To my beautiful baby girl,
I never knew what it meant to truly be a mother until the first day you got really sick. It was the day I truly became your mother.
You were 7 months old. We had just moved to Los Angeles a month prior, and adjusting was hard for us all, but we were trying. One day, you refused to nap…crying everytime we would try to put you in your pack n’ play (your preferred sleeping spot) to sleep. Then, I touched you- and you felt so warm, I began to panic. I gave you tylenol and watched your fever jump up and down, and held you on my chest to let you sleep even just an hour or two. The next day, your breathing was off to me…and I made your daddy take us to the ER.
You see, when you were born, you had been in the NICU for 2 days for not breathing 100% of what a newborn should. You had ingested some meconium and the doctors had to make sure you were OK before they would even allow me to have you in my room. I didn’t get to see you for 12 hrs after you were born because I was in recovery and you were in NICU and it tore me apart. So when the doctors told me you were having breathing problems again, my heart remembered what it felt like to not be able to just make it all better.
You hadn’t slept more than a few hours here and there in almost 2 days. You barely had eaten (and you LOVED to eat). You were diagnosed with pre-bronchitis and they told me I could stay and use a breathing apparatus to help you breathe clearer or go home and wait for the medicine to kick in.
I looked at your beautiful, sad, tiny, chubby face and couldn’t bear to have you suffer more just to be able to go home- and so we stayed in the hospital for several more hours. I was given a breathing thing that was basically like a steamer with some medicine that I was to hold in front of your face while you breathed it in. As I held you, I rocked you and kissed your beautiful head and told you how much I loved you. I watched your little face as it went from discomfort to relief and finally, sleep. Sleep your little body had been aching for for almost 2 days. I positioned the machine to be near your sleeping face, and I held you and just watched you sleep- not daring to wake you.
When the machine had run it’s course, you still were asleep. I softly set you back into your car seat, and almost 12 hrs later, we left the hospital with 2 prescriptions to fill. At this point, I don’t know how I was still functioning as I hadn’t slept in days, but all I could think about was you getting better. We got your prescription filled, and headed home. We woke you for 5 minutes- long enough to give you medicine and a diaper change, and then back to sleep you went.
24 hrs later- you were back to your normal, cooing, bubbly self- and I realized what motherhood really meant.My heart would never be my own again. It will always belong to you and my job is to protect and care for you…for as long as you allow me to, and even after you stop needing me- I will always be there for you.
Because I am your mommy, and that is what mommy’s do.
I was lucky to have a way to fulfill my daughter’s needs- through insurance, family and products I had available but there are many families out don’t have access to even the basics.
Johnson’s Baby recognized this need and along with new mom, Hilary Duff, and Save the Children, are making a multi-year, multi-million dollar contribution to Save the Children that will help create and sustain key initiatives, including:
- A donation and distribution of thousands of JOHNSON’S® Baby “Care Kits”, providing families with baby care essentials immediately after a disaster. This commitment is an extension of the brand’s existing product donation efforts aimed to meet baby care needs in the U.S. and around the world.
- Funding that enables Save the Children programming, such as Child Friendly Spaces, which supplies moms and children with safe areas to recover, play and experience the joy of being together as a family following a disaster.
- Vital training for health workers in developing countries through the “Helping Babies Breathe” program, which teaches basic techniques to prevent birth asphyxia, saving newborn lives.