I’m still out of town at my parents. Been online briefly a few times to check my email and visit a few blogs. But I’ve been largely internet free the past few days, spending my time instead reading. I finished Sunshine by Robin McKinley tonight and will do a brief summary of it when I get back. But that’s not why I’m blogging tonight. I’m trying to exorcise some lingering fear. If you’re not interested in my mommy blogging, you can skip this post. It’s kind of an emotional blog for me.
I’ve talked before on my blog about unexpected terror that came along with being a parent. The moments in time when you’re convinced you are not going to survive the experience of being a parent because of the fear you feel for your child. In infancy, it’s the fear of things like tub accidents, rolling off the bed and SIDS. I experienced one of those moments today. And I can still feel the fear- I need to offload it somewhere and I thought that writing it out might help.
I laid the baby down for her normal morning nap. She hasn’t been sleeping well at night since we’ve been here. I don’t know if it’s the playpen, a strange environment, or teething but she has been up more than normal at night. So, I laid her down for her nap, expecting her to nap for an hour- maybe two. She had been napping for two and a half hours and… I got concerned. I had the monitor on and she hadn’t made any rustling noises or squeaking noises that she sometimes makes. Things get fuzzy here. I stood up and walked to our room and straight to the playpen.
And looked down.
She’s very still. Brianna. BRIANNA! No movement. No stirring. No… Heart pounding, I shake her. She’s always so warm. But now she feels cool. Too cool. And her eyes are still closed. She always wakes up and looks at me. Smiles. Her charming smile. Not now. Is she breathing? No breath…not yet…snatch her up. She’s stiff. Her back makes a little cracking sound. There. She made a noise. A squeak. Oh my. God. Oh God. Okay. She’s okay. Still not awake. Nuzzling my breast. Yeah. Let’s nurse. Bond. Cuddle and breathe. Both of us. My hands are shaking but I can stroke her face. Soft skin, silky hair. Okay. We’re okay. I love you, baby girl and damnit, you scared me. I was scared. For a minute- it couldn’t have been much longer than a minute, my world changed, shifted, got dark. I wonder. If I hadn’t come in to check on you. If I hadn’t gotten worried. If I hadn’t… I did. Forgive me now if I accidentally wake you up tonight. I need to feel you breathe. See you shift. And hear your baby sigh against my cheek. So I can…fear less. Because, in that instant… I thought I wouldn’t ever again. See you smile at me. Feel your heartbeat with mine. Be…peaceful. For one moment I thought my heart had stopped with yours.