Monday, January 18, 2010

The worst kind of milestone

As Brent is still funemployed and my work schedule is fairly flexible, we take turns sleeping in on alternate days. (Sleeping in for me means I'm up by 8:30.) This morning was my turn to get up with Em. We did our usual routine of changing her diaper, giving her some milk and breakfast. Then I realized she was dirty, so I took her back into her room, set her on her changing table.

Em is typically squirmy on her changing table, so we try to distract her with some sort of toy. Her latest obsession is a toy eggplant from her play kitchen. She's inexplicably enamored with it, which is fine by us. This morning it had fallen on the floor, and as I bent over to pick it up, I kept one hand on Em. Our little girl is super fast, and in the blink of an eye she turned and lunged off the table.

Onto the floor.

Onto her face.

I saw it with my own two horrified mommy eyes.

I've never seen anything so heartbreaking. I thought I knew what Mommy Guilt felt like before this morning. I was WRONG.

She started wailing, which was music to my ears as I've heard that an unresponsive child after a fall like that is a bad, bad sign. Also, nothing seemed broken as she clutched onto me and I screamed for Brent. He shot out of bed. I handed Em to him, and I looked her over. It was then I noticed the blood pooling just inside her drooly bottom lip. Brent handed her back to me, disappeared into our bedroom and came out dressed, noting, "We're taking her to the ER to see if she needs stitches."

In my Mommy World, my kidlet's first ER visit shouldn't have happened until she was at least 20.

Brent quickly comforted me, his sobbing wife who allowed our beautiful baby girl to take such an awful tumble. He assured me that it was ok, that Em would be fine.

He changed her dirty diaper and we headed out. By the time we got her into the car, Em was no longer crying. She played with her gloworm while I dabbed her bloody lip.

We arrived at the nearby ER, thankful there were no other patients there. We checked in and a nurse brought us in to take Em's vitals. I imagine this is a common toddler phenomenon, but Em hates being messed with. Looking in her ears, her eyes, her mouth, taking her temperature, cutting her finger and toenails? She hates it ALL. So she was not happy to arrive at the ER to have a blood pressure thing wrapped around her big toe, nor did she like having her temp taken under her arm.

From there we moved to an exam room, where things moved fairly quickly. A nurse and doc checked Em out, examining her from head to toe with the nature of her fall in mind. Then the doc said Em was going to need a stitch or two in her bottom lip.

As Em is a squirmy toddler, they gave us two options before the procedure. The first was for her to remain laying on my chest, facing out, where I'd help hold her arms down. The other option was to have her restrained via a papoose/swaddle-type set-up with sheets from the neck down. As much as it pained us to go with the latter, the staff advised us that that would likely be the easiest -- and fastest -- for everyone.

So they quickly secured her, numbed her lip and stitched her up. They alternated asking what Em's favorite songs were (for us to sing and soothe her) and assuring Em's sobbing mama that Em wasn't in pain. While it seemed like an eternity from start to finish, it really was no more than a minute. One of the nurses, a parent himself, tried to comfort me with his declaration that as much as parents try to prevent these things, sometimes gravity wins out.

Em was exhausted by the time we left. Not only was she worn out from the accident and her own wailing, but it was past her morning nap time. I sat in the back of our car and sang silly songs to keep her awake until we got home. She smiled while losing the fight against her weighted eyelids, and Brent and I couldn't help but laugh.

She was asleep on Brent's shoulder long before we placed her in her crib. The rest of the day was filled with lots of tv, lots of clear liquids and soft foods, some dancing and giggles from Em, and lots of apologies from me.

Mommy is so sorry she broke you, Em.

Day 18

Now would be the opportune time to learn to say, "I'd like a pony."

"The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears." - Ellen Goodman

36 comments:

  1. huge huggss.Mack jumped on our marble sofa table 2 hours before her bday party.I understand the mommy guilt to

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  2. aw, sorry for you! must be so sickening as a momma. i fell myself as a child from the changing table with a babysitter...she didn't tell my mom and i ended up at the ER and in surgery a week later when they discovered a fracture on my skull. it happens! kids are so wiggly!

    don't feel bad; she will be okay and overall this wasn't too bad. she should not ask for a pony, though. she should aim higher. i say unicorn.

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  3. Big hugs to y'all. Poor Em. Don't be too hard on yourself. Like the nurse said, sometimes gravity wins.

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  4. Oh my goodness! Poor mommy, and poor Em, too, but poor mommy! I just can't even imagine how you feel! I'm so glad Em is okay and so glad you made it through your first ER visit :)

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  5. Anonymous3:31 AM

    I'm really sorry to hear this, but please don't tell yourself that you broke her! Em had an accident and broke herself (as many of us did when we were children), and you got her to a safe place where she was 'repaired'!

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  7. I had a rough dose of Grandpa guilt when I thought I broke Ellie's arm and we went to the ER. She was OK but I was a wreck!
    http://rwhowell.com/pics/nikon/091212/med/dscn1866.jpg

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  8. oh my! I can't even imagine how you felt. I've had friends in similar situations.

    I'm glad everything turned out okay!

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  9. I'm so glad she's okay! And I have heard that it's so much worse for the parent when that type of thing happens. But these things do happen! And I bet she'll be a little more careful about wanting to get off the changing table from now on.

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  10. Glad she's ok and hugs to you!

    Max slipped thanks to some gravel on the sidewalk at the park when he was 2.5 and busted his bottom lip open to the point where more than just blood was hanging out of the "hole" - I felt AWFUL even though I knew it wasn't my fault, I think (hope!) that's normal.

    Hugs again!

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  11. My nephew fell off the changing table in a similar situation when he was five months old. He hit the hardwood floors, and it did knock the breath out of him, but he didn't need stitches. My brother in law was in the doghouse afterward...poor guy felt bad enough as it was.

    Anyway, you are not alone in this! Every child has accidents along the way, and we all feel guilty for them whether we should or not.

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  12. I don't know who to feel worse for! I hope you are both doing better now. I almost know exactly how you feel. A few weeks ago, the same thing happened (I had a hand on Rex as I leaned over to do something else as he lunged off the dresser) except I managed to "catch" him by wedging him between the dresser/table and my leg. I grabbed him up and we managed to avoid total disaster but it shook me up pretty good. I don't think I've even told Rob that it happened. These kids are just so much faster than we are!

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  13. Ohh my goodness. I'm so glad she's okay! I'm so sorry you all had to experience the ER so soon. That sheet swaddle-wrap-straight jacket thing is the WORST! I've never felt so guilty in my entire life!

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  14. Awe, honey...you didn't break her! I know that Mommy Guilt all too well. Addie rolled from the center of our king sized bed in a matter of 2.3 seconds (the time it took me to remove a sweatshirt) to roll off of our bed and smack her nose on my night stand, leaving her a bloody mess! She was 8 months old. It was horrific.

    These little ones are busy-bodies and they have no fear. They want what they want, and they're going to get it. Don't beat yourself up about it...it happens. It's part of growing up! =o)

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  15. Oh goodness! You poor thing! I once dropped my brother and felt insanely guilty even though he wasn't hurt, so I can't imagine how you must have felt. So sorry you had to go through that!

    I'm sure Em will bounce. Kids do - and it's perfect because she'll have been too young to remember later on! Hope you all recover quickly!

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  16. Awww, poor both of you! I'm glad everything is ok and you were in good hands in the ER.

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  17. Honey, you didn't break her. These things happen, and she will be just fine. You and Brent took great care of her. You're doing it just right!

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  18. Even with a fat lip, Em is pretty darn cute. The caption should read: "You should see the other guy."

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  19. Awe, I'm so sorry for both of you. I'm crying from reading it, I can't imagine that happening. I felt bad enough when I scratched Lily with my nail the other day.

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  20. Hang in there. I know my day is coming considering my guy climbs on everything and I let him :)

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  21. i'm completely teared up just reading this, because i know i'd feel exactly the same way.

    and yet, she's fine - as it would be with me, mama is far worse for wear than she is!

    you're a wonderful mommy. don't forget that.

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  22. I'm so sorry that this happened - but I'm glad that she's ok! Try not to feel too guilty, if that's possible.

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  23. Awwww! Poor Em! I remember my brother at about age 2 or 3 running around and splitting open his eyebrow and blood was everywhere. I was about 10 and my mom was in hysterics so I went to the neighbors house for help, and she took us to the hospital. I watched my brother get swaddled into a white sheet/straightjacket and I was traumatized for a while over it. I was only 10 and he wasn'y my son, but being the big sis, he was like my baby doll and I was seriously crying. This brought back those memories and I'm so sorry you had to experience that. Hugs. But glad she is all better.

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  24. I think after reading this, I am more sad for Mommy than Baby. I am so glad she is ok and while I would tell you not to feel guilty, I know you will anyway. :) As would I.

    Someday when I tell a similar tale of my beautiful Samantha, please remind me of this story.

    XOXOXO (ps, how does your bloody baby still look so gorgeous?)

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  25. Anonymous11:07 AM

    I'm so sorry - what an awful experience! Every mother has a similar story - I fell asleep and the five-month-old baby rolled off our bed and landed on the hardwood floor. He vomited and I was convinced he had a concussion - scary, scary stuff. But we are more resilient than we think. The human species couldn't have survived otherwise!

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  26. I'm glad Em is ok. You are a great mom, and love your family boatloads! Even if Em is too young to remember this moment, she will never forget your love because that outlasts everything.

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  27. She pulls off stitches really well! She looks so cute! Dont worry Mom, she wont remember this tomorrow or next week!

    Hugs!

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  28. Unfortunately, these things happen with the percentage for really serious results being really, really low. You are a fantastic Mom! Don't beat yourself up.

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  29. Oh sweetie, these things happen. Hugs to you all!

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  30. aw nanette it's okay, all kids get hurt at least once and least she was okay after everything. big hugs to you and little em.

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  31. "mommy is so sorry she broke you" might be the saddest thing i have read in a lonnnnng time.

    this too shall pass. and don't blame yourself. bumps and bruises (and bloody lips) are inevitable. you are an awesome mommy!!!

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  32. The papoose is awesome, I love it.

    Tell the ER I said 'sup, see you in a week.

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  33. Hugs to Em! And to you! I'm glad she's ok! You didn't break her! Blame Issac Newton! :-)

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  34. Oh, what a horrible feeling! I went through a similar situation with Maggie and I just felt like the worst Mom in the world. But, after going through that with her, I kinda feel like it's brought us closer. I know it probably doesn't make any sense, but I feel even more protective of and connected to her because we got through it together.

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  35. She has the ultimate pouty lips now! Hope your guilt is abating somewhat - I know all about it (we call those Parenting Magazine moments, as in...they are coming to take your picture for the cover RIGHT NOW!). I recently dropped Benny on his face, in front of WITNESSES - and still feel bad about it. It was on the carpet, so he didn't get hurt (that time), but still...

    Hugs to you and Em!

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  36. Hugs to you both, but mostly to you. I'm sure she was over it much much sooner than you will be. You didn't break her, things just happen sometimes.

    Signed,
    The girl with no kids who will so be "that parent" if we ever have them. :P

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