Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Only Human - Can I Change That?

Never in my life have I felt more helpless than I did this past weekend.

It actually all began Thursday overnight. Starting around 4-5 months, Brett has been sleeping for 8-10 hours at a time (I know, trust me, I’m ecstatic about this!). But, for the first time in QUITE a long time he woke up around 12:30 crying. Steve got him and I fed him. He went back down and then woke up AGAIN at 4:00. Steve got up again (can I say right here that I love my husband… he gets up without any complaining) and was able to rock him back to sleep.

I wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong, but I dropped him off at my parent’s house and asked my mom to keep an eye on him. I thought maybe he was cutting his first tooth. Not quite… when I got there to pick him up his nose was running like a faucet and I could tell the little guy wasn’t comfortable. Suddenly I felt horrible. This was one time that I couldn’t just “make it all better”. No, I couldn’t fill his tummy or give him a dry diaper. He had a cold (and I know I gave it to him, which made me feel even worse). I know that he’ll probably have a hundred colds over the course of his life, but seeing him sick was one of the most disheartening moments for me. You can’t just explain to a 5 ½ month old what is going on with him and have him understand.

Steve and I immediately went out and bought him a vaporizer and the Johnson’s bath stuff that’s supposed to help them sleep. We spent the evening suctioning out his nose and put him upright to sleep in his swing in our room with the vaporizer.

Saturday morning I got up and Brett was in a decent mood, even though he had snot running down his face. Poor baby!

We were trying to get things ready for Steve’s parents who were coming that day, and as I was walking down the stairs with Brett he had a massive spit up. I turned my head to look at him as I was rounding the corner of the bottom of the staircase. And then, everything plays out in slow motion.

I remember losing my balance and screaming, knowing this wasn’t going to end well. Steve was in the kitchen and ran in just in time to see myself and Brett go flying down the stairs. I don’t know if it was instinct or what, but I managed to contort my body so that I was cradling Brett. I remember hitting and being concerned that I had squeezed his ribs too hard, and concerned that he had managed to bump his head. I knew that my ankle was KILLING me and my wrist was too, but I was too concerned about Brett to care. Steve immediately picked him up and hugged him. Brett was sobbing and I was beside myself. I was scared to death that I had done something horrible to my son.

This was, in essence, one of my absolute worst fears come true. Most parents are giddy with joy the moment they walk in the door with their new baby. I was scared to death. He was so small and I didn’t know how to be a mom and I was so afraid I would break him. Actually for the first time, I was afraid of my house. It was great for a young couple with no children, but I am no longer comfortable there. We have a floorplan that features a cathedral ceiling and a loft with a railing. I was (and still am) afraid of dropping him over the side of the railing to the first floor below.

Well, we ended up calling the 24 hour number to our pediatrician’s office and ruled out anything major. He didn’t have a concussion or bruising or anything and was acting normally. I, on the other hand, was so concerned about him and getting things ready that I wasn’t paying full attention to my ankle.

Steve’s parents came and I was hobbling around until at one point I walked up the stairs and COULD NOT walk back down. My ankle was done.

So, how did Steve and I spend our Saturday afternoon? In the ER with me getting an x-ray of my ankle. Luckily it’s not broken, but I sprained it pretty badly. I’m currently wearing an air cast… and who knows when I’ll be able to hit the treadmill again (alas, I was doing so well!).

But, I mean, this whole weekend shook me up pretty badly. When you are a kid, your parents protect you and you don’t realize how vulnerable you are. Mommy and daddy always “make it better”. Now, I’m the one who is supposed to protect my child from the world. What a humbling experience that is. What if I don’t feel qualified to take on the world? I mean, I am sooo thankful that everything turned out okay. But, what if it didn’t?

I keep looking at him and am so glad that he’s okay, but I just can’t feel relieved. What if something bad happens again? I don’t know….this is the most unsure I’ve felt in a long time.


Andrea said...

Ohhh I remember both "firsts" that you are talking about with Hannah - that first cold when you feel so bad that there is nothing you can do (by the way, if you didn't try this, stick some towels under one side of his mattress to make his head higher than his feet so the yucky stuff can drain while he's sleeping) and the first time she almost got really hurt. Very scary. But, that's what instincts are for. Sorry to hear yours got you a sprained ankle but I'm glad to hear Brett is okay! Good save, Mommy!

Suellen said...

Omigosh. You lived out one of my worst nightmares. We don't even have stairs in our house, but I am petrified that I will trip over a cat or a random baby toy that didn't get put away. I'm so glad that you and Brett are okay. (Well, that you are relatively ok!) Try not to feel bad. You are only human and you DID protect your baby.

Farmerspice said...

You did great! Don't worry. It is scary when they are sick. Even know that Drexel is older I still wish I could make it all better with a kiss or a hug, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. However, as you go along you'll become more sure of yourself but you'll still be worried that the decisions you make are the right ones. Kids are very resistant believe it or not. Great catch! I remember when Drex was that age he rolled off my waterbed and he laid there for a minute before he began crying. It seemed like forever but he's far. :) Keep up the good mommy work.

Cathy said...

It's amazing how bouncy kids are! Sounds like your slick moves really saved the day, not your ankle, but prevented something really awful. Chris has fallen off the bed a couple times, and down the stairs twice, and he's bounced, and as for the illness, well you can't fight it. It's going to happen, and actually, whether you can kiss away the misery or not. Chris has had a lot of various states of illness that no parent should have to deal with, but I know he knows that when I say All Done and just hold him, that does make it all better. Brett may not know what the words mean, but he knows that you are the perfect parent for your baby, and just having you there will help.
For colds, I must suggest the green bottle bath, the Johnson's Soothing Vapor Bath, (made Chris feel better, loosen up, and sleep very well), and the little kids Vick's Vapor Rub, with the pink lid. They are milder versions of the same great classic smelly stuff. I say with lots of experience use the green bath, on both of us. I've been fighting some bug for the last week and a half, and I actually used the bath stuff on myself, and was quite pleased with the results! Good Luck.

Tina said...

Oh no! I am so glad to hear that Brett and you are OK. Your mommy instinct kicked in and it will continue to do so! Even though they're tiny they're tougher than you think. Take care of that ankle!