Mommy Guilt x10
It was a cool morning, so I’d turned the fireplace on to warm up the living room. We sat on the floor, Ashlynn and I, and I was trying desperately to get a picture of her for her 11-month birthday. There were sly looks, batted eyelashes, and then the turning of the face as soon as the flash appeared. It became a game for us, and as I moved out of the way to get in a better position for a picture, she tried to scurry away and momentarily lost her balance.
The next moment happened in an instant and slow motion at the same time. I saw her reach out for the glass on the fireplace to steady herself. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. As her face scrunched up, her mouth open without breathing, the wail of pain about to burst forth. I scooped her up and instantly began apologizing. “I’m sorry, Baby Girl. I am so sorry.” Over and over again.
I put her to the breast, the only way I knew to comfort her, hoping against hope that it wasn’t as bad as I feared. And still she cried. I ran into the kitchen with Ashlynn cradled against my chest, her cries of pain permanently etching themselves into my memory. Hudson and Reagan peeked into the kitchen and kept asking me what was wrong, what had happened. As I ran her burnt hand under the cool, running water, I looked over and explained to them what had happened. I asked Hudson to bring me my phone so I could call Jon, and when he came back with tears in his own eyes, I almost became undone. He adores his baby sister.
I begged Jon to get home, I was on autopilot but I could sense the underlying hysteria. And since Jon’s my rock, my calm, my anchor, I needed him. He promised to come as soon as he could. I held my crying, hurting baby girl, kept a cold compress on her hand, and cursed every minute leading up to the accident. I replayed it over and over, wondering what I could have done to prevent it, why was I stupid enough to be playing so near the fireplace, and my heart ached with Ashlynn’s every whimper. She kept rubbing her hand against the back of my shirt, as if trying to rub away the pain. And I called Jon every 5 minutes to see where he was.
In between calls to Jon, I was able to get a good look at the burn and was shocked at the huge blister that had already formed. It covered the whole palm of her hand, and there were smaller blisters on the tips of her fingers. It looked as though it would burst open at any moment. And I knew a doctor’s visit was in our very near future. I called my friend, Cassie, who lives a few blocks over and without hesitating she came and picked up Hudson and Reagan for the rest of the day. Thank the good Lord for friends in moments like that.
Jon finally arrived home (after what felt like hours) and we were finally able to calm her down with the help of pain meds and cold compresses. Either that, or she had sobbed herself into exhaustion. And we debated back and forth about the best thing to do… And I think sensing that I needed a professional’s reassurance that I hadn’t completely scarred our child for life, he finally agreed that she should be seen.
On the way to the Urgent Care. Can you see the huge blister? She babbled the entire ride there.
The doctor called it a superficial 2nd degree burn and wrapped it in burn cream, vaseline gauze, and the tiniest sleeve you’ve ever seen. He prescribed ibuprufon and tylenol for the pain, and wants to see her in the morning. She passed out on the way home.
Poor, sweet bandaged hand. Handle with care.
She’s already compensating for the loss of her right hand and using her left hand like a pro; she still cries if she puts any kind of pressure on it; and the older siblings are treating her with kid gloves. I spent the rest of the afternoon cuddling her, nursing her, and studying every sweet feature of her face. Just doing whatever I could to ease the ache in my heart, knowing it wasn’t my fault but feeling the heavy burden of guilt anyway. Mommy guilt at its finest.