It took me a while to get my bearings this week - we came home on Saturday night. Early. It was my fault - I turned my back on BB and he fell off the bed in the RV and landed on his head. We took him to the ER (since it was after hours) and the doctor pronounced him "fine". Really, I knew that, but it seemed prudent to have an official verdict on his goose-egg.
I can't believe that I was so complacent to allow something like that to happen. It was like I was living in that "la la la bad stuff happens to other people" land. How many thousands of times has everyone said not to take your eyes off a baby when he is on an elevated surface? I saw him fall. It was horrifying. It still makes me feel sick when I think of it. Not because of the "what might have been" (which is terrifying, in and of itself), but because it was my fault that he fell. I wasn't being vigilant.
I have had to work through what my role was in C.'s death. Of course, this is hindsight, so what I see now is a different picture than what I saw that night. When I went into labour at midnight, I dug out my What To Expect book. Bloody show - check. Cramping - check. Stomach hard to the touch - check. OK, so I am in labour. What did I do? Sort of half-assed timed contractions and tried to sleep. Didn't wake my husband. I waited until his alarm went off and told him I thought that "today is the day". Sent him to work. Did laundry. Called my friend. Phoned in sick to work. Waited until 10:30 a.m. to call him home. Went into L&D. Was informed that my baby was dead.
I was complacent. I assumed that everything was okay. I didn't know to pay attention to his movements. I honestly don't know if I felt him move while I was in labour. I might have. I just don't know. Might things have turned out differently if I had gone to L&D the moment I suspected I was in labour? Maybe. I will never know.
But I thought that I had learned the hard way that complacency and motherhood could not exist safely together. That it was dangerous to allow arrogance to creep in. He's fine, nothing can hurt him.
My mother was from the school of hard knocks (don't cry, that didn't hurt, you're okay), so I know that my parenting style is borne of that model. I know that I am much more cautious by nature than my mother. But, I don't feel like I have been vigilant enough.
This may seem self-indulgent, and it is a little. After all, little boys will fall and bump their heads. They will skin their knees and break bones. They will get hurt and cry dirty tears. And, usually, they will get right back out there - back to the business of being little boys - as soon as their tears are dried.
But for now, while he is so small, and still such a baby, it is my responsibility to keep him safe. I didn't do that on Saturday. I'm sorry, Baby.