Is this something that all mothers feel? Is this why mama bears are so ferociously protective of their cubs that they will kill a human or another animal that trespasses too close to their family den?
When Ellie was a little over 6 months old, when she went into anaphylaxis due to eating a small amount of infant oat cereal. A surprisingly rare allergy. I drove so fast to the nearest hospital and by the time I arrived, her little lip was swollen and she was gasping. A high pitched squeak was released with each breathe. I fear for her life. I later on felt a chest crushing fear every time a little child walked by with a Cheerio. A cheerio could kill her. Those infant puffs could kill her. Thankfully, she has outgrown this allergy.
When I watch my precocious little adventurer climb that 2-story playscape, I have moments of mommy panic. What if she falls and breaks her neck? Yet, I know I need to let Ellie develop her independence, test her boundaries, and practice her gross motor skills.
Every time I am in the car and I look back to see an empty car seat, I have a brief moment of fear. Oh right, the car seat is empty because I have a babysitter or she is home with Andrew.
Then there are those scarier times when Ellie has her routine blood draw. Her complete blood count [CBC] is routinely measured to look for signs of leukemia. A cancer that could ravish her body and could take her from this world, from me and Andrew. A cancer, that while rare, is more common in children with Down syndrome. Oh how my stomach drops and my heart freezes as I hear the nurse on the other line calling with the results. Oh how my huge sigh of relief could be heard across Texas when I hear that "everything is normal".
Then last week, when I rushed Ellie to the ER at the recommendation of her pediatrician to rule out meningitis. Again, adrenaline seized me and fortunately it all turned out okay.
Facebook and the internet are dangerous places. Facebook and internet forums can be excellent avenues for support and yet, they are also where I learned about another little girl Ellie's age diagnosed with leukemia. They are where I learned that a little cousin was in a horrendous car accident required multiple surgeries to realign her shattered bones.
I have seen too much. It is my own fault for opting to work early on in my career as a pediatric intensive care unit nurse. Many of the accidents and illnesses that I have encountered during my years as a nurse were rare incidents. They were unlikely and yet, they serve to remind me just how fragile life is.
I never knew it was possible to love someone so much, with every ounce of my being until I became pregnant. In those first few moments when I saw Ellie before the nurses whisked her away, I knew that life would never be the same. Yes, I have a fear of losing my little girl and yet, it has made me forever grateful for each moment that I spend with her. Tell me, am I the only one who has this fear? Hold you little ones close and whisper those sweet words of I love you.
This post was written just after Ellie's meningitis scare, but BEFORE my cyber friend's little boy became severely ill with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Sadly, the doctors are now stating that little K has Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis [TEN]. All of this from taking an antibiotic. My heart is so heavy for my friend and her little boy. He is a fighter. He is strong. His medical team is competent. The care he has been receiving is excellent and so far appears to follow the treatment protocols for this type of illness. Yet, I am scared for him. Please, continue your prayers for K and for his family. Updates can be found on his CaringBridge site---please email me if you would like the address. Never take for granted your children, your spouse, your parents, your friends for it can all change so quickly. Sweet boy, we love you so much!