Bad Mommy - Part Deux

"For the love of God, can you PLEASE just STOP WHINING!!!!"
- Sherice Torres (to Victor Torres, 20 months), 4:15am, Sunday September 19.

Clearly I am the worst mother on the face of the planet.

Let me explain.

As you may recall, Victor has a form of sickle cell anemia known as Hemoglobin SC disease. Yesterday at lunchtime, he transformed from happy baby to cranky-banky. Then, he started crying inexplicably. After about 20 minutes, he was downright inconsolable.

After running through the list of possible ailments (dirty diaper, teething, boogers, etc.), we could find no particular reason for the behavior. As the hysteria began to escalate, we became concerned. Could he be in pain? We were JUST at the hematologist on Friday and everything was fine - it can't be the sickle cell-related. Can it? So, we gave him some Motrin and took a ride on the nap loop to Jones Beach.

After nap, Victor was slightly irritated but playful. We dismissed the incident and kept it moving.

By 6:30pm, the crying was back and worse than ever. Arrangements were made for Little Angel's care and we rushed off to the hospital. By the time we got the the parking lot, Victor seemed to be sleeping peacefully. After 30 minutes in the hospital parking lot, we decided that (once again) we must be over-reacting and headed back home.

Not 10 minutes after we hit Casa de Torres, the crying was back and it was go time - for real this time.

Fast forward to 1 am. After numerous tests, poking and prodding all came back normal, we finally noticed that there was blood on my husband's shoulder. Upon closer examination, we found that it was actually dribbling from Victor's mouth. Initially, we thought it was a molar breaking through, then the doctor saw the true culprit - those big honking molars had bitten into the inside of his cheek.

So, good new and bad news. The good news was that it was NOT a sickle cell pain crisis (thank God!). The bad news was that the inside of his cheek was SO swollen that he could not avoid biting into it (especially since he's picked up mommy's habit of grinding her teeth in her sleep) and kept re-injuring the site. We were discharged, given instructions to give him Tylenol every 4 hours like clockwork and to see the doctor on Monday.

We got back home a little before 2 am. To make an already long story a bit shorter, Victor did not sleep at all.

All night.

He whimpered, whined or all out bawled consistently until his first of two 45 minute naps at 9am (the second came at 1pm). By the time we FINALLY got Victor to bed tonight, he had been irritable or inconsolable for over 30 hours.

Here comes the bad mommy part.

Once we determined that it was not sickle cell-related, I was both relieved and slightly irritated. By the time 4:15am rolled around (16 hours and 15 minutes into the non-stop whining/crying/screaming), I'd had enough. Rather than comforting my son, I got irritable myself. Instead of rubbing his back and telling him it would be OK, I found myself ordering him to JUST GO TO SLEEP ALREADY. that worked.

I feel like the worst mother in the world because once I realized that he was not in excruciating or potentially life-threatening pain, I became annoyed. My child was in pain, and I was annoyed.

While, yes, by 4:15am I had been awake for a full 24 hours (I'm at hour 40 as I type this, so please excuse the lack of irony or quick turn-of-phrase). I was just DONE. And I let my discomfort prevent me from comforting my suffering child.

There is no deeper meaning here. No blinding insight. Just regret and sheer exhaustion.

It's 8:26pm. Victor has been sleeping soundly for the past 45 minutes. I pray that he sleeps soundly through the night, but am preparing for another night of sleep-deprivation-induced-torture.

Here's hoping for a little less BadAss and a little more Mama if it does...
Jason Michael Brooks said...

Dont feel bad! your still bad ass!

Cindy said...

I can't blame you one bit! No mama can function without sleep!

Working Momma said...

it happens. you feel awful, but two minutes later the kids don't even realize what happened and you just have to move on. i'm constantly without patience now and i hate it.

LaDonna said...

it's ammunition for him to hold over your head,
let the guilt roll.

Leah Haas said...

I have found your blog and it truly speaks to me. As a working mother of two children 4 and 7, I have felt this way. I spend so much time with old men at work and many of the ladies I know would never admit in PUBLIC that they are NORMAL...

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