Friday, August 12

fearing for my baby.

I mentioned in this post about how Iris scared the hell out of us. Well, it all began a few days into our trip to RI. A few little reddish bumps started appearing on her arms. Marius has a long history of serious allergies, and I have grown to have them as well, so we decided that it was most likely a little allergic reaction to dog dander or something else she'd never been around previously.

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The next day, there were more bumps, somewhat clustered together and slightly more irritated looking. We started to feel a little bit concerned, but we knew how prone infants are to rashes and she wasn't showing any other symptoms or signs of discomfort. By the end of the third day, there were yellowing patches on her arms that formed into blisters within an hour. My heart felt as though it was in my throat and I was choking on fear. 

I won't post pictures but know that it looked absolutely horrible. I was at the point of tears about it but by the time it looked severe, all the urgent care places in the area were closed. We decided it was in our best interest to wait until we got home the next day to take her to the doctor. She seemed absolutely fine otherwise - we suspected infant eczema which can look pretty nasty or even chicken pox, as Marius had it pretty badly as a child. We drove to the clinic immediately after getting off the plane in North Carolina. I was so scared, not soothed by her happy giggles or playing; my baby had never been sick before.

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The doctor diagnosed a skin infection from an unknown cause. It could have been from a bug bite, something she caught from a person or a place, or anything really. Her immune system was probably down from lack of sleep and from all the new things going on around her. She is now on antibiotics and a steroid ointment. A week later, it has cleared up but has left some scarring. Hopefully it will clear up in time. I'm just grateful she was never in any sort of pain or discomfort from it.

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I never understood the sadness, fear or pure terror that a child can strike into the heart of their parents until I became a parent myself. If for some reason I can't see Iris and I hear her start to cry in pain, everything else in my brain shuts off and I get tunnel vision. I move faster than I ever though possible until I've reached her and she's in my arms. Marius and I call it "Mommy Mode" - it's the purely primal and instinctual protective mode that there is no ignoring. 

When her arms were looking really bad, I had a pit of fear in my stomach like I'd never felt before. My worry for her health is hugely more overwhelming than for my own. I would do anything for her; it's a pretty intense experience to say the least. The only thing I can think to compare it to are the near-death experiences I've had in my life. I hope future illnesses are few and far between as she grows up. 

What is the scariest thing you've gone though as a parent? What other experiences of intense fear have you dealt with?

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