Friday, April 19, 2013

Worst One to Date

And I'm not talking about the weather. Well, that did have something to do with it.

I spent a week with my parents recently and Benjamin slept in a pack 'n' play. Without the Snuza or Angelcare monitor. Just a noise monitor when I was out of the room. We shared a room for sleeping which I don't necessarily recommend if you're a paranoid mom with a kid who rolls around approximately 3,498 times each night. But you know what? Those movements always let me know he's okay, so I am okay with losing sleep.

We came back home and resumed our Angelcare monitoring, as we've been doing since we transitioned him to the crib at 3.5 months. He'll be 14 months this week.

Just two nights ago, my husband mentioned (after a few repeated false alarms) that he might be okay with cutting off the movement monitor and just sticking with sound (of which we turn off anyway because we can hear him just fine in the next room over).

And then it was yesterday. The day of crazy flooding in my town. A town they featured on the news multiple times. My town is very small. It's a huge suburb, sure, but the town itself is not huge. Flooding all over the place and devastation everywhere. We were lucky, but still didn't escape losing sleep over what could have been much more disastrous. If we were not up at crazy hours mitigating the situation, we may have been in way more trouble.

In the midst of it all, I noticed the Angelcare monitor hangy ball (technical term... or pendulum if you want to get all bourgy on me) was gone. Disappeared. Well, so had part of the numbers indicating the temperature in his room. We have two monitors but this one seems to hate us. In that moment, my heart started beating rapidly, despite understanding that even though the display is malfunctioning that the monitor itself was still working.

It was 8:30 a.m. at this point and we were handling buckets and slamming things nonstop to prevent our basement from going under, yet our very light sleeping baby was still not awake from the racket. Worst storm in 16 years. A 24-hour period of nonstop thunderstorms brought down nearly 7 inches on our region and 8 inches is the record of monthly rainfall ever. We nearly got that in one day. To say this was insane is not sugar-coating. People were in boats and swimming in the park across the street, people. I think that Chicago hates us.

My wonderful husband told me that he'd go upstairs with me to check on him. I knew he told me that because we were both afraid that we'd come face-to-face with another tragedy. Seeing another one of our children slip through our fingers. I told him not to come with me because his feet were gross from trudging around outside in the sloshing mud.

I walked in and saw a baby sleeping on his belly, passed out. I can't use the term out cold nonchalantly anymore because omg, I know what it's like to have a child literally out cold. I've touched and held his cold skin. I looked at his face, shook him and saw that his eyes were open and looked glazed. While I never did see Andrew's eyes, I know that people often pass with their eyes open. Or at least that's how television portrays things.

No response. Limp. I shook him some more and then grabbed him. His head went limp and finally he looked at me lethargically and waved.

He waved. He does love to wave.

Then I knew he was alive, but you guys. After 12 hours of sleep, or even 2 hours, this kid usually pops right up from deep sleep and stands in his crib like he's in basic training or something at the sound or sight of any noise or light. Hence the blackout shades.

I know that the crazy storm and our insane lack of sleep contributed to my freakout, but this has to be my worst PTSD moment to date.

I think I'll keep the Angelcare monitor on him until he graduates high school.


Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my God!! Brandy! Reading that I literally had adrenaline run through my body and physically shook. Oh. My. God!

I can identify with all of it (except the flooding! Holy crap!) We use an angelcare religiously and the false alarms have made us wonder when to stop. And the answer is for me, not until she is at least 1! I have had false alarms where I run in the room or somehow the monitor gets turned off and then you run in panicked.

I think that is the worst part of it. I never feel like I can get comfortable in having her. Like the second I let my guard down, BAM! That is the moment something horrible will happen. As you said, you were preoccupied with the basement and the flooding and BAM! Fear, panic, anxiety. Just like how we lost our first babies, just walking along and then our life fell out from under us.

I know that look you gave each other as you went to go check on him, Matthew and I have exchanged the same glance.

I am so glad all is well. I am so glad your wee boy is fine too. I might go have a drink for you!

Anne said... [Reply to comment]

Been there and done that! Gracie is about to turn 16 months and we just started leaving the Angelcare off most nights due to false alarms every night (aka my husband made me do it). I still turn it on if she is sick, and when we don't have it on I get up at least once to check on her. Ughhh.
I am so sorry you had to go through that, I keep thinking one day it will get easier....right???

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

My heart is pounding! So glad B is fine...those moments are TERRIBLE! We never got an Angelcare but the video monitor is my BFF. Now that M has started to sleep on his tummy more frequently I understand your anxiety. I can't count the number of times I wake up and check for breathing.

Sorry to hear about all of the flooding...we haven't heard much out East with all of the insanity from the Boston bombing. My hometown experienced similar flooding almost two years ago and then there was Hurricane Sandy here. It's mind boggling the damage water can do!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Ugh, Benjamin don't you know that your parents need you to be okay? You have no idea how much they need you and love you and how very scary it is for your mom to have just that *fleeting* thought she might lose you too?

Sorry you had a scare lady. I've had a few similar situations, with the lack of movement and the lack of sound and me thinking the worst case... About not WANTING to check in the crib in case that was the end.. Ugh.


Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

Horrible. So sorry. Those moments are horrifying beyond words. My heart was pounding just reading it. We had a pretty big scare with Addy and a high fever this week (the doctor casually threw out the word sepsis). I've been shaken since then. Hugs to you my friend!
B- no more of that mister!!

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I'm sorry friend. Your heart didn't need such a jump.

I've had that same sense of not wanting to check things just in case I'm walking into another tragedy. Like you want your life to stay as normal as it finally has become for just a few more seconds.

Danielle said... [Reply to comment]

Nathanael will actually be taking his Angelcare with him to college. He doesn't know this yet of course... but its my plan.
Do we need to have a chat about the false alarms? what the hecks?? i hate those... i think my heart ages a few hundred years when those happen... losing N to a seizure in the middle of the night is a possibility and freaks the crap outta me...
Are kiddos really do sleep thru more than we give them credit for, don't they? N slept thru ALL the thunder and lightening... but the second Tim drops the bottle of shampoo in the shower he's up? i don't get it...
miss you :/

aijie jie said... [Reply to comment]

I've had that same sense of not wanting to check things just in case I'm walking into another tragedy.

- Field Coat

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

Okay the commenter above about her son taking angelcare to college had me laughing so hard I spit my soda out. Lol.

So sorry for the scare, the flooding and that miserable Chicago weather. I've woken Sal up a few times checking on him because of freak out moments on my part.
No fun.

JoyAndSorrow said... [Reply to comment]

So sorry you had to endure such scary moments!!! We've had our snuza give false alarms with our rainbow baby boy, and those were some of the worst ptsd moments. But then every moment that it's NOT alarming, I know my baby is okay, so I don't regret having it. Our first day home I spent the whole night with the lights on watching him sleep - the next day the Snuza came, and I don't know what I'd do without it. Probably never sleep! I think so few people outside of this community realize that this is a neverending battle.

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

I just had to go check for breathing (yes, the snuza is on as well) before I could comment. Check--beautiful, sleeping, living babe in the next room.

Ugh! I'm sorry for the scare and the flooding, but most of all for being in a place where your baby sleeping through a storm makes for the worst ptsd. Hugs to you and your boys!

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my gosh! That is so scary! Maybe he was sleeping with his eyes open and thats why he didnt respond at first? God-- so freaking scary!!!

Natasha said... [Reply to comment]

So sorry Brandy.....I know your heart didn't need that scare. It's really hard sometimes not to imagine and expect the worst. Maybe one day....


Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I have had that same frozen moment of dread where I wanted to check and yet didn't want to check because I was afraid of what I would see.

And yes, Zuzu has been sleeping so soundly at times that it's made my heart jump.

Angelcare through high school, all the way.

SG said... [Reply to comment]

Ack. We've had a few of these scares, too. I actually woke Ginny up by screaming "BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE" at her one time. And we wonder why she has sleep issues...

Addi's mom said... [Reply to comment]

Dude. That's intense. I really thought by the first birthday I could say goodbye to the AC. Um hells no. I need it forever. So so glad It was only a scare. I wish there were no scares, but this is how it goes when you already know exactly what to fear. Xxxooo

Teresa said... [Reply to comment]

My heart was pounding while reading this and I SAW HIM after this and knew he was ok. I totally identify with the dread (and making the husband check/going in together). The glazed over/open eyes/delayed response happened one time when I picked her up from daycare. I cried the whole way home and was literally still shaking when I walked in the front door. Seriously. These kids need to realize what they're doing to us.