I am officially in the mother club of hospital visits. I experienced my first baby fall a few Sundays ago. As a first time mama especially, I am sure you can all sympathise with me and the endless conversations and replay in my head about the whole process. I am also pretty sure it wasn’t the doctor’s first time ending his consultation with the joke, “and now, sedatives for the mother.”
Parenting has some pretty simple facts, that some how just slip your mind in the busyness of everything else. Like the one glaringly obvious one: watch your child like a hawk if they are on the bed. Yet many beds have seen many little people diving off them – head first. And that is exactly what our little Bambi-na did.
I can still hear the thumb and see her on the floor…on her back…arms waving. I was grateful when her cry came suddenly. “Don’t trust a silent scream”, I remembered mothers saying.
Thank goodness for calm and collected husbands! Brendan picked her up, soothed her and in the midst of me wanting to scoop her into my arms and snuggle her to pain-relief, he did various checks to make sure that she was ok.
And then, the yoyo talk begins. Are they fine? Should we take her to get checked? Should we wait a bit? Do we go to the emergency room? Do we take her to a doctor friend? Do we just go see the GP?
Our GP was not available, and so we decided to take her to the hospital down the road.
I am grateful for two things that day (apart from the obvious fact that she was completely ok)
- Helpful doctors
- Supportive mamas
The doctor we saw was friendly, efficient, showed me step by step how to check her, what to look for, what not to worry about (this was great), all helpful and practical information. I felt so educated and prepared leaving that room. He did make two things very clear before we left though: Harper was not to play rugby, nor drive any trucks for the next few weeks (was difficult to restrain her from these two things but we managed haha) He also assured me that any fall above 1.5m should be taken to the hospital, but a fall below that, most times, will be nothing. Harper was pretty much as tall as our bed then. I was so relieved.
AND we were able to get to church that morning still. I was grateful to be in God’s good presence. To worship Him and thank Him. After my adrenalin had settled I got so teary. Again. But it helped so much having great friends explain how all kids go through this, how all parents go through the feeling too. It’s just one of those things, especially the more active, curious and brave they become. You cannot play the “should have” game in your head. I heard stories about kids being dropped at a few weeks old, falling out of car seats, diving out of prams, rolling off compactums. Stitches. Gashes. Bumps. Bruises. the works!
It was hard not to feel guilty at that moment. It was difficult to be kind to myself. But it was easier to be calm and take it in my stride with loving community around me.
I definitely feel like the next time Harper crawls head first off anything I will be way more peaceful in my assessment of the situation.
Here are some helpful tips I learnt:
- Your child can sleep. What you need to be looking out for though is unusual drowsiness. Sleeping when they don’t normally. Or not waking up when they should.
- Uncharacteristic aggression or irritability.
- Confusion that was not present initially.
- Vomiting once is ok. Projectile or persistent vomiting is of concern.
- Slurred speech is a warning sign.
- Visual disturbance or light sensitivity. Shine a bright light into their eyes to check how their pupils dilate.
- Loss of balance. He laid Harper on her back and made her hold his hands and when he moved her around he checked to make sure she had equal strength. He said if one side is weaker then that is a problem (if you are not sure if one side is weaker then they are equal – he said if it is a real problem then it is obvious when both hands pull at different strengths)
- Fits, seizures or convulsions are a problem.
- Make sure your child is responsive at all times.
- Make sure to also check for swelling at the moment of the injury and monitor it.
Hope this has been helpful! I sure feel better knowing more.
Share some of your experiences below and let’s encourage one another that we are not bad mamas, haha!