year-old? Or, this can’t be healthy, I thought only athletes took that stuff. I want my friends and family to know that it’s okay to have these thoughts but please know I’m 100% confident in the decision we have made to help my tiny daughter grow.
My husband and I have had many conversations around this topic. I will be honest in the beginning most of them ended with me in tears. As a mom, you don’t want to see your children in pain or lacking in anything. I have known for a long time that my daughter was having issue with growing and that one day we may need to seek help. We have done our research and even spoken with other parents who have been down this road. Every parent wants what is best for their child but deciding to give your child a shot every night in hopes that it will help them in the long run is a very tough and well thought out decision. We have discussed about every possible outcome and then some. As a mom, I feel a lot of guilt about having preemies, and I do not take any health decision lightly. I blame myself for my daughter’s lack of growth. I blame myself for having her 11 weeks early and not giving her and her brother more time to grow. My husband tells me all the time that I did everything I could to keep my twin pregnancy going and that my daughter’s health issue are not my fault but deep down I blame myself. Having all this guilt makes it only harder when friends and family judge me for helping my daughter with “unconventional” medicine.
I understand that it’s only natural to question something that we don’t understand but please remember that behind every judgement may be a mom or dad doing what they know is best for their child. Sometimes we don’t need to fully understand why someone is doing something to support that person. Sometimes all that parent is needing is to know that their friends and family are there for them and their choice to help their child. All I ask is that the next time you see something or question your friend or family member, just be open and honest. Come to them in a manner that is kind and understanding. Don’t go after them but come to them with compassion. Everyone is fighting a battle we may not understand. For some parents, they are making very tough decision that can impact not only their life but their children’s.
As parents, we need to stop the judgment and try and be a friend to those parents who truly need one. Before you judge, stop and think about how you would feel if you had to make these tough choices for your child.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
Ashley Thomason is a stay at home mom to six year old boy/girl twins. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart of 14 years. Ashley and her family call Glendale, AZ home. She loves getting to volunteer at her twins’ school and DIY crafts around the house.
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