Yesterday I experienced two of the toughest hours of my life. I was trying to feed Z and he kept refusing. Arching his back and wailing. He doesn’t wail. In fact he rarely cries if at all. To watch him screw up his face and scream out in agony was heartbreaking. I’m sure it was the reflux or whatever but thats not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because yesterday was the first time in my life that I felt completely helpless and unable to help someone who I loved more than anything. It was the worst feeling in the world. I know people will probably criticise me for this but I am a dog lover. The only other time I came close to this was when my lil Snoopy was in pain and I could do nothing. I am not comparing my child to my pet, but the emotions are similar. Helpless little beings dependant on me. The difference (for me) was that Z was so vocal about his discomfort. Every single cry broke my heart. Every single tear tore me apart. I held him in my hands as he buckled and twisted and I began to question everything. Was the milk too much? should I really give up dairy? what about all the frozen milk in the freezer? I don’t want to throw that away after I’ve struggled so much to build it up, will he never take the bottle again? should I try putting him back on the breast? what if this affects his growth? will he become a fussy eater because of this? Oh My God! the thoughts that crossed my kind were fast and furious. And I had no one to share them with. As I sat there on that chair, near the window, cradling my kicking baby and trying to calm his screams – I felt frustrated and so darn helpless. And for the first time I realised I can’t protect my baby from everything. I am not invincible and he will feel pain and I will be able to do nothing. That hurt. But strangely it made me strong too. Stronger because while my child lay there crying I also realised that he’s strong. He can get through this. He will learn and work things out for himself to feel better. I just need to be there for him. Let him know he’s not alone and he can do it. That damn reflux too shall pass. For him and for me. And we will get past it together.
Of course this thought may have calmed me down a bit but in the heat of the moment, it was still hard, still frustrating and still painful. But I pray and I hope that by reminding myself of this post, I will be able to get through it a bit easier the next time something like this happens.
Oh Baby Z, life is hard and I only realise now that I cannot protect you from everything. But thank you for showing me just how strong and brave you are. Smiling through your tears when I sing you Sukiyaki and drinking up all your milk even though you were obviously in discomfort. You teach me so much. Gosh, I love you baby boy!