"What am I doing wrong?", "Why are they sick again?", " I feel defeated, my kids are always sick!"
Guess where I saw all of these comments this week??! Facebook! I've also had quite a few comments and private messages discussing how hard it is when our kids get sick.
Honestly,Is there anything worse? Is there anything harder than having to watch our kids suffer... Whether it be with teething, a cold, a rash, the flu, it doesn't matter, it's hard just the same. Unfortunately, some of us have dealt with worse things than a cold or flu, and that sucks. It seems though, that no matter what they end up with, we,(once again) blame ourselves..
When Gracie was 4 weeks old, she got a nasty cold. She was congested terribly and had a cough. Within a week, the cough had turned to the most awful sound, anyone has ever heard from a tiny little 6lb bundle.. It broke anyones heart who was around her.
RSV, Bronchiolitis, and Pneumonia.
She spent a week laying in a giant, cold hospital crib, receiving steroid
treatments and antibiotics.
I had a pretty good meltdown when they rushed her into the Emergency room at the hospital and hooked her up to a mask and lots of other machines, but my husband and mom did a great job of calming me down. I quickly pulled myself together knowing that Gracie need me to be strong. (I put on my own "oxygen mask")
We spent the week in the hospital. Unfortunately it was on "lock-down" because there was so much sickness going around at that time. No one could come visit. Thankfully they let my mom come in while Peter was at work so that I wasn't alone. I don't know what I would have done without them. It was a very long, scary week. The thoughts that go through your head are horrible. Nothing I tried would stop them.
Peter and I slept together in one hospital bed beside the crib. Some nights we didn't sleep at all.
When she was finally released (with a bag full of puffers and medicine), I was terrified to leave.
What if she got worse? What if she started coughing and choking, what if she still needed her steroid and oxygen treatments? What if wasn't okay, if she wasn't ready to go home?? (I should mention that they released her after the first day, only to have us return 5 hours later with her in very very rough shape!). How could I trust that she was going to be okay this time?
Once we were home, I didn't take my eyes off of her. I don't think I slept for a month. I got up every 5 minutes to check her breathing. I left her sleeper undone so that I could see her belly and chest to make sure her breaths weren't too deep. The thermometer was right beside my bed. She slept in the playpen right next to my bed until she was 6 months old, because I was terrified that through the night her breathing would act up again and I wouldn't know.
2 weeks of pure hell, of me trying to be a really strong mommy. Within 2 days of being home, I completely fell apart. It was like once I was home and felt safe, once i knew she was going to be okay, it hit me. It hit me hard. I was a mess. The thoughts in my head haunted me.
I'm her mommy, I was supposed to protect her. Maybe I should have put an extra blanket on her when we went out, I shouldn't have taken her to the grocery store with all of those germs. I shouldn't have let people come visit her, we shouldn't have taken her to see people... the thoughts were non stop. It was all my fault.. How was I ever going to be a good mommy when I failed so badly within the first month of her life... My baby could have died!
This was definitely that darkest point in my life. Without my family and my husband, I don't know how I would have made it through it. I remember also, talking with a friend of my sisters. She told me that her little girl was sick as a baby, and that she completely lost it after. That is was normal.. Hearing that someone else went through the same thing, and that it was okay for me to "break" made me feel so much better.
The thing that I ended up realizing, was that a bad mommy wouldn't have known to get her baby to the doctor. A bad mommy wouldn't have sat in a hospital room for hours on end rocking and singing to her baby, a bad mommy wouldn't have cried when looking at her (smiling) sick little princess. A bad mommy wouldn't have the patience to give the puffer treatments through screaming and crying.. A bad wouldn't have prayed to God every night to make her daughter healthy..
I think these are the things we have to remember when our children get sick.(again, no matter what it is) Sure,, maybe we shouldn't have taken them outside without a hat, maybe we should have washed their hands more or stayed away from that play date with sick kids. We're human, and they're kids! They're going to sick and no matter what we do or don't do,, that isn't going to change. What we can do though is keep being the good mommies that we are. We can cuddle on the couch, give them the medicine they need, rock them to sleep while singing them a song. Those are the things that we have to remember to focus on when they're sick. Those are the things that make us great mommies, not bad ones!
We don't have to wonder where we went wrong, we have to think about what we can do to get them through it!
Have a great day ladies,, thanks for reading!