Every morning

The Boy usually wakes up around 8:45 or so now, which is great in that it helps to have a rough schedule for him. It allows me to get up with Aaron at 8:00 or so and get wood brought in, a fire started, a bottle made, and maybe even dressed (if it’s one of those days) before he wakes up. Life is a little easier on those days.

But there’s a downside. Any day that I wake up before him and he’s not awake by 8:45, I start to worry. I worry that he’s died in his sleep, and that he’s not going to wake up, and I’m going to go in to wake him by 9:30 and he’ll just be a corpse and I didn’t know that he’d died and I should have felt it or known or something. And I start going through all these scenarios in my head: Who to call, who to tell right away, should I text my sister while she’s in the Bahamas, do I notify my professors? I can’t pay back my loans from this semester – we need them to live – but I also can’t see myself attending school the day my son dies…or the next day…or the next week. My classes need me to be there because I need to learn. I worry about the inconsequential things like school, because I can’t worry about what my life would be like without my son.

Is this NORMAL? I’ve never HAD a baby loss, other than the chemical pregnancy 7 years ago that catapulted me into the online “trying to get pregnant” scene. I’ve never had a child die – that I could see as an explanation of why I worry about this. Yes, one of the dangers inherent in being involved in the AIL blogosphere is knowing that shit happens. That children die in all stages, for any number of reasons. That SIDS happens – hell, you don’t even have to be part of AIL to know that happens, the warnings are everywhere.

Maybe that’s why it worries me so much – it’s one of the few things I CAN’T control. I can control him choking on his food, since he’s always within earshot and I can get to him in <5 seconds. If he's not in his highchair, he's within eye sight and I can see if he's eating something he shouldn't, or if he's hurt I can see how bad. I can't control him while he's sleeping. Aaron insists that if the Boy were to, for example, pull all of his dirty clothes into the crib with him (which he does, frequently) and fall asleep in them, he wouldn't suffocate because he can move them. I was reading stories on SIDS the other day that says a lot of cases of SIDS actually have an explanation – suffocation. Child falls asleep on a couch, rolls to the inside edge, and suffocates because they aren't getting any clear oxygen, just their recycled breath. Same thing happens with blankets. I still won't allow a blanket in his crib, even though he'll be 10 months in 2 days. He's had a Pooh bear in the corner of his crib since we first put him in there, and it worried me for a while, but I've become okay with it. The Boy generally sleeps near the middle of his crib and thus isn't anywhere close to Pooh, and even when he is, there's plenty of room for fresh air to get in.

But seriously: Is worrying like this, making scenarios in my head, normal mommy stuff? Does it get better? Please tell me it gets better…

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5 Comments

  1. Cathy

     /  February 2, 2012

    I’m going to vote normal, because I do it too.

    I’m also going to vote it doesn’t get better – because I still do it, and they’re FOUR. No one makes any noise all night? It’s like “woohoo, celebrate … wait, did they DIE?”. The other night when all three slept through the night, it was very … crap, someone’s dead. For sure. Why didn’t the carbon monoxide detector go off, it’s the only explanation!

    Shit happens, it’s just the truth. And you can’t really control it – but I do the same thing in my head, planning out what I WOULD do. What would I do if I went in to find someone dead? Or if Matt got in an accident on the way home? Or if I fell down those flipping basement stairs and broke my leg and was just trapped down there and the kids upstairs alone. It makes me feel better to think it through.

    The kids didn’t get blankets until they were over 2, and pillows were closer to 3. At this point, Andrew has upwards of 15 stuffed animals in his bed, plus 2 pillows, and 3 blankets. There just comes a point where you have to trust that they WILL survive the night … even though it doesn’t stop the moment of panic in the morning.

    Reply
  2. I feel so much less crazy now. I do the same thing if she sleeps too late. I do wonder how long I’ll worry about that, though, since we didn’t have her overnight until she was 11 months, so I’ve really only been worrying for seven months. And then I wonder if, when I have a baby, I’ll still be worrying when that kid’s 18 months old. And of course I have to make the contingency plans for everything too, just in case.

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  3. I worried until I had my second child about cot death. My mother’s first baby, a boy, died at about six weeks. My grandmother’s first baby, also a boy, was premature and didn’t live through his first night. So I was convinced, however irrationally, that if I had a boy first, he would die to. I watched him breathing whenever I could, and hated those moments when his sleep was so deep his breathing was almost imperceptible. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child and my first was two years old that I asked the midwife about the chances of cot death now he was that old. She told me what I already knew – that he was not any more at risk than any other person, i.e. the risk of dying in his sleep was almost negligible. Her *telling* me that put my mind to rest in a way that the simple knowledge already in my mind didn’t. So no, you’re not unusual 🙂

    Reply
  4. I think it’s totally normal too. I hope it gets better. I did experience 3 miscarriages, and years of infertility, but I think even if I hadn’t I’d still be paranoid. I freak out if my little guy hasn’t woke in awhile, and sometimes I just creep over while he’s sleeping to make sure he’s still breathing… I’m just so worried that being too quite= dead. Probably irrational, but I can’t help it either.

    Reply
  5. I’m late late late but I’m voting normal as well. Sorry! For me, it did get better. I rarely worry that the big kids are dead in the night.

    If it helps, they say that once they can roll you’re not at that big a risk for SIDS….but of course that never actually helps. Statistics are there because some people fall on the wrong side of them, after all! Bah indeed, I know! But you’re normal. That’s better, yes? LOL

    Reply

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