Friday, February 24, 2012

One weak Mama...

I am one weak mama. I learned this about myself last week when my daughter had minor eye surgery. Nothing serious but she had to be put under anesthesia.

So in the operating room, I was Super mama, I sat there holding my baby in my arms while they induced sleep. I held myself together while waiting for her to go into the recovery. And then it went very wrong!

Church in Haarlem, a village just outside Amsterdam
I was finally called into the recovery room. I walked into the room and immediately saw my sweet baby girl so tiny in the huge hospital bed with an oxygen mask covering most of her face. I choked back the tears as the nurse led me to her side and sat me in a chair. I had to be strong for her. I sat there holding her limp hand until she woke up. I was Ok, I thought, I could do this, it was almost over.

After what seemed like hours, she finally woke up. She wasn't scared, crying or anything dramatic. She was actually perfectly fine, like nothing happened. Fine, until she sat up and volcanic eruptions of blood and other body fluids began to spew from her right nostril.

Anyone who knows me well knows that one drop of blood and I'm faint. A geyser shooting from my daughter's nose soaking the white hospital sheets and I am a disaster.

 I desperately scanned the room for a nurse, a doctor, a plug...anyone or anything that could help me at the single most horrible bloody moment of my life. All I could see was the other mothers in the room with their children, standing there, strong, stoic, perfect. Like Mommy-of-the-Year statues. I couldn't lose it...not now. Not only did I have an audience, but I had a two year old, who, in my paranoid-Mommy-mind was bleeding to death from her nose.

My daughter jumped on my lap and blood gushed once more, spewing across the floor. The room began to spin. I began to see spots. My heart was beating out of my chest and I was drenched in sweat.

The nurse finally came back into the room. I faked a smile and just nodded when she said the bleeding was normal for this type of procedure. At least that was what I thought she said. It was hard to hear her down the black hole I was falling in...

She left us immediately.What a relief I thought. I couldn't let her see me like this. I was a mother and mother's were strong in these situations. But I knew one more gusher and Nurse would be scraping me up from the floor. Me,  face-down and a failure in the single most important duty as a mother.

Thank goodness my daughter was fine and the blood bath didn't bother her a bit. I turned her around and looked at her face. BIG MISTAKE. Her entire face was smeared with blood and bloody goop and I could only see the whites of her eye balls.

Spinning, spinning, I was going down. I tossed my daughter up on the bed and I did the unthinkable: I climbed in the bed beside her. Through my tunnel vision I could see the strong mommies across the room gasp, probably in disgust. I had no shame at this point. I had to do whatever it took to stay strong, well actually awake for my daughter in this time of need .

Just at that moment, the nurse came back in with a popsicle for my daughter. Yes, that was exactly what I needed. As soon as she walked away I began to nibble on my daughter's popsicle. Of course mamma's sweet girl decided not to share at this particular moment and telling me off loudly. I begged her for just one lick. Just one lick so mommy can stop the merry-go-round in her head.

I got no where with begging so I stooped even lower. "Just let mommy have one little lick-y and mommy will give you some chocolate later." "No," she yelled in her high pitched voice. The Strong mommies began to attack with their judging stares. I didn't care, I had to stay conscious. I grabbed it and bit off what was left. This wasn't about pride anymore, this was survival.

My world stopped swirling and I was able to get back into my assigned chair. The Strong mommies no longer stared and my daughter was none the wiser that her mommy was one blood squirt away from becoming the shame of the Recovery...I had held it together this time, but what if it was something really bad, like a broken bone or a fall that required stitches?

So looks like my kids will be going into a bubble soon...


  1. Oh I really feel for you. I don't have a blood phobia, but had traumatic child surgery episode aswell. My son thrashed his way to consciousness for an hour after recovery room, and i was left to restrain him while preventing him from re-opening his surgical wound. No soothing words, lullabies and all the magical mothering tools we have would work. He thrashed so much we both fell off the bed!

    1. Oh Vikki how hard it must have been for you! But you survived!!!


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