The first three days at work were pretty okay. No tears and I felt good knowing Lila was being taken care of my Gramma Batman. We spent a lot of time snuggling her this weekend and I was ready to head into my first full week back when things started going downhill on Sunday. Culminating in what was the scariest moment of my life last night.
I woke up in the morning feeling really cold. I am generally a cold person, so I thought it was just me. But then Luke came down and told me the heat was out and that it was 60 degrees throughout the house. Great. My first thought was Lila. I went to her room, but thankfully the bottom floor (our house is three levels) was the warmest and she was fine.
Turns out in addition to the heat, our hot water was also out. So we called the property management company we rent from and they assured us a repairman would be over asap. Well soon it was 6pm and after spending the day in our coats and Lila wrapped in three blankets, we lost hope. Yeah he never showed up.
So we called the landlord again and they said they’d bring over to large space heaters to get us through the night. I was not thrilled about space heaters in our house after hearing some scary stories about fires and such, but I didn’t want to be difficult. I was sure it would be fine.
We set the heaters up. One in the living room and one downstairs to heat Lila’s room. All seemed to be going okay.
I took Lila down for her bedtime routine and her room was warm and toasty. I sat in the rocker and nursed her. She was extra tired from not napping well in the cold, so she fell asleep in my arms. Right as I was about to place her in her crib for the night, the space heater made a loud BANG and flames and sparks flew up about four feet in the air. After the initial burst, the carpet was on fire and there were live embers around her room.
I screamed bloody murder, which in turn woke Lila up and made her scream. Luke ran in and put the fire out with one of her baby blankets and Felicia came and took Lila from me to calm her down. I immediately burst into tears and hugged Luke long and hard.
I kept thinking what if. What if this had happened at 3 am when everyone was asleep? What if we didn’t wake up? What if a fire started in our baby’s room – just a foot from her crib! I can’t even write where else my mind took me…
It was absolutely terrifying.
I immediately called a hotel in town and reserved a room. We took Lila there for the night and finally got her settled down around 11 pm. Luke and I both slept terribly. I think our nerves were shot. And to make matters more stressful, Luke had to fly out to Mexico for work at 6am this morning. Our heat is still not fixed and Felicia, Lila and I have to stay at another house the landlord manages until it is.
Many hours later, I still can’t shake that moment when I was holding my sleeping baby watching flames burst in her room. The thought of anything happening to her if I hadn’t been there paralyzes me. And I feel like a terrible mother for not listening to my gut when it came to using space heaters.
In the midst of all these negative emotions – fear, anxiety, stress, guilt – I also feel immensely grateful. I just know Someone was watching over us and the safety of my baby (and my heart).
It was such a scary Sunday night. One I never want to relive.