Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The girl I couldn't protect

I've spent the last week in a fog. It's the first time in several weeks that I've really felt down, depressed, dark. I couldn't get out of bed last Tuesday. Then M got sick and couldn't go to daycare. My husband didn't have any time off, so I stayed home with her Thursday and Friday. I took her to the doctor Friday and had to have blood drawn. I felt so scared. The nurse taught me how to clamp down and hold her still, and then she sent me to the hospital. I was nervous. M felt so sick that she just sat quietly on my lap, a rarity now that she has turned 1.

I wrapped my arms around her, held her tight and whispered shh into her ear while she screamed. She jerked her head back until she could see me. "Maamaamaamaaa!" I couldn't do anything. I cried. I tried not to let her see me, but I sobbed. She twisted and screamed, and the blood draw seemed to last for minutes, minutes, minutes. The nurse pulled the rubber tie off her arm and then took the needle out of her arm. I eased my grip. She spun around on my lap and clung to me. I held her close and rocked. She popped her thumb in her mouth until her cries subsided. They wrapped a tiny bandage around her arm while I kept crying.

I couldn't help her. I couldn't protect her from the pain. During all the therapy I've been through in the past eight months, I've sworn over and over that I will protect M. My mom never protected me, but I will protect M. When she looked up at me, I knew I couldn't always protect her. I couldn't protect her from this pain. I couldn't even explain to her why it was happening.

I was already feeling kind of down, and this was a real setback. I spent last Tuesday at home sick, but I was really just heartsick. This Monday I missed more work for the same reason. I feel anxious, depressed and hopeless. I can't get that memory out of my head of her crying so hard. It was the worst day of motherhood so far.

I know there will be more days like that, but I'm not sure how to recover from it. Does anyone have any suggestions? I could really use the help.