Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One Breath

Every so often life reminds me of how fragile my illusions of luck and happiness are. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it sucks the breath right out of my body, makes me quiver, and creates a spasmodic grip in a hug - I hold my loved ones one second longer.

Bridger has been eating solids now for three months. He's been flying right through fruits and veggies of all different varieties, enjoying them all. Except peaches. Really - what's not to like about peaches? He's tried chicken and yogurt, and had not a problem with wheat. So on Monday I mashed up a bit of hard-boiled egg yolk with some steamed broccoli and carrots, and he ate the mixture with gusto. His doctor had ok'ed egg yolk, but advised me to wait on the white until after he turns a year old. That was at 1:30, around 3 I sat down to nurse him, and noticed he was a little fussy and rubbing his eyes. He was on the lower production side, so I thought maybe he wanted a 'higher-flow nipple'. As I switched sides, his head fell back, and that's when I saw the hives. Enormous white welts in a bright red blanket. I stipped him naked and he was covered in them. My head started to spin - the symptom of post-partum depression I struggled most with was an overriding, irrational fear that some harm would come to my children. I would obsessively get out of bed every five minutes all night to check his breathing, not allow my husband to carry him down the stairs in case he tripped, things like that. And now something bad was happening. To my baby.

I called my doctor right away, and they told me to give him Benadryl, and go to the ER if he got any worse. It being Marathon Monday, I was at a friend's house for bbq, and one of the other parents there had an allergy kit for her son. She crushed a fast-melt tablet in water, and we syringed it Bridger's mouth. He was a little otherworldly - not remotely like the son that I know. He was dull and unengaged, so unhappy. The 45 minutes it took for the red to turn pink, and the white to fade felt so long. I sat in a chair with him limp against my chest, and watched his face through tears. I had to ask my friend to evaluate him - I couldn't be objective. I kept thinking about the what-if's, what if I had fed him on my way to Vermont - would the drive have been long enough for him to stop breathing? What if I hadn't noticed? It's all unthinkable. I am so thankful he is alright, but my God I still don't want to put him down. I spent all day yesterday on the couch snuggling my kids. Because we are all just one turn, one decision, one breath away from living very different lives, or not living at all.


  1. Oh my, I'm finally getting caught up on my reading and am sorry to hear about your scare. I hope that your son is feeling better and that you are able to work with your doc to make sure he stays healthy.

  2. I'm just getting caught up too, and--my, how scary!! I'm so sorry you and he went through that.

  3. Dude. So scary! I'm wicked glad Bridger is okay. I'm gonna go give Paloma a big old kiss.