There are so many things about being a parent that no one tells you! So many important facts that isn’t made known or expressed or perhaps there isn’t a community. Worse, perhaps there is a shame brought to mothers who speak up about certain things. In my life, parenting seemed like either it was a bother or it was the worse things that can happen to your life. I didn’t get that and still don’t know that now that I am a mother. I know what stinks. Seeing your child who can’t speak clearly writhing in pain. Seeing him scream and cry and whimper and those little lips tremble at how bad something hurts and not being able to understand or get an account of what is working and what isn’t. Oh the tears!!
Yesterday I got one of those calls all mothers dread, your caregiver not just texting about something but making a direct phone call to say baby is not well. Just seeing the name flash across my screen killed me and I answered barely making it through what she was saying and getting straight to ‘Is my baby ok?’. He had been crying uncontrollably for a while and he seems to be in pain. A million things could be wrong, but here is the worse part. I could hear a baby crying in the background and I asked if that was him and she said yes, at this point I broke down because I didn’t recognize my own child’s cry. He was in so much pain, I’ve never heard him cry this way before. My mommy senses were blown out of the
water and I couldn’t make one single suggestion to soother my baby because this was too new. Here’s the part that drove me crazy. I know my strength and when it comes to my son, I know I am powerless when he isn’t well, so I decided to pick up daddy first, then go to see baby. A 40 minute delay to comforting my child. Most people would have gone straight to him, but I couldn’t do that to his father as he would have been left stranded and his father is also his favorite person and was almost always able to make him world 1000% better. Finally, once I used the little strength and concentration I had left to drive to daddy’s place of work, I was done.
I couldn’t think straight and was scared. I was beginning to get irritable and be increasingly annoying and demanding as we bobbed and weaved through the evening traffic. Things got worse when I was told to calm down! I became a dragon and snapped, my reply burned and there was silence in the car for a while. Then we both diverted our frustrations to the traffic and what felt like the longest car ride in life. I’ve never heard him cry like that, what the fuck could be wrong with him?! When we got there I didn’t know whether to sit or stand. Two other mothers were there and even though they were suggesting that I breastfeed him, I couldn’t process that I needed to stick a tit in his mouth right in that moment. He was sleeping and I just kept watching him, looking for a sign. He woke up at the sound of his father’s voice and I wanted him to smile with me and let me know he was just being fussy and maybe things weren’t so bad and his just missed his papa. He could hardly stop crying long enough to keep his eyes open, as he was so exhausted. He refused the boob. Something is definitely wrong. We made our way home as safe as we could with me behind the wheel and daddy holding his hand. At home, he finally nursed for a bit then passed horrible, horrible gas and while he slept on me for a bit he just couldn’t settle. No matter how much his father tried, he still couldn’t settle. I cried in private but was found weary by his father, exasperated by my tears. That’s when I snapped again and said he’s getting fixed right now, were going to emergency.
My baby had horrible stomach pains. My heart was crushed. I failed him and dad couldn’t save either of us. I felt a pang of guilt because I am known for having gastrointestinal issues myself, so having a bad belly could have come from me and the pain is NO JOKE! He was refusing a bottle but he was steadily passing gas. While at emerg he started to come around, by the time the doctor saw him, he was back to his old self. They tested his urine anyway and sent us on our way. He fell asleep on the car ride home and slept soundly for a good while. I was so marred though, I couldn’t keep it together. I didn’t know seeing my child hurt would be like this. I couldn’t catch a mental break. It’s very bad to think how many mothers suffer in silence. It’s very hard to explain what I felt in my heart and how trapped I felt in my mind. How weak I felt in the moment and how little I could do to help him. I have heard mothers say I’d rather not go back there in reference to their children having ailments, but I never quite grasped why. It’s either you’ve experienced it to know; otherwise you will underestimate the effect. I felt like I suffered a personal loss of life. He cannot talk so we understand, we have to guess and he is so shocked at this himself, we are making no progress. I felt stupid thinking how I felt so heavily burdened over gas! What will I do when those grey days come my way? How will I cope?…. I did not know being a mom was like this. It is sincerely a world of worry wearing us away as we whittle their little lives. Will I survive?