April 15, 2009

For Keeps

This morning I had one of those moments where I suddenly realize I am living out a dream I had long ago. As I walked a mile to a neighborhood coffee shop, Zane strapped to my chest in the Ergo, the sun shining brightly, a slight chill in the new Spring air, little buds poking out through the earth alongside us, neighbors smiling and wishing us a good morning - I was overcome by the awareness that I had dreamt this many times before.

I walked, childless, through three Springs prior, dreaming of days like today. Dreaming of my little one joining me in the sunshine, experiencing the relief of the warmth after the winter, delighting in tulips pushing their way through the earth. I also spent countless hours in coffee shops, alone, fantasizing about bringing my child to my favorite spots, or new ones we might discover together. I thought about sharing with him/her these tastes of beauty and comfort. I thought of sharing myself through the things I love.

And there I was this morning. Doing just that. I was the mom I had dreamed of. My son, so much more than I could have hoped for. The day, even more glorious than I had imagined. I had arrived.

This morning was a much needed antithesis to our experience Saturday night.

Saturday evening, I was getting Zane ready for bed. Mr. Spicy had left to run a few errands and get a haircut. I propped Zane up on his Boppy pillow on the bed as I walked three feet across the room to fetch some pj's from his dresser. Like I had done dozens of evenings before.

You know what is coming next right?

"Thunk!" - I still can't get that sound out of my head.

I turned and everything went black, except for the image of my son, head down, in a completely unnatural position, on the floor. On. the. floor.

My mind kept trying to process it. It was completely unfathomable. He didn't belong there. On the floor. Why was he there? How did he get there?

Before I knew it, he was in my arms, against my body, screaming. Tears rolled down his cheeks, his eyes wide and wet. I ran with him to the phone. Called my husband and screamed incoherently about the baby. falling. come home. need to go to the ER.

I clutched my baby tight to my chest as I waited, and he calmed down within minutes. I alternated between calling out to God to "Please let my baby be OK! Please help!" and berating myself, "I am such an idiot! I am so stupid!"

The truth is, I was telling myself that my secret, dark fear was coming true.

The fear I have had since he was born. The fear that I would surely do something somehow to break or ruin this perfect little being who so graciously had come into our lives. The fear that I could surely not be trusted with such an amazing and perfect gift. The fear that I would surely do something to fuck it all up.

By the time we arrived at the ER I was a mess. I could only sob uncontrollably as the triage nurse asked what had happened and tried to reassure me that these things happen to everyone.

There were a terrifying few hours ahead. Hours that included holding his head down for an x-ray, hearing that the x-ray showed a possible skull fracture, being told we may have to have him admitted and observed overnight, taking him for a CT scan after being advised about the large amount of radiation involved, and then....the relief. The relief as the NP came in and assured us that the CT scan showed no fracture, no brain bleeds, we were clear to go home.

And just like that. It was over. We were going home. To our own bed. To our life. Everything was going to be OK. I didn't break him. I didn't ruin him. He was fine.

I still have multiple flashbacks throughout the day, hearing that "Thunk!", seeing him crumpled on the floor, feeling all my oxygen leave my lungs. I am second guessing myself everytime I pick him up or put him anywhere. I can see danger around every corner, all the possible horrific outcomes fly in my face. But even this is fading ever so slightly, becoming ever less powerful.

And mornings like today help me believe. They help me believe that everything just might be ok.

That I might not ruin this.

That this gift might be for keeps.


Denise said...

What a scary experience! We've had a few close calls here. No one is perfect and people, including babies, are unpredictable. I guess it's just another lesson in that we can't control everything.

I'm glad that Zane is okay. You are a great mommy and don't let anyone tell you otherwise (including yourself)!

mary elizabeth said...

How scary indeed. I am so glad he is ok and that you are ok too. BOTH of my boys have fallen like that so I do know just how you feel. Powerless. Like time is stopped and you keep feeling the pain and the fear.

You are a wonderful mother and you were chosen to be Zane's mom--forever. Every day is a gift--even when they get to be 5 and you want to sell them on EBAY...I digress...
Hugs my friend!

The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

Holy crap, how scary! Glad you're both ok. One of the things that helped w/ my anxiety abt safety stuff was a grt child safety class at our local hospital--covered baby safety and older kid stuff, including CPR, common hazards to watch out for (fall hazards, choking hazards, poison hazards), childproofing, etc. Something to think abt if you're still feeling insecure--recognizing and remembering all the safety stuff can be so overwhelming (and even counter-intuitive at times!), It all seems as natural as breathing now, but I remember what it was like when SparkleEyes was so little and there was so much to learn and watch out for--and so many mistakes to make! It really does get so much easier. I can't believe how solid and confident I feel as a mom now--esp. when I remember all the moments of self-doubt early on (though there are still those moments very occasionally even now). Anyway, hope you are continuing to recover and rejoicing in the beautiful gift of Zane! For keeps, indeed!

satmst said...

I know how scary it was for you. I do. Joley just ended up on the floor last week too.

The good news is that these things get easier. The bad news is that they will keep happening. This is just the first among many falls for Zane. You will be more aware, but things happen and as he grows, watch out mama! Boys are rough. You will be okay. He will be okay. Have faith in yourself as a mother. You are awesome.

jones said...

wow. I'm so glad he's fine and now you guys can focus on enjoying those tulips again!!