My first parental panic attack happened yesterday. It occurred concurrently with Steve’s. And I provoked it. For no reason. It all started with this:
I was taking my daily pictures of Brandon. Then I flipped through “review” mode to see how they looked pre-edits. That’s when I noticed a gigantic bruise on the side of Brandon’s left eye. I looked closer – there was also one on the side of his right eye! How the hell had he been bruised under my care without my knowledge? I showed Steve, and we immediately began freaking out together. We stared at the discoloration on his head and I recounted my day in a frenzy, trying to think of anything that could have caused these bruises.
I thought back to earlier in the day – had the bruises been there then? I had pictures from earlier which I quickly scrolled back to. It was there, too! So he definitely had the bruises at 5:30 pm. But that bruise looked lighter. “Wait…” I said to Steve. “Turn on the light.” And like that, the bruises vanished. It was just an shadow that my shitty camera captured with exaggerated detail. You see, the week we brought Brandon home I plugged my new camera into my old camera’s USB cable in my sleep-deprived state and destroyed my new camera. So for the past seven weeks I’ve been using my old, shitty camera. My old camera whose flash places bruises on babies’ heads. And frantic scares into parents’ heads.