Parenting Enhances Paranoia

When we first brought the munchkin home from the hospital my in-laws were here for the first hour or so just to make sure we were OK, especially mum and baby. Everything had been textbook so far. Straightforward pregnancy, simple labour then a relatively normal birth. At one point there was a small audience of doctors and midwives but that must have been due to a broken staff room telly or something as none of them seemed worried at all and it was all very social.

There we were then, the three of us. Our little family. The in-laws had gone home. Myself and the wife just sat there staring at the baby in her moses basket. She was sleeping soundly and was the most beautiful and amazing thing I'd ever seen, her mum being a very close second.

As the hours started wearing on, the tiredness was really starting to kick in and our eyelids were getting very heavy. After being awake for 48ish hours and my wife being in labour for nearly 24 of those, we were both extremely tired but neither of us wanted to sleep. The reason we didn't want to sleep was a 6lb 10.5oz bundle of new human that now was the center of our lives, not to mention the center of the living room.

That afternoon/evening is a bit hazy now but I seem to remember us talking about how we didn't want to stop watching her just in case anything happened to her. We were so paranoid/worried, whatever you want to call it, that neither of us could relax. I was starting to get worried about my wife not relaxing, after all it was less than 12 hours since she'd given birth and other than being spaced out on pethadin for a few hours she hadn't had any rest.

What were we going to do? We couldn't spend the next few months not sleeping. Then I realised something. Two weeks before we had been shopping for a baby monitor had ended up buying a movement sensor pad! Our dilemma was solved, we set the sensor pad up and got some sleep.

Fast forward 6 weeks and 3 days. We're sitting watching the end of 'Kitchen Nightmares USA' with the munchkin asleep in her travel cot next to the sofa. She is due to wake up for a feed then we are going to go to bed.

Instead the movement sensor alarm starts going off.

My world is ending.

If ever a moment has moved in slow motion I had never noticed it. This I noticed and those few seconds seemed to last an hour.

My wife and myself both jumped up and her first action was to check the baby was breathing. She was. Our beautiful little girl was OK. She looked very grumpy at being woken up by us but she was OK.

I have read so many stories of parents losing their young babies and every time it breaks my heart. I feel for those that have to go through the hurt of losing a little one.

For about half hour after our little moment with the movement alarm all I could think was 'what would I have done if we'd lost her?' and I still don't have an answer.

And what of the moment sensor? We don't know why it went off. We're still using it, along with the other one in her cot upstairs. After all, we're parents and that makes us paranoid.

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3 Responses to Parenting Enhances Paranoia

  1. Just to let you know, that paranoia never goes, well mine hasn't yet anyway. Think we should actually be called Paranoids rather than Parents.

  2. We had the sensor pad nightmare moment too – our little fella had wriggled his way into the corner of the cot and off the area covered by the pad... this worry business is a bigger part of the parenting package than I ever imagined.

  3. You write a good blog Neil... maybe you should think about writing a book!!

    The little Munchkin will always be a worry to you no matter how old..........just thought I'd let you know that one ;)


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