Tuesday, February 28, 2012

last Friday night

I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about this.

It was by far one of the scariest moments of my life. It was also not one of my proudest. I let my fear take over me in a way that I rarely do, and I had to confront once again what happened to me the day after Valentine's Day, when we went in eager to hear our baby's heartbeat and left with having to make a decision of the best way to help my body miscarry a tiny child that had passed away only days before.

It happened deep into the night of last Friday, the first week anniversary of my D&C.

That Friday morning, Grayson had started running a fever, and by his nap, it was 101.6. He had a terrible but long nap, waking several times not moving and only crying, falling back asleep after I shushed him and stroked his sweaty hair off his neck. By the end of the day, he was still running a fever, yet we had no other symptoms that anything was wrong. I thought maybe it was just a cold about to manifest itself since I had just gotten over one, but we just didn't know.

Grayson went to bed early that night, clearly not feeling well. We watched him as we stayed up a few more hours. He barely moved from his stomach-down position besides turning his head side to side.

I woke up sometime after midnight to what I thought were Grayson's cries. They sounded weak and pitiful, like a baby trying to cry out but unable to muster up much strength. I rolled over and turned on the video monitor.

G was still in the same position he had been when we went to sleep. He was clearly not crying.

I stared at him for what seemed like a long time, trying to blink the sleep from my eyes and concentrate on his back. I stared for the tell-tale signs of his back slowly rising and falling, or for a twitch of his feet, or for any other sign of life. I stared and stared and saw nothing.

I was still calm. I touched Dave who was sleeping next to me, and he woke up easily. I asked him to look at the monitor to see if G was breathing. Dave watched for a while and never said anything.

I still stayed calm. "I'm going downstairs to check on him," I said. "Let me know if he moves." I put on my robe and went downstairs. I opened the door to G's dark room, and as I walked to his crib, he never moved. My hand didn't tremble as I placed it on his back, but I could feel my heart thudding in my chest.

His body was a little warm beneath my hand. I waited, expecting to feel the movement of his breathing, and I waited, but I couldn't feel anything.

My hand moved to his shoulder and I shook it gently. Nothing. I called his name softly, expecting him to shift a little in sleep. Nothing. I shook his shoulder harder, rocking his little face-down body side to side, and called his name again and again, my voice becoming louder and more shrill.

Still, nothing.

"Dave!" I ran to the door and turned on the light. I heard Dave moving upstairs. I turned to run back to the crib and made it halfway across the room when I heard it.

Grayson's wail.

I know when I bolted to his side, the light was off again. I must have turned it off before going to him, or maybe the dimmer was on the lowest setting, so that's why I couldn't see him clearly in the dark. He hadn't moved from his belly-down position or opened his eyes. But he was crying the sound he makes when he's frightened.

I had scared him.

His body was limp when I took him out of the crib. He folded his tiny body into me, immediately laying his head on my shoulder, still crying. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Mommy's sorry," I said into his ear. I cupped his head with my free hand, offering as much comfort as I could. My body was shaking. I was trying to hold it together and failing.

He stopped crying fairly quickly. I don't think he ever even opened his eyes. After a while, I put him back in his crib. He found his paci laying somewhere nearby and fell back asleep.

Of course, I completely broke down when I made it back upstairs. I had truly believed for a moment that something was seriously wrong with Grayson, that he was seriously sick or even, so terrible to say, dead. I felt horrible for projecting my own fears onto G, and for so thoroughly shaking up my husband that he barely slept the rest of the night.

After losing baby #2, I feel as though my life is on shaky ground. A 1 in 1,000 chance happened to me, and I don't know how I can ever recover from that. We think, "oh, it would never happen to me," but it did. I hope that night was just a combination of paranoia over Grayson's sickness and some dream I had before checking on him. I hope I won't always be checking over my shoulder with a lack of faith that my life can remain stable and happy, that my children won't be stolen from me without any warning.

That's not any way to live. And I certainly don't want to become overprotective with G, always afraid that he'll break a bone or suddenly run in front of a car. I hope to eventually find peace again.


  1. My heart goes out to you. It's hard for not to think of the worst when it comes to your kid, especially after a loss. Ever since my little one was born I've had major anxiety when it comes to his wellness. Mostly because of parental death, but it's still debilitating. Thank you for being so honest.

    1. Anxiety is definitely debilitating. We're supposed to protect our children, so it's so hard when bad things happen to them. And it's even harder not to think about what could happen all of the time.


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