Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Peeking Into The Moses Basket

Having a newborn baby around is a lot of work. People tell you this all the time, but until you've got your own at home you don't actually realize the impact of those words. The constant vigilance, the lack of sleep, and the general worries of new mothers are all consuming. They run through your mind even when the baby is sleeping soundly.

Each day is much like the last.
Change the baby.
Feed the baby.
Burp the baby.
Hear a loud rumble and realize you need to change the baby again.
Get the baby to sleep.
Have that internal debate with yourself while baby is sleeping. Do I sleep too? Wait, I've got to wash the dishes, or send birth announcements, or shower, or eat, or go to the bathroom,,,, this list goes on and on.

Finally you make a decision on what to do. Whatever your choice, you do it in a rush while constantly watching your baby to make sure she's still alive.

That's right, I said still alive.

Because at the moment that's my main worry with Frostina. Will she still be alive when I next peek in on her? I creep up to her moses basket a hundred times a day. Each time hoping that she will still be with us on this earth. Just as I'm about to take a peek these thoughts rush through my mind. Will she be breathing? Will she be blue? Will she be white? Or will she look a healthy shade of pink?

Will she look dead like her brother did when I saw him? 

Will she be dead like her brother was when I saw him? 

Unless you've seen a lifeless baby you probably can't imagine what I'm talking about. But if you have,,,, like I have,,, then your greatest fear is that you will have to see that again. That vision of your beloved baby, lying still with no life in him is something that never leaves you. It's a vision that I try to push out of my mind, and yet every time I peek into the moses basket I worry that it's exactly what I will find. I know every new mother worries about her baby, but when you've lost one that worry increases by a million percent.

So I'm hyper vigilant. I'm on constant alert. Watching, listening, worrying, and then doing it all over again. I've been getting these headaches on a daily basis. Headaches brought on by tension. I've been noticing that I'm never fully relaxed. I seem to have constant tension in my shoulders and in my jaw. Even when I'm doing mundane things like washing bottles I notice that I have to remind myself to relax my body. Remind myself to relax my mind and try to quiet the thoughts that are racing around in it. Such a feat to calm the mind and the body, a feat I'm not always successful at.

So I'm working on trying to live in the moment, and enjoy what I have, and not worry so much. I hope that in time I will be able to peek into the moses basket without fear. Or that like my grief, I will get better at living with the fear as time goes on.

But for now I will continue to peek into the moses basket, and wish for the best.

Joining in with Shell today over at http://thingsicantsay.com/2012/07/pour-your-heart-out-long-nights.html


  1. I absolutely understand. I was a mess for months because of this very reason. And I kept waking the babies when I would check on them, which in turn made them crabby, under slept babies, so fail all around.
    I want to reassure you though, at some point this does get a bit easier. Not sure when exactly, but gradually, you will trust them, and yourself, a bit more.
    Hugs to you mama.

  2. I can only imimagine the worry (and have quite a bit knowing my lil guy will be here soon). I hope that with each day that goes by you (and me when the time comes) are able to breath a little easier. Keep reminding your self to relax in the mean time...I know it can't be easy though!

  3. I haven't experienced loss like you but my days are much the same with a new baby. I will get to sleep through the night but after a few hours I wake to check she's still breathing. I just said to my husband I need to work on relaxing & enjoying this time. I think it's all part of being a mummy x

  4. I can imagine the worry. But I am not with a living child to care for (yet), so I'm not quite sure.
    My sister-in-law is on her third, living child. I see how relaxed she is. Over the weekend, we were all at a birthday party. She left him to sleep - he's 3 weeks old - on his own for hours... checking on him once for a feed I think. she said, "well, if he doesn't cry, I know he's ok". I guess that just happens after you have living baby after living baby... you just 'know' how it's going to go.
    It's true, it's all part of being a mummy when you are constantly checking on your first born, nudging them even to make sure they get startled, and you can rest assure that they're still with you. But when you're experiencing a baby after a loss... what is it you trust? How far do you have to go to get assured everything is fine? You know too well that one minute, one hour... or one day can change everything. So, when does it end?
    I think you are doing amazingly well with your new bundle. You haven't driven yourself absolutely crazy, so I think you are doing a fine job managing :)

  5. M sleeps on an angel care monitor, which is supposed to sound an alarm if he were to stop breathing, but I still check on him a million times a day. You are so right...once you have seen a dead baby you can't get that image out of your mind. I think M will be one of the best sleepers there is as he is constantly poked while he is trying to sleep! Keep checking on F as many times as you need :)

  6. Ack... the interwebs ate my comment. Here goes take two:
    I'm right there with you.... I'm sure I'll spend the majority of my time making sure my rainbow baby is still with us. Eventually, you will settle in to motherhood and get used to having a happy healthy baby around. In the meantime, I don't doubt you are incredibly stressed out from the constant vigilance.

  7. I know exactly what you mean. 9 months on and I'm still obsessed that Xander will be alive when I go into his room. We have an angelcare breathing monitor which is my reassurance, I don't think I'd sleep very well at all otherwise. Sometimes I find myself waking up in the night panicking though and having to go into his room to check I turned it on. Our babies died, our perception of risk is skewed, its completely understandable that we're terrified we'll lose our rainbows. You are completely normal, this is such a terrifying and precious time. C x

  8. I was just telling some friends that Caroline was so still the other night in her swaddle blanket that my heart stopped for a second until I saw her little chest rising. I always look at her sweet pink lips, so afraid they will turn that deadly purple. You're absolutely right about the routine. But there is also that incredible peace in the moments of holding a baby, and feeling her relax against you, and listening to her breathe. I worry constantly, and I also think, we are so lucky to have this baby to worry about.

  9. I am so sorry that you must be extra worried but I'm sure over time things will ease up. Thinking of you and hugs from Oregon.

  10. The tension I carried in my body and mind after B was born is what led me to finally get counseling. I just couldn't live my life thinking he was going to die at any moment. Having a new little one is so stressful after losing a baby. I chose not to get the angelcare monitor, but I know a lot of parents who use and love it.

  11. I also keep checking. But I think the main thing is don't put them on their tummy. I try put Nic on his side and my MIL likes to put him on his side.
    It is a lot of work. You have to grab wherever moments you can get.

  12. Goodness, these could've been my words a few months back. Sometimes, even though I'm ashamed to admit it, I think I would almost brace myself to see a non-living baby lying there. I would then see that A was fine and resting peacefully and feel like a freakshow for always expecting the worst. But like you said, once you've seen a lifeless baby, its hard not to think of it.

    We bought a Snuza alarm the clips onto her diaper and alarms (much like the AngelCare). The difference is that this is small, mobile, and doesn't have to be plugged in. So it works great in a bassinet or Moses basket.

    It honestly does get easier. I'm not really sure how to explain what gets easier, because it just kind of happens. A is 10.5 months old now and I actually sleep at night. I didn't believe I ever would again!

  13. Hopefully one day, you'll be able to let go of that fear. xo

  14. I don't blame you. I'm sorry that fear still so tender. Praying for peace!

  15. Oh hun... I can completely relate. There have been nights when I've gone in to check on our daughter while she's asleep... or worried when she's at kinder that everything is ok. It's understandable... after having gone through what you've been through. It's stressful enough with a newborn without this added anxiety.... be gentle on yourself - I'm sure you're doing a great job and can hear your love for her in your every word. Thinking of you and your darling kids xoxo