I never imagined I would be the mom that left my newborn in the car. I didn’t think something so horrible could happen to me.
Until last year, I judged parents who left their baby in a hot car. I assumed they were negligent and I said that would never happen to me, until it did.
I was in shock when I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child. The pregnancy was unexpected and extremely stressful.
It wasn’t until the end of the pregnancy that I could embrace being a new mom again.
Honestly, I just wasn’t sure I could handle having four children.
I was outnumbered and always feeling scatterbrained, and what happened a few days after her birth didn’t reassure me.
After the quick delivery, I felt better than I had with any of my previous children.
I stayed overnight in the hospital for one night and decided I was ready to go home.
It was strange because I had never had so much energy after childbirth; I felt I was doing great.
That was my first mistake. I should have given myself more time in the hospital, but I was lonely.
You’re Tired After A Newborn: Take A Break!
I took my newborn daughter home and continued life as if I hadn’t just delivered a baby.
The day after we came home from the hospital, I was in Publix doing my favorite thing, “coupon hunting.” In the months before my daughter’s birth, I discovered two new loves: couponing and blogging.
I would stay up until 2-3 am every night working on deals and blogging about them.
When my daughter was born, this lifestyle didn’t end because she was waking up every few hours so I would blog while I nursed.
I think I was functioning on an adrenaline rush. Maybe something crazy happened with my hormones, but I was unusually hyper and didn’t want to sleep.
My parents came to visit when Anna was a week old.
We had a wonderful time, and my mom (who had also gotten into couponing) helped me work on some deals, clip coupons, and get organized.
I Left My Newborn In The Car:
One day, after getting all of our coupons ready, we decided to head to Walgreens to snag a few deals; and we took my newborn with us.
Now before I continue, let me say this: It has taken me almost two years to get to the point where I can forgive myself for what happened, and it is extremely embarrassing to me as a mother. I hope that sharing this will help other new moms.
When we pulled into Walgreens, we were on a mission.
We weren’t there to shop; we just wanted to grab our freebies and head home.
We searched the store and found that most of the things we wanted were not in stock, so we headed out. That’s when it hit me…
We had Anna with us.
Only she wasn’t with us. She was in the van.
Alone and crying.
I rushed to the van, afraid.
Afraid she was hurt, afraid someone had already called the cops, afraid the world was about to know what a horrible mom I was.
I opened the door and quickly pulled her from her seat.
I got into the back seat with her and feed her as I sobbed; my mom was in shock; she couldn’t believe what had just happened.
After that, I was sure I was fit to be a mother of four. I held on to that guilt for quite some time.
Tips For Moms of Newborns:
Moms aren’t perfect. We make mistakes…lots of them.
It’s easy to forget about a sleeping baby in the van when you are always accustomed to riding with 3 noisy kids.
After you have a baby, it is important to take time to rest, no matter how good you think you feel. I was dead tired and didn’t even know it.
The following week I was like a Zombie, literally. I look back on the month after her birth, and I’m unsure how we survived it.
Look, I will never condone leaving a baby in the car, even for a minute, but I now have a better understanding of how it happens, and praise God it was October and not July.
Although just last year a baby died from being left in the car in December in Mobile, AL (where we lived at the time).
I feel horrible for every mother who has made the same mistake I did, with deadly consequences.
Take care of yourselves, new mommies…. by doing so, you’re taking care of your precious baby as well.