This past week has been an emotional roller coaster. Early Monday morning my son had his surgery and thankfully, it was successful. We were supposed to be discharged from the hospital three days later however; on Tuesday night he came down with a fever and by Wednesday morning it was at 101.5 and he was vomiting. As with any surgery there’s always the risk of infection; especially when a foreign device is being implanted into one’s body. So, while his team of doctors and nurses worked on diagnosing what was going on with my baby, we were quarantined to his room until further notice.
As you can imagine, being contained in a small hospital room with a post-op, sick one year old child for three days straight was very challenging. It didn’t take long for us to catch cabin fever and we both pretty much went through the five stages of grief together. First came denial, then anger, bargaining was next, depression sank in and finally acceptance was our only option. This was all within the first hour.
Once Bub realized he could no longer roam the halls in his Mickey Mouse slippers and blue superhero cape, a meltdown of epic proportions ensued. Quite frankly, there’s nothing worse than witnessing a toddler flip his shit. Normally I’d just write it off as a tantrum, but this time the overwhelming feeling of guilt consumed me and I felt terrible. I knew that it wasn’t my fault that my baby was sick but as a mother, I felt that it was my duty to “fix” him. No one wants to feel powerless as a parent. Especially when their child is in pain. It’s emotionally taxing, mentally draining and I was exhausted.
In those moments of helplessness, I realized that the only thing I could truly do was be present and be patient. So I nursed him, held him, played games, read books, sang songs and rocked him to sleep. For three days straight, I let my 16-month-old toddler who is always on the go and already growing up way too fast, sink into my arms and be my baby. It was therapeutic and what we both needed.
On Thursday, his doctors finally diagnosed him with a mild respiratory infection. I was so relieved that it wasn’t anything serious or directly related to his surgery. They put him on antibiotics, his fever went away and I’m happy to report that we were discharged this afternoon.
This past week has forced me to accept the fact that no matter how “prepared” I think I am, I’m not always going to be able to protect my son from everything. Life is full of WTF moments. It’d be great if motherhood came with a manual, but it doesn’t.. and that’s fine. I’ll figure it out, and wing it if I have to. My baby doesn’t need me to be perfect, just to be Mama. I’m doing my best and he’s doing so much better.