I may have poisoned baby Jack with mercury from my replaced amalgam fillings.   Or not.  Either way, the facts remain:  I am losing sleep worrying over this possibility and I have not breastfed Jack for over a week now to avoid passing the mercury through my breast milk.  Since I don’t know when it’s safe to breastfeed again, I just keep putting it off and meanwhile poor baby Jack has not pooped in the last four days because of the change in his diet.

As you can see, like most moms, I take my baby caring responsibility very seriously.

Sometimes there are lists to help me through.  During pregnancy, for example, there are plenty of lists:  what and what not to eat, which sex position is best and which to avoid, which activities to indulge in and which to stay away from, etc.  The lists are long, for sure, but they serve their purpose:  make my pregnancy as easy as possible.  I don’t have to weigh pros and cons because someone else has already gone through the process and all I need to do is follow the lists.

The thing about lists, however, is that it assumes that I will have the sense to consult them before acting.  But who does that?  Who thinks of all the ramifications of her actions before acting, all the time?  And I mean all the time.

I, for sure, don’t.  For example, I recently had three amalgams fillings replaced.  It seemed like a very good idea to replace the decade old amalgam fillings, which were showing small signs of cavities, with a more aesthetically pleasing composite resin.  How was I supposed to know that I needed to consult the Not To Do list before fixing my teeth?  How was I supposed to know that replacing my amalgams would release mercury to my system and I would be passing the mercury to baby Jack through breast milk?

I am finding more and more that I cannot just do “it”, whatever “it” is, without first looking into how doing “it” would affect the baby.  “It” is not just medically necessary stuff like getting the amalgams replaced.  “It” could be something seemingly so inconsequential as buying shampoo.  I cannot just buy the popular baby shampoo brand because due dilligence requires that I research the chemicals used.  Otherwise, I would not discover possibilities like maybe Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo has some harmful chemical in it that numbs the baby’s tear ducts to prevent tears.  There are so many things to consider in such a simple act as buying baby shampoo!  For a long time I just avoided shampooing my baby’s hair.

What this all means, on top of needing to be hypervigilant, is that I must have the time and wherewithal to figure out alternatives and to decide on the “right” choice.  Making a decision is hard.  It requires a vast reservoir of knowledge of the issues and choices at hand.  Lacking this, I must therefore put lots of hours into researching and acquiring the information necessary.  Again, due diligence demands that I get acquainted with all the facts before I make my decision.  Because in the end, if I make the “wrong” decision, my little helpless baby Jack suffers.  The thought keeps me up at night.

At some point I have to start breastfeeding Jack again, probably when I use up all of my supply of frozen milk.  The nice thing about doing it this way is that I don’t have to actively make the decision.  My milk supply will decide for me.  I like it like that.