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.
"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.
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.