I am overly cautious.  I don't like to be at home with the doors unlocked...even in the middle of the day.  I don't like leaving the dogs in the car while I run a quick errand, even with the windows rolled down and parked in the shade (they are so pretty, I don't want to tempt the dog nappers).  I like to follow rules.  If I am told that I need to process things at work in a certain way, I don't like to be told that there are exceptions.  I don't like cutting in line.   I get nervous asking people on the airplane to switch seats.  I like to be on time, so much so that people make fun of me.  I once showed up at my friend Molly's birthday party a week early.  If I have ever been late with you, it has been a fluke.  Lateness makes me crazy.  When I was pregnant with Max, I read every book you could get your hands on.  I made sure not to eat things that I was not supposed to eat.  People said it was ok to drink wine, I think I had about 4 glasses throughout the pregnancy and felt weird and guilty each time.  I took my vitamins every single day.  I started looking at daycares in my second trimester.  When Max was born, I watched all of the videos about Happiest Babies on the Planet and Sign Language and Making Music with Baby and Baby Massage.  I even watched a video about how to give a baby a bath. That was where I learned to keep a warm washcloth on Max's chest so he wouldn't get chilly.  I teased my daycare that I stalked them during my maternity leave...but it wasn't really a joke.  I googled them, I called the licensing facilities, I strolled Max by the house nearly every single day.  I read Baby 911 for leisure.  I wasn't even looking up potential issues or questions.  I was reading it like a book, chapter by chapter and then going back to read it again.  I worried that someone might forget that frozen breastmilk should be warmed in a bowl of warm water and should never be put in the microwave because of the hotspots that could burn a baby's mouth.  I worried that Max's room might get too warm or cold and checked the temperature obsessively. I am the one who brought up Max's plagiocephaly (flat head) with my pediatrician, not the other way around.  I lingered when I dropped Max off at daycare and I lingered when I picked him up.

I let my guard down.  How could I possibly be next to him every single minute of every single day?  How could I and yet, I can't imagine how I could ever leave another baby's side again.  How will I go to the bathroom let alone go to sleep?  I failed my baby by not being there watch over him.  In what kind of a world do we go through a whole lifetime of planning for children, carrying this baby for 9 months, paying attention to everything we consume for the best possible outcome, birth the baby (no easy feat), breastfeed, care for, love, adore, kiss, be all-consumed with...and then just hand our own flesh and blood off to another person?  I mean, I know where we do  We all do it.  I should have been with my boy and I am not saying that I know what would have happened if he was with me that day.  In my gut, I feel he would be here with us today.  I am not blaming anyone but myself.  I failed my little baby.  I failed our greatest love.  I should have been with him.  All of those years of caution just thrown to the wind, like anything that I ever worried about before Max ever mattered.  None of it did.

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Abby - You didn't fail him - you couldn't possibly be with him every second of every day... none of us can.

I have been following your blog and I could see that you loved Max from the moment he was born till the moment he died and your love for him will never ever ever leave!!! You gave him every thing possible to make sure he was happy and you did your best to keep him healthy. YOU LOVED that little boy so much and MAX knew he was loved.

You will find a way in the future with your future babies to find some-sort of balance of being with them and believing that when you aren't - they will be ok.