Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It Only Takes a Moment...

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

~ Angela Schwindt

What does it mean to be a good mom? That is a question I wouldn't have asked myself before yesterday knowing full well that I love my girls and try to do all I can to protect them... but it keeps going around and around in my head and I just can't stop asking.

We had the scariest of all scares last night, when darling little Annelie had to be rushed to the emergency room. The reason? Because I stupidly left my colored pencil solvent out - a solvent that I ALWAYS put away... always always always- and I caught her a moment too late, as she put the bottle up to her mouth and took a drink.

She is fine. Don't be worried.

But it could have been much much worse. It could have been deadly. And I can't stop kicking myself. And wanting to shake myself and say,"What were you thinking, how could you have left that out? You know it is unbelievably toxic... even the fumes are toxic!! And you know that Annelie climbs onto the table the second someone leaves a chair out! And you know, that 20 month old babies get into more trouble than babies of any other age and know no danger... How could you have left that out?? What were you thinking????"

Accidents happen. That is true. But it doesn't help me feel better about last night's events. The second Annelie took a swallow, she started coughing and screaming and crying. Because of that, she didn't drink very much, but she did inhale it into her lungs. I called 911 and was directed to call Poison Control, who told me that she had to be taken to the ER immediately. We got in the car and drove across town, the weather horrible, the roads flooding and with no idea where the ER even was.

Annelie was sick in the car, which was even scarier as the solvent does more damage if it is thrown up... and of course it was excruciating just watching her and knowing that I had to stay in my seat and hope that she would be okay.

The doctors saw her right away and were instantly relieved that she hadn't had a seizure. She was still coughing, but wasn't sick again after the time in the car. She had chest x-rays so they could see if her lungs were swollen from inhaling the solvent. Her breathing and vitals were monitored for nearly three hours.

In the end, Annelie came home unharmed. Her coughing stopped and she never developed a fever so the risk of pneumonia went away. And she was back to her usual silly, singing, dancing, and troublemaking self in no time. And I continue shaking, even now as I type this - 24 hours later, just as hard as I was when she first picked up the solvent and I began running from across the room, knowing that I would be too late.

I know life is precious. I know how wonderful my daughters are. And I think I know what it means to be a good mom...

But the feeling that I was irresponsible for a moment and that in that moment, my life would have been turned upside down and inside out, if she had only swallowed a drop more, just rips me apart and fills me with doubt and fear and all of the 'what ifs' that we parents try to ignore, lest they eat us alive.

28 comments:

Whimsical Creations said...

Oh that is soooooo scary. {{hugs}}

You are a fantastic mom!

Denise Felton said...

Marisa, you're an incredible mom. Your reaction to this situation is just further proof of that. We've all been there, one way or another, and I know every mom who reads your post is having flashbacks of panic. "Ohhhh...that's like the time..." Try to be as gentle with my friend Marisa as you are with your little ones! *hug*

Regal Beads said...

oh wow, I cannot even begin to imagine!
I do hope you are feeling a bit better!
You ARE an amazing mom!

Andrea Baker said...

HUGS HUGS HUGS. I'm glad that both of you are okay. Kids are very resilient. Isn't it wonderful how they just get back up and get on with their playing.

Nikki said...

Oh, I'm so sorry that this happened, I 'm just glad that she is okay. You are a wonderful mother.

Giggleberry said...

Thoughts and hugs from my family to yours - glad to hear the outcome was a good one and your little one was giggling again so soon.

Mooney ♥ said...

Oh hunney! You are a WONDERFUL mom!! Don't you ever second guess that for a second okay?! Sometimes scary things happen in life, but they teach us lessons, and they make us stronger and more aware.

Be thankful (I know you are) that this turned out to be more of a scare than a real change in your life. Time will heal your sorrows hun... *hugs* and hang in there.

Abby said...

Oh Marisa! Reading this takes me back to Ashlyn's near-drowing and I can so relate with your bad-mom feeling! You are a fantastic mom and we ALL make mistakes! I'm so sorry you had to go through such a nightmare! So grateful that Annelie is ok.
Abby/Holy Craft

Sewinggranny Mona said...

Marisa...give yourself a big hug from me...you are a wonderful mom..things happen..just remember she is ok...It will take you longer to get over it than it will her!! We have all been there at some point in our child's life!!

The worse experience I had I believe with my son was when he was very sick and needed to take antibiotic pills and he would not swallow them..we tricked him and put in pudding...he choked on it and was turning blue before he managed to get it up! What an awful feeling...

Valerie said...

Oh Marisa, please don't beat yourself up! Mother of four here... so many stories. You handled it all perfectly. Many hugs to you!

Lorissa J. Longfellow said...

I wish it didn't happen, but things do. Your a great mom and if accidents didn't happen we might not appreciate our lives as much.
So glad she is okay.
((Hugs))

luv4sams said...

Marisa,
I'm sure at some point in all of our lives we have done "something irresponsible" as a parent - kids don't come with instruction manuals.

You are human, humans make mistakes and we aren't perfect. It could have been worse, yes, but fortunately it wasn't - you caught it in time - sometimes life has to give us all a wake-up call to let us know what is really important - family, not blogging, not promoting, not selling, just plain ole family - #1.

You are an awesome Mom - we all know that and your family is so fortunate to have you!

((hugs))
Luv

New England Quilter said...

Hi there Marisa,
You are a wonderful mom. Anyone who has followed your blog knows how deeply you love your girls and how important family is to you. Unfortunately, sometimes things like this happen in life. We cannot change history, but instead, move on and keep living life. Don't dwell on the what if's - celebrate your girls and give them an extra hug and kiss each day ... while they still let you :)
((HUG))
Amy

casserole said...

OMG that must have been terrifying! Tears sprung to my eyes just reading it. I don't think I could have been as pulled together as you were.

You are such an incredible mother, don't ever think otherwise. If you ever doubt it, just snuggle up your little ones tight next to you and let their hugs tell you the all good things you need to know.

Oh Mandie! said...

Oh Marisa you are an amazing mom and don't you ever doubt that for a second!

Your kids are beautiful, smart, and thriving and they have you to thank for all of that!

Scary things happen, thats life. And they'll probally happen again, but you can't second guess yourself because those girls are surrounded with love and affection!

BIG hugs to you guys!

Cathy said...

oh marisa, how absolutely terrifying!! i can just imagine the guilt and panic and sheer terror you were feelng as you drove to that emergency room!!

as you know, my two are just as active as your two...and they have been in plenty of scrapes like that! the fear that grips you in that moment, imagining the worst, can't be fully described. i know.

there have been moments where i truly believe God or one of His angels was watching over my babies...and for that i am forever grateful.

give annelie an extra big hug and hugs to you too... so glad to hear she is okay! xxx

Christopher And Tia said...

Wow. After going through something like that, I bet it would take everything in the world to pull you away from holding her tight. Thats really scary, and I'm SO glad to hear that everything is ok.

Crochet by Momma J said...

You are a good mommy! Don't doubt that. We have all made mistakes.

Marie said...

Wow! I think we've all been there before and it is a scary place to be. But like everyone has already said, don't ever doubt your abilities as a mother, none of us are perfect and you are one awesome mama!

Praise God that Annelie is a fighter and is doing well!

Janna said...

Here's a cyber hug for you {{{Marisa}}} Bless your heart! I am so happy that Annelie is fine. It is easy to see from all the posts on your blog that you are actually a very wonderful mother. You need to stop beating yourself up about this and let it go. Everyone is human and makes mistakes. It only take 1 second for a little one to find trouble when Mama isn't looking.

MoonMaidenSoap said...

Oh Marisa,

I'm shaking and almost in tears myself for you. Things happen SO quickly. From all that I've read on your blog ... you are an incredible mom and while you are incredible - you are not superhuman, right? You're bound to make mistakes (we ALL do). I know I've left things out that I shouldn't have (a very hot curling iron, for example ... which my 22 month old son grabbed with his bare hands) ... so please know those mistakes do not define your ability to be a great Mom. I hope you are done beating yourself up ... you deserve a huge hug.

Thank goodness your little one is okay!!!!

xoxo,
Dana

Rosebud Collection said...

This is terrifying..and I know how upsetting all this is..but honestly, we all make mistakes..The thing you must remember..Someone was watching over her, to keep her safe..and she is fine..Thank you God..

The Downtown Boutique said...

Oh my goodness! You are definitely among the ranks of lots of mommies who have experienced something similar!

This past Saturday, we were in the ER, with our little foster boy. Except the "we" was my best friend and I, because my hubby and teen son were both off hunting! No way to get ahold of them.

I thought I had hurt him bad, but it turns out he just had nursemaid's elbow. But I cried and cried with him, and prayed over him just the same.

God bless you!
Angie

RedBessBonney said...

Marisa - glad everything turned out ok!

Susan

Colleen Mills said...

Oh, my dear, I am so sorry that such a terrible thing happened.I am very relieved that you and her are OK.You are correct that it on takes a second,especially when they are that age, for things to go horribly wrong.As Denise said-we all have flashbacks of times it ALMOST happened to us.

TheresaJ said...

Wow, what a scary thing to have happen. As a Mom of a now 19-y.o. and a 22-y.o., I think it's impossible to get through parenting our children without mistakes along the way, things we would have done differently if given the chance -- but we do the best we can, have the best of intentions, and sometimes still make mistakes, forget things, or question ourselves. It's par for the course. You're a good Mom -- that's obvious to all of us and probably everyone that knows you. A differnt outcome wouldn't have changed that, but I'm so glad that she is okay -- both for her sake and for yours.

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad that your daughter wasn't hurt !

Marisa Hopkins said...

Thank you!! She was 1 when this happened, and she just turned 10 a couple weeks ago - she's my joy and I can't imagine these years without her. I'm so lucky and so grateful that she's okay!

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