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To the Conditions That Force Me to Do What No Mother Should Have to Do

Dear Laryngomalacia/Tracheomalacia,

It’s been 18 months since you made your awful appearance in our lives. It seems odd to me that 18 months ago I had no idea who or what you were, let alone how to spell your name. I now know how to spell it forwards and backwards and know you inside and out. I had no idea 18 months ago how you were going to turn my world upside down. How much you were going to affect my daughter. How you were going to change me as a mother. I had no idea how to care for a child who had LM/TM. I had no idea how to cope with the bomb that doctors just dropped on me. 

You make me so completely and utterly angry. I don’t think I’ve every felt so angry or had so much hatred until I learned about what you would do to my daughter. You took away my newborn’s breath; you made her turn blue and go limp on more than one occasion. I had to hold my baby down while a doctor took a scope and stuck down her nose while she screamed, gasped for air and looked to me for help. When he was done, the doctor told me, “Your daughter has LM/TM.” I can’t describe the anger I felt from then on. 

You’ve upset me. You’ve made me wish away my daughter’s first 18 months of life in hopes of something better for her. I was supposed to be enjoying her every minute while on maternity leave; instead I was constantly in hospitals, by her bedside, wishing we never met you. You’ve made my heart ache. You’ve made me cry until there were no more tears left.

You’ve betrayed me. LM/TM is supposed to only be noisy breathing; it’s only supposed to be an annoyance for parents, just a sound. You were supposed to clear up in the first three months of her life. We’ve been watching and waiting for you to leave; you were supposed to be gone by now. An 18-month-old baby should have never had as many problems as she’s had so far, taken as many medications as she’s taken, been on a first-name basis with the pediatric staff at the hospital.

You’ve made me do things I never thought I’d have to. I never thought I’d have to hear an alarm go off in the middle of the night telling me my baby has not taken a breath in 20 seconds. I never thought I’d ever see my infant lying blue and lifeless. No mother should ever have to give her child CPR, yet you’ve made me give my infant CPR four times. Every night you make me worry she’s going to stop breathing. I hate you for making me feel like that. I will never be the same because of that. A mother should never have to feel that way. A mother should never have to pray every night that her baby wakes up in the morning. 

You’ve made me crumble into a million pieces any time we get bad news from the doctor. Everyone thinks I’m great at holding it together, but really I’m just great at pretending. All of this is your fault.

I’ve come to the realization that I can either resent and hate you forever or I can accept you and try to move on. For now, all we can do is try to keep going, give her medication, go to therapy and hope that you leave my daughter alone soon.

Please leave us alone soon,

Olivia’s Mom

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