I just have to ask
by Karla ° Wednesday, January 3, 2007
I have a hunch that even if I ask the question, I already know the answer, but humour this novice momma because clearly, my grade 11 Home Economics project of carrying around an egg that slept in a refrigerator and hung out in my locker while I went for smoke breaks did nothing in terms of preparing me for the insane fear that my newborn might stop breathing.

On New Year's Eve, Mark and I found ourselves in the emergency room because my brain is officially hardwired on newborn observation pilot mode setting now that Nate does not have a trillion monitors attached to his body to tell me if his breathing and oxygen saturation levels are adequate.

When Nate was first admitted to the NICU and I wasn’t allowed to hold him, it didn’t take long before the readings from his monitors infiltrated the sanity center of my brain and had me trained like a meth addicted lab monkey to depend on them for concrete reassurance that he was OK. I knew once he was removed from them that I would totally have baby probe withdrawal without the little alarm above his head to sound when the numbers weren’t perfect.

And like the recovering NICU monitoring addict that I am, withdrawal did indeed set in and I diligently set out to count little Nate’s respiration rate on a regular basis. When they seemed struggled and his breath count was far too high, I panicked. And oh what a bad parent I am because he was only in a onsie and while Mark and I had our frenzied spaz of a freak out, we didn’t even take the time to dress the poor kid before rushing off to the ER and opted instead to grab a mountainous pile of blankets to cover him with because oh my god, if he was having trouble breathing surely there was no time to stuff his flailing baby arms and legs in a sleeper and fumble with those bedeviled and impossible clasps before heading out the door.

After arriving at the ER and finding out that his oxygen levels were at 98%, even in his car seat, I felt exactly two million trillion times better and made a mental note to see if we can order an oxygen saturation whatchamacallit
on ebay.

Of course, as it turns out Nate was fine and like the fools that we are, we rushed him to the ER because he had a snuffly nose, which apparently, is normal, but just in case we were referred to the pediatrics clinic for a quick follow up given what we had been through.

The pediatrician was a gentle soul with swanlike grace. He made goo goo and ga ga noises and funny faces at Nate while peering at his little chest heaving up and down. He reassured us that our baby is the picture perfect image of health and normalness.

So that just begs the question - when does believing he is just fine sink in? I swear it’s not the round the clock hypertasking and maneuvering between feedings and diaper changes that sends new parents into a dizzying spiral of sleep deprivation, but the constant state of persistent worry that tugs at your heart like an unrelenting itch that you just can't reach to sooth.

Does it ever go away? Really?

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Short answer: No.

I worry obsessively over my nearly 20 month old. So does his father. Some days I think I am crazy. My mind makes up all sorts of crazy what-if scenarios about how he could get hurt, fall down stairs, become seriously ill, run into the street (insert millions of different insane ideas here)...

You are so normal. :)
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 03, 2007

Same here : NO.

Tyler is 20.5 months and he still sleeps beside me most nights because I need to hear him breathe. If he is in his crib I am up at least a few times to check on him. When he is sick, I take him to the hospital- no matter what or how bad. Honestly, I took him to the emergency 7 times his first year of life.

This feeling never goes away, but in time you will get more comfortable and you'll find ways to help ease the worry. For me, co-sleeping is what helped me sleep at nighttime.

I don't think I started sleeping untill he was at least 2-3 months old and even then he was getting up every two hours!!

Like said above, you are so normal! ;)
Posted by Blogger Melanie :  January 03, 2007

My daughters 4th birthday is today..and yes I still check on her several times a night :)
you are very normal :) and congrats on a beautiful little boy.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 03, 2007

I swear to you on all that I am my oldest child is 18 and my husband still checks on her before he goes to bed at night to see if she's okay..so short answer...nope..it never goes away. We have 5 munchkins and he makes the rounds every night before he can sleep. Our youngest who is 5..co-slept with us until she was 4. Most people thought I was nuts but I just slept easier.
Posted by Anonymous Closs :  January 03, 2007

We all have our moments, our fears... we all wake from a sound sleep, surprised the baby hasn't woke and cried out, sure they had stopped breathing.

We all stand or sit for an hour with our hand on their back, making sure they are ok. Hooking up the baby moniter and having right near their little heads so we can hear them breathe in their sleep, even though we are in the next room and could probably hear their little snore without the moniter if we tried!

But... I knew you would have a harder time. When I read all the medical jargon you were using in your last posts, the things no normal, 9 month pregnant women needs to know, or even should know... LOL - the way you wouldn't smile in your photos when looking at your tummy because the fear was over riding your ability to let yourself go and be joyful...

I knew you would be over protective. But... what can you do? :o)

I suspect it will take a third child (grin) to assure you that you can and did indeed, make and bring into the world a happy, healthy, wonderful little person who is going to be fine.

*hugs karla*
Posted by Blogger aka_Meritt :  January 03, 2007

I still check on my almost 22 month son at night to make sure he is breathing correctley, ect. Its part of being a mom. Im sure as time goes by it gets better. For me it has some, and continues to all the time. Hey its better to worry than to be a parent who does not care at all.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  January 03, 2007

Well, at the risk of sounding careless, I beg to differ ... a bit. And I am a bereaved mother too, so I do not take such things lightly. For me, things got a LOT better after the 4-month old mark. Before then, yes we had the paramedics out for what turned out to be a cold .... and I was checking her breathing several times a night. By the time baby was 8-10 months old she seemed so much more robust that my worry levels reduced to 'normal', i.e. I have my moments when I imagine all sorts of stuff, but actually most of the time I am fairly relaxed about her health and safety! And sometimes I don't even check them at bedtime now (now have 2 girls age 5.5 and 2 yrs)
Posted by Blogger Joanna :  January 03, 2007

I think after everything you went through with baby Ava then with baby Nate's arrival having him wisked off to the NICU that it is perfectly NORMAL for you to feel un-settled and be more aware. Even without all of that extra stuff that you have had to deal with I think you are responding the way any new mom would respond. Then throw in everything else on top of it and it is just mutliplied. I remember my mom telling us 3 kids that she would constanly go in and check and make sure we were breathing by watching our chest move up & down or by laying her hand on us so she could feel that our chest were going up and down. So I think you are fine honey!! Sorry if I am rambling.. 2 hours of sleep last night isn't doing much for the brain today! Hugs!!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 03, 2007

i felt more at peace when my daughter turned six months old, but i still sneak in several times during the night to make sure she's still breathing and she's now 18 months. when you have a child, i think a whole new worry center is born in your brain, but as they grow you learn to cope and deal in your own unique way. all that to say, you are normal :).
Posted by Anonymous emily :  January 03, 2007

In short: you are normal to worry.

I can remember only few times worry about my daughter's (now 1) breathing or not breathing but for the most part I did not worry about that. I figured I did all that I could to make sure she was dressed right, temp right, no obstructions in her sleeping area etc. that worrying about uncontrollable things was wasted energy for me as a new mother.

But, with that said I have not gone through what you have in your two previous pregnancies. Our experiences shape our thinking.

I think you are a great mom doing all the right things. As long as you are following your gut you are normal and doing good.
Posted by Blogger Day :  January 03, 2007

As a "recovering" NICU Mom to triplet boys, and twin girls, I will tell you uh-uh, it doesn't go away...It does however, lessen. You'll notice that pressure in your chest feels less like a heavy ox, and more like a small bunny rabbit. It's always there, it's always nerve wracking, but then again this is the essence of Mommy-hood (or so I've been told!)...
And incidentally congrats on your gorgeous baby rockstar... He's just lovely. :)
Posted by Anonymous Jessica :  January 03, 2007

I'm probably the wrong one to give advice here, as I've sworn to drive my 13 year old daughter to and from college when it's time, out of an insane, mind boggling fear of anyone ever hurting her. In fact at 13 she does not ride her bike around the block alone, after I logged onto a state crime site and saw 13 red dots in a 1 mile radius of us, indicating convicted sex offenders residences. I used to think in my head, "If I can get this child to 8 years old then I would feel relaxed". Now I have a 17 year old, 250lb, 6'5 inch son. He's lost 2 classmates last year in teen driving accidents. All I can say is, worrying about them breathing might go away, but something new developmentally will take it's place. I think I'm just,,,totally over protective. So far, with three children, and one in his last year of childhood,,,we're lucky. I know this comment probably didn't reassure you, but you are completely not alone in your fears. It's the parents that lack at least some worry that really scare me though. Like mothers that let their toddlers wander down the middle of an interstate in the cold and little more than a diaper. You just keep worrying Karla,,,,and loving and hoovering over, and tucking your little guy under your wing. You earned every moment of that delicious pleasure.

Oh, I wish it did, but it never really goes away at all. Sure, you'll sleep better at night after the first few months, but sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night and have to go listen for their breathing noises. They are 9 and 6, by the way. I just don't think I'll ever NOT worry, and I don't mind listening for their sweet little breathy noises too much, either. (((hugs)))
Posted by Blogger Jules :  January 03, 2007

Sorry to say, but my mother-in-law says she hasn't had a decent night of sleep since her first was born...over 45 years ago. I think you just get used to it.

He is beautiful, by the way.
Posted by Blogger Catherine :  January 03, 2007

So glad Nate is doing so well.
I don't think we'll ever stop worrying; it's what moms were made to do!
Posted by Anonymous Amanda :  January 03, 2007

Yeah I would say given your past expierences, you are totally normal in what you're feeling. I would say for me a turning point for when I worried just a little bit less when I put my children to bed was at the age when they could roll over themselves. Because then I felt that if they rolled over onto their stomach and couldn't breathe they'd be able to roll back over to there back. I get absolutely terrified when I think of SIDS mainly because my grandma had a boy she lost at 3 months to SIDS and I always worry if it's possibly genetic and that's in my family! But to this day I still check my 4 year old and 17 month old every single night before I go to bed!
Posted by Blogger Amber :  January 03, 2007

when my son was born i slept with him on my chest so i could always feel him breathing then at 6 months when he had enough he went in his crib and started sleeping all night. I was still up every couple of hours to make sure he's still breathing. Now at 2 years old i still sleep with a baby moniter turned all the way up next to his head so i can hear him. I don't think it ever goes away but thats what parents do. when we get over this phase there will be something else to worry about. Good luck he is just to cute.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 03, 2007

From what my mother says, no. It never goes away.

From my own experience, no. It never goes away. Anna's 20 months old now and I still check on her periodically.

And it gets worse. I have stepsons in their 20's that live with us. I can't sleep until they're home safe and sound. And one works second shift. I don't sleep alot anymore.

Your son is just adorable. Congratulations!
Posted by Anonymous Daren :  January 03, 2007

IT NEVER STOPS!!! My son is 17 months and I spend every day worrying. BUT good news. I asked my doctor and my uncle who is a physiologist and my aunt who is a psychiatrist and they all said the same thing. The fact that you are worrying means that you are a great parent and your maternal instincts are there and that is all that matters. Also if there is something really wrong YOU will know. When my son was 9 days old I rushed him to ER because he spit up blood. I was terrified. However on the way there I started to feel silly because it was such a small amount. After seeing the ER doc and being informed that maybe I should check my breasts for cracks from breastfeeding and that my son was in tip top shape and in fact was spitting up blood that he had ingested while breastfeeding (duh they only teach you this in breastfeeding class DUH!) I went home feeling like an ass. But it only took that one trip for me to get my emotions in check. So heres my best advice. Get the number for your local pediatric urgent care and also for your after hours pediatric help line. You can call them all hours of the day and they will give you great advice over the phone and they will tell you if the child needs to be seen. A lot of times they will point out the obvious but it will make you feel better. Anyway Karla you are already doing an amazing job just by worrying. So for now just try and enjoy the amazing little wonder you have because time flies by sooo fast. Take care and plllease post more pictures soon your son is too cute for words.

I love the nickname, "Rockstar"! You have every right to feel the way you do, but know that you are doing a great job as a mom and make sure you enjoy him! You and your husband deserve this perfect little miracle. And no, you never ever stop worrying. I am 30 years old, and my mother calls me every single day!!
Posted by Anonymous glambertz :  January 03, 2007

I don't think you ever stop worrying; it just morphs into different worries. Just a suggestion that worked wonders for my piece of mind- the Angel monitor-which beeps when there is a stop in movement. It's the only way I slept soundly when my babies were in their cribs. Thank you for your beautiful words. I am so happy that everything was ok with Nate-he has such a marvelous mommy and daddy. Great luck.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 03, 2007

You have no idea how many trips I've made to the ER!! The trips get fewer as they get older, but the worry doesn't. At 9 and 5, if my kids sleep later than normal, I'm making sure they're breathing and taking their temp when they wake up!! It's just part of being a mommy. And there are always new things to worry about. My 9 year old wants to play out front alone, which scares the crap out of me, but all the other kids on our block do. So I let her, and I stand at the window and watch, and if I don't see her every few seconds I go out to make sure she's ok. Being a mommy is the hardest job there is. Just keep coloring your hair, and no one will see the gray ;-) That's my secret!
Posted by Blogger Arlene :  January 03, 2007

After the trauma you've been through, it's not surprising that you are hyper-aware of any potential problems. We nearly lost our son at 1 month old, and that experience did the same thing to me. He's 3 now, and I still watch his chest as he's sleeping to count his respirations. So no, you may never be that carefree Mom who never worries, but the blessing behind that is that you will be the Mom who never takes one day, one moment for granted. You will be present in each moment and recognize it for the blessing and miracle that it is. A little hokey, maybe, but that's what's gotten me through the last 3 years.

Enjoy that little boy. He's a cutie!
Posted by Blogger Azul :  January 03, 2007

Nope, never goes away! Sorry.

Nate is really a cutie!!

And don't be scared if his hair starts falling out, when they are born with lots of hair like that is usually (not always) falls out I remember my mom freaking out when my brother who had ton's of black hair was looking started loosing it.

You are a good mom!!
Posted by Anonymous Donna :  January 03, 2007

As other people have said, it never goes away completely, although it does lessen after they get a little older.

In the first year of Mr. P's life, I had a speed-dial set to the nurse advice line. I freaked out over everything, and they were probably very tired of me. And I didn't even have the experience of him being in the NICU, so I can only imagine that it is compounded about a hundred times.

You are totally normal.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  January 03, 2007

You already have the answer so I'll just blather on about other stuff.

My sister watched the Exorcist just after she had her first baby. There are weird sounds in the Exorcist. Sounds that all babies make. Anyways, she had a nervous breakdown thinking her child was possessed. She's also fanatically religious which probably contributed to the nervous breakdown thingy..

Anyways, you are good parents. And Nate is a normal baby. But if it makes you feel better do whatever it takes to help keep you from worrying.

Can't wait to see his first Birthday pictures..

I think, no matter how big and strong your kids get, you'll ALWAYS worry about them! And you are a good mom, it's no big deal to worry about his breathing with everything your family has been through. He is absolutely adorable though, and I'm glad he's healthy, that's great. I'm sure things will relax with time. :)

It doesn't ever go away - I have 5 children and when Jackson was born in September you would think I would be cool and confident but it was if I immediately held my breath when he arrived, and I haven't exhaled yet!
Posted by Blogger Ashley :  January 03, 2007

Its true that you'll always worry about your kids (well we have a 5 yr old and it hasn't let up entirely yet!) but it does change. I haven't been through your experiences so it will be different anyway, but Bec was born just slightly premature (at 36 wks) and although she started off ok, things went bad and she ended up in NICU for a couple of days as well. I became quite obsessive about her breathing and weight gain but thankfully for everybody that didn't last. I think it was after she had her first sickness (a tummy bug) where she dropped weight and I thought she'd be readmitted to hospital, but then she bounced back quickly that I started to relax more and realised that she wasn't as fragile as I thought. I think we're still more protective than "normal" probably because of my pregnancy losses but we still have fun and enjoy our kids - besides, its really hard to count a resp rate when they're running around! :)
Posted by Blogger Robyn :  January 03, 2007

My daughter and husband went out of town for three whole days and I worried and came up with all kinds of irrational daydreams about the airplane, driving in the snow - you name it, complete with ridiculous dreams each night. It's totally normal to have all of those things run through your head - because you love them so very much. The only reason I still claim to be a sane person is because the logical part of my brain seems to recognize and forgive that sort of crazy emotional half, and I wouldn't want to feel any less of the good (or bad) feelings that my family brings out in me.

I first want to say congratulations on your beautiful, healthy baby. After reading your first couple of posts I was hooked and had to read your blog from the beginning. Your posts are witty, funny, sad and courageous. You actually inspired me to start my own blog, so thank you!

To echo a previous comment, have you thought about buying the Angel Care Baby Monitor? http://www.angelcare-monitor.com/english/hispeed/angelcare.html
That's the link to their site. I'm 33 weeks preg with my first, and even without any complications so far, I already know I'm going to be worrying about her breathing etc. The monitor will go off if he stops moving or breathing for 20 sec. so that might help you get a little piece of mind. Also, me and my hubs are planning on getting some instruction on how to do baby CPR. Maybe arming yourself with some skills in case, God forbid, something were to happen you might feel a little more confident and in turn, worry a little less.
The only other advice I have is from my mother: She told me that no matter how much we worry as moms, it's important not to convey those feelings over to our kids. If the baby senses you are frantic or fearful, he'll probably feed off that and get worked up himself. Obviously take my words with a grain of salt, I haven't had my baby yet so I'm still just a theorist!
Posted by Blogger joely :  January 03, 2007

I doubt it ever goes away. I'm only six months in, so I don't know the whole story. But my situation was very similar to yours: lost a baby, had a miscarriage finally got the baby of my dreams. While Liam wasn't ever in the NICU (I still don't know why, it's a sheer miracle that he wasn't), I still was on hyper-alert. I swear I didn't sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time (and that's a generous estimation) for at least a week after we brought him home. Until finally my husband FORCED me to sleep. Because I couldn't even sleep when the baby slept, I had to watch him. All the time.

I guess it's a little better now. I do have that stabbing fear whenever I'm not right there with him and my imagination goes into overdrive. It's not easy when you know exactly what you can lose. I guess the best we can do is just cherish each moment, try to relax (yeah right) and love our babies the best way we know how. :) Sounds like you have that covered.

...my baby is 27 years old and I still worry (it drives Mandi crazy(lol)) but she understands now that she is a mom. You are experiencing normal motherhood, magnified by all you have been thru. Enjoy your sweet boy.
Posted by Anonymous kempers nana :  January 03, 2007

ur being a good mama especially after what you and mark have been and lil nate fully understandable :)
Posted by Blogger rachael :  January 03, 2007

My first son was in the NICU for 6 1/2 months. When my second son came home healthy, with no wires I was going crazy. How was I suppose to know how many breaths a minute he was taking? How much oxygen is he getting? When is the doctor doing rounds? Where is the red light on his foot? Where is the nurse? I've calmed down some now (he is 4 months old). But, if you find one of those machines on ebay, let me know! ;)
Posted by Blogger Elizabeth :  January 03, 2007

I don't think it goes away but it gets better or just changes into some other worry. I have a 4 month old and that was a constant worry of mine (she was a c section too and was nasally and snotty at times). I would watch her breathe at night or lose countless hours of sleep worrying about her breathing. That sleep when they sleep is a joke because even though she has been breathing for the last 3 hours without missing a beat the one time I close my eyes with sleep will be the one time.

My husband is more laid back than I am and helped me keep it all in perspective. I am a nurse so I go straight to the worst thing or go look it up in my peds book and diagnose her.

Just take it one day at a time.
Posted by Anonymous Mandy :  January 03, 2007

Here's my 2 cents: forget ordering the oxygen saturation thingamijig on ebay. It will only make you more and more paranoid. As a mother, you will never stop worrying.

When my son was born at home, his breathing rate was very fast. We took him to his doctor later that day. She said to keep counting his breaths. The next day, he spit up all the fluid that was left in his lungs (due to being born very quickly and not spending enough time in the birth canal to expel all the fluid in his lungs). After that, his breathing rate was normal. I still counted until the two week visit with the doctor when she told me that he was fine and that I could stop. I stopped counting but still worried a bit.

Co-sleeping with my son definitely helped ease my worries because I could feel him breathing beside me. I remember thinking that the 6-month mark was going to help me relax because I wouldn't have to worry about SIDS. Guess what? My son is now 17 months old and when he naps longer than normal or does not wake up in the middle of the night as expected, I get worried. I have to breathe and remind myself that he is fine.

It helps me when I tell myself that I want my son to grow up with a relaxed mom. I don't want him to remember me as the overbearing, overprotective, overworried, panicky mom. Nate is fine. Enjoy every moment with him. =)
Posted by Blogger Keri :  January 03, 2007

Today I checked Cole at least 15 times during his two hour nap to make sure he was still breathing...and he never had any breathing problems!

Don't worry, it only gets better from here...wait till he's walkingwith you in a store one day, and you lose sight of him for one split second (b/c he's right behind you!)...now that's scary!
Posted by Blogger Christi :  January 03, 2007

To reiterate what everyone else said, No.

Even having not been through what you have, I check my 8-month old about 10 times per night. I can't imagine how many times I'll check her once she's actually sleeping through the night.

Belated congratulations on such a beautiful baby! I love this picture so much, I want to zerbert that belly button.

Which, uh, would be totally inappropriate of me and I would never do that, really. (EXCEPT YES!)

My .02, coming from the mother of a 17 month old -- it gets a lot better, less frantic and terrifying and ecompassing. I was a mess the first month. It got better.

Linda (Sundry)
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 03, 2007

Hi Karla,

I found your blog via Miss Zoot's blog. I am amazed by your strength of spirit and so happy for you that you now have such a beautiful boy in your life! He is gorgeous!

Something that you might find relaxing for yourself and you can also use to sooth your baby when needed is a simple accupressure technique called EFT.

It might seem a little strange, but you don't have to believe in it for it to work. I tried it as practice the first time and it worked!

Here is the link to the free manual:



I hope you don't mind the recommendation and I hope you will try it. It can also help you with your grieving process so that you can reflect on all your memories of Ava as much as you want without them bringing unbearable pain.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your family with us. I think it really makes a difference in the world. You give us hope!

Best wishes for a fabulous 2007!

~ Julie
Posted by Blogger cinnalily :  January 03, 2007

Okay, now I wasn't very good at practicing this, but I can preach it, can't I?

Don't let the worry sap your enjoyment of this wonderful new life!

Your instincts are great, your baby is healthy. Heal, bond and enjoy!!!

(my first born son just turned 26. i still worry.)

Judy - Anybody Home
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 04, 2007

I am a NICU nurse and I still check on my 14 month old daughter several times a night just to make sure she is breathing. I don't think you ever get to a point where you don't worry at all...you just become *slightly* less obsessed with it.

PS..Nate is beautiful, congratulations!
Posted by Anonymous kelley1975 :  January 04, 2007

I'm 33 and my mom still holds a mirror under my sleeping nose when she visits. My terror with my own daughters comes and goes. It's nervewracking, but the one thing you have to remember is it is your right to call your doc, visit the hospital etc etc. Don't doubt your gut, even though it may provide you with great self-deprecating blog fodder. You, sweet mama, know best.
Posted by Blogger AmandaD :  January 04, 2007

He's absolutely beautiful. My daughter is 4 YEARS, not months, and I still check on her several times a night. The tiniest noise will snap you awake no matter how old they are. You become slightly less neurotic about this as they get older, but with a newborn, I think it's perfectly natural. So you took him to the ER - no harm, no foul. He's fine, and you feel better knowing he's fine. I took my daughter to the ER at least 3 times in her first year - with NOTHING wrong with her each time. Enjoy your beautiful boy!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 04, 2007

Nope! :)
Posted by Blogger KathyB :  January 04, 2007

I still check on my 5 year old, so I think it really never goes away. And my one year old sleeps with me a lot for that very reason to this day. Sorry! You were probably expecting better answers from all of us!

Additionally, given what you have been through, I think it is completely normal to be doing what you are. Hang in there. He'll be fine.
Posted by Blogger Kate :  January 04, 2007

I believe it does get better.
Right now, you are still fresh and raw to parenting. You don't have a 100% success rate and you are naturally and understandably nervous about everything being right.
A word of advise (and I have not read any of the other post so I don't konw if someone mentioned this or not)....be quiet and still and listen to Nate's voice and the one that is developing inside of you. Some might think that silly - but I believe that we develop a 6th sense or a bit of chakra when we become parents.
Put the books away and all the pamphlets that tell you how to parent and learn from your inner voice.
A wise person once told me that if I spend all my time making sure that everything is "perfect" in my children's world that I will forfeit the reality of their love, their personalities and the gift of just having them as my children because nothing will ever be perfect.

I have 4 kids (oldest almost 20 and youngest 2) and while the urge to check on them, protect them and have them know that you love them never goes away - the paranoia that you are feeling now will find a balance and you will learn to trust yourself. it takes time and you have all of that which you need.
Here's to your journey :)

I worried about the same thing. After a while, the feeling will be less of a constant and overriding burden and more of a background noise. Once in a while, new things will cause the worry to come front and center again. It's normal, natural. You will start to relax with time. And be sure you are getting some sleep, too, because sleep deprivation will really mess with your head!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 05, 2007

It's totally naturally to worry. My second son was in the NICU for a week. I figured I would be more relaxed since he wasn't my first child, but NO! He's 6 months old now, and I still check. I still check on my older son too. I have the monitors set loud enough that I can hear them breathing, and if I don't hear anything for a while, go check on them.

The way I see it, if you are worried, go check on him. Check all you want! It would be worse to resist the urge and stress yourself out about it.

and one more thing. Relax...you're doing great!!!
Posted by Blogger Cate :  January 05, 2007

I just posted a comment, but Blogger lost it (argh!) so here's the short version: I don't think we extra lose the extra-protectiveness after a loss, but we learn to live with it. It just becomes part of your parenting style. My teens joke with me about how I have to warn them about everything.... Hugs to you all! Ann
Posted by Blogger Ann D :  January 05, 2007

Unfortunately it doesnt go away Karla. I am still this way and most likely always will be. I used to sleep with my arm draped inside the bassinet to feel Makily breathing EVEN THOUGH we could hear her (she was loud).

I know they make a monitor that "ticks" with each breath baby makes. An alarm sounds if it doesnt sense a breath in a certain amount of time. It's just a pad you put in the crib with him and you can find it at Toys R Us. I will look and see if I can find exactly what it's called.

I know ebay has pulse oximeter monitors, get one of those or an apnea monitor. The apnea monitor just counts heart rate and breaths per minute though. The oximeter will give you the oxygen saturation. Not sure which one you want more.

I understand everything you are feeling and it's normal. I don't blame you one bit for rushing him in.

He is just perfect and gorgeous I have to say. Congrats again Karla.
Posted by Blogger Patyrish :  January 05, 2007

ha ha - I have a 12 and 13 year old... IT NEVER GOES AWAY! :D
Posted by Anonymous susan :  January 05, 2007

HI Karla

Your son is absolutely beautiful and I wish you every congratulation on this journey that you have started together.

I have 16 month old boy/girl twins and like you, decided to give up my career to stay at home with them. The time flies so qickly...I know I don't need to say enjoy and savour every second.

They were in neonatal for only 4 days..my daughter though tiny..just above 4lbs was fine.. they were just monitoring her temp ec, and my big son who was well ove 5lbs needed a little help breathing.

I was so thrilled on the 4th day, when they said that the kids were coming out of the incubators....until I realised that they were sending them to my room!!!! Without monitors attached everwhere ... my hubby and I thought that they would go in the little bassinet things and being in the unit for a couple more days...with the really lovey nurses and doctors checking them all the time.

It was the scariest feeling that we were responsible...even though we had beiing doing all the feedings and changes in the Unit. When we got to my room, they had even taken the thermometer away, they said the kids were fine and we just needed to feel the back of their necks...etc. They still checked their weight and blood sugar etc....and ofcourse nurses showed up around the time they ought to be fed each day and night...I had another 5 days, with them in my hospital room, until they were back up to their birth weight etc.

Needless to say, my hubby and I took turns and we never slep at the same time, we were afraid (without justification) that they would stop breathing or struggle or....any number of things. We did this for weeks, someone was always up with them.

BUt, although I agree with everyone, that the worry never goes away,, it does change. My kids have never been left alone with anyone but my husband and I - I know I'm horribly over-protective. BUt you do relax, and you find your rythm and theirs and you'll learnt to trust your instincts.

You start worrying about different things and eventually you find the peace to enjoy 90% of the time and worry only 10% if you know what I mean. I have suffered a couple losses (none as late or heartbreaking as little Ava's), and I have often wonderend if tht contributed to my being a overly cautious.

We kept a log every day of all of their meals (measured in mls, since I expressed and supplemented, and each diaper change, and their naps etc...until they were 1. It started so we could make sure they were eating enough and then we never stopped, even when we weaned them.

So, trust your instincts, and find your peace....harass every doctor if you need to, do everything YOU have to do to make yourself happy during this time. Check everything as often as you need to ... a mother always knows best.
Posted by Anonymous Petra :  January 06, 2007

The spasticness went away at about 3 months for me. Good luck! I know it's tough!

My son is 11 months and I check on him thru the night...call me neurotic, but it works for me..do what works for you!
Posted by Anonymous Alexa :  January 07, 2007

My son is 7 months and I constantly check on him. He sleeps in a bed beside mine, and I reach over to put my hand on his chest to make sure he is still breathing. I do the same thing in the car, reaching back (only at red lights when I am driving), to make sure he feels warm and is breathing alright.

I don't think it ever ends. When I go to visit my parents, they still check up on me. Every morning, my mom wakes up for work at 4:30am and she has to check on her kids (that is, if any of us are home visiting). Last December, she had to check on me and her grandson.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 08, 2007

I have not read through your 50 something replies, but I am going to assume most everyone told you that, it never goes away...at least not all the way ;)

My son is almost 2, and I still check on him beofre I go to bed...sometimes, more than once, lol.

I remember when Aiden was that young, I would lean over at night and check to see if he was breathing, and if I couldn't hear, see or feel breath...I would blow in his face to see if he moved...crazy, I know!!!

And it stays with you in some form each stage they reach...there is something new to worry about. I think it's burned into our being the moment they are born, lol.

So, you are TOTALLY, 100% normal :)
Posted by Anonymous angela :  January 08, 2007

Hello. You do not know me, but I have started reading your blog just today.

My daughter had RSV at the age of one month and was on a pulse-ox (the beep alarm machine) for nine days and on a vent tube for seven. Her oxygen level was in the low 40's. She stopped breathing and everything. She is almost five now and I still worry about her. She was in the hospital every year until she was three and a half.

Like I said, I still check in the middle of the night to see if she is still breathing. She has slept with us ever since, and still does on most nights.

My son, he's three months old, he spent a week in the hospital on oxygen and he was also hooked up to the pulse-ox machine. He, too, had RSV. His levels were in the mid 60's. This was the week before Christmas. He still needs breathing treatments every now and then. When we left the hospital his level was 100%.

The point to my comment is that I don't think us Mother's ever stop worrying about our babies. I don't. We just know when something is wrong.

DON'T EVER feel stupid for being safe and making sure your little one is okay. It is better to be safe then sorry.

When my daughter was admitted to the hospital, on Friday they told us that she just had a stuffy nose, to keep it clear and they sent us home with her. On Sunday she stopped breathing and had two mins to live. The same ER dr. had seen her on both days, so....

Goodluck and I hope your little man gets better soon. He will be in my prayers.
HUGS....Kimberly (www.myspace.com/kafe_0407)my blog is located here. :)
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 08, 2007

Sorry, no it doesn't. In fact this very week my 17 year old had a massive head ache and virus, horrible rash, I found myself lstening outside her door at 3am to see if she was still breathing. I think it does stop being that breath holding fear though...or we'd all be passing out every 3 minutes. I have 6 children....I learned I need to breath in order to clean up after them. It gets better, it just doesn't stop. Helen. Oh, Nate is divine by the way.

Well like most above, the truth is NO my boyz are 5 and 7 and i still check to see that they are breathing, EVRYNIGHT!
if i am away i will call the hubz and tell him "go check the babies"
a part of me is glad when one climbs in bed with us, cuz he is right there...

what a yummy baby you made! you two are good cooks!
Posted by Anonymous Erika :  January 17, 2007


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