The sun was shining, and the weather was cool. I was thinking to myself how beautiful of a day it was in Alabama as I was picking up Shashy Poo from school. As we bent the corner traveling down highway 280, she began to tell me about her day, like she usually did. Liam was in the backseat beside her, strapped in his infant car seat along for the ride. She and I were engaged in conversation for a little less than 10 mins when Liam started crying. Hmmm, that’s strange. He doesn’t typically cry on car rides.
As mothers, we know that different cries mean different things. There is a cry for hunger, a diaper change, one for I just want somebody to hold me, etc. But this cry Liam let out, I didn’t recognize. I asked Shashy Poo to see if he wanted his binky or his bottle, surely that would sooth him until we got home and I could hold him for a little while.
As she attempted to give him his binky, he waved her hand away. When she tried to hand him his bottle, he threw it on the floor and started screaming louder and louder. I could feel knots form in the pit of my stomach as I knew something was wrong, I just didn’t know what.
“Maybe something bit him?” I tried to reason with myself, while attempting to drive and look in my rearview mirror at my distressing baby boy in his car seat. He moved his head to the side and my eyes grew as big as bowling balls when I saw his neck, “What in the world?”
I asked Shashy Poo to look at his neck as I looked through the mirror, and his neck was swollen, and red. Liam was light brown skin and what you could consider a skinny baby, so for his neck to be swollen, and visually red was very alarming. Something was wrong with my baby.
I pulled over on the side of the road, jumped out of the car, and ran around to open the back door to get to him. I unstrapped him from his seat to hold him, it was my first instinct because I knew my touch would soothe his cries if nothing else. And for a moment, it did. He wasn’t the type of baby to cry very often, so the fact that he was crying uncontrollably was scaring me.
As I held him in my arms, I was trying to examine his neck to see where he had been bit, trying to make sense of what was happening. My heart was racing, my eyes filled with water and tears began to stream down my face as I realized that he hadn’t been bitten by anything, because his entire neck was swollen, and it looked as if he couldn’t breathe. And then, I felt as if I couldn’t breathe...
The only thing I could think to do was pray, “Lord, please don’t let my baby boy die...”