I left my baby in the car

As doulas we are skilled at offering non judgmental support. We are all just women, and we all try as hard as we can. As doulas we are able to listen to your deepest, darkest secrets without shaming you. We are here to offer you help in your most vulnerable state.

I want to share a story now from an anonymous poster:

We all think it won’t happen to us, but the only difference between my story and the ones you see on the news are sheer luck.

It was a blistering cold winter day. Light snow covered the ground. I had just had my baby 6 weeks prior and I was returning to the hospital. You see, my sister was in labor. I would not have gone for anyone else.

I took my baby with me because I knew our parents would be in the waiting room and would care for him while I was with my sister. I took frequent breaks to nurse.

My sister labored long into the night, then shortly after midnight she delivered. We celebrated for a while, then I took my baby and headed home.

He slept the whole way. I was exhausted, and my routine had changed.

I got home and practically crawled through the door with exhaustion. I slipped off my shoes, got a drink in the kitchen and crawled into bed.

Even though I was so tired, I could not sleep. I lay there tossing and turning for about 10 minutes until I realized why I could not relax. I ran outside barefoot to find my sleeping newborn still in the warm car. I screamed into the blackness of night. I cried harder than I ever have before. I could not believe what had just happened.

It was the scariest moment of my life, but I was lucky. Some parents are not so lucky. Every time I read a story in the news about a baby being left in a car I cry. My stomach turns in knots and I get that same sinking feeling I did that night when I realized what had happened.

I have not told a single living soul this story until now. I have been living with guilt for years. I am sharing my story now to highlight how easy it is to forget a sleeping child. If your routine is changed, if you are tired, if your baby is content and quiet.

This experience has made me a better more understanding mother. It has allowed me to view other mothers in a less judgmental way. We are all just trying to do our best. Sometimes that involves asking for help, sometimes it is just being lucky.

I am thankful everyday that I am lucky.

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