Wednesday, March 17, 2010

fear of sids

Yes, it's something all of us as mothers worry about, right?

When Otter was a newborn, a stupid, idiotic, dumb concerned nurse thought he was having circulation problems because of his coloring. She thought he looked blue. Looking back on it now, I'm sure he didn't, but I guess we'll never know.

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.

15 cleansing comments:

Erin said...

I was definitely worried about it as well. Both of my babies slept in a bassinet next to my bed for the first 5 months of their lives. Baby B is still sleeping in our room because of a space issue, but still.

I think my BIGGEST fear about being a Mom is having someone take one of my kids. I am a freak about having our alarm set, especially at night, so that no one can sneak into my house and steal one of my precious babies.

Brandi said...

WOW. What a thing to read first thing in the morning. It put tears in my eyes!

My fear was that I wasn't going to get enough sleep, and that I was going to be a crazy person. (bc I didn't get but about 2 hours of sleep our first night home) and I felt like a lunatic! We got put back in the hospital for jondice, and I think the Lord new I had to go back there to get some sleep, or I was going to be very mental and do something crazy! :)

Stephanie said...

Wow! Well because I don't have kids I can't say I know what you felt... However I have been in place where anxiety and worry consumed my world, and it is an ugly place to be... and Satan loves every minute of it. That fear that we have, he feeds on it! And yes, like your mom said, it is totally in God's hands, he has the control- thankfully!

Funny, I don't think I knew your name was Brooke :) Happy St. Patty's day- thanks for sharing :)

Life Without Pink said...

I totally understand that feeling. I was like that with my first son. I panicked over everything! I literally drove my husband crazy at times. But you would always hear these horrible stories. I remember I would wake up like every hour just to go in and make sure his little chest was moving up and down....Thankfully with my second I chilled out a bit...but always scary!

Oka said...

I have several mommy fears, but I don't think I have been very obsessed with any of them. I really think as a mother you need to have those fears, if you don't you can't make choices to prevent those things from happening.

Danielle said...

Thank God for friends who help us recenter our brains when we know they're out of wack but they seem to spiral out of our control.

I'm not a mom yet but I full out freak about plenty of things so I'm pretty sure I'll have to either get that under control or learn to let God:)

Kmama said...

Could Otter have been having a seizure when that happened? because that story is so eerily similar to what happened to us.

Buster was almost 4 months old and I was holding him, talking to him, and he went completely limp, turned dusky blue, and while his eyes were open, he wasn't "seeing" anything. I FREAKED, absolutely FREAKED out. After yelling, screaming, bouncing, and running around the house with him, he finally started breathing again, but he was not responsive. After two days in the pediatric ICU, we were sent home with an apnea monitor...and it took almost a month before we had the diagnosis of epilepsy.

I know the monitor. I KNOW the fear the alarms causes. It's a terrible feeling.

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

SIDS was one of my biggest fears for the first year of G's life. I was terrified for the first four months, then got extra afraid when I heard that SIDS often "peaks" at 4-8 months old. Once we hit 8 months, I thought we were in the clear... until I read (on a blog, no less) about a 10 month old dying from SIDS. Then I obsessed til we hit 10 months... when I read (on a blog AGAIN) that a 14 month old had died from SIDS.

Now, I'm terrified of other things... like a fire in our house, and I can't reach my daughter, or a car accident. Things I can't control. I do need to let go and let God, but sometimes it's just so hard to maintain that sanity.

~Elizabeth
Confessions From A Working Mom

Shell said...

I can just imagine your fear when the cop walked in. I would have felt the same way.

For me, it wasn't so much SIDS, but other health issues or just general kid-danger that I worried about. I still do sometimes.

It's really hard for me to give this over to God.

Thanks for linking up!

Brittney said...

When I was pregnant with my 1st child I misscarried so when I got preg. with Bailey I obsessed about everything, I wanted to hear his heart beat all the time, I flipped out if he didnt move and then when he got here I wouldnt sleep.. I was a walking zombie I would watch him 24/7 every 5 mins placing my hand on his chest.. it is very scary and I couldnt imagine..

Melissa said...

That is my number one fear right now. I slept in the recliner holding Holden for the first 3 months. Now I sleep on the couch (so I can leave a light on) and let him sleep in a glider right beside me. At six months, I STILL wake up every 45 minutes and have to make sure he is breathing. I'm obsessed. I've researched a lot as well and know there is nothing else I can do, but I can't stop the constant worrying.

Terry said...

Most of my fear were when I was pregnant with my last two because I lost my baby boy when I was 35 weeks pregnant....with these last two my doc let me go until week 36, checked for lung function, and got them the hell out of there before I had a nervous breakdown. Now....kids are 2, 3 1/2, and 12...and I fear every day of something happening to one of them. I'm a nut...I guess I've had too many unexpected losses to put my guard down. :)
Great post!!

Chelle said...

Honey, I cannot imagine hearing the alarm go off. Seriously. I was terrified of something happening to Bella. Finally when she was 3 months old {almost 4} I went to my doctor crying. I was slowly losing my mind.

I never thought of it how you put it...how when it's time, it's time...that eases my mind knowing that I cannot control everything.

Great post, sweetie. xo

Stepping On Cheerios said...

I always worried about it. One of my best friends lost her first born to SIDS while still in the hospital....

She just recently gave birth again, and everything is going great. She deals with the fear everyday.

Mrs4444 said...

I like you. I really like you! You think like I do. Before my kids were even conceived, I started writing a journal to them, because I had an irrational fear that I would one day die before I would have the time to depart all of my parental wisdom, haha. The journal is 170 pages long now (in Word) and has basically been taken over by my blog :)

I'm glad your little guy made it through that scary time.

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