Life Sentence

“Having a child is a life sentence.”  –Sandy Tumelson

That is what my mother-in-law told me while I was pregnant.  At the time I just laughed it off.  Now that Joshua is here I realize the raw truth in that statement.  I’m in it for life.  I have officially entered a lifetime of unconditional love, deep affection, constant worry and high anxiety.

Tonight Nathan, Joshua and I were sitting at the dinner table eating our supper.  Joshua was sitting in his high chair watching and smiling at his Mom and Dad when all of a sudden he let out a cry and instant tears started streaming down his face.  I’ve seen the cry click on like a switch before when he’s hungry but I have never seen instant tears.  I immediately picked him up and tried to comfort him as I made a bottle.  It had been over the 3 hour mark since he had last eaten and the out of the blue cry made me assume he was hungry.  (This was typical.)  During the feeding Joshua let out an ear-piercing cry.  I have NEVER heard him cry like that before!  This wasn’t his “This isn’t what I want” cry or his “I’m aggitated” cry this was either an “I’m really scared” cry or “I’m in a lot of pain” cry.  It was breaking my heart and putting me in an immediate panic because I had no idea what was wrong!  I couldn’t console him and I couldn’t get him to stop screaming in pain and/or fear.  The worst part of all was that I had no idea how to fix it.  In those few minutes that seemed like hours I started thinking, “Should we take him to the hospital?  Something is wrong? What is wrong?”  And then, it stopped.  I gave him back the bottle, he drank the rest of his formula, and fell asleep as soon as I put him in his crib.

I have one idea as to what could have gone wrong.  During the meltdown I had pulled one of my long hairs out of his hand.  Shortly after I had removed the hair from his hand he stopped crying.  I think one of my hairs (that he had no doubtly pulled out of my head as he’s always grabbing onto my hair these days) had wrapped around one of his fingers.  The hair must have cut off the circulation in his finger which would explain the instant, out of nowhere tears and the cries of pain.

Really, I have no idea.  But it scared the hell out of me.  I don’t ever want to hear my baby cry like that again.  With my life sentence…it’s inevitable.

That is just the way it is when you have children.  It isn’t smiles and giggles every single day.  There are moments when it is exhausting and terrifying.

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