I woke up this morning at 2:41am. To be exact. And I saw up in bed. Which is completely unlike me b/c normally I hit the pillow late and don’t move until Chris or a kid starts poking me between 6-7am. But this morning I just woke up.
So I checked the monitor to make sure it wasn’t Gray, and then I tucked Bailey back in b/c she always kicks off her covers and then huddles in a chilly little ball. Then I stood there for a second and got back in bed where Parker was snuggled between C and I having had a bad dream early in the night. I put my hand on her head just to make sure my Mommy instincts weren’t in full force because of her.
But all was fine.
And yet I couldn’t sleep.
So I started thinking about the business but nothing was bothering me about that. I checked email on my phone and all was quiet. I laid there and my mind couldn’t find anything that was out of place.
For an hour I tossed and turned.
So unlike me.
And then my mind finally settled. And my heart hurt when it finally landed on a concrete reason to worry, because it felt like I was worrying but I couldn’t figure out what I was worried about.
The image my mind softly landed on was Parker’s face during her first seizure at home. Her little mouth open and drooling. Her eyes rolled back in her head. Her muscles straining with each lunge of her body.
And I just stood there, above her, taking it in.
I didn’t grab her up or cuddle her or even attempt to touch her.
I watched her body move out of it’s own control and was just an observer.
It’s something I can’t do again, no do-overs here. Obviously a situation I never want to be in again. But I’m not sure I will ever forgive myself for being so removed from her.
As a mom you’re in the trenches with your kids. From day one you get pooped and peed on. Your shirt always has spit-up dried on it somewhere. Your hair is pulled, your fingers are chew toys and bugger pickers and drool wipers. When your kids are sick you hold them. When they can’t sleep you rock them. You are there with them giving your body, heart and soul to them.
And so I can’t figure out why my mommy instinct wasn’t to touch her.
And it kinda breaks my heart I left her alone during that moment in her life.
Not that she’ll ever remember.
But I will.
And apparently it will haunt me. Her little face, so wild and out of control. Burned in my memory.
We have all been there. Every last mommy whether they will admit it or not, has been there. Here’s a great post about it: http://www.mamakatslosinit.com/2010/06/pool-scare/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MamasLosinIt+%28Mama%27s+Losin%27+It%29
Oh Jody -
Don’t think for a second your Mommy Insticts weren’t in control — they were! They were telling you to let sleeping babies sleep. And sometimes that is the lesson we fail to heed because we’re do’ers, not watchers.
I thought of you last night as I couldn’t sleep in the recliner chair in my husbands’ hospital room last night. I hope you (and I) sleep better tonight.
I think it was your instinct that kept you mentally detached from her when she was seizing. You were the only adult home — you couldn’t freak out. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s so easy to absorb what my kids are feeling, and get sucked into it. When they’re hurt, sick, or just upset, I can be there too in a heartbeat. That’s fine sometimes but not for big things like your baby having a seizure. You did the right thing — don’t second-guess yourself. She is alive and healthy — you handled that critical situation just right.
oh jodie. i don’t think i would even understand this post until now….i’m so weak physically and in such a dark place mentally right now b/c of the massive steriods i’ve been on for so long. everyone keeps saying things like, “its for the good of the baby” and i think but never utter outloud….”i don’t even f’ing care.” i feel terrible for the thoughts and don’t even understand them but i know they are there and it creates such painful ache in me i don’t even know how to reconcile it in my heart/head. what you did with parker was not wrong its just what was during that terrifying experience. praying for peace for you as i search for it too. maybe it helps to know another mom is struggling right along side of you…i lay awake hours at night right now too and try to pray but sometimes i can’t even do that.
I’m a firm believer in our instincts taking care of us if we truly listen to them. If yours told you to let her seize without holding her, I wouldn’t dismiss that outright as bad mothering. Maybe, like Jen says, it kept you detached enough so that you didn’t freak out. Maybe you knew that trying to pick her up or pet her hair or whatever might make the situation feel even more frenetic and agitated. Or maybe you’re just human and saw something that your brain had trouble processing and it took a minute to deal with. I don’t know you, but I’ve read your blog for a little while now and I have to say, based on the little I know you, I don’t think you should think of yourself as a bad mother, ever.
Oh, sweetie, you HAVE to forgive yourself. You did NOTHING wrong. We never know how we will react in any given situation until we are smack dab in the middle of it. I used to be seriously athletic – cat-like reflexes, and there have been so many times that I have beat myself up for not snagging my boys as they tripped and fell, or not being able prevent them from getting hurt in some way. And not that I’m just getting older and my reflexes are slower, but that I just stood there and didn’t even try. It’s so hard to explain.
Bottom line – you can’t beat yourself up about this. She is beautiful and healthy and loves her mommy very much!
Oh this hurts my heart to read. I wish you could take a step back and look at yourself more clearly, exactly like “The Fresh Reflection”. You’re never going to see in yourself what other’s see. You’re always going to see the worst things. FEEL the worst things. I don’t even know you, just through your two blogs, and the love that radiates from you for your kids makes an impression. No one is perfect. I think it makes you more normal than less to have moments of doubt and regret.