Last night, U had a seizure.
I knew I loved my children but did not realize the depth and power of that love until I thought that one of them was dying.
Piper came into our room at about five. I heard the bed squeak in the children's room and told H that "U is going to be scared without Piper." Then I heard a thumb, and a kind of rhythmic beating on the floor. I must have known at some level what was going on because I got up and ran in. I wish there was a way to convey the terror of seeing your child, so tiny and vulnerable on the floor, their body arching in rigid movements, eyes rolled up into their head. There was a part of me that knew he wasn't dying but it didn't stop anther big part of me from thinking that he was. I screamed for H to call 911. He was really right behind me. I was kicking stuff out of the way, and H was on the floor beside U. I ran upstairs and called 911.
Then I couldn't go back into the room. For a few seconds, I stood terrified at my open door, talking to the dispatcher, trying to hold it together but knowing deep inside me that I was not sure I could mentally survive U dying. And there was dark terror that one could love another human being to that level. To love something as fragile as a human takes such an enormous risk.
All this went through my head in seconds.
When I walked into the room, at the dispatcher's request, H was sitting on the floor, holding a non responsive U, and crying "Please Goosey come back." "Is he breathing?" I cried. "I don't know." H said his voice hoarse with panic and that same despair that had settled deep inside me. He was breathing. H moved with him onto the bed while I paced on the phone with the dispatcher waiting for the medics to come. At first, Umberto was unconscious. When he came back to us, he didn't appear to recognize us, and then he finally looked at me and whispered "Mama."
I felt detached at this point.Almost as if to feel would take him from me. Maybe if I could shelf some of this intensity the pain would be less. I ended up driving him to the ER. Trying so hard to chat like everything was okay. Inside I was crumbling, terrified that he was going to seize in the car or that he would die before I got him to ER. Once in ER, he quickly came to himself. He was reading, talking to me, responsive, not shaking anymore. He only lost it when they had to draw blood.
They don't know what's wrong with him if anything. I guess it's fairly normal for children to seize without reason. We were told to watch him basically to see if it happens again. Living like this is a bit scary. I didn't dare go to sleep when we got back until I knew H was going to be awake watching over him. I find it hard to let him out of my sight. I have broken down a few times today, leaning into H and sobbing. This love is scary and painful. To know that to lose someone so fragile could be so devastating is a frightening prospect to look full on. And there is no longer the option of distance. This is the child I carried in my body, that I pushed into the world, that I nursed. He is like my own body but not...even more of a wild card than my own body. But I can not not love him. Not have him buried deep inside me.
Love is a wild and dangerous thing. Unpredictable. But for today, on this day where we are supposed to give thanks, I give thanks every time I see my little man. Knowing that he is alive.