When I became a Mother it didn't even cross my mind the level of guilt I could feel when I have regret or think I've made a mistake.
Recently Grub has been feeling under the weather, with a fluctuating fever for the past three weeks. My GP couldn't give us any answers and after a night of Grub's temperature reaching 40 degrees, I decided to take her to children's emergency to see if they could tell me anything my GP couldn't. The Doctor at emergency asked for a urine sample, a stool sample and a blood test. I don't know if its because of my severe sleep deprivation, my thoughts over run with worry for baby Grub or that I'm just a bit slow but it didn't occur to me how invasive a blood test on a little one would be.
At first the nurse asked me to sit Grub on my lap and hold arms while she tightened the strap to Grub's arm and then began to forcefully pump her arm to find her little veins. She called in another, most likely senior nurse to ask if she had found a vein or not. The senior nurse nodded with the go ahead. At this point Grub was already trying to break free but as the nurse used her needle over and over to try and find Grub's vein, she began crying and flinching. The nurse gave up on that arm and asked if we could lay Grub down and try the other arm.
I held her for a while, offering my breast for comfort.. she wouldn't have a bar of it. She suckled for a little, still whimpering as she sucked, but pushed me away. We were hurried along by the nurse, Mike had to hold down Grub's legs while I had to hold her arm and her chest. The nurse forcefully pumped Grub's arm again and she began crying in protest, then as the nurse tried to find her vein with the needle, Grub started screaming like I've never heard before. She went all red, tears where streaming out of her eyes, she was frothing at the mouth, she kept looking at me to help her... but I didn't, I just looked into her eyes with complete shock, that I was letting this happen to my baby girl. I didn't stop it and I feel so guilty.
Its been almost 4 days now the fever is gone... no thanks to the blood test and what was once a happy, independent baby Grub, is now clinging, whinging, rarely smiles or laughs, hits me, and is having sleep problems and night terrors. We've both been traumatised by this expereince and I'm trying my best to rebuild our bond and I'm confident I'll gain her trust again... But its the guilt thats killing me.