Hi, it’s me, The Anxious Mama. Please don’t touch my baby.
I’m the one who carries two bottles of hand sanitizer on her at all times. I’m the one who was first in line at the flu shot clinic when it opened. I’m the one who checks her kid’s temperature like it is her job and is quick to request the very first appointment of the day at the pediatrician so we can get in and out before the other germs.
I haven’t always been this way. Just over a year ago, I didn’t even have a primary doctor for myself. I was probably the one smiling at your baby, wishing I could squeeze those perfect little cheeks. I didn’t always get a flu shot and I didn’t understand the fuss about keeping your kids at home in the colder months.
Then, this sweet baby of mine came around and made me who I am today, an anxious mama. The temperature drop of winter means I will spend the upcoming months fighting my anxious heart while my son’s tiny body fights for his health.
I have last October to thank for that.
October 22, 2017 started like any other cold fall day, but instead of tucking my sweet 6-week-old into snuggly pajamas and his cozy crib that night, I sat by his ICU bedside and pleaded with God to save my son. What started as a little congestion, turned into a collapsed lung, intubation, sedation, and the doctor’s look of pure defeat as he told me they would do everything they could, but it didn’t look good. Everything changed in a matter of hours.
It was days before our critical care team finally told me it looked like we would recover. Days before I was able to hold my son, before he was able to breathe on his own, before I let myself hope that he would make it through. Days where I combed my memory trying to pinpoint what happened and blaming myself.
I took him in public too often. I let people touch him without making sure they washed their hands. I got too lax with my hand sanitizer. I let strangers get too close.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I still have vivid flashbacks of this terrifying time and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this winter looming has sent my anxious heart into overdrive.
So, today, I have a plea for you.
I know your intentions are good. I know you mean well. I know my kid is adorable, his cheeks are perfectly kissable and those chunky thighs are just asking to be squeezed. But, please, please, please, don’t touch my baby. Tell me he is precious and walk away. Don’t make me feel guilty for steping in between you and him. Don’t make me cringe as I have to say “Please, don’t touch him.” Please understand that I don’t mean to be the neurotic mom. I don’t mean to come across as cold or rude. Know that I want to share my adorable child with the world, but there is a strong possibility that neither of us will make it through another scare like last year.
Please don’t tell me that you aren’t sick, so it’s fine. Please don’t tell me that he is not an infant anymore and that his immune system is stronger. Please don’t roll your eyes at my request or brush it off. This is literally life or death for so many.
I know I am not alone in this plea. We all may have differing reasons, but we implore you: please don’t touch my baby.