Why? Where to start!
First of all, the Jeep (our only vehicle) decided to break down last week in every way a vehicle can break down, with a grand finale of a blown engine. This dandy development means we are vehicle-less for at least a month. Now, please understand. This is not quite as desperate a case as if we were still living in the wilds of Wisconsin, where a vehicle is the only thing between you and starvation. (Unless you can walk 30 miles. One way. Or enjoy raw venison with a side of toadstools.) Tanner can get to work. I can (with effort) get to the grocery store. But that is it. No beach. No library.
Cabin fever, anyone? The temperature is rising.
Add work problems, post-partum depression, and a cancelled vacation to that, and you got stress.
The real extent of the stress slammed home to me the other day when I woke in the night, reached over to touch Hunter, and found his little body limp to my touch. Panicked, I grabbed him, only to have his flaccid body slip like water through my hands. He fell into my lap like a ragdoll. Every muscle was loose. Even his toes were floppy! And his breathing was so shallow that I stayed up until daylight, watching to make sure he didn’t turn blue.
By daylight, Hunter had awakened, demanded food, and seemed to have returned to normal. Not taking that for granted, we borrowed a car and ran him to the pediatrician, who send us to the ER with a script for “life threatening events.” If you’ve never been handed a piece of paper which says that your child has experienced a Life Threatening Event, I hope you never are. There’s an odd sort of panic that slowly clenches around you until you want to race to the nearest doctor with your (perfectly normal-appearing) baby in your outstretched arms yelling “DO SOMETHING!!!”
Anyway, long story short, the ER folks were clueless as to what had caused the incident. The doctor’s best guess was that he had been suffering from long-term stress and had gone into a deep comatose sleep to recover.
My stress was hurting my baby.
Mommy guilt is a horrible, stomach-wrenching, chest-hurting emotion.
The next day MonkeyMan had his first therapy appointment. He was very sleepy, so he didn’t perform anywhere near as well as he could have. However, the therapist (an awesome lady!) still scored him very high on attention span and cognitive ability. She confirmed that he had low tone in his shoulders/neck but fairly good tone everywhere else. (I’m now OCD about tummy-time, much to Hunter’s annoyance.) She also commented that he showed significant signs of stress (hiccupping, hyperventilating,, etc).
More guilt. Now I’m stressed about being stressed. Lovely.
Is there a bright side to all this? I don’t know, I’ll say something if I find one.
Oh wait, I just did. He’s curled up next to me, watching my type with big blue eyes. One corner of his mouth is quirked in a half-smile as he wiggles his feet in my lap.
My little munchkin makes every day a little brighter.