From the moment our children were born I checked them constantly. I followed all the guidelines in preventing SIDS and still do now. We even spent a significant amount on movement sensor pads, so, if ever we were needed, we would be there instantly. The fear I had before I gave birth was to lose them during pregnancy or childbirth. The day they arrived safely and filled my heart with a love I couldn’t describe, was the day I feared ever losing them.
I knew then, sleep would be a distant memory, not only because they themselves are not very good sleepers.
During the night in those early months, with the moses basket tucked tightly next to the bed, I would wake frequently and place my hand on their chest. I would check their breathing regularly and I’d even doubt myself if that was actually breathing, or was my hand wobbly from being so tired. This would always lead to them waking up, which would make me think for goodness sake, why am I such a dick sometimes. But it also filled me with relief. That was them reassuring me, yes, I’m ok, thank you for checking, but please get some sleep so I can too.
I’ve recently read a post about a mother who lost her baby to SIDS. From start to finish I cried as if it were my own baby. This mothers child was the same age as my own is now. I cannot imagine the heartbreak, the hurt and the devastation a family would feel to have to suffer such a loss. Although, I could imagine. I imagine, how this would make me feel on a daily basis, how a piece of me would die if ever they did, an irreplaceable large piece. The strength that it must have taken for the mother to write this post is extremely admirable. This post will be one that other mothers who have experienced the same will go to, as a way to understand it wasn’t their fault, there was nothing they could have done, not that it can change the devastating situation, but it can offer comfort.
The fear of losing a child will never stop at SIDS, there are thousands of other things that I’m afraid of, for them, for their safety. Such as driving, I like to think of myself as a sensible driver, which is the opposite to many others. When I see a reckless driver on the road I can’t help but think what a selfish asshole they’re being, to put other families such as my own at risk. Salt is dangerous for children, as is sweetener, which is usually the biggest ingredient of a lot of the snacks that they are given by others. So unfortunately for their taste buds, our treats here are mainly fruit or mini cheddars. Unless in desperation and we’re in need of bribery, then ‘real crisps’ or biscuits are our go-to.
I’m already wondering how I will cope when they go to school, due to kidnapping. I realise some of my fears can be irrational, but they’re real and always with me. I also know I’m not crazy as many other mum friends have the exact same fears, from the day their child is born onwards.
My children push my ‘bad temper’ button regularly. They make our outings very stressful, which can be seen in previous posts. But I hope it’s clear I can always see the humour in it all, when the baby will only ever ‘have a dump’ whilst we are in the car and it’ll only ever leak when I’ve forgotten the wipes, silly mummy. The toddler is going through a possessive phase, which means I have to monitor every second and deal with huge toddler meltdowns when he is reprimanded for pushing his sister. I do find it tough, parenting has made me question myself on numerous occasions, it’s made me cry a lot, but it’s given me so much happiness, so much love, that is irreplaceable and unconditional. Even on our hard days (which aren’t too often but are the pits when we have one) I will love them with everything I have, my heart will always ache at the thought of losing them.
Children truly do become a part of you, a part of your body that was separated once the umbilical cord was snipped. I will only ever be scared of losing them.