When Otter was a newborn, a
Anyhoo, all tests were normal but for "peace of mind," the doctor sent us home with an apnea monitor to put on him at night, as that type of thing has been connected with SIDS. That stupid machine was ANYTHING but PEACE my friends. You strap it on their chest and if they stop breathing an alarm goes off. A very LOUD alarm. Unfortunately it was very touchy, so if he moved a lot it would move, causing the alarm to sound. I cannot even begin to describe how I felt the first time it went off. Even when I knew it had just probably slid down again, I freaked. What if?
It got to the point where the monitor just wasn't worth it anymore. I went mental. I mean mental. I had that sick to my stomach feeling all the time. I researched SIDS. I researched and researched and researched. Some things made me feel better, others worse. I went through major guilt for not trying harder to breastfeed. What an AWFUL thing to not know if this is going to take your baby's life.
I slept in the recliner with Otter at night. My family was concerned because I was obsessing. One time at work, a cop walked in and I froze, sure that he was going to tell me my baby was dead. I'm sure he thought I had murdered someone seeing my fear as I stood there frozen, unable to wait on him. Again may I say I was obsessed? or POssessed.
I remember my mom taking me by the shoulders and saying, "Brooke, you have to get a grip. If God wants to take him, he's going to take him, no matter what you try and do to stop Him."
It hit me. She was right. Now I'm not going to tell you it was all better after that. I still struggled. "Giving it to God" is something I still really struggle with to this day.
Ya, I still worry. It's no longer an obsession, but you can't honestly tell me that as a mother you've never pictured yourself going to wake your baby only to find she can't be woken. Maybe you haven't, I have. I'm horrible at playing the what-if game.
I gasp in silence when I see parents put their babies on their tummies to sleep, but I've also had babies that were content to sleep on their backs. I can't say that I wouldn't have if that's the ONLY way my baby would sleep. I don't judge. I'm sure some people gasp at me when I tell them my first child wasn't breastfed at all and my second only a short time. We all make our own choices that work best for us, no matter what we "should do."
I know they've learned a lot about SIDS, but in a world full of technology it's hard to believe they don't have it figured out yet, but then I guess the same goes for cancer, etc.
For more info about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, visit the American SIDS Institute. Also, consider participating in Spring for SIDS on SIDS Awareness Day, Friday, April 23.
For any mother out there who has lost your precious baby my prayers are with you. You are a stronger person than I could ever imagine.
As a mother, what are your biggest fears?
For more Pour Your Heart Out posts, visit Shell.