I'm a mom who forgot her baby in the car.
It was in our driveway, I brought all the groceries in, and it was a few minutes before Nelson was like “did you forget your daughter In the car?”
It gave me nightmares! I was having dreams of honestly forgetting her, coming out of the store and camera crews all around, the police, and a strange woman who would let me comfort my child who was screaming for me.. I would wake up in cold sweats. I downloaded an app that anytime my car is parked for 3 minutes, it will notify me. Nelson was sending me messages after I would drop him off at work, “have a good day baby, the baby is in the car.”
I was terrified to be that mom, whose child dies in the car heat... I had major anxiety.
Especially since not long before there was a post about “you don’t just forget. I’m forgetful, and I would never forget my kid in a car.”
Nelson would always say I was fine, that it won’t happen again.
It happened again, it was in a busy parking lot in Toronto, it was summer, but it wasn’t hot that day.
It was about 10 minutes before Nelson asked how “baby was feeling..” and I was like “she was very clingy to...OMG SHES IN THE CAR!” and I ran to the car to find her just staring out the back window like.. “what you doing mom?” and I bawled. I felt like the worst mother ever. I cried. and Nelson couldn’t make me feel better. I cried for three days. I was afraid to go anywhere with her any more. For a whole day, I searched google for the car seat post.. and EVERY person that commented how the mom should rot in hell, that she should be in a straight jacket and out into the hot car... I read them like they were right. Like I deserved it. They were right! I’m an unfit parent and my kids deserved better.
I saw my dr... I’ve been seeing him for PPD.. I broke down and told him how I forgot my baby in the car, AGAIN.. he thought it was the antidepressants I just started taking that was making me forgetful. REALLY forgetful. I forgot to pay for things, I forgot to check if my car needed gas... I would forget to eat, forget appointments, forget my birthday, forget groceries I paid for at the store, forget how to spell Nelson’s name.. one day I was filling out a birthday card, and I spelled “Happy Birthday” and “love” wrong- ON TWO CARDS... on the third Nelson helped me write it out... and I spelled my name “ehco.”
I would be driving, look back and see her car seat and PANIC.. “OMG? WHERES MY BABY?!” for 3 seconds until I remembered I left her at home with Nelson so I wouldn’t forget her in the car.
I was given an emergency appointment to Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
Where in two hours, I was officially diagnosed with Postpartum Depression, and ADD.
I was given medication to treat both, and immediate therapy with a psychiatrist until they could get me into therapy.
I don’t forget anything anymore.
So, yes. it happens.
You can forget about a child.
It really is a change in routine. It's not always a mental disorder or illness.
What makes it worse- is that my car had no tinted windows... I looked but I just didn't "see" my baby.
If you forget your child in the car, that doesn’t make you all those things that strangers say on the internet.
Don’t let them make you believe you’re a terrible parent. Accidents happen.
What most of the world doesn’t understand, is mental health.
You can be an amazing parent like me, and still make mistakes, even HUGE mistakes.
Just make sure you see a doctor if you find you’re becomingforgetful, if you’re experiencing PPD (mother or father, or even a guardian or adoptive parent can get PPD)
If I had listened to the internet, and people’s opinions, I never would have discovered it was just a blip in my mental health, it wasn’t who I was.
I’m one of the lucky ones, my daughter is still alive, but I know how many times it could have ended differently.
Lastly, instead of tearing down parents who have been through this, why don’t we do something that will save lives instead? You could share this, you could get your local grocery store to put up a poster “did you leave anything in your car?”- With a picture of a baby/dog. You could even check in with new moms and dads, and mention this story so they too can keep themselves in check.
It’s 2018, it’s time to stop talking shit about parents who bust their asses trying to be “a good enough” parent, and help them know they are doing the best they can, and that’s what makes them the best .