I cannot relate to all the things on this list, but I can certainly relate to many. Mothers and fathers and siblings of medical needs kids are asked to do a lot of things that parents/siblings should never have to do.
This in particular is the one I’ve struggled with the most. Not because it’s the worst thing we’ve ever experienced, but perhaps because it’s the most frequent.
A mother should never have to look into the pleading eyes of their child whilst a horrible medical procedure is going on.
In some ways, I’ve been glad that Teddy’s so little. Hopefully, he won’t remember most of this. But in some ways, it just makes it harder. He doesn’t understand. I tell him what’s going to happen before it does, but he’s just too little to really understand. And the thousand other little hurts – the IVs and the labs and the dressing changes and the people poking at his belly when it’s sore. While I hold him down and participate in the hurt, and he looks at me with eyes that plead with me to make them stop. “Why are you letting them do this to me, mama?”
I know some parents choose to leave the room, not wanting their child to see their parent allowing or participating in the hurt, but I honestly don’t see this as the better choice. Then every time I leave the room, my child will wonder if someone’s going to come hurt him. Then my child will think that I leave the room and let people hurt him. My child will feel abandoned by those closest to him during the times he needs us the most. No, I will not leave. I stay, and I soothe him as much as I can, and I help hold his arms or legs if I need to, and then I’m right there, immediately, to hold him. But dang if it’s not hard.
But on the flip side of that item: “A mother should never have to look into the pleading eyes of their child whilst a horrible medical procedure is going on.” The real travesty being listed is the horrible medical procedure. Not the mother’s place. I hate that the medical procedures need to take place. But they do. And my place is with my kid. Being his parent. And so I will be there, looking in to his eyes, and crying with him.