Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The "What If" Game

So there's this game I play.  I don't really like it,  but I am quite good at it.  I'm sure you're familiar with it too. It is called the "What If" Game.

You never really volunteer to pay this game.  It just happens to you... and it is about as easy to end as Jumanji. Btw, if you have any tips for avoiding/minimizing this game,  I'm all ears.

Anyway,  I've been playing for as long as I can remember.  I don't play it every day or even every week or month necessarily.  It is completely unpredictable to figure out when it might start.  Normally I am just going about my day when the smallest thing can set the game in motion. Sometimes it isn't more than a harmless thought that then snowballs out of control. 

"What if" is a game of worst case senarios. And I am so good at it that I've brought myself to tears with my imagination and have to remind myself that the what if is not in fact reality.

So last night I played a nasty round of it after the alarm on James's monitor went off.  We bought one of those monitors that also has a motion sensor.  It is supposed to detect the slightest movements and is sensitive enough to tell that your baby is breathing.  And based on my testing of the unit, I believe it works the way it is meant to. Anyhow,  if baby goes 15 seconds completely motionless a little beep will sound on my end.  Another 5 seconds and a continuous beeping alarm will sound on my end and in the baby's room.

Well,  James has been sleeping in his crib for two and a half weeks now with no alarm. Last night it went off and of course I shot out of bed and ran across the hall.  It probably took me two terrifying seconds. The alarm in his room had sounded too and caused him to stir (and resume breathing). After my heart started beating again you can imagine the what ifs that ensued...

What if it hadn't woke him?
What if I had to do cpr?
What if I didn't do it right? 
What if the EMTs didn't show up in time?
What if it happens again?
What if it happens at daycare during a nap and nobody notices? 

I watched him breathe for the next ten minutes. Then I tried to go back to bed. But I kept playing that damn game and had to go check on him again. And of course I compulsively checked on him every minute of every nap throughout the day.

I realize there is the "what if it was a false alarm?" and I have two things to say about that: 1.) I don't think it was because I can't even trick that device into going off...I ran a multitude of my own tests when setting it up.  Placing my hand in different areas of the crib... moving it gently,  keeping it still.  I can't keep my hand still enough in the crib to set the thing off. Good for nothing piece of junk, I thought,  but then I can throw only a teddy bear in and it knows the difference and starts beeping almost immediately. Things have to be deadly still for the alarm to sound.  2.) I'll take a false alarm over no alarm any day.

Yeah, yeah... all this new technology... somehow babies survived before it.  Babies sometimes forget to breathe but the body's natural response is to want oxygen and breathe again.  That may be all fine and good and true, but some babies have not survived and I can't help but wonder "what if" they had that technology? 

So I'm embracing the new technology and don't care if people think I'm crazy for it...I swear I'd collapse into a pile of dust if that what if game ever became my reality because look at this face...


  1. It's good to hear from you, and I'm glad things are going mostly well for you. I'm sure it is terrifying to know he may have stopped breathing for a few seconds, and I'm glad you had the alarm to catch it. I know we never stop worrying about our kids - we worry about everything that could go wrong for nine months of pregnancy, and then worry about SIDS, and then worry about them riding their bikes in the street, and then riding in cars with friends, and about drinking in college...and I know my parents still worry about me! You're a great mom, Kelsey, so keep doing the best you can. And enjoy that precious little babe!

    1. You're so right! The worry never ends. But we are doing great inspite of a few little hiccups. I love this kid so much. I am so excited for you to meet the little babe you've been waiting for.

  2. The sweet life of a momma! There are so many wonderful parts, but there are a lot if scary parts too! The boys slept in our room for months because I just couldn't move them-- what if after what if-- thankfully my husband just let my crazy be and didn't question it... At least not too often!

    1. Moving him out of our room has definitely been harder on me than him. I'm sure I over-reacted but I feel like I deserve to have my crazy first time mom moments.

  3. That sounds so completely terrifying, and I hear you on the What If game, if in other arenas of life. I am glad you have the alarm (my best friend had one and is saving it for me, I think, unless it has gone to someone else at this point), but just to throw it out there she said it had false alarms a lot of the times if her babies moved to the edge of the mat, to the edges of the crib. Maybe that's what happened... She would go in and check on them when they were little multiple times a night just to make sure they were breathing, so I think you're in good company. :) So not surprising to see that the worries just compound once that little smiling face is here! I wish you peace and minimal what-if-ing.