Last night I was focused on getting dinner served. Mini Miss was tired, beyond tired. Muddled Hubby was out, and so I was doing the evening routine by myself, and to be honest, I was feeling pretty cocky. I was feeling pretty good. Mini Miss was bathed, pj's on, housework all done, dinner was ready. I was in control. I was trying to take photos for my latest Slow Cooker meal and get dinner served, so I could put a VERY tired Mini Miss to bed.
Earlier yesterday, Mini Miss had had a complete meltdown. After swimming lessons, a trip to the library, coming home reading ALL the books we borrowed, and having lunch together, she had a tantrum about the fact that I wasn't paying enough attention to her! I wasn't playing with her. I told her, several times, that I love playing with her, but it was time for Mummy to do her jobs. I managed to involve her in getting dinner organised, and we baked together. Still, she was cranky that I wouldn't stop working on housework and just play with her.
At the time I was annoyed. I felt like I had given her plenty of my precious time and she needed to accept that I had other things to do to....Little did I know that last night, this feeling, these encounters, would haunt me all night.
So, while trying to get dinner on the table, Mini Miss was again demanding my attention, but I brushed her off, only half listening to her request, which I now know was to watch a DVD. So, being 3 and determined to have her way, she climbed up on the arm of our lounge and reached over to the DVD cabinet to reach the DVD she so desperately wanted.
Unfortunately, she can't really reach the DVD cabinet, and she fell. Face first, onto the tiles. Her tooth went through her lip.
She is always climbing and standing on the arm of the lounge, so, although I could see in my peripheral that she was up there, my brain, focused on other things, ignored it. I didn't see her fall, I only heard the thump....followed by momentary silence, and then this awful wail. This was no ordinary Mini Miss cry, this was I am in serious pain cry.
I dropped everything to go to her, and picked her up, and immediately got covered in blood. It was everywhere. Its amazing so much blood can come from one little lip. As I tried to clear my brain from the panic welling up inside, I carried her to the kitchen, grabbed a washer and started cleaning her up while cuddling and I think I was attempting to mutter some useless words of reassurance.
It stopped bleeding pretty quickly and initially I thought, "oh its not so bad", then she coughed and opened her mouth, and it too was full of blood. I realised the cut was a lot deeper than I first thought, as I could see it inside as well.
Thankfully Miss Teen was home and held ice to her mouth and cuddled her while I shut up the house, got dressed (I had had my shower too, and therefore was wandering around with pants...what?! Pants are totally overrated if home alone!)
On our way to the hospital I let Muddled Hubby know what had happened and arranged to meet him at the hospital. We got there just after several (5!!) ambulances arrived within a few minutes of each other, all with accident victims and critically ill patients. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but it was so much worse than anticipated.
On seeing the Doctor, it was ascertained she would need stitches to close and realign the 2 edges of her lip. In normal, situations they would sedate a toddler, give them a twilight anesthetic. Sadly though, ER was operating at a dangerous level, no staff, no beds, and it was going to be a VERY long wait. We were left with the option of wrapping our baby girl up, giving her several shots of local anesthetic around the wound (have you ever had a local?! They sting like crazy, and her mouth was already painful!) and then stitching it up while she was awake and aware of what was happening.
To say she screamed through the whole ordeal would be an understatement. She was terrified, in pain and it hurt. And here we were, her parents, the Dr and nurse she trusted to help her, all holding her down and inflicting this horrible scary pain on her. I felt sick. I wanted to scream at everyone to let my baby go. To wrap her up and protect her. To turn back time and NOT let the accident happen in the first place. To cut my lip and have the stitches in her place....anything to stop what she was going through. Reality is it was over within 10 minutes, but it felt like hours.
I felt guilty. Guilty that she had hurt herself so badly in her own Mothers care. Guilty that I hadn't been giving her the attention she had been demanding all day, and as a result, she was now in the worst pain she had ever experienced. Guilty that I had been feeling cocky, that I had been thinking I was the WORLDS BEST SUPERMUM for handling everything so well, when in fact THIS had happened.
I was filled completely with Mummy Guilt.
That guilt kept me awake all night. It made me kick Muddled Hubby out of our bed in favour of keeping my poor little baby beside me all night. It dug its claws in a little deeper every time she cried out in her sleep, having nightmares about what had happened. I was swimming in it.
By this morning I was ready to be swept away. I wanted out. I couldn't handle all the feelings, the emotions, the pain and guilt I was feeling. It didn't matter that she woke up sore but happy. It was too late. I wanted out. But somehow, using the little control techniques I have, which includes hanging on tight mentally and emotionally to my husband, I avoided letting it overtake me.
For someone with mental illness, for me, this is a MAJOR warning sign. I have already seen in the last month or so, the depression and anxiety growing, becoming overwhelming at times. I have been having whole days where I feel like I can't breathe from the anxiety. Days, where that little door to escape reality swings wide open and invites me in. Its the easy choice, to walk through that door. I don't feel anything when I walk through that door. Just calm and peace. It also means though, that I shut down.
I know I will need to increase my medication as soon as this little man is born. I have made an appointment with the social worker at the hospital, and I will ensure I have a counsellor and or psychologist ready to go should it hit full force and the little mental techniques that I have learnt no longer work.
So this experience has been scary. Not only for Mini Miss, who for the record, is almost back to normal, just with a cute speech issue from her swollen lip, but otherwise is happy and full of beans. It was scary for me. It has made me face some things I have been avoiding.
Its also been good. It made me realise this obsession I have had lately with having a clean and organised house, that level of perfection I expect from myself, is just adding to my stress, to my mental illness. Its time to let it go, and enjoy these last weeks with my little Miss, with my Miss Teen and with my Hubby, because in a few short weeks, our lives will be turned upside down in the most wonderful of ways!