About Me

I am the mother to 6 children and former foster mother to 2. I am passionate about whatever it is I am passionate about, until I change my mind. I dream big, plan big, and once in a while I even make it big. We are planning to take our freak show on the road. Join us as we embark on a new adventure!

Friday, February 08, 2008

WARNING: A SAD POST

THIS POST MIGHT MAKE YOU SAD. SKIP IT IF YOU WANT.
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When you have “lost” a baby it changes you. Obviously. But having had a child die makes you respond a little differently to future children.

When a baby is sleeping every mother will occasionally think, “The baby has been asleep too long. Is he breathing?” This thought will be followed by a quick peek to see if the baby’s back is moving. If the mother isn’t clear, she will perhaps put her hand on his back to be sure. Then she will think, “Of course he is BREATHING! I’m such a nervous mother!”

Some of us have checked on a sleeping baby and found that he is NOT breathing, felt that his back is NOT moving; realized that the baby was in fact, dead.

Making sure that never happens again is paramount to survival. After living through the death of a child, you know that it could happen. Bad things happen. So when you have a “too long” sleeping child it goes a little more like this: “The baby has been asleep too long. Is he breathing? Oh my gosh, the baby is dead!” You would think that this thought would be followed by checking the baby to be sure. No. What follows is an instant internal panic. “The baby is dead. How will I survive? I need to hold it together. The baby is dead. I need to call someone. Oh my gosh, the baby is dead. I can’t check, because then I’ll know for sure. This is the last moment to think that my baby is still alive. Because oh my gosh, the baby is DEAD!!!”

Eventually you either pull it together to check, or the baby wakes up. Every mother I’ve ever met who has lost a baby can relate. It has been (holy cow…is that right?) 17 years since my baby died. I’m still not over it, but I don’t often panic, because I know that it’s illogical and I can usually calm myself before I panic. In fact I haven’t had that heart racing panic for several babies now. However in the last two days I was sure that my good luck had expired twice.

Taking Molly out of her car seat and seeing that she has her hat pulled down over her face and her head is turned into her hood. Panic. I freed her face and she was fine.

Out walking. Molly bundled up in the sling under my jacket. I have made sure the whole walk that I could see her face and occasionally blew on it to ensure fresh air to her, but I realize that I haven’t done that in a few minutes, and just because I can see her face doesn’t mean that she is breathing. Panic. So much so that I got inside quickly and laid her on the ground to distance myself. She stretched, alive.

I, like every mother have thought, I could not survive the death of one of my children. But I did. My life is so full, and I am so blessed to have my children. Busy enough that I never dwell on what I lost. But when I really stop to think about it, I can’t believe that I survived the death of my baby. How on earth did I keep on living after he died?

3 comments:

jeninmaine said...

Oh, what to say. I don't even know. This lame internet hug will have to suffice for now.

*hug*

Anonymous said...

My sister's ex-husband was always nervous about SIDS when my niece was a baby. When he was only 5 years old he was the one to discover his baby brother had died from SIDS. It was and is always with him. I cannot even imagine...

A hug from me too,
HH

AA said...

I'm late leaving a comment on this post, but I just had to. You said it so well. It has been almost 10 years since my son died suddenly from bacterial meningitis (there was no vaccine at the time- it came out shortly after his death), and while I go on and have happy life, it never leaves me. I, too, have all those thoughts that run through my head in mere nano-seconds when I imagine something happening to my living son.

I was really a basket case after Will died and when I think about it I marvel that I am not still. I mean, really, how did I come out of it? He is still dead. It doesn't seem odd to me that I brokedown after his death, it seems odd to me that I am not still that way! In your words, "How on earth did I keep on living after he died?"