Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mother: Protector/Caretaker/Ghost Hunter

Thank you to Christine from All About Momsense and Nadine from Musings...By Light of the Moon for setting up the lovely, engrossing May Mom Blog Tour.  It has been a joy reading all the submissions and a true honor to be a part of the cool club called motherhood.   

I barely got to hang out with Darla the day she was born.  Our hospital room was overwhelmed by visitors, nurses, first pees, adrenaline, hearing tests and even a stray delivery man (who bounded into the room without knocking while I was getting a catheter put in).

Once everyone had gone home, all I wanted to do was sit in the glider and stare at Darla.  Since I was in the hospital, uninterrupted child-adoration wasn't allowed.  Two minutes after everyone left, a nurse came in.

"I have to draw blood," she said.

 I moaned.  "I can't take another needle. I'm so tired of feeling pain."

The nurse shook her head.  "This one's for the baby."

With relief, I replied, "Thank God."

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I wanted to punch myself in the face.

"Why the hell would I prefer my baby to go through pain than myself?" I asked Greg.

He shrugged, too preoccupied by Darla's screams.  She had just been pricked with a needle and the nurse was drawing out blood from her foot.  All I could think about was how that was the exact wrong thing to say.

That was the first and last time that the fear of Darla feeling pain didn't faze me.  What a good ole carefree day that was.   Since that day, I have become a mom and been on constant "Is Darla in pain, sad or hurt" watch.  Her pain hurts more than my own to me.  I touch her head and imagine she has torticolis because I think I feel a flat spot.  She cries, and I think that she is in tremendous amount of pain. She gets her vaccines and I'm shaking even though she barely cried for a minute.  (Once they gave her the sweet, oral medicine, she was very calm).

I'm so worried about her all the time that I can barely sleep.  For weeks, I lay awake at night, staring into her bedside bassinet.  I watch her stomach move up and down with each breath.  I touch her cheeks to make sure they were warm.  I secure her swaddle frequently so it wouldn't end up over her face.  I do this to make sure she's OK, but also to protect my own heart.  Every time I think her world is anything but perfect, my heart breaks a little.  If anything serious were to happen to her, my world would completely fall apart.

Three months into motherhood and gone are the days of holding vigil at her bassinet.  She's outgrown it and punches the sides of it with her chubby little fists whenever I put her in.  She's like a fat man in a Miada.

Now, I watch and listen to Darla through a gray screened monitor.  This is a nightmare and has brought a whole new level of fear into my life.  The eerie creeks and far off barking dogs that the microphone picks up coupled with the dark shadows and lonely looking baby resting in a huge crib have a horror movie quality to them.  I hear a whistling howl and I think of The Ring.  I see her hand move slowly and I think of The Ring.  Basically, everything about the monitor makes me think of The Ring.   I look at the screen both to see if she's breathing and to ensure that ghosts aren't whisking her away.

If I'm going to be honest, I could very well shut off the monitor and still be able to hear her very clearly in the next room over.  (I can even hear her sigh.  Our house is that small). But, I'm just not going to do that.  Especially now that I've recently come to believe that "ghost hunter" has been added to the motherhood job description.  I'll be damned if I'm not watching the monitor when the bogey man spirits off my daughter.  I want to be able to catch it in the act and recite some incantations that will send it out of the house.

Hopefully, I'll capture the ghosts or else get enough sleep so I can get over this fear before she's old enough to say, "mom, I'm afraid.  I think there's a ghost in my closet."

I don't want my reply to have to be, "I think there's one in there, too."

Don't forget to hop over to read Allana's submission at Blog and Vlog Musings tomorrow!


  1. Oh, sweetie! Try not to let yourself get too worked up over it. I promise you, as time passes, you'll laugh at how overprotective you were. It's natural to be so worried for your infant. We want to make sure that they are safe and sound every moment because they aren't ever able to tell us when something is actually wrong. Even though my kids are 11 and 4, I still get weepy when they need shots from the doctor. And don't tell...but even my brother was a total germaphobe with his girls in the beginning. He used to bleach their toys so often!

    Just remember, we survived, for all the things our parents did and didn't do, we grew up just fine. Your little lovie will, too. You are doing a great job! Just don't let it get to you. Make sure you give yourself a moment to breathe and remember, she's doing just fine! :)

  2. Don't worry, I'm told that you'll stop worrying about your kids... uh... well... never actually, but eventually you'll grow a little more numb to it.


  3. You brought me back to the days I had my little guys! They are 6 & 3, but it seems like yesterday that they were a little mass inside a huge crib. So happy you have your sweet baby to hold and love!

  4. Thank you, ladies! Really love the support and knowing I'm not alone! Someday, I hear, I might get more than two hours of sleep at a time and maybe the paranoia will die down...Probably not...

  5. I keep trying to post a comment and it wont stick! I love this one.