Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Unconditional Fear

I've been meaning to write this post for almost a week now but i could not remember the word "unconditional" for the life of me and only "remembered" it after spending 20 minutes on google just now. So, now i'm equipped with the title i envisioned and i'm ready to begin...

People talk about a mother's unconditional love and i'm not here to argue. I'm not sure i've been given enough "conditions" by my 7 month old to have this aspect of motherhood tested. I can say i was surprised by the unconditional fear i felt last Friday night.

My in-laws came for a long-weekend visit last Friday. After we all went to bed around 10 we were awoken from a dead-sleep about midnight by ... THUD..., mother-in-law screaming,"Help, I don't know what's happening but call 911." Rationally i couldn't figure out why my mother in-law would know something was happening to Henry but all i could think was that something terrible was in progress-- he fell out of his crib and was having spasms or was choking on his tongue or something-- the thud really threw me. I ran directly into Henry's room where he was sleeping soundly and in the adrenalin of trying to reconcile that clearly there was a crisis with my sleeping cherub, i proceeded to wake Henry up and fill the night with even more shouting. I somehow got Henry back to sleep in just a few minutes and then finally started making my way out to the front of the house.

I wasn't wearing glasses (thankfully) but the first sight i encountered was my naked father-in-law sitting on the toilet with a handtowel over his privates. I just kept walking and heard my husband handing the phone to my MIL who was telling 911 that he had been throwing up and having diarrhea and had passed out. They got there in a few minutes and after a bit of deliberation everyone decided he should be taken to the hospital. I busied myself with getting a bag ready for him and let he and my MIL and husband have some breathing room. They went to the hospital that night and although it took until Monday (the hospital left no stone unturned) he was released with a clean bill of health.

Clearly this was a terrible visit, one my MIL spent shuttling back and forth to the hospital, my FIL spent IN the hospital, and we spent trying to figure out what had happened while getting over our own worsening ailments.

The thing that stuck with me was the fear, the abject terror, the black and deep dread that filled me when i first heard the thud and the scream. As if it wasn't patently obvious already, i realized i'm now a mother and even i (a true optimist, non-worrier) have dark feelings beyond my control now in play. Proceed with caution.


  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    I know exactly the fear you're talking about. I can still re-create the strange metallic taste in my mouth created by the surge of fear-induced adrenaline, just by closing my eyes and envisioning the moment -- a few months back -- when the emergency-room doctor looked at us and said gravely, "You have a very sick baby," and then went on to talk about meningitis and spinal taps and brain damage. It was, beyond a doubt, the absolute worst, scariest thing I've ever experienced.

    I'm so glad Henry's okay. And I hope your father-in-law maintains that clean bill of health and it was just a one-off thing. That IS a scary thing to have happen.

  • At 9:28 PM, Blogger Anne-Marie said…

    As I was reading your post I was so nervous that something had happened to your little one, even though we haven't met - I could only imagine the fear you felt. We've been lucky with a healthy little one but I remember when I was about 9 months pregnant, I took a tumble (damn flip flops and slippery floor) and fell down onto my belly. I burst into tears and couldn't figure out why I couldn't stop crying til I realized it was the fear that I could have hurt the baby. It took me a good few hours to calm down, even from just a little fall. I can't imagine what you went through with the man sam - wow...

    p.s. side note, last week as I was zipping up (my) sam's jacket, I somehow got some of his skin caught in the zipper - I felt so horrible, I balled for a half hour and kept apologizing and hugging him... how awful did i feel? Poor little guy with what looked like a tracheotomy scar on his neck...

  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Oh, how awful! I can't imagine either situation--I'm sure both were terrifying.

    I am a worrier, so I have always feared situations like these. So far (knock on wood) A has been very healthy, but there were several times early on when she slept longer than I was used to and I was petrified that something had happened to her.

  • At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    What a terrifying experience. How is your father-in-law now?

    I had a scary experience over the summer with Jonah when we were traveling in Thailand. I was alone with him in Chiang Mai for a few days, where he came down with a high fever. I was scared about the fever, but also the fear of not entirely knowing what to do (beyond rush him to the hospital on a tuk-tuk) and the guilt of having put him in the situation in the first place.

    (He was fine, btw!)

  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger landismom said…

    Yeah, my ability to worry about my kids is truly unconditional as well. When did I let my heart move out of my chest to sleep in two rooms so far away from me?


Post a Comment

<< Home