SIDS + Other things that terrified me as a new mom.
By freshmom on November 18, 2010
These are the things that terrify me on a daily basis:
1. Dropping him.
There are many, many other things that worry me – everything from being worried that I’m not feeding him the appropriate balance of formula, fruits & veggies to letting him bathe in a plastic bath tub next to a plastic shower curtain which could leach something-or-other and ruin both of our lives. To keep sane, I think of the successful baby boomers who grew up without space-age, technologically-advanced convertible carseats and had moms that smoked cigarettes before it was confirmed that smoking is not beneficial to a human’s health. And I know this because I watch Mad Men: Betty Draper drove her baby home from the hospital holding him in her arms in the front seat, and smokes all of the time around her kids – in her house. Gross!
Back to my list. I have not dropped Thomas. This fear still crosses my mind when I’m walking in heels, which I normally take off due to the fear of dropping him, OR when I’m walking through our new playroom/former living room because there are lots of toys on the ground. However, I have a pretty strong grip on him, so I’m pretty sure that I would break my back before he ever came into harm’s way.
Right now, I’m watching him on the baby monitor and I can see him moving and breathing. So, as of this moment, he’s not dying of SIDS. And my fear of this has diminished a little bit since I read that SIDS decreases after 6 months. However, the media has hyped up SIDS so much that I knew what the acronym stood for & a lot about it even before I started the crazy process of becoming a New Mother. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Seriously??? What about that name doesn’t instill a heart-stopping fear into any parent?? Sudden = no warning signs, you can’t do a damn thing about it. Infant= my sweet, innocent perfect baby. Death=fatal, there are no chances. Syndrome = like it’s common. What has this done? It has caused Frantic Parent Wake-up Syndrome* – which is a syndrome that causes me to wake up & check the monitor for signs of breathing. My first thought is “OMG, is he alive” which takes me from a deep slumber to full-alert, ready to perform emergency-CPR awake. Every night. Several times a night.
So then we come to Autism. I’ve done a little research, but feel it’s one of the approximate one million things that is out of my hands such as:
- Will he be cute? yes, confirmed the day he was born.
- Will he be smart? Obviously, he knows to open his mouth when a spoon full of food is near it. BRILLIANT!
- Will he be healthy? I count my blessings everyday. I really do. Thank you, God + universe, for giving me such a healthy, cute, smart baby. Thank you again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Back to things that are out of my control. Autism is always a topic of conversation when it comes to children because it is The Big Unknown. Totally terrifying, like SIDS. Maybe its the media hype, maybe it’s that crazy study about vaccines. However, it’s still a big fear. I’ve done a little bit of reading about it, and have determined that the vaccine link isn’t valid and I am not concerned about it. Here’s a good article on the vaccine/autism link retraction – click here to read it. Basically, the study that started the whole frenzy never actually concluded there was a link and has since been disproven. Also, the journal that published the original study retracted it, 10/13 of the doctors participating in the study retracted it, and the lead doctor is no longer allowed to practice medicine in the UK. BUT, it started a big frenzy – and caused a resurgence of previously eradicated diseases like measles. Also, until I started researching more, didn’t realize that the study had been disproven. With Jenny McCarthy being so outspoken about her son, and the hypothesis about the link out in the media, I never caught the second swoop of media that the link is actually not there. Why do I listen to celebrities again?? Anyway, I found out about the doctor, disproven theory, etc. on the ultimate news source: facebook. And, whew, am glad that I don’t have to worry about it.
So then there is the other issue – which is scary – that some of these previously eradicated diseases are actually coming back because parents aren’t getting their children vaccinated… and it could even affect children who are vaccinated:
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But when immunization rates drop, these deadly diseases can reemerge. That’s because vaccines aren’t 100-percent effective; on average about 95 percent of the protection comes from the vaccine and the remaining protection comes from living in a community where there are low rates of the disease. So for vaccines to keep a disease in check, most people in a community need to be immunized, so they’re not contracting and spreading the disease. This way, the few people that are not able to be vaccinated — say, a child sick with leukemia, or a newborn who hasn’t had her shots — will hopefully be protected by what’s called “herd” or “community” immunity. Read full article on Vaccines FAQ >
So, Thomas is getting his shots. And I’m not telling you to get your babies vaccinated, but please keep them away from Thomas if they are not. The doctor’s visit is not a day I look forward to because he does not enjoy getting stuck with a needle, but I know it’s good for him. And I trust our doctor. Every parent has to make their own decision on what they think is best and weigh the risks. I know for a fact he’ll be susceptible to major diseases like measles if he doesn’t have his shots. Everything else goes into the category of “what if”… and I can only deal with one What If at a time. Like, “What If I didn’t have the cutest baby in the world? Would I still think he’s cute?” I don’t have to answer that question, fortunately, because the cutest baby in the world is sound asleep, breathing, upstairs.
*Frantic Parent Wake-up Syndrome: Disclaimer. This is not a study that has been published in a major medical journal. This is based on personal experience only. However, I suspect that is a syndrome, but have no evidence to back it up. Yet. Comment and let me know if you have experienced this anxiety.
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