I know we've all accidentally pinched their skin in a buckle... or stepped on a toe when they're hanging on our legs while trying to get dinner ready. How many times have I bumped into one of the girls and knocked her down? I think the list goes on and on...and our guilt is endless.
Our purpose in life...our ONLY purpose in life...is too protect these amazing little beings. We feed and water them, clothe and house them, and are prepared to violently protect them at any cost. They are pieces of us and our basic instinct is to keep these babies safe. I think most parents would do anything in their power to avoid having their child EVER feel pain.
So I frequently ask "Why?"
Why do I have to repeatedly and deliberately hurt my baby? Why do I have to live with the guilt of inflicting this pain on her? I lay in bed at night and hear her sweet little 2 year-old voice in my head... "Mommy, NO! Mommy, STOP! Mommy OWIE!" I hear her sister saying, "I'm here Ava, hold my hand!" and I wonder how this affects innocent Zoe.
I ABHOR granulomas! It's the nasty tissue that builds around Ava's g-tube site and pushes up against her "tubie". It is raw and painful and causes the feeding tube to become tight and irritated. Every tubie-mommy fights a daily battle against it. Sometimes the tissue quiets down and stays under control...sometimes, if you let your guard down, it comes back with a vengeance.
We are in the vengeance stage. It's a daily fight and it's not won easily. In fact, right now I feel like I'm losing the battle.
Ava knows it's coming. She knows that after her bath, I'm going to remove her gauze and then hurt her. She starts telling me, "No!" and grabbing my hands the minute I lay her down, wrapped snug in her towel. She sees the silver nitrate stick and knows that I'm going to hurt her.
Silver nitrate is a caustic substance that actually burns her skin...literally BURNS her! I have to run this stick on the granuloma (which already hurts) and BURN it off! I have to do it every night until it gets back under control. I have to burn off enough so that more of the granuloma comes off than builds-up over the next 24 hours. It HURTS and it makes her cry...ALOT!
I don't have to use the silver nitrate all the time, I can usually keep the granuloma tissue under control...but this time, it has gotten away from me...it's pretty big and I'm struggling to get rid of it.
She tells me throughout the day that "tubie hurts, Mommy"...but to help her, I have to hurt her...and every time I do it, it feels like a piece of me is being burned too.
I tell her that if she'd just eat...if she'd just eat we could take "tubie" out and the pain would go away. But she's 2...sometimes her eyes have this sadness when I tell her that...as if she knows...but she doesn't know how to fix things. It's as if she's looking to me for the answers and pleading with me to help her. It's devastating to me to admit that I don't know how.
So all I can do right now is just hold her tight, rock her, and wipe away her tears as the silver nitrate sears through her delicate skin...and wait for it to stop hurting.