When Kate was born, she had apnea which would have led to her becoming a crib death or SIDS baby. At three weeks I discovered she wasn’t breathing, the doctors believed me, ran extensive tests, and that’s when we discovered the apnea.
We were trained on a monitor that alerted us with an alarm when she had stopped breathing for 20 seconds and we had to be within 10 seconds of her at all times, in order to get to her and jiggle her to begin breathing again. Longer periods of time would have led to brain damage and so we had trial runs to see just how long it took to get to her usual place of napping or sleeping. I found I could make it downstairs from all but the front bedrooms upstairs in ten seconds, but could not make it upstairs to her crib from any room downstairs. And so, during the day she stayed downstairs and I stayed out of the front bedrooms after bringing her down for the day.
The local firemen came to see and learn of our situation in case they received a call from us that only said, “Kate.” They knew we would then using mouth to mouth resuscitation and they were bring summoned for help. They were aware which room she slept in so they could move quickly. Only once during the year we monitored her did we have to pick her up to start mouth to mouth and while picking her up she began on her own. Kate usually began to breathe either from the sound of the alarm on the monitor or when we arrived to rub or shake her gently.
she was on the monitor awake or asleep, or in my arms
Why am I telling you about this incident of 41 years ago? Well, one, to be reminded that for one year of my life I was no farther the ten seconds away from my little girl. If she couldn’t be on the machine, she was being held by me with my hand on her tummy so I could feel her breathing. Yes, there were times when she stopped breathing while awake. She seemed to go into a trance and stop. So she was on the monitor awake or asleep, or in my arms.
Two, when the stipulations of her required course of readiness was met, then and only then would she be allowed to come off the monitor. It required two months of no alarms, her carbon dioxide and oxygen levels normal for a period of time (I don’t remember how long), and it seems like there may have been something else but those papers aren’t before me right now.
I am comparing these last two months with the regulations that have been placed on our society due to this virus. And the requirements to be met for being released. Looking back at the year with Kate and keeping her alive, when the day came and we were told she could come off the machine, that she was fine, I wasn’t able to do it.
do get back into a natural and ongoing life again
I had become attached to the safety net of that machine and wasn’t about to let it go. And so we continued to monitor her for several weeks until I felt comfortable to let go. I say that to say this. As the regulations and requirements begin to release us from this quarantine, there may be some of us who are not quite ready to reenter society in full just yet. It will take some baby steps and reassurance that all is getting better. Some will jump back into life as though nothing happened. Whatever camp you fall into, neither will be wrong. Go at your own pace, protect yourself and those around you, but do get back into a natural and ongoing life again.
For those who jump, please be patient with the rest of us. We will press forward just at a slower pace. And remember the turtle and the hare both arrived at the same finish line, only not together. We may have been in this same storm together but we will sail out on our own speed. I’m probably in a rowboat. Be cautious, press forward in life, and trust God to see you safely through life’s storms.