Last night was an all-nighter, or a white night in French. Tess only kept us up super late, but we were so worried neither of us slept much. she was hysterical. Seeing Tess in pain – really, truly sobbing in great, gasping, shuddering breaths, makes my heart stop. This beautiful, chubby-cheeked angel of ours reverts back to our fragile NICU nugget, and I panic. She’s cool to the touch: a fever? She’s not breathing: hospital or CPR or both? She’s had a brain aneurism or her heart’s stopped or she has an undisguised digestive issue or…it goes on. The sane half of my brain watches this in awe, wondering if I’ll snap out of it or if my whole brain will explode. Still, how do you contain that level of worry? Tess cried for hours. I can’t tell you how unlike her that is. She didn’t even do that when she was cutting two teeth at once or when she had an ear infection.
So we shushed her, fed her, changed her, rocked her, sang to her, rubbed her tummy – you name it. All I wanted was words! She finally calmed down enough for us to tuck her back in, but then we couldn’t sleep because we had to run in and make sure that not breathing thing was just from crying so long. I know this isn’t a preemie thing. I know she’ll be fine. I just can’t help but worry. Have I earned my mommy badge yet? Because I’m ready to move past the scary part. (I know there’s no past. I just keep hoping.)
I gave in, and dragged sweet pea to the pediatrician again today. Apparently, we will be seeing her more than my parents from now on. Good to know! Tess does not have an ear infection; she has a sore throat – a bug. We treated it with Tylenol and less than a teaspoon of ice cream. She was on board with our remedy.
Reassured that only parenting was called for, we loaded Tess up with love and snuggles tonight (much easier when Tylenol is applied before the screaming.) She fell asleep in my arms with a little smile, and I took an extra-long time getting her ready for bed. These nights are the most rewarding; not the nights when she’s in her happiest mood, because those are purely enjoyable, but the nights when she needs us and we can be there for her, satisfy her need for love and comfort.
She’s a comfort to us right now, too. Baby deuce is still cooking, and as we listen to the pediatrician say,
She looks so much bigger than seven months!
(her adjusted age), we revel in her everything. She is a gift, and we are grateful.