The Pain of Mommy Guilt

My world feels like it shifted slightly.

Okay, maybe more than slightly.

It’s hard to say if I’ll continue to feel that way as the hours tick by, but for now, I can’t see how else to look at things except as before and after.

She’s so little, so new and I’ll forever wonder if this life shift will shape who she morphs into over the days, months, and years to come.

I’ll never really know.

Every time I hold her, I feel immense guilt. I blame myself for letting my guard down, for being too relaxed.

Will that pain ever go away?

Not actually being witness to the fall itself has me imagining what happened. The look of sheer terror on my eight-year-olds face will forever be engraved in my mind.

And no doubt the trauma of the afternoon will forever be in her’s, too.

She will never forget how she felt today, how she felt the day she accidentally dropped her baby sister.

She’ll never forget trying to catch her, only to get an arm under her to soften the blow.

I’ll never forget that cry, that wailing cry of my baby girl in pain.

Babies are born with the fear of falling. Hers has now intensified as a result, I’m sure.

Oh what she must be thinking each time she looks into my eyes.

Am I safe in your arms now, mama?

Her trauma may carry on with her for the rest of her life.

Then again, it may not.

At just three months old, how can we really know? How can we tell?

Before and after.

I look at her and feel like I’ve been given borrowed time. Somehow this event, this earth shattering thing has shifted my perspective a bit. Whereas before I was simply complacent, now I am awake.

Awake.

Aware.

Alert.

On edge.

Will this trauma dig up my own old wounds?

Dear, I hope not.

The best I can do is take things minute by minute, hour by hour. Because that’s all there really is to do.

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