Thursday, September 6, 2007
Beam of Light
What is happening to moms these days? This morning while I was getting ready for work I heard a TV report of yet another mom leaving her baby in the car in the blistering heat. This mom left her baby in the car for eight hours while she was at work claiming that she "was distracted and forgot that her baby was in the car."
Come on - I mean really, can you possibly forget your kids in the car. Did these moms not get the "beam of light?"
After Megan was born, Brian left the delivery room to go tell everyone that "it's a Megan." While he was gone it happened. A beam of light from the heavens shown down on me and gave me my mom powers. I now had eyes in the back of my head and the ability to see through doors. I was given the ability to know when my kids are hungry, cold, or constipated even if they don't yet realize these things. Most importantly, I was given a cord that attached my heart to theirs.
I thought this was standard for all moms - obviously I was mistaken.
I can understand being distracted and forgetting things but not kids!! I was running late to work one day - distracted by the things I needed to get done, and I left a candy bar in the car. You know - it didn't take me eight hours to remember that I had left it in there! Distracted and in a hurry, I have left the curling iron on only to have it dawn on me half way to church that I had left it on.
There's usually a nagging feeling you get when something has been left undone. I thought this was just part of being a responsible person.
As a nurse I do a lot of repetitive things - important things that I routinely do. I start IVs, I give medicine, I draw blood . . . every time I work. Being distracted can have devastating results. For that very reason, I purposely make mental notes to myself as I am doing these things so that later if I get that "nagging feeling" wondering if I did or didn't do something I will have a memory of doing it.
There's a reason why I do this. A few years ago when I was working in OB we had an expectant mom die - she did not die at our hospital, but she died within hours of her being transferred to a larger hospital's high risk OB unit. She had been my patient - I admitted her, treated her, and transferred her. The news of her death was devastating to me.
I immediately replayed every moment I had spent with her - I mentally retraced every action I had done. I needed confirmation in my mind that everything I had done was done correctly.
I remember standing in the shower (for some reason running water comforts me) praying - no beseeching - the Lord for Him to let me have vivid memory of every thing I had done. I needed to be able to remember doing all of the little steps - priming her IV tubing, checking the medication before I gave it. . .
As I stood in the shower, the Lord answered my prayer and I was able to vividly remember every aspect of the care I had given her as her nurse. I remembered the IV fluid dripping from the end of the tubing into the trash can, I remembered standing in the nurses station getting her medicine out and reading the label and comparing it to the order. . . Remembering all of these little things was vital to my sanity.
I always make mental notes of things - at work and at home. On Sundays I will often announce, "I'm unplugging my curling iron." Or I walk out the door and announce, "I locked the door." I don't want to sit through church wondering if my curling iron is going to ignite my hairspray bottle and start a fire or worry if the door was left unlocked therefore making it susceptible to blowing open allowing Scooby to make his escape.
Brian and I often end up at places with two vehicles. When we are on our way home we always announce who is in our car, "I've got the boys - or I've got Megan." It's a habit we formed when the kids were small and something we do to this day.
God graciously gave Brian and me three kids - our hearts are knitted to theirs. We want to care for them to the best of our ability. I don't want to be a distracted mom caught up in my own interests - because the result of that can be devastating.