Worst mom ever?

Beyond the fear of the highly unlikely (that Nina would just stop breathing in the middle of the night, or that someone would break into our house and steal her), my biggest nighttime worry is that she will wake up needing something and I won’t know it for hours while she is left all alone in her crib. It’s something that I’ve pondered every time that I’ve put her down in her bed and went to sleep in our room (which is a shockingly low number, by the way, but that’s another subject for another post). I don’t want to even THINK about my baby girl crying alone in her room waiting for god knows how long for someone to come and help her.

It just happened. I just woke up to the sound of my husband bringing little Nina into our bedroom. He said he got up to go to the bathroom and she was screaming bloody murder in her crib.

“But how does that happen? Don’t you have a monitor?” I can hear you asking the most obvious questions there are. The simple answer is yes, we do have a monitor. The unfortunate answer is that for the monitor to work, you have to recharge the batteries every once in a while.

I know that our monitor has a warning when the batteries are getting low…it’s one of the things I looked for when I picked out what monitor to get. However, it appears that a the sound of the humidifier and fan in our bedroom are loud enough to make the low battery warning completely inaudible to a tired and happily sleeping mama.

I immediately knew something was wrong when I heard my husband come in the bedroom…it was through the main bedroom doorway, not the bathroom doorway as is normal for a middle of the night awakening. In a panic, I asked what was going on. He replied that she was in her crib screaming “something fierce” and didn’t I turn the monitor on? Of course I did! My fear of this exact situation has left me double, triple and even quadruple checking that damn monitor to make sure that:

a. It’s turned on
b. The volume is up (on one occasion the volume was accidentally turned down all the way…thankfully this happened during the day and I was just in the other room and could still hear her without the monitor)
c. It’s on the right channel

Despite trying to do everything right and feeling like there was no way it could go wrong, it sure did. Note to self: if not using the monitor in a location where it NEEDS to be cordless, it’s best just to leave it plugged in.

And the part that makes me feel even worse is that we have a monitor with two receivers. The first is in the living room and is the one that we use the most often. Sadly and ironically, the second receiver lives in our bedroom…unplugged. Yes, the whole situation could have been avoided if I had not been so lazy and actually searched out a plug in our bedroom that continues to be powered even if the light switch isn’t on. It something we’re running really low on (two alarm clocks, a fan, a humidifier and my heating pad pretty much used up all of the available outlets) and I’ve been too lazy to properly investigate the situation and remedy it. So we’d just been carrying the living room receiver around with us wherever we needed it. Rest assured that project will be top of my priority list tomorrow.

So the good news is that she had only been in her crib for a little over two hours. It’s not unimaginable to think that she had been sleeping most of that time and had just recently woken up. My husband was also able to calm her down just by picking her up and holding her. I have to believe that had she been really, really upset, it would have taken a lot more to settle her down. And finally, she was not super hot in the face, which she always is if she has been worked up for a while. (Can you tell I’m trying everything I can to make myself feel better about the whole thing?)

I know it’s a rookie mistake and one that lots of new moms probably make. I also know that this will not guarantee years of therapy down the road because she has repressed feelings of abandonment (not to mention the fact that we’ll likely be the cause of way bigger things to need therapy for down the road). I know that she’s sleeping happily and contentedly in my arms right now and any thoughts of being alone in her crib are likely completely erased from her memory by now. I know that it’s not the end of the world.

But none of that stops me from feeling like the worst mama ever, for right now at least.

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