Adventures in New Motherhood: Things that go flap in the night

Once upon a time, when I was the still-new mother of a four-month old boy, a bat landed on my face in the middle of the night.

A daring adventure into the woods with our brand new babe, you ask? Oh no, just in our bedroom, with little Sweet Cheeks sleeping just feet away.

The panic that ensued was straight from a movie. Batty McNemesis continued darting around the bedroom, zeroing in on me twice more as I scrambled towards the bassinet and shut it safely in the bathroom. Holding my pillow up like a shield, I ugly-cried while my husband valiantly swatted the air with a broom. Eventually, Batty allegedly let himself out the front door and we were left in stunned, clammy silence.

Because there was no convincing me in that moment of Batty’s true departure, we fled to my parents’ house where I conducted a full-blown examination on my precious little one (who, naturally, slept through the entire ordeal like a champ), inspecting him for any blemish that resembled the classic vampire fang bite. While scorching the first layer of my skin off in the shower next, my mind raced more than it had over the past four months.

What had my baby been exposed to?

Did that bat flap its grimey wings directly over my baby’s head, sprinkling him with microscopic particles of bat feces while throwing his fuzzy little head back with maniacal laughter?

Did it bite me? Will it be obvious when I become a vampire?

Visions of foamy mouths and Amazonian diseases were swirling around in my brain. The unknowns were killing me.

It wasn’t until a few days later that a well-intentioned individual presented us with the possibility of rabies.

Rabies.

Low on the list of what every new mom wants to take into consideration with her little bundle of joy. Also not the best proposal to a sleep-deprived mother with handheld access to Google and plenty of time to browse during late-night feedings.

We were instructed to report the incident to the Health District and then visit the ER for each of us to get a preventative rabies vaccine. Left out was the small detail about the rabies vaccine being a series of vaccines, thus beginning our weeks-long trip into new parent hell.

This sequence of events solidified for me that mommin’ ain’t easy. No one anticipates the possibility of a Creature of the Night flitting around the head of their peacefully sleeping infant within THEIR OWN BEDROOM WITH FOUR WALLS AND A ROOF. And yet, after it’s all said and done, I can hold this entire ordeal as some twisted badge of honor, or maybe create a sweet t-shirt that reads: “A bat forced me into neurosis over watching my newborn get a total of eight injections in his perfectly porky thighs and all I got was this stupid shirt!”

I mostly enjoy sharing this story because of the reaction it gets. I hope you laughed. We’re all just fine—none of us have red beady eyes or sparkle in the sunlight.

If you ever do find yourself in a similar kind of new mom nightmare, feel free to get in touch. I know a thing or two about bats, ER waiting rooms and the reassuring resilience of infants.

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