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15 Parents On The Scariest Moment They've Experienced Since Having Kids

Is there anyone out there who embarks on parenthood with the idea it will be super-chill and stress-free? Or better yet, anyone who finds parenthood to be super-chill and stress-free? The reality for many of us is that, in some of its most intense moments, parenthood can be totally and utterly terrifying. The good news is that it can also bring you more love and gratitude than anything else ever has. Either way, if you know someone you know manages to be one of those totally zen parents who never gives in to the fear, please point me in his or her direction so I can become a loyal follower and attend any and all spiritual retreats that he or she headlines.

Still, I think most of us would agree that the perks of being a parent far outweigh the challenging stuff. The fear starts early for many of us, and doesn't typically let up. In my experience, kid-related worry and anxiety only changes shape, morphing into age-appropriate concerns. Take a look at what moms had to say when we posed the question of what’s been their scariest moment since having kids (and then feel free to join me in trying to figure out how to hug Internet strangers through my device).

"Going to the hospital when my daughter was a week and a half old sick and discovering I had a heart condition." - Melinda, 25

"Becoming a single mama." - Kristin, 35

"My 11-month-old flipping down 15 stairs and landing on cement (managed to avoid so much as a scrape. My husband, who actually saw him fall from the bottom of the stairs, literally had/has PTSD about it)." - Jamie, 32

"When my daughter fell backwards off a picnic bench and straight onto cement at about 20 months of age. It sounded like a coconut had shattered after falling off a palm tree, worst noise I've ever heard. She was fine, but the part of me [who's] a pedi nurse and the part of me [who's] a mother were in serious conflict about whether or not to take her to the hospital. I'm pretty sure I'm permanently scarred by that day." - Ana

"When she was 15 months old, we were waiting in line for a photo with Santa. I was standing there mesmerized at how Santa was interacting with these children of different ages in different ways, really talking to them on their level. I looked down and my child was gone. I've never felt such a dark, sinking, feeling, and I hope I never feel it again. She hadn't made it far. All was well. But for those few moments...there are no words..." - Sara, 37

"My scariest moment since becoming a parent is really the series of moments that I randomly have where I face the future mortality of my little family." - Nicole, 33

"Scariest moment was when I first held him and realized just how much everything had changed." - Kathryn, 35

"I had a health scare and thought about leaving my kids without a mother. That was probably the most scared I've been in my life!" - Meredith

"Finding out that i was pregnant again when my first was 4 months old. It was also very exciting.... but scary as hell." - Christine, 31

"The day the medical equipment people showed up without warning, speed-taught us infant CPR, and dumped an apnea monitor on us. "Here you go! You're close to a hospital. Good luck!" It's crazy that she didn't know how to breathe [back then], but now she's under the impression she's toilet training me." - Danielle, 33

"Losing my two-year-old in the Barcelona aquarium because the play structure had a slide on the side I couldn't see." - Christine, 34

"When my nine-month-old got food poisoning from a pouch of purées and we somehow heard her quietly choking on vomit over the monitor." - Megan, 25

"From the moment that my husband told me there was a note on his phone for me in case he didn't make it and throughout the 10 days he was in ICU, wondering if he'd come back home to us." - Amy, 41

"Taking my daughter with heart issues to the ER the first time she had an SVT (extremely fast heart rate) episode with the monitors going off, her crying saying how her chest was hurting and the doctors trying not to show me that they were worried." - Stephanie, 33

"I was co-sleeping with my then-13-month-old, and we were both sound asleep; I woke up suddenly, with a panicked feeling. I looked over and just knew he wasn't breathing. Sure enough, I put my hand on his back and started shaking him gently, and then a bit harder. After what felt like forever (real time: maybe 5 seconds), he took a huge breath in, without waking up. I didn't sleep the rest of the night. In fact, he's three-and-a-half now, and I'm pretty sure I still haven't slept soundly since that night." - Jessica, 29