It's a call no parent ever wants to make, it's a number parents pray their hands never dial but sometimes life throws you curve balls (that's all we get over here) and sometimes coming from a loss background, parenting from grief your judgement is quick and hesitation does not exist.
That's what happened Thursday night. If you read my last post you know briefly what happened but I felt it was such a significant event in my trauma ridden life that I had to talk more about what was going through my mind and how hellish those 30 minutes were.
When Bee woke up, at first I just heard her as the lights were off. I didn't get out of bed right away but the more I laid and listened, the more I realized something was off. I turned the light on and to my horror, Bee's pale face, wide eyed, struggling to breathe, eyes of fear were looking straight into mine, almost like the time she was choking a few weeks ago, the mama help me something is wrong look. That look that makes you want to vomit as you realize something is seriously wrong with your child. I called Stephen in immediately and we stood there for about 1 minute debating whether to call 911 or drive her to the hospital ourselves. We agreed that 911 was the better option because at that point, she could barely breathe and if she needed help, they would have all the equipment in the ambulance. But, there was a moment of hesitation, did we really need to dial 911? The thing is, in that moment, everything was happening so quickly that we didn't have time to properly assess the situation but when your child is white and gasping for air, you really don't need to assess much other than, she needs help.
I've called 911 once in my life, a long time ago while I was in University. Not for me, for someone else, but theres always the hesitation when dialing because you don't know if you actually need to call 911. However, I've already watched one child die and take his last breath and we decided we didn't want to risk that again so I pushed the call button. I can't tell you what was asked or what I said, all I know is someone told me help was on the way and about 5 minutes later the ambulance pulled up. We were running around frantically trying to get everything together. Stephen would drive so we'd have a way home and I would ride in the ambulance with Bee.
I immediately felt better when the paramedic arrived. Even if Bee stopped breathing, help was there now. I felt so helpless when she was struggling to breathe, it wasn't like when she was choking and I can could actively help her, I couldn't help her this time and it caused so much panic in me. Bee started to get better as the paramedic was assessing her but she could clearly hear what we were talking about. We piled Bee into the ambulance and at that point, Bee started to regain a normal breath.
On the way to the hospital she had a few more episodes, not sure how to explain it but at least we were on our way. Side note, riding in an ambulance is not for the motion sickness people, whew. I felt better with Bee in the ambulance even though her heart rate was extremely high and her fever as well, but she had help and we were on our way.
At that point I still hadn't really had time to process what had happened or what was going on, just like when she choked, my mind froze and my body took action. It wasn't until we were safely home that I had time to process everything that happened so quickly.
Seeing your child struggle to breathe is terrifying. Add on that I watched Jacob do it and ultimately die so yes, the thought crossed my mind but only after the fact. Bee is here and she is healthy, no idea what it was but most likely due to the flu virus. Apparently kids can get really sick at night, fevers spike, heart rates increase and coughing and breathing so can go quite quickly. It's a thing you don't learn as a parent until you are there, in the thick of it.
There is no doubt that my ptsd and anxiety along with my traumatic past affect the way I parent. There is no getting around that. There will never be a day where I don't parent Bee from my past experiences but for the most part, she's thankfully a normal kid. Along with it come normal childhood experiences and a shit ton of mom guilt.
In hind sight we could have probably made it to the hospital ourselves without the ambulance but in the thick of it, all we could think about was seeing our daughter struggle to breathe and we didn't want to risk driving her and having her stop breathing. It's a decision as a parent you may have to make and coming from trauma, call the ambulance. I wish I didnt have those few seconds of hesitation, I wish I could trust my mommy instinct but it's something I struggle with. I don't necessarily trust myself to know what's best, though up to this point it's been proven I've done everything I needed to and then some, but the thing is, I lost so much of myself with Ty and Jacob's death and it's hard to regain that trust in my body or even my mind. It's a process I am working on but it's tough.
Just like the event this weekend, in my mind I can recognize that it went well, but the feelings of that aren't there. Connecting my feelings to my thoughts is a hard task (and apparent according to Inside Out, I can regain happy islands, it's just hard) my own little joy is sitting in the bottom of the pit with the pink elephant struggling to get out while sadness and anxiety run the emotional circuit board. But the thing is, I've learned to accept that it's okay not to be okay at times. It's okay to feel this way and I'm working on it. I can take the 911 call/ambulance fiasco and learn from it. I can learn that in the moment, I did do the right thing and that most parents would probably have done the same. I wasn't instantly brought back to Jacob, it was after the fact, once things had settled. But, my mind did go there. I don't expect there will come a terrifying experience where my mind doesn't go there. Its what a ptsd brain does almost perfectly, takes you there. Even when you don't want to, it can take you along for a wild ride.
I haven't slept in over a week (with me being sick, then Bee and still paranoid about her getting sick at night again) I'm running on little over here. But I can go to bed knowing and being thankful that I have the option to call for emergency care when needed and that they responded quickly and everything went smoothly, even though I am a panicky mess inside right now and will be until that cough goes away. But I did it because Bee needed it. When it comes down to it, no matter what my anxiety or ptsd brain does, it always has Bee's health and safety in the forefront.