The Minute My Heart Stopped…

emma
It was a beautiful August day in Michigan. There was a slight breeze as the sun warmed the air. It wasn’t humid or too hot…the weather was just right. We have family in town so it was decided to go to the Troy Aquatic Center for the kiddos. Emma loves the water and I was excited to take her.

We got there and she was pretty fussy and unwilling to leave my arms. After a while she got more comfortable and soon she was splashing by the fountain pads and laughing. I took her into the water with me and we played. She takes swim classes and loves being in the water so there wasn’t much concern for me there. However, there were a lot of kids swimming and splashing around so I decided to take her out, maybe grab a snack and just sit for a bit.

I placed her on one of the lounge chairs as her uncle and cousin were saying hello and engaging with her. Here’s where the mistakes start…

I didn’t ask them to watch her for a second. I didn’t even see if they were completely interacting with her. I didn’t take her down so she wouldn’t fall. I turned away. I TURNED AWAY! I hear a scream and see her face down on the cement. My heart stopped. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to cry, scream, throw up and pass out all at once. I grabbed her. She was hysterical. I was hysterical. The blood wouldn’t stop coming from her mouth. I was a wreck, I still am.

Per our pediatrician, we took her to the ER. She was admitted, examined and released within one hour (great job Royal Oak, Beaumont!). No stitches, no CT scan. She is okay. That’s what my husband had to keep reminding me, “She is okay.” Her lips is pretty cut up and swollen and her chin is scratched up but other than that, she is okay. Thank you God, she is okay. I know it could have been worse. I know. But I can’t help myself. I can’t help but blame my stupid self for turning away. Why did I think that would be okay? What is wrong with me?!

I know she’s going to get injured. I know this won’t be the last time, but I could have prevented it and I can’t help but feel like the worst mom in the world. I close my eyes and see that image of her laying there. I cringe. My heart breaks. It makes me sick to my stomach. I want to permanently erase it from my mind.

While I realize it was an accident, I can’t help but feel angry at myself. It seems like she is continuously having these issues too. Her tooth incident at my mom’s house when she was only 8 months old, her chipping her front tooth with me in the bathtub (a week ago) and now this (by the way, her front teeth are a complete, chippy mess)! I wish I could just fix it all. I could just take a magic wand and eliminate the pain and the scars (these poor teeth!). But I can’t. This is a part of life. And as her mother, it’s important for me to stay strong which so far I have not been able to do…

The love of a parent is so amazing. It’s like my heart just jumps out of my chest for her. She has truly completed my life and if I never have another I will be okay because I have her. And that’s why I think it’s so hard for us as parents. We have this love that cannot be described until you actually experience it. And with that love comes this innate responsibility to protect. This responsibility is so strong that we would become superhuman if needed, we would do anything to protect them from all harm…but we can’t. It’s just not possible. Even if I bubble wrapped my child (I definitely considered it after yesterday), she would still get hurt. There comes a point when you need to have faith it will all be okay…whatever your faith may be. This is where I must learn to ‘let go and let God’.

Emma is okay. She’s alive and healthy with a few cuts and some chippy teeth (luckily these ones fall out!). I am very lucky it wasn’t any worse. It can always be worse…

So while I work on trying not to lose my mind when she gets injured, I think about how blessed I am that she’s okay. My advice for anyone going through something similar is this: Keep calm and ‘mom’ on 🙂 You’re a great parent. Be thankful for the blessings you have and continue to pray for all those suffering, it could always be worse!

I’m Not Cut Out For This…

It was her first accident. I wasn’t there. It was a complete accident but nonetheless, it made me think that maybe I’m not cut out for this… 

Emma has two teeth now and her bottom one had hit the edge of those plastic tables kids with all the gadgets on top that babies her age play with. While the injury was unknown of its location at the time, I was told she cried very hard. 

 She wasn’t herself on the way home. It wasn’t until I began feeding her solids I noticed her tooth had gone from upright to bent forward. I had my husband confirm it which he did. I started to sob. I couldn’t stop. I was angry then sad then angry and then sad again. While it was an accident, I couldn’t help but be upset because I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there.  

 I gave her Tylenol to ease the pain and she was back to her smiling, happy self (pictured here). She wouldn’t put anything in her mouth and it was clear why. I felt terrible. I felt helpless. I felt in the moment that maybe I’m not cut out for this… 

Maybe I’m not cut out to be a mom. 

I can’t handle the stress of knowing that these injuries will only continue! I can try my best to prevent them but I won’t be able to. I won’t be able to control it…any of it. And yes, I’m not supposed to. I’m supposed to trust that everything will work out and when it doesn’t that everything happens for reason but I have a hard time with that. She is my baby. She is my sweet little peanut. She is the joy of my life! 

I heard a beautiful homily at mass the other day. The priest (deacon who is married) talked about how you don’t really know what true love is until you have children. He said that couples who first get married are in love with the idea of love, but it isn’t until you are responsible for another human life that you realize what unconditional love and sacrifice really is.

He couldn’t have been more accurate. I love my husband but it was honestly the birth of my daughter that I really understood true love. I understood the love that Mary had for her only son Jesus. And she had to watch her son be crucified. I. Can’t. Even. Imagine. 

I can only hope I continue to grow stronger, especially when she is injured, intentionally or unintentionally. But for now, I will be a little heartbroken over her accident and how I would give anything to take away her pain. Maybe I am cut out for this after all :). 

 And it’s off to the peds dentist we go!