Rachel Heath

Intentional Living: learning to be fully present

Under Pressure

I don’t know what’s gotten into Isabella over the last few days.  She’s barely napped during the day, is difficult to get to sleep in the evening, and is waking up a lot during the night.  Classic teething symptoms aside from there being no sign of teeth emerging.  Anyway, I was trying to put her down for a nap today, she was fighting it and I was getting really frustrated.
We absolutely don’t believe in letting our daughter “cry it out” but sometimes I need to take a couple minutes to regain my composure when she’s having a hard time.  So I put her down in her crib, said “I love you,” and left the room.  I sat down at the dining room table for a minute or two to take a break and tried to breathe deeply.
Isabella’s cries were getting really insistent and I decided not to push it.  If she’s really not ready for a nap, I’m not going to try to force her.  One of the things I’ve learned during the last nine months is that I can’t control my child- or anyone else- no matter how much I want to.
I went in, picked her up, and carried her out of her bedroom and into the living room.  Her room was dark so I couldn’t really see her when I picked her up, but when I got her into the light and looked at her face, I was completely horrified.
Isabella’s cheeks, chin, mouth, hands, and shirt were covered in blood.  The expression on her face was undeniable fear.  I was an absolute disaster… thankfully Stephen was home, he held her while I cleaned her off with a rag and finally managed to pry her mouth open.  The blood was coming from a cut on the inside of her upper lip- probably from her own teeth.  When I went back into her room I found that her comforter was bloody, too.
I feel wretched,  My little girl hurt herself and needed me.  She was crying for me and I couldn’t tell the difference between “I’m frustrated and tired” crying and “I’m hurt and bleeding alone in a dark room please help me” crying.  She didn’t have to wait more than 90 seconds for me… but that’s still a long time for a baby in pain.
I’m thankful she wasn’t seriously hurt, I just hate that she was scared and I didn’t come for her right away.  I hate that when I realized she was bleeding I couldn’t stop freaking out and get my head on straight and do something about it, all I saw was bright red blood all over my baby’s sweet little cheeks.  I just kept saying “oh my god oh my god my little girl, I’m so sorry oh my god,” while Stephen tried to reassure me  (reassure me) that everything was ok.  And it is now… minor injury, minor incident.
But seriously… is this me as a mom under pressure?  I’m terrible at it.

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5 thoughts on “Under Pressure

  1. Rachel, you are NOT terrible at being a Mommy. You are human, not an omniscient god. You will make mistakes like ALL mothers have, especially with this first child, but Isabella will be fine because of you and in spite of you. You did respond to her cries within a reasonable time. She feels your love. That's why you are her favorite person. This is cliche, but just do your best and trust God for the rest. You are an awesome mother!

  2. You are an awesome mommy and Isabella is very lucky to have you. I think you are a better mommy than I ever was. I don't think it's always easy to distinguish a hurt cry from any other cry, for first moms or moms with more than one child. If she gets hurt really badly, then you'll know it for sure!Children are very resilient, and you didn't hurt her, it just happened. Probably just a teeny cut, but lips are very vascular, so lots of blood. I don't handle cuts well, and was always a nervous wreck when you and Amy cut yourselves. When you cut your face above your eye (same for Amy), I was queasy and had a hard time dealing with it – thank God for daddy! Also, the time you cut your foot on the bookcase I felt horrible, but couldn't deal with all that blood. Professionally, I can deal with blood and gore with no problem, but with my own kids (and dogs), I fall apart. I hear grandma didn't deal well with cuts and such, either, but grandpa was cool as a cucumber.

  3. Mommy, if I'm better at this it's only because your "ceiling is my floor". Thanks to both of you for the reassurance. It was more shock than anything.

  4. Thanks! I love that it should be that way!

  5. Pingback: On Forgetting « Rachel Heath

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