Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Baby's Blood

Scary, isn't it?

This is what happens when Olivia gets her 4 month immunizations and the nurse doesn't put a bandaid on securely.  I was putting Livy's jammies back on while she screamed on the exam table when I saw the blood.  It so shocked me - I've only really seen Livy bleed 3 times, all from immunizations or blood tests - that I immediately ran out into the hall to get the nurse.  It was only when I had swung open the door in a blind panic that I realized that, being a higher-level primate with opposable thumbs and the ability to reason, I could reattach the bandaid MYSELF.  It reminds me of first-aid classes I took in middle school where the instructor emphasized how injuries always look bloodier than they actually are.  This is a good thing to keep in mind as Olivia grows and starts getting actual owies.

Here's the brave girl with her thigh bandaids.

After an afternoon of chattering, babbling, and giggling, she finally realized that she didn't feel well about an hour ago and begain wailing a cry so pathetic and hopeless that it instantly broke my heart.  I went through my practical care checklist:  Tylenol - check.  Bottle - check.  Clean diaper - check.  Swaddle - check.  Still she cried.  Then it dawned on me that all she needed was her mommy and that all I could do for her was be a strong and comforting mommy for her.  And, for as hard as it was to just hold my pained child, it felt like a privilege to get to be her mommy and to get to be a comfort to her.  I'm lucky to be the one to hold my wailing girl.

I have these realizations from time to time that strip all of my cynicism and sarcasm straight away.  Our friend, Matt, corrected us when I was pregnant and SLB said that becoming parents would be life-changing.  "Life-enhancing," he said, "it's life-enhancing."  I'm reminded on days like this how fundamentally and essentially true that is.

Snark and wit and sarcasm later, I promise.  Today my heart's needed elsewhere.

1 comment:

snoopy said...

"Life-enhancing." I like that!!