Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Last Night

This morning around 4am my daughter woke me out of a sound sleep to tell me she was going potty. Fine, fine. I sent my husband to deal with it, since I knew the middle of the night baby feeding was just around the corner.

In my sleepy haze I bleared at the clock and realized it was past time for the baby to be hungry. He should at least be lifting his two little legs high into the air and slamming them down on his mattress. I bleared over at him.

Very Still.

Suddenly I was wide awake. I listened, but could only hear the sound of bathroom tinkles. I reached over from the bed to the cradle and gave the baby a poke. Nothing. Not a stir.

Panic Rising.

I sat up and reached down and felt his cheek. Not just cool. Cold. And he still didn't move. This is where I literally felt my own heart STOP. I put both hands on him and gave him a big shake.

He took a great big breath and groaned a sleepy little baby sound.

Thank God.

I sometimes fret that I started having children so much later than I wanted and I'll have less time with them than if I'd started earlier. Last night just scared another 10 years off my life.


Sanya said...


I had my kid at pretty much exactly the age I wanted to have him, and I absolutely only want to have this one, but I think that moment of pure panic is universal.

For me it happened when he overslept a nap - and he just was lying so still, in exactly the way I'd laid him down, and his tiny cheek was so cold. I couldn't feel him breathing when I put a hand under his nose.

Of course he moved when I picked him up, and I can hear the therapy session in my head: "Well, doc, my first memory is of my mother saying, FFS, go to sleep, and my second memory is of her sobbing and rocking me back and forth begging me not to sleep like that again."

Lahdeedah said...

Once, Drama girl wouldn't wake and she was shaking. We didn't know what to do, we panicked. We picked her up. She twitched. It was awful. We didn't put her back down until she woke screaming her head off, but I'm not sure who, at the time, was screaming louder, her or me.

We later suspected she had been having a seizure, not uncommon in infants her age, but not super common, and usually, it's unnoticed.

Absolute. Utter. Panic.

And um, Rainy you know this, and Sanya, you will too...

You experience it a few times... not just once...