Being a mom to a newborn is an anxiety-inducing experience. Will he latch during breastfeeding, is it safe to co-sleep, is he warm enough, is he going to fall off the changing table…. I worried about everything during my son’s infancy. What I didn’t think I’d have to worry about was what if an infestation of insects feed on his blood while he sleeps?
The day I discovered my son’s bassinet was crawling with bed bugs began like any other, with me waking up, feeding and burping him, and then after a short stint of cooing, settling him back into his bassinet, which my husband and I had set up next to our bed. When I pulled the accordion-folded cover down to shade my son from light, I noticed a dark spot, which upon closer inspection revealed a silver dollar-sized swarm of deep brown bugs and black fabric stains.
Reader, I screamed. I screamed and ran into the living room, where I screamed some more. My mother, who was visiting to help with the baby, tried to calm me, and my husband ran over. “Bugs in the baby’s bed!” I stammered. My mom and my husband tried to quiet me, telling me that it was fine, we’d just clean whatever it was up, but I would have none of their soothing. I knew these were bed bugs, and they were responsible for the little marks I’d just noticed across the bridge of my son’s nose. I also knew they weren’t going to be easy to get rid of.