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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm Supposed to Protect Them!

"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.
To make a long story short, she ended up in the hospital at 5 weeks old with 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.
I remember that I refused to leave Gracie's side. I didn't leave the room once. People brought me food/drinks and if I had to use the washroom, I waited until someone was standing right with her. Thinking about it now, it was very unhealthy, but I think any mother would be the same..
I also remember thinking that the only thing I wanted was to go home. I wanted to enjoy my baby and be able to smile when I looked at her rather than cry. This wasn't the way our journey together was supposed to start.
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!

3 comments:

Angela said...

OH, so sad seeing your pictures in the hospital. I would have been a basketcase!! I'm so glad that your baby girl was OK!
I''m a bit of a worrier.....always have been! As a new Mom I find myself TERRIFIED about all of the things that could go wrong. I can really relate to getting up to check on breathing....and that's not even when she's sick. My little one has had only had one minor little cold.....but I dread that first real sickness. I just have to tell myself that it is going to happen and it is apart of life. Hopefully it's makes us all stronger! We do the best we can, we can't stop living, we can only protect them so much....and like you said, it's how we handle things when they do come up that matter. And trying to stay calm (I have to remind myself of that one!) You're all doing a great job from the sounds of it!!!

Anonymous said...

I think one of those headlines was mine!!! lol It really is the hardest part about being a mommy...especially when you feel like everytime you turn around they are sick AGAIN. I start to question - is it the air quality in the house? Did I take them out when I shouldn't have? Should I have skipped swimming lessons? Should I have breastfed Landon because he is sick all the time and Iris never was? The "brain" part of me wants to realize that we are not as secluded here as in CB and that everyone seems to be in the boat.
And I can't believe those photos of your little baby...but she looks like such a strong little trooper and I really have no doubt she was smiling at some points through her illness. They always seem to handle it so much better than us don't they?

Sarah said...

Heather,, it might have been!! lol..
It's so hard when they're sick.. I still freak out a little, even over a fever..
I'm sure that they will catch a lot more "germs" here in Ontario than they did in CB...
I heard a doctor say once that the more they catch now, the better their little immune systems will be later.. Which is so true!!
Angela, thanks for your comments as well. both of you mentioned the photos of the hospital. I still can't breathe when I look at them, it was so horrible... We got through it though, and Im probably a lot stronger from it. You guys are right,, the only thing we can do is get them through it.

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