Friday, November 19, 2010

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Musings from the Momma

I wasn't going to write about this. However, after a long talk with a fellow mommy blogger (you've seen her here as a guest, doing reviews! Check her out on her blog, Special Happens and show her some love!!), and examining my own feelings of the happenings here the last couple of days during that long talk, I felt the need to share, just a little. And after I do this, I am going to crawl back into my corner until Monday, because I know that I will be feeling a LOT of very strong emotions, and I will need time to collect my thoughts. Bubbe, you're not quite off the hook yet.


Everyone, meet #6. This is Logan's twin, Colton. No, they aren't identical, are they?!? But they ARE both dang cute! I'm allowed to say things like that, because I'm the Momma. There is a reason I'm introducing you. I want you to look at Colton's little face, see the wonder he sees, as he looks in the distance. I love that look. I love the expression of delight and innocence. I love the purity of this picture... unmarked by anything sad or scary or unpleasant.

This past Wednesday evening was sad, scary, and unpleasant... and I would do anything to be able to take that away from Colton's memory.  But I can't. And I have guilt and horrible feelings of failing as a Momma because of it.

Logan gets 1/2 of a 0.1mg tablet of Clonidine per night to help him sleep. We had just given Logan his half tablet during our bedtime routine, and the bottle spilled. There were pills all over the floor, and while we were hurrying to pick them up, Colton grabbed 4-1/2 pills and ate them. I called Poison Control in a panic, really thinking that all they were going to tell me was, Colton would be a really REALLY tired bunny, but it would be all okay. That's not what they told me.

Clonidine is a sedative. Because of the amount Colton ingested, Poison Control told me his heart could stop and he needed to go to a hospital. RIGHT NOW! When they discovered how far away we are from the nearest hospital, they told me to call an ambulance, because he needed to have medical care right away.

I hung up with them, called the pediatrician ( again, I LOVE the service for the pediatrician that patched me right through to the doctor's cell) and asked which hospital he wanted Colton to be seen in. Then I made the 911 call that no mother should ever have to make.  Paramedics were here at the speed of light, sirens screaming and lights flashing on the ambulance in my driveway, and they rushed to my door to get the facts.

They bundled Colton up wearing only a diaper, in a blanket to protect him from the freezing temperature and took him to the back of the ambulance to get him strapped on the gurney. We decided that I would follow the ambulance in my car, so I would be able to have transportation home when/if Colton was released. At this point I was in such shock, nothing was really seeming real, and I remember nodding a lot and agreeing with everything. The Daddy was in Vegas on business, and my mother had come to the house just a couple of minutes before the ambulance, to tend the monsters while I was with Colton.

I don't really remember the 45 mile drive to the hospital. I just remember thinking, "Oh, wow. If I get stopped, this is going to be a HECK of a ticket." I was doing 85 in a 65 zone most of the way, sometimes it was a 55 zone. I gave the ambulance a 1/4 mile lead, and stayed that distance the whole way. If I HAD been stopped, it would have been clear to the deputy that I was following the ambulance. And it would have been clear that I was a hair's breadth away from hysterical.

The first thing I remember seeing when I got into the ER with Colton, was the blood all over his blanket, from the paramedics when they were attempting to start his IV.  It was everything I could do not to pass out. I just kept staring at the blood and telling Colton I was here, it was going to be okay. I was there alone, with this child who could very likely die, and I was really trying to keep it together and absorb what the doctor and nurses were saying. The doctor took me aside and explained that the next four hours were crucial because that's the window of time in which that particular drug will cause heart damage, or stop the heart completely. Clonidine is a sedative. It makes everything relax. We were praying that his heart wouldn't relax. My two year old child who never had a reason to be in a hospital other than birth, was now hooked up to an IV and every monitor they could think of.

It took over an hour for Colton to fall asleep after entering the ER, something that amazed everyone caring for him. They kept telling me that it was a good sign that he was still awake. And then... he fell asleep. He was REALLY asleep. The doctor thumbed back Colton's eyelids, and he didn't even twitch. The plan was, they would let him sleep for a couple hours, and then try to wake him up and make him mad, to see how long he would remain awake. I held him in my arms until my arms went numb and I had to lay him down, or I would have dropped him. I don't think there was a minute when I wasn't praying for Colton to live. I found myself needing to touch him, needing to feel him, to smell the baby wash we use on his hair, to feel the smoothness of his baby skin, trying to remember everything about him... just in case.

Every once in a while he would whimper or sigh, or wiggle around. These were all good signs, meaning he wasn't slipping into a coma. His vitals remained strong. He never even needed oxygen. The time came to wake him, and they did indeed make Colton mad. He woke up with this expression, this "What the $^%# do you people think you're doing!?!" expression, that made everyone laugh and sigh with relief.

Eight hours after entering the ER, Colton got to go home. The doctor couldn't understand it. He told me once, " That child should be dead." Gee, thanks, doc! But really, he ingested enough sedative for a 150 pound adult. Colton weighs 30 pounds. I can't stop thinking about the irony of it all... all the times I have been in a hospital with Logan, never thinking that I would be in a situation like this with Colton. Never thinking that I would fear for the life of THIS twin.

And then... the guilt. The feeling that I wasn't watching closely enough, that I should have moved faster, that deadly woulda, coulda, shoulda. The feeling that I failed Colton as his mother, the person he depends on for everything in life, the life he nearly lost. And I can't shake it. I can't stop loving on him, and apologizing to him, and snuggling him after he's asleep. Berating myself because I didn't see it coming.

And so, now you know the reason for my little hiatus. I can't go back to being the Momma I was before Wednesday night. I can't stop feeling guilty and negligent. And I can't face reality, quite yet. Logically I know it was just a freak accident, something that has happened to countless parents before me, and will happen to countless parents after me. I am anal about where we keep medications for this very reason. And yet, it happened to ME, and now all the rules have changed.

If the roles were reversed, and I was reading this instead of writing it, I would be full of all the things everyone has said to me~ "It's not your fault", "you didn't do it on purpose", "it was an accident", "you can't blame yourself". But I'm sorry.... it just doesn't work that way. My little precious #6 could have died. And I will never, NEVER forget that. Never, for as long as I live. And I will live in fear of Child Services coming to my door to question me, or take my children, because I failed. I can't get away from that.  

I was talking to my Pappy about this whole thing last night, and I told him that the only explanation there is for the way things turned out for Colton is, divine intervention. No matter how you slice it, there's no earthly reason Colton should be alive today. But he is.

There are those who will judge me. And that's okay. There's nothing they can say to me that I'm not already saying to myself. But I caution you.... never, EVER say, " That would never happen to me."


Karen said...

A great big hug and lots of loving thoughts to you from the other side of the world. What an ordeal! Thank God Colton is okay!

Anonymous said...

wow - what a story, and one that I am so happy turned out ok for you. No one - NO ONE - should judge you. This could happen to any one of us. Just an accident. Your kids know that, your family knows that. You are obviously an amazing mom.
I'm sure it was hard to share this will everyone, but I'm glad you did.
I hope that soon you're able to come back from under the covers and write more. But I understand the need to be under there for a little more time. Just know that many of us are here waiting for you.

Lea Keating said...

Wow can I relate. Ours wasn't as severe,Bear ate 15 of my little man's Melatonin (but had he been prescribed clonopin instead of melatonin this would have been the same scenario) ... but also the ER trip, the frantic call to poison control ..... and oh yeah, THE GUILT. It's a year later now and other than an increased awareness of poison safety, I can honestly say I've let it go. It's another story to tell and it's made me stronger. So I can say to you as a "been there done that" mom -- It's OK, It gets better. Loads of hugs to you all.

Tam said...

Wow, that had to be crazy scary, probably much more scary for you than for him. It's obvious you love your child immensely, there's no reason to beat yourself up over this, but I think any parent would feel the need to in this situation anyway...

Just try to remember that beating yourself up won't prevent this kind of thing from happening again, it won't help your children, and it will make it harder the be the kind of mom you need to be... so try to keep it to a minimum :D

Don't neglect to praise God, and make sure you file this miracle away in your memory banks (and help your children to do the same) so that in times of doubt and hardship down the line you'll be able to look back and remember He heard your prayers and was looking out for you.

Corina Becker said...

I was going to say "it's okay, it wasn't your fault", but you know that already. And to be honest, it'll take some time for you to realize that it really wasn't your fault.

I think that every good parent has this kind of reaction to stuff like this. It's actually pretty normal. You're responsible for your children, and something bad happened. Hell, I'd feel that way too if I were you. I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to my children.

But sometimes things happen. And we gotta do our best to carry on.

And, although stuff happened, you did very well. You called the right people, you got him the right help, and you were there for him the entire time. I don't think anyone can fault you for that. I sure can't.

I hope in time, the guilt starts fading away though.

~Corina Becker
autistic adult

Sarah said...

You are a wonderful parent with a strong conscience. That's part of the reason that the guilt is so strong right now. That doesn't mean you deserve the fault, but it does mean that it'll be a while before you come to terms with it. And I respect you so much for it.

While you already had my prayers and good thoughts, I offer them again, this time for healing peace and comfort. (((hugs))) Take the time you need. You'll be the better for it later on. I promise.

jillsmo said...

I am crying for you (((((((YOU)))))))) so, so scary. Thank you for being brave enough to share this with us.

Unknown said...

I say, let them judge away. That's just asking for some karmic retribution. In the form of me driving to their house and smacking them in the head. Or at the very least, Oreo cookie-ing their car.

You're an awesome mommy. No doubt about that.

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