I feel like a failure. I feel like I let my children down today as a mother.
Lily had to have a tooth pulled and another tooth beside it filled because of a cavity growing between the two teeth. Our dentist is a kind, patient and gentle woman who Lily really likes and seemed to trust after the first visit. If she hadn’t we would have considered having her put under for the procedure. In the end, all went well. Lily was unsure and a bit scared at times but made it through really well.
I, however, did not. I had to leave the room a couple times to compose myself. I’m so anxious about dentist visits and am an extremely queasy sort- ask anyone! I really wanted to be there for her, especially because Cam was working, and didn’t feel like I was.
Things went well at first. I explained what was going to be done- a needle to freeze her mouth, then pull the tooth and then fill the cavity. She was a bit nervous when I was telling her but keeping matter of fact and unworried seemed to help. We found a little dish that holds a number of different teeth, including one of my own. We looked at the differences in the bear, elk, deer, and mama’s teeth and Lily was really excited to bring them in to show the dentist. She was also excited to be able to have one of her own to add to the mix.
We’d talked about the tooth fairy before and how it was parents who did it but it was a fun thing to do. Weeks ago we had asked my dad what he did with my teeth and was shocked that he just flushed my teeth down the toilet after taking it out from under my pillow. Now, I’m not sure I needed to *save* all my teeth but it might have been nice to do something with them after I’d had a chance to really look at them. Lily wants to put hers under her pillow tonight.
While she was in the chair I was able to chat occasionally about things which really helped keep her mind of the moment. We talked about the funny feeling of the freezing, her tattoos and nail polish, the noisy buzzing of the drill, the massages she loves to give me while I feign being lulled to sleep, the going rate for the tooth fairy… all of it. And yet, I couldn’t stop my anxiety. I was getting hot, sweaty and started having trouble breathing. Thankfully she didn’t notice and when I talked I was able to speak normally. I didn’t want my stress to get to her and slipped outside under the guise of taking Leif to the bathroom. I just felt awful not being able to keep it together the whole time.
I couldn’t stop the panic I felt and containing my emotions was really difficult a few times. It was so hard to see her slightly uncomfortable during the freezing and more uncomfortable when the dentist was pulling the tooth. It obviously didn’t hurt but she was afraid with this unknown experience. I couldn’t do anything and I just sat there fidgeting in my fear and helplessness.