On dying

My biggest fear.

Losing a child.

My child dying.

My child did die.

My daughter died.

Malou Amelia
died.

I believe it.
I know it’s true.
But yet I can’t believe it,
if that makes any sense.

And now that Liam is here,
after months of worrying
that he would not make it to birth,
I find myself
pushing those thoughts,
that awful awful fear,
away.

Because it is too much to bear.

Just the thought
of losing him now
is too much to bear.

It makes me tear up,
it makes my heart skip,
it makes my stomach flip
and I feel like I will vomit.

And that’s just at the
briefest of thoughts.

My mind pushes it away
almost as soon as the thought
enters it.

Now that Liam is
3.5 weeks old,
I am (was) starting to sleep better at night.

Silly me.

I should know not to relax.

Tonight
about 45 minutes after
eating and going to sleep,
Liam
woke us up.

He had spit up
and was choking.

He panicked
(so did we)
and was alternating between
crying hysterically
and being silent,
trying to breathe.

He was arching his head back
and continued
to froth at the mouth
and spit up.

We called 112
(our 911 equivalent)
and they told us
what I already knew.

If he’s crying,
he’s breathing.

I just didn’t like the sound
of his breathing,
it was more like wheezing.

Within 15 minutes,
it was all over
and Liam
was sleeping peacefully
on his daddy’s chest.

He is now sleeping
in his crib
and I am just a few feet away,
holding vigil.

It is almost 1 am here.

I was pretty tired
when we went to bed tonight.

But since Liam’s incident,
I have been wide awake.

I can’t sleep.
I don’t want to.
I am afraid to.

But I know I can’t stay awake forever,
keeping vigil.

I wish I could.

At least for tonight,
I probably will.

I have spent the last few hours
googling things like,
“Can a baby die from inhaling spit up?”
and watching youtube videos
on baby CPR and first aid techniques
(I have taken a short class,
but Tom and I agreed
we need to take another one).

Tom is sleeping now, finally,
but it about broke my heart
when he looked at me,
while he was holding our
precious son,
and said,

“I can’t lose him.”

He didn’t need to add the “too”
because
we were both thinking about
Malou.

***

Liam
just stirred
so I went to check on him.

His little hands are
above his head
in his favorite position,
one hand playing with his hair.

He is breathing.

In and out,
that is my salvation.

If he stops breathing,
I am afraid
Tom and I
will too.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This stopped me in my tracks. They could well be my own words and thoughts. I freeze when I even imagine Angus dying. We have a SIDS monitor for his cot and I haven’t used it yet, only because I’m not sure what I’d do if I heard that alarm go off. And surely, if it did go off, it would be too late, no? If he sleeps for a couple of hours straight and I do too, then I wake, I am terrified until I reach over to his basinette, put my hand on his chest and feel it rising and falling. The fear stops me in my tracks. I don’t know what to do with it or how to handle it. Like you, if it wasn’t for sheer exhaustion, I would stay awake watching him all day every day, to make sure he just………. stays alive.
    I feel for you Stephanie. I understand all of this.
    xo

  2. I’m so sorry for that terrifying incident. I can understand your feelings and fear, and I hate that this is true for you. You know, I felt that ‘is she still breathing / how can I sleep?’ terror with my first, even before I had tasted loss, and can’t imagine how much more it would hit me if I were to have another baby, now that one of mine has died. You are carrying so much, so much love.

    Hang in there. Try to sleep when you can, and trust that this will fade over time.

  3. Poor you 😦 Even though I am not a babyloss mama, I know where you’re coming from. I almost lost my son at 5 weeks of age (there’re details on my blog) and since then I have become incredibly paranoid and scared that either of my children could suddenly die. Even writing these words freaks me out. Since then my son also choked once, very badly, at 10 months. I even had an ambulance almost on its way when he swallowed what he had. I still had to take him to hospital for an x-ray. I am actually getting some therapy now to learn to calm down a little. It’s hard. Take care.

  4. Hey Stephanie,
    As your baby gets older you will be able to relax a little more. Although, I still check on my babies all the time when they are sleeping (ages 10 months – 5 yrs). Scott (10months)was diagnosed with the RSV virus, that totally freaked me out. Unfortunately this is just part of being a good parent, worrying about your kids all the time. How are you guys doing now? Take care. You guys are always in my thoughts and prayers.


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