The Short Story
My almost 5 year old swallowed a metal hair clip.
The Long Story
On Saturday morning at around 5 a.m., my hysterically crying daughter woke up a groggy me and all I could figure out was that she was babbling about swallowing something. I was totally foggy (I had slept at 3 a.m) and as the fog cleared up it dawned on me that she was saying that she had swallowed a metal tic-tac.
Even as I was trying to convince myself that she was just dreaming, she very coherently told me that she had woken up and didn’t want to wake me up and after some time she got bored and started fiddling with her hair clip and somehow swallowed it. Now I was convinced that this was not a dream but a parent’s worst nightmare.
Within minutes my husband and me rushed her to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. The hospital staff was also amazed by the incredulous story and proceeded to inform the on-call doctor. Soon we were in the X Ray and as we stepped out of the room leaving my baby, the most precious piece of my heart and the soul around whom my world revolves, on the x-ray table all by herself, my eyes teared up seeing my daughter putting on a brave face.
The doctors told us after a while that the x-ray didn’t show up anything, which was not possible since it was a big piece of metal. So their diagnosis was that it was probably just her imagination and she never really swallowed anything. Since she was not displaying any signs of pain or discomfort we were asked to take her back and keep her under observation.
Thankfully, she has been absolutely fine, but we have been taking turns checking poop since the last two days and so far nothing has turned up. We will be taking her to another x-ray tomorrow, just to be sure. We are now relaxed to the extent that we are making jokes about it and I even mustered the courage to tell my mother about the whole incident (any mom knows how scary it is to fail on our own mom’s motherhood scale).
We might never find out whether she actually swallowed the clip or not but I have been checking on her five or six times in the night ever since.
Now the whole point of telling you this story is not to scare you into checking on your kid at all kinds of odd hours but to ask you this question
“Does Motherhood get easier?”
Motherhood gets easier
Personally, for a while now I had been feeling comfortable and settled in my motherhood. As Samaira has grown up she has transformed from a high needs baby into a cheerful, interesting, independent and amazing little girl. My chores as a mother and meltdowns have reduced so much as she is able to do her morning routine, take a bath, get dressed, eat her food, clean up her room and keep occupied on her own for a long time with little or no help from me.
Those zombie like days of new motherhood when I spent my days comforting a fussy baby and nights keeping up with the feeding, burping and changing diapers, were long behind me. Even the terrible twos and the tiresome threes with the constant whining, mood swings and school anxiety had breezed past us.
I had been smugly feeling that now I could easily be called a veteran mom who could face any situation, any tantrum and any twist with ease and calmness. I even confided to a friend that this thing called motherhood was a cakewalk and once you are past the baby years you can relax and enjoy the journey.
Just then the universe decided to give me a wake-up call and this whole incident jolted me out of my reverie.
Even as I was standing in the waiting room for the doctors to tell us their test results, a nervous wreck, blaming myself for leaving a clip in the vicinity of the bed, feeling so guilty for not waking instinctively when my daughter had woken up and conjuring up each and every worst case scenario in my mind, the realization dawned on me.
Being a Mom means FOREVER!
I couldn’t relax yet.
I couldn’t breathe easy when she was out of sight, not yet.
I couldn’t expect not to feel like someone had tore through my guts, every time something happened (or could happen) to my child.
I definitely couldn’t take motherhood taken for granted ever.
Or may be never. I look at my mother who is still concerned about each waking moment of my life, I hear the anxiety, worry and sinking feeling in her sound when I talk to her about something going wrong in my life and I can even imagine her going through sleepless nights just hoping that I make it alright through my life.
Lesson learnt: Motherhood is hard. Your Job as a Mother never ever gets over or easier!!!
You are a mother forever
For me, there is still pre-teen’s confusing years, puberty, teenage angst, boys, career choices, marriage and babies waiting to happen in the long future. I don’t think it is going to get any easier and each phase of our life will come with their own set of challenges, problems, nightmares and even lots of happy moments.
These phases and twists might take their toll on me and I might feel like I am right where I started from but I think I am going to learn, unlearn and relearn. My heart might break a lot of times and my brain might feel like it is shutting down. But again I think it is going to an adventure that will leave me a better person and an even better mother.