Stop Me If You've Heard This One
Night at the Roxbury

Angel On Your Shoulder

Last night things returned to their usual clusterfuck: Ezra woke up at 2:30, and less than an hour later Noah appeared at my bedside in near tears over a dream about plane, Grandma and Ceiba -- something so vivid, apparently, that he still runs to my side for a reassuring hug every time a plane flies overhead. We attempted to return the boys to their respective beds around 4:30, which lasted for about an hour for Noah ("My tummy hurrrrrts. And the plane! The plaaaane!") and about five minutes for Ezra.

I grumpily and blindly reswaddled Ezra's arms in total darkness and tried to put him in his swing (look, the 30-Day Shred is making my muscles sore enough -- I am now officially cherishing every inch of my personal space at night), but that didn't work either. Defeated, I brought him back to bed, carefully flipped down the loose sheets and blankets, curled around him protectively with my back to Jason and Noah, and fell sound asleep.

At some point I felt a hand on my shoulder. It squeezed and shook me a little, the way Jason does when he's trying to wake me up or make sure that I know it's time to wake up, wordlessly, lest I roll over and slug him. (I'm...not nice, first thing.) My eyes opened and I slowly realized it was still pitch black out -- what the FUCK was he waking me up for? After the night we had? Seriously, DUUUUUDE.

I groggily glanced down at the baby...

...who was completely still, his face covered by the swaddling blanket.

I frantically yanked the layers off. I'd wrapped him too loosely and sloppily, and exactly like Ashley mentioned in the comments yesterday, he'd raised his arms and pulled everything over his head.

He was fine. Warm and breathing. I sat there staring at him, panting in the wake of those 15 seconds or so of panic.

I turned around, already wondering how Jason could have known to wake me up...but he was sound asleep, his arms fully engaged around Noah, who was curled into a sleeping little ball with his hands under his chin. I put my own hand on my shoulder, where I swear I could still feel the sensation of that life-saving squeeze.

I know most parents have had those moments -- those terrible what-if moments that leave you totally shaken long after you know everything is fine, that you still replay over and over to chastise yourself for that moment of carelessness, stupidity, of oh my god you know better! what were you thinking?  And then you gulp and whisper thanks to Someone and mark one down in the Never Doing That Again column, but still. All day you're sort of unsettled, like a toddler trying to sort through a dream about his dog, his Grandma and a plane falling from the sky.

I keep telling him that it's okay, that it wasn't real.  

The baby is okay, although the danger was pretty real. The hand on my shoulder, though. That. I don't know. I just don't know.



Wow, that's pretty intense...and pretty awesome. It gave me chills.

Katie Kat

It's one of those super powers we get when we become mothers! I'm glad it all turned out fine! {{{{HUGS}}}}

natasha the exile on Mom Street

Angels baby.

Little ones keep 'em busy working overtime.


It's amazing we get any sleep at all ever once we have a kid-- it's too scary!


Have chills after reading this... those hands have shaken me as well. I like to think they're Madeline's guardian angels, watching as I get rest. It's a comforting, reassuring feeling for sure.

What a beautiful post. Glad you're all happy & well.


Total goosebumps. Loved this. So glad everything is ok!




That just brought tears to my already teary-I-just-gave-birth-a-week-ago-weary eyes.
I can't imagine how you must have felt and I am thoroughly creeped out by it. I just hope I have an angel like that too if the need arises. And maybe one who can breastfeed at 3AM.


amazing. and wonderful. and yes, i've had a couple of those experiences.


Such a good description of how one feels after a "you know better" mistake you make out of fatigue. When my kids were Ezra's age, I remember waking up and not finding the baby next to me, almost having a heart attack and realizing she had somehow scooted all the way down on the bed, under a duvet! Felt exactly the same way you did. Another time, I remember nursing the baby cradle style on the bed, all through a miserable night. Then, I don't know how much later, I found myself on the toliet and looking at my hands and panicking, thinking, where did I drop the baby? I let out a shrill yelp and my husband came rushing in, and I said, where is the baby, and he said, dude, the baby is happily and sound asleep in bed and you even had the presence of mind to put a pillow on the empty side while you used the bathroom. The next day, he took off from work and let me sleep all day. I felt off kilter all day. Sleep deprivation, what a powerful form of torture.


That is really powerful. Angels are the real deal, I think. Love on your babies a little extra today!


Oh sweetie! How scary! But babies do have angels. Moms can't be there 24/7. My babies hated to be swaddled, so I can't feel your pain there. I gave up on blankets all together and just put them in warm footie pjs. In contrast to how they now sleep at 14 and 16! I stand in their bedroom doors in the mornings and think Hmmmmmm I know that somwhere under that pile of blankets, pillows, laptops, cell phones and cats there is a child!


Oh, yeah that was me. I was just checking to see if you wanted a bite of my meatball sub. Glad I was able to help! Because I ate the whole sub.

Thank god everything was ok.


I totally believe it. Once I fell asleep in the car when I was driving and I felt a DISTINCT yank on my ponytail and heard someone yell "HEATHER!!" in my ear. It woke me up enough that I felt really weird about it the entire rest of my drive! To this day I don't have any answers for that.


I think you know. :o)

Parsing Nonsense

That would be enough to leave me unsettled all day too. Thanks for sharing the story, it's a really cool reminder that we're not in this alone!

Catherine S

Holy Crap, just really holy crap. When those things happen, it really shakes you out of any sense of comfort you may have. But also makes you realize how many blessings we have. First by having the baby and over and over again by getting past those everyday near misses.


I think you know, too. I'm so glad the baby is fine. And poor Noah, I hope he has some happy plane dreams to wipe out whatever bad dreams he's had.


Oh my - your own personal angel!


Wow. I'm a little terrified just reading it, and very, very thankful on your behalf. I'm glad everyone's ok.


Beautiful -- isn't it just amazing how in touch we are with our babes??

Also -- another of the many perks of co-sleeping!! You were RIGHT there when he needed you!


What you wrote gave me chills - something very similar happened to me and to this day, I'm convinced it was my mother (who has passed away), who was warning me - and quite possibly saved me from serious eye damage - long story - won't get into it here.

And don't beat yourself up - remember...sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. When you're in the midst of three months with no sleep, you'll do anything to get three consectutive hours - my bad moment came when my oldest was on the bed and I thought he was completely safe whilst I ran to the washroom - turns out, he knew how to turn out. Thump! Wail! Me running to the room with my pants around my ankles and visions of Children's Aid knocking at my door.

Mrs Pop

That gave me chills, too. I've had those heart-stopping, Thank You GOD it wasn't a disaster, moments. Two, actually. But I didn't have the angel on my shoulder. That is incredible.


That is amazing. I am dying laughing, though, about the comment above that says that a super excellent angel would also be able to nurse at 3:00! Ha!

I always think it is SUPREMELY unfair that the craziest things happen in the middle of the night, when you are at your craziest too. WHY can't they love to nurse a lot in the middle of the day?

Bozoette Mary

Yep. Guardian angel.


Something similar happened to me when my son was 6 months old. I still have a hard time getting the vision out of my brain of my baby with a blanket wrapped around his head. I'm glad it turned out OK. This kind of stuff happens to all of us, even the second time around!


Chills. I have goosebumps right now.


That's pretty amazing. Gave me chills. We all need an angel over our shoulder once in awhile.


Beautiful. And you know what? The part where you say "I don't know...I just don't know..."? Yeah you do.

Hugs. Life is truly beautiful.


So glad everyone is okay!

My sister in law had a similar scare. My nephew always pulled blankets over his face, so she always just dressed him warmly without any blankets. Then she tried the blankets and it all seemed okay. She tucked the blankets across his belly and then tight under the mattress so he couldn't pull it up. Twenty minutes later she thought she should go check on him and he had completely turned so his feet were sticking out of the blankets and his face was covered beneath. She was totally freaked out (and rightfully so). He's almost two now and is just getting receiving blankets back.


Moments like that make me realize angels are real. He's ok. You're ok. It's all ok.


So glad little Ezra was fine! My moment like that was leaving the pacificier tether attached to my first when I put her to bed and then going in later for a feeding and seeing it stretched across her throat. Not choking her, but with that potential. So scary! Whoever said the little ones keep angels working overtime was absolutely right!


I felt a shudder and a chill of horror at your story. Thank GOD and the angel on your shoulder that you are all perfect this a.m. I had a friend that told me that my putting my baby in blankets was horribly, horribly dangerous (they weren't swaddling, like yours) and I listened to her and am now very, very glad I did. God bless you and your family!


Wow. Just wow.

I do think someone is always watching out for us. Glad the eyes were on you and Ezra last night!

P.S. I agree with everyone about not beating yourself up. We all make those sorts of mistakes at times.

Sprite's Keeper

It's stuff like this that makes my science skewed mind want to believe. Thanks.
and, Duuude!


Thank god for angels. I'm glad everything turned out okay.

Alicia Millis

I have goosebumps! Angels are pretty awesome hey?! I have had a few angel moments too, they stay with you forever. I am glad Ezra is ok :)

Sensibly Sassy

Thank goodness he is okay. I got chills reading this, I think someone was looking out for you...

Ashley Fitting

Wow - Totally had goosebumps with that one. Strange how the world works sometime... glad the little guy is ok :-)


I dreamed one night that the baby was under my sleeping husband, I put my hand under husband and grabbed the baby's little leg as hard as I could and was pulling with all my might...except baby was in his crib and it wasn't a leg I was pulling! Heh!!
Angels,no other explanation.


That's an awesome story. I'm in the goosebump camp.


This brought tears to my eyes. How scary. Those moments really stick.

Crystal D

This is exactly why, at the beginning of this week, I had to stop swaddling Charlotte. She was breaking free from even the most secure swaddles. So right now she is sleeping like CRAP, but at least she is not covering her face with her blanket (and I was even using the velcro swaddle things, super tight).
Anyway, last night the bugger learned to roll over. Frick.
So now I am crawling down to her bed every time I hear her get stuck, which is uh every 10 minutes.

Rebecca (Bearca)



Thank God when we're weak, he's strong! I survived spinal meningitis when I was 15 and my husband survived a car wreck in which the only thing left of the car was his seat (1 month after we were married, mind you). Our angels never leave us... At least I think mine work overtime! You should feel no guilt - just thankfulness that Ezra is just fine!


Whoa. That totally gave me chills!!


Oh my goodness!
I too have had a similar experience. My daughter was 6 weeks old and was colicky with the best of them. I fell asleep with her swaddled and nursing on top of me at the wee hours of the morning! Something made me wake up and without hesitation i reached over the side of the bed and grabbed her as she was taking a nose dive off of the bed! It still gives me chills, but it is comforting to know that we are not all alone in this world!


Please please please.

This is not a criticism.

And most of the time bad things dont happen.

But infants do NOT belong in bed with adults. They simply do not. Put a bassinet in the bedroom with you, whatever but please STOP doing this.

My Dad is a retired Coroner, and that has always been one of his biggest, biggest pet peeves. He stated he'd seen enough tragedies of this sort where the parent unknowingly rolled over on the infant and smothered them. Yes, sometimes it was because they had done drugs, sometimes a glass of wine and sometimes they were just SO DARN TIRED that they didnt notice until too late. He was always so upset because it didnt have to happen. He is still just so against the parental bed for infants.

Its not worth it. Let him scream. IT wont kill him - he will get used to it. God woke you THIS morning. Take heed.


Oh . and yes you do know.

You were raised to know, you may have abandoned it, but He hasn't abandoned you.

You know.


His eyes are on the sparrow, I know He watches me! And you! And Ez! And everybody! Amen!


Wow, that is truly amazing. Chills.
We are co-sleeping with our 4-month old, but it's not co-sleeping so much as it's everyone sleeping except for me. I believe the little stinker is starting to teethe already, so he loves to shove fabric of any kind all up in his face so that he can gnaw on it. So I have to "sleep" (haha, like I have slept in months) with one hand clutching the covers and keeping them below his chest. Even with that it makes me nervous. Wish he had been born in the spring so that it wouldn't be so damn cold at night.


Thanks for sharing your story, Amy. It brought me back to the summer day when I packing to go on a trip. I suddenly had the extreme urge to find my 2 year old son. He was perched at the top of the ladder going into our swimming pool. He somehow managed to unlatch the gate and get in. We put a padlock on the gate for years after that.
An angel was looking out for him and ME that day.


What a terrifying moment that must have been! I am always especially grateful for the totally unexplainable moments, because I am a deeply rational person at heart, and it's good for me to be reminded that some things can't be explained rationally. Here's to healthy, safe babies and to unexplained hands waking us so we can continue to keep them safe.


Dear Anonymous -- there is a significant body of literature demonstrating the safety of shared sleep. There are, of course, risks, but there are also risk to putting a baby to sleep in a crib. Amy (along with about 30-bajillion co-sleeping families around the globe -- and across the eons!) are doing NOTHING wrong!


Something like that happened to me with my third (the first I tried co-sleeping with). We were happily sleeping away when I kept having this annoying voice interrupt my dream, "where's the baby, is the baby ok, where's the baby, check the baby". I bolted upright in my sleep to find exactly what you wrote. A bundle of blankets completely covering the baby's entire upper body. (I figured I had flipped them up onto the baby somehow in the night, still haven't figured out how though) Baby was fine but to this day the event kind of freaks me out. Thanks goodness for whatever it was.



My mom once said when I was a baby she couldn't afford a crib, just the mattress. One night she woke up with a very strong thought in her head of, "Check on the baby." She went to check on me and somehow I'd gotten the cord for the alarm clock wrapped around my neck.

Something out there is looking over babies and moms alike.


Not to sound harsh but.... I think people overreact about blankets with babies. Sure it's not great for them, but babies slept with blankets for years. There's pictures of my in my crib at a really young age with my head completely shoved into the blankets. I can only guess my mom found it funny so she took a picture.

It is good that everyone is ok though... and I admit to getting nervous when my little one manages to smush her head into the mattress laying tummy down or gets a blanket over her head :)


Wow. Goosebumps over here.


You've gotta read this... Psalms 91....


His angel is watching, or maybe yours.

No pun intended but - thank God, right?

Scary. Once I unplugged the iron but left it sitting on the ironing board. A few minutes later I noticed my baby daughter had crawled over and was sitting playing under the ironing board, right next to the dangling cord of the still hot iron. That child will be 20 years old in April and remembering this still gives me shivers.


I have chills running up and down my body right now! God never leaves glad he's okay Momma!!!! (((hugs!)))


Anonymous - Thank you for your concern, and I know you mean well, realize this scare had nothing to do with co-sleeping, right? But with a bad swaddle, that he very easily could have smothered himself with in the crib or bassinet? Where I might not have been *right there* to fix? It wasn't my body or our sheets or pillows or bed that posed the danger, but his (very Biblical!) swaddling clothes.

Sorry, don't mean to be defensive about what was clearly a fuck-up on my part, but wanted to clarify.


Definitely had those moments, mostly more when everything should be fine but I have a bad feeling and have to check on them. It's always these moments when I find them about to tip over in the crib or about to take a wooden toy to the window, or other horrible things that they should not be able to do. I've caught more than one toddler just as he tripped on his way down the stairs. All I can think is that the human brain is far more impressive than we usually realize. And, though I'm a klutz in many ways I have the instinct to save little creatures who can't save themselves. Call it maternal instinct, call it human instinct, call it love, whatever. All I know is that I usually cry and then feel so grateful and shaky and then try to keep going.


Praise be to God!

“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Wonderful story; gave me chills to hear about Him at work!


Oh my word.
Angels are definitely out there and one was watching over y'all for sure.

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