Thursday, 20 June 2013

Officially.... The Worst Mother....Ever!!!!!

'Don't beat yourself up love, it happened to all of us. You're not the first and not the last, believe me.' The nurse at children s' A&E was friendly, sympathetic and put me at ease. My baby was at ease already, watching intently the new place and procedures. The nurse examined my baby and took us to a separated booth because we didn't yet have our immunizations. There, I could breathe again while waiting for the doctor.
What happened? Basically, I have been an absolute idiot, that is what happened. I had a perfect day with baby, we were doing great, and in the late afternoon I wanted to go for a quick walk and buy some bread and milk... So I put baby in the pram and take the pram out. We have few steps at the front of our house and I learned already how to take the pram down safely with the baby in it (in the first weeks I would take the pram down first, then bring the baby; bit fussy and demanding plus complicated upon return when baby usually cries and when taken in the house expects a feed immediately, not being put away and me leaving to sort the pram...).
So normally, I will take the pram out the front door, turn it so it is facing to the side, away from the stairs and keep my hand on the handle while reaching for the door to close and lock. Simple, normal, I did it like that without thinking day after day.
Why didn't I do the same this time? Why did I loose my guard? Why did I not use my brain? I honestly can not tell. Maybe having such a good day made me too confident, made me to forget. Maybe my stupidity took over.
I let the pram face the stairs. I let go of the handle as I reached for the door. For a second the pram stood freely. Then it started to move. Slowly and swiftly it went down the stair and I watched as it felt on its side and my baby rolled out of it and ended on the edge of the stair and rolled onto the next where it stayed hanging. My darling baby looked so small, helpless and precious, all I could do was to watch as it happened. I noticed how tiny my baby really is. It sort of curled itself into a ball and for a moment I thought: it is over. I killed my baby, I lost the most precious thing in the world, the dearest being to me and it is all my fault.
Baby started screaming almost immediately and I rushed down and took baby in my arms. Baby seemed shocked, surprised and cried but there was nothing visibly wrong. I cried out loud for my husband and rushed back to the door. Husband could hear me and knew something was really wrong as this wasn't my usual voice. We took baby home, husband picked the pram and to my great surprise he was calm, encouraging and wasn't angry with me in the slightest. I must admit that if it was him who have done it, I would probably not be as nice to him. It just showed me how great person he is, no matter how frustrated I can get with husband sometimes, he is the best partner I can wish for and he is able to love me and support me when I almost killed his baby.
I knew straight away we have to go to the hospital and husband agreed but wanted to go inside first and make sure baby is fine. There was nothing, no bruise, no cut, baby was just upset, looking at me with a shock in its eyes and crying again. I am sure it could feel the panic in me. I picked red book and changing bag, we got the car seat ready and left for hospital. I sat at the back with baby, holding its hand, looking intently for any signs of head injury, thinking about internal bleeding, concussion, and about social services taking our baby away from us. I started to shake and the episode kept playing over and over again in my head.
We waited at the A&E and as I said the nurse was sympathetic and didn't find anything wrong. But according to the protocol we needed to be checked by a doctor, then a pediatrician who would decide what will happen afterwards. So there were three sets of people who asked me what happened, three sets of people plus a pediatric nurse who listened to the story of my stupidity and idiocy. They didn't seem judgmental at all. They all probably saw worse cases then us. But it couldn't make me feel any better. I have done some stupid things in my life, but I never felt so horrible. How could I let my baby down like this? How could I be so careless towards the person I love most in the whole world?
It was a long evening. Baby seemed more and more like normal itself as the surprise washed over, it seemed amused by all the fuss around. Every doctor and nurse considered our baby healthy and fine. Every one of them asked if baby was strapped in the pram and I always had to answer: no.
I always assumed that safety straps in the pram are there to be used when the baby is mobile, to prevent it from falling out of the pram. I didn't realize they are there to prevent my baby from me!

We returned home with instructions on what to look for and a phone number to the children's ward. Baby was fine, I was sleeping lightly, making sure baby is sleeping, anxiously waiting if it will wake up for its night feed as usually.
Nothing happened, night was quiet, baby didn't develop any complications, not a slightest bruise. Baby doesn't even remember what happened a week ago. I was the one left traumatized. The fall is burned in my memory, it keeps coming back. I still feel incredibly guilty. It took me four days to brave a trip out with the pram and I wanted husband to be there and see that I behave responsibly. He didn't really understand why I insist on that, he was busy with other things, for a change he seemed to me like absolute ass, and the anger helped me to get down the stairs swiftly and walk all of the emotions off. Parenting is a challenge, but I never realized how much of a challenge it can be. I learned my lesson, baby is always strapped in and the pram (a little bit scratched now) is never left facing the stairs or without me holding it. Husband has something to hold upon me, to remind me when I seem to be too righteous, the episode is slowly becoming a little legend we can share between us with a smile. We were lucky. Babies are much tougher than they seem to be, a midwife told me that after my baby was born and she was very right. However, it is not an excuse for us, we shouldn't loose our guard while taking care of them.

Why do I write this? To remind all new parents to be really careful, it takes a second for an accident to happen. And, paradoxically, I feel an urge to talk it through, get this episode of my chest and somehow it is easier to share it with random strangers on the net than with my mother (oh she would be crossed with me for doing that to her only grandchild!) or friends. People will probably judge me, but they are strangers, they will not remind me about it or pass the story on to other people to prove how bad a mother I am. Nobody can make me feel worse than I already feel. My baby is fine and doing great, it is all that matters to me anyway.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

About my baby

As I am writing my frustrated parenting updates I talk about my baby. I don't specify the sex, mention its name and I am one of very few mothers who didn't update any cute baby photos anywhere - not in the blog, on my twitter, facebook, nowhere. Why is it?
I decided to share my thoughts and feelings online mainly thanks to my writing. It was my decision to go online and share my life with the world. My baby didn't choose any of this. So I decided it will be only fair not to involve the baby more than necessary. The important thing is: I am a mother of a beautiful and healthy baby. One day, when the baby is ready, it will have its own identity online. Until then I will mention the child in my posts, because it is impossible not to - I would have nothing to write about, my life at the moment is only about mothering, nothing else is going on. But this is still a blog about me - us.
I refer to my husband as 'husband' for the same reason. I can not not mention him when I write about my personal life, but again, it was my choice to blog, not his. If he wishes (and I so wish he did!) he can start his own online ranting blog and reveal himself. But he is too busy watching whatever instead - probably cricket or surfing.
Husband read my blog though and was quite surprised. Apparently I sound like a negative person, it isn't clear if I really enjoy motherhood. Also, I speak so much about myself and so little about the baby. Well why not? It is my blog and I want to let the world know how I feel as a mother. I could talk endlessly about the beauty of my baby's eyes, about the quiet moments we share, about the love I feel for my baby, about its absolute geniality and uniqueness. But this blog is me as a mother - tired, sometimes frustrated with the transition and the loss of individuality. Suddenly a normal thing like brushing my teeth and doing my hair feels like an enormously selfish thing to do. And I do miss being myself sometimes. When my baby demands constant attention, I do believe I would be much better mother if I could have a little bit time to myself, that's all. I am not sorry I have got a baby and I do not regret it, I am just sometimes overwhelmed and my blog allows me to say it and hope that some day someone will comment and say: you are not a horrible person for saying that, I can understand you.
But baby is growing. We passed the 8 weeks and 5 kilos in weight. And we are doing well. Mostly, there is the spark in baby's eyes, the interest in the world around, the recognition when husband or I approach, the search for my presence when a stranger holds my baby or when we are in an unknown place or situation. Baby started to smile around the third or fourth week but now baby smiles first, not to copy us, but to communicate. And it feels great, it is my reward for the tough first weeks. And now it doesn't feel as tough, now, although I am still sleep deprived and breastfeed a lot and have little chance to do anything else, I am certain I could do it again, I am much more confident. The confidence in me as a parent didn't arrive because people around me recognized my hard work or because my baby established a routine and I found myself again. The confidence came with the smiles, with the little steps of progress I notice day after day. Baby is different every time I look at it. When my baby smiles at me and knows it will be picked up and taken care of by me, when it looks at me with amusement and curiosity and trust, when it seems entirely happy, I know I managed to take care of my baby, I know that I helped my baby in the transition to the big wide world and that my baby sees this world as a good, safe and fun place. And although I am not done with mothering and there is lots of work ahead of us, I am confident in myself, I know that I can do it and I really enjoy it, it is a job that makes perfect sense to me and it is the most rewarding job ever.