I'm pretty lucky in that I popped out a kid right before a lot of my friends did the same, so I kind of have a built in support group (not to mention my next-door neighbor, Mary, who came over the first day we brought Henry home and managed to talk me through some breast feeding panic). My cousin Jen and I were talking today about sickness-her baby has her first cold, and Jen, being a Type A person (don't be mad if you're reading this, you know it's true) panicked a bit. But it's easy to do. Fear and paranoia take on a whole new meaning when you have a sick infant, especially when you start reading about kids getting sick and dying in other places. You go from "I'm sure he's fine" to "OH MY GOD I'M BEING A SLACK MOTHER AND HE'S PROBABLY GOT BIRD FLU" in a very short time, and probably cycle through that a few times before your spouse hands you a drink and tells you to calm the fuck down. It's probably nothing major, so call your dr's office and let them talk you through it. They're used to it. If they blow you off and you're still concerned, take your kid to an urgent care center, and later, find a new doctor. It is completely natural for a new mom to be concerned. I mean, don't be a shrieking unreasonable harpy to your kid's pediatrician, but follow your instincts.
Here's the only place where I'll give overt parenting advice. Listen to your pediatrician and vaccinate your children. There is no link between vaccinations and autism, but there certainly is a link between not vaccinating your children and outcrops of diseases that were nearly eradicated. No matter what Jenny McCarthy says, vaccinating your child is a good idea. The chick was a Playmate, for God's sake. Look to her when you want....I don't know, a basis for your boob job, but listen to your doctor when it comes to taking care of your kid.
So Jen and I were talking back and forth, and I realized even the most laid-back mom panics to see her kid sick. When Henry got his stomach flu, I was getting ready to take him running, and Ben and I were arguing about something (side note-for more on post-and pre-baby arguing, see later blogs, tentatively titled "You don't do a goddamn thing around here" and " we haven't had sex since a Republican was in the White House"). I rolled Henry out in his stroller, and turned to say something smartass to Ben, and when I turned back, the kid just hurled. I mean, this was not spitting up. He coated himself. I burst into tears and immediately wanted to take him to the hospital.
But I came to my senses, called his pediatrician's office, and got talked down. He turned out to be fine after a few more puking incidences and a really long nap. Ben and I were completely leveled by the same flu about 24 hours later.
It sucks. Especially when you're a new mom and your kid is small. Call your mom, call your friends with babies, it's ok, they've been there. What's great about the group of moms I know is that even if they're not all local, I have their support all the time. And they have mine.