Fear

I chatted to a client this morning about her labour and options open to her. She hadn’t considered there were any. With her last labour there was no choice given, well there was actually but “Do this and your baby will die” is hardly an option anyone would chose, right?

I was thinking about something that happened to me yesterday and how it made me feel in light of those kind of threats.

Losing the kid. It’s happened before (twins in the supermarket, kid in soft play, kid in cavernous M&S, i’m not reckless! Honest!) and i’m sure it will happen again. We have all done it, or come close, or at least thought we have even though the kid is actually there in front of us all the time!

I picked up my middle 3 from school yesterday. The first is on the Infant school site and the other 2 are on the junior school site, about a 10 minute walk away. I arrived early (phew!) and waited for the boys to come out. The one who is ALWAYS last had come out and was stood next to me. After a few more minutes i sent that one back in to look for the now pretty late one. He came back empty handed, no kids left in the classroom. No panic yet.

The office couldn’t find him, nor did they know where he was. We checked the school but assumed he had probably gone up to a club at the infant school. No panic.

Until… they started checking lists and talking amongst themselves. He definitely was NOT on the list for that club (I knew that, i hadn’t signed him up!) and his scooter remained in school whereas all the other kids had taken their scooters to the club. No one at the infant school were answering the phones to check.

PANIC. He would never leave school unaccompanied. If he wasn’t here and he wasn’t at the club THEN WHERE WAS HE? I was searching the school with my other son calling his name. The fear spreading over me. How far could someone have got with him by now? You know, the crazy thoughts.

After about 10 minutes of rising panic the receptionist got through to a person who checked the club room. He was there. He had thought he was going and tagged along. No one had checked and he wasn’t on any list.

I came back to Earth. About 10 years older than i was at 315pm. There were of course, the ‘sorry’s ‘and ‘we don’t know how it happened’s’. (Too late to get back the 10 years now!) I know they were and are sorry, it’s a great school. The son stood next to me got hugged to death and gripped tightly as we walked straight to the infant school to claim him. I felt the need to have him immediately in my arms. Much like when he was born.

That desperate, overwhelming need to hold your baby. Arms go out as they are born like a reflex. It doesn’t stop you know. It doesn’t even fade. We think about them every second of every day. Even before we know them, as they grow in our bellies. It is within us, a primal instinct. We want to keep them close and safe.

I have seen various obstetricians over the years, who accused me of putting my baby’s life in danger, actually risking his LIFE just because i wanted to chose a path for my labour that he did not agree with. I want to yell at them “Are you actually INSANE, have you taken total leave of your senses, that I, his mother, who loves him already, would even THINK about endangering my baby’s life?”

I lost him for a whole 10 minutes and my world had ended.