A helplessness so overwhelming, I fear I might drown

There are few things in this world that make me feel helpless. Calculus, maybe. For the most part, I’m pretty in control of myself. If I get lost, I drive around until things start looking moderately familiar, or grab my cell phone and call someone who can steer me in the right direction. If I’m stuck somewhere, like say an airport, with no viable means to get where I need to go, I call friends, bitch and then hit the airport bar. Or, if I’m with students, we set up a mock volleyball court in baggage claim or hold backwards escalator races until we get yelled at by airport security at 4 a.m. Hearing my son cry though, leaves me feeling like I too am an infant.


He had to get a round of shots today. Two in each leg and an oral vaccine for the rotovirus. He was quite the little trooper when he got the actual shots. I mean he screamed like the world was coming to an end, but once I got a pacifier in his mouth and started rocking him as I walked, he calmed down. A placid look came over his face and he quietly sucked and stared until we got to the car. Once there, he fell immediately asleep and stayed that way for a good hour or so. When he woke up, he seemed pleasant at first. We got through the diaper change with no problem. As soon as I picked him up, the screaming started.


I’m not talking about the typical baby cry. I don’t even think I could call this a wail. It was an out and out, hysterical screaming fest. No pacifier would soothe him. The rocking chair was useless. Walking outside, his usual quick fix, didn’t even cause him to skip a blood curdling scream. The only thing that even kind of calmed him down, was standing and rocking him slowly while he gazed up at the ceiling fan. The second I even tried to sit down in the chair, still in complete view of the fan, his face turned a shade of red I didn’t know existed outside a Crayola box and the eruption began anew. With no clue as to what else to do, up I went.


I’m happy to hold him. I love snuggling him, but at four months, he’s just over 16 ½ pounds and after a few minutes, my arms were aching. I was suddenly reminded of gym class when I had to stand with my arms out at shoulder length for what seemed like hours on end while my sadistic troll of a teacher talked with the other coaches.


I gave him baby Tylenol…nothing. I fed him…a temporary solution, but more screaming ensued. I called the doctor. She said to deal and give him baby Tylenol again around 9. That was three hours away. A wave of helplessness washed over me and all I could do was move back under the fan, cuddle, rock and sing songs quietly in his ear. I couldn’t take his pain away though, and that, is a horrible feeling. Knowing there is nothing I can do while the one person I love most in this world suffers is excruciating. It’s made worse by the fact that the poor little guy can’t even tell me what is wrong. All he can do is let the tears roll down his face, hoping I can make it better. But I can’t. All I can do is slip him some more Tylenol, yes, before 9, and hope it helps him sleep until the pain is over.


This being a mom thing can sure suck at times.



Filed under love, motherhood

2 responses to “A helplessness so overwhelming, I fear I might drown

  1. La

    Please tell me he’s not still crying… 😦

  2. beetqueen

    No, he was fine the next morning, but it was a miserable, miserable night.

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