Worst mother award goes to...me :(

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Several years ago, a friend of mine, R, called me crying one evening when she realized that her daughter (who was several months at the time) had fallen off of her bed and hit her head on the floor.  She had called the doctor and answered a battery of questions whereby they determined that she would most likely be ok, but told her to watch her closely.  I rushed over to give any type of moral support that I could, although at the time, I was really not much help because I didn't have any kids of my own and had never experienced anything like that before.

I listened to my friend tell me that in the split second where she made the decision to go to another room, the baby just rolled right off.  She felt terrible.  She was worried about whether or not her daughter would be ok and was trying to pay close attention for any "out of ordinary" types of behaviors.  You would have think that I would have taken that experience and filed it in the mommy category of my brain for later use, right?  I guess there is only so much room up there for that type of info...

Over the past few weeks, I have not slept much.  B has been teething like crazy and pretty much has not slept at all (naps or nights).  This has caused me to go into a state of survival mode.  I am basically just crawling through each day and praying every morning that this coming night will be the night where he sleeps more than 3 hours, consecutively.  I have huge dark circles under my eyes that no amount of concealer will cover.

Yesterday when I got home from work, B was especially fussy.  It was about 85 degrees and humid in the house and feeding him was pretty miserable so we decided to go around the house and close all the windows so that we could turn on the AC.  After that I propped B up with some pillows in the corner of the couch and proceed to turn on the weather to see if the rest of the week would be so sticky.  B kept sliding down and I kept placing him back in the corner.  I ended up missing the future forecast so I grabbed the remote and proceeded to rewind to play it again.  In the few seconds that I was turned away, my baby managed to roll over at least twice and fell off the couch onto the floor.  I didn't even see him fall off it was that fast.  I just saw him lying on his side on the floor and heard him screaming.

In that moment, I was so shocked at what happened I didn't even cry right then.  I picked him up off the floor and hugged him so close, trying to console him.  He screamed and screamed with huge tears running down his face.  My poor baby.  How could I have been so stupid and careless?  I worked so hard to have him and I could be such an idiot to not be paying attention to him, the love and light of my life.

I first called my husband who let me know he was on his way home from Home Depot.  I tried calling my sister, who was at the gym with the car, but she didn't answer.  Then I called my friend R and asked her if she thought I should bring him to the ER (which would have been by ambulance because I didn't have a car at the moment).  She instructed me to call the pediatrician (who happens to be the same as B's) and answer their questions.

It seemed like an eternity before a nurse called me back.  B had already quit crying, had a massive poopy diaper, and was now giggling like nothing had even happened.  I had already taken him into the dark bathroom and made him follow a flashlight and made sure his eyes were dilating properly, which they were, thankfully.  She asked me the following questions (which may come in handy for you one day if you even have a momentary space cadet moment like me):

Did he cry immediately following the accident?  Yes.  He screamed bloody murder for 10 minutes until he was red in the face with tons of tears.

How high up was the couch?  Two feet or less from the floor.

What is the surface of the floor like?  Where he fell it is partial shaggy rug and partial wood floor.  He didn't make a loud noise when he fell either.

Does he have any visible lumps or red marks on his head?  His head is generally lumpy (like his Dad's haha), but nothing new that I felt.  No red marks on his head that I saw.

Did he vomit?  Not sure.  He spit up all over my dress while I was consoling him, but I am not sure how to tell the difference between vomiting and spitting up.  He had just eaten before he fell and has acid reflux, so this wasn't abnormal for him.

Was he grabbing toys like usual?  Yes.  He was grabbing toys, the spit up cloth, my hair...

What was his routine for the rest of the night?  Bath at 6:30 PM.  Dress, sleep sack, book, nurse.  Bed by 7:15 PM (hopefully).

What times does he usually wake up at night?  12 AM & 3 AM almost always (if not more).

She told me this...  Chances are that he was totally fine.  She said that babies his age are very resilient and that it probably hurt me more mentally than it hurt him physically.  That said, she told me to take him to the ER if I noticed any of the following:

  • He seemed sleepier than normal, for example, during his bath if it was hard to keep him awake.
  • He seemed fussier than normal.
  • He started vomiting.
  • We wasn't hungry and wouldn't nurse like normal.
She also told me this was not the night to let him STTN.  She told me to wake him at 12 AM and 3 AM if he did not wake on his own to eat.  If he was difficult to wake up and didn't want to nurse then she told me to bring him to the ER, ASAP.  

So last night when B fell asleep after only 10 minutes of snuggling, following his routine, I was worried instead of happy to have a few hours to myself.  While in his bed, I kept checking in on his to see if he was breathing even though we have the Angel Care monitor and a video monitor.  Thankfully he woke up before either of my alarms went off in the middle of the night so I didn't have to worry about that.  He ate with no issues.  This morning he is back to his normal cheerful self.  I am so incredibly thankful.  

I guess the moral of the story is that even if your 4 month old has not yet rolled from back to front, it doesn't mean that they are not capable of doing it in the blink of an eye and when you least expect.  

I called my mom yesterday evening, looking for some consoling.  She told me about the time I rolled off the dining room table onto the floor.  She told me of other times that brothers and sisters had fallen down the stairs.  It made me feel better.  A few other friends that I texted said the same thing.  One friend said all 3 of her kids had had similar types of accidents and were all ok.  That made me feel so much better.  I guess something like this was bound to happen eventually.  Hopefully it will make me more vigilant for the future.  Until then, lesson learned, no more propping little B on the couch... 

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4 Responses to “Worst mother award goes to...me :(”

  1. I'm pretty sure I'm a contender for the worst mom ever, Reagan fell off the changing table in the split second I turned away. I think I had just as many tears as she did.

    1. Right?? It just happens so fast! Glad both of our babies are ok!

  2. Have you been on the April board on FB lately? There's a post from just a day or two ago from a mom whose baby rolled off the bed. About a zillion of us in that one group alone have had babies roll off stuff, from the couch to the changing table to the exam table at the doctor's office.

  3. Don't feel bad! Let me tell you, I can't count the times I've walked through a doorway with my first and with my now 5 month old and bonked their heads on the frame lol and hard! Haven't had a fall yet with this one but I'm sure I will! It just breaks your heart. My nephew fell out of the buggy at target when he was about 7 months, onto a cement floor on his head. (and a few other times in other places!) He's totally fine. It's scary but happens to the best of us! They are squirmy little boogers!