Not the best of days

Today has not been the best of days.

In fact, it has been one of the scariest.

12-week old baby Claudia fell off her changing table and landed with a thump face down on the floor.  It was terrifying.  And it was my fault.

Allegra was at nursery.  Richmond Daddy at work.  It was just myself and baby C in the house and she’d woken from her nap, drank a full bottle of milk, had a nappy change and then as soon as the fresh nappy was on, she was kicking about and enjoying looking at the Peppa stickers that Allegra has used to decorate the changing table.

I was there, coo-ing at her and blowing raspberries, she was coo-ing back and smiling, it was lovely.

Then I did something incredibly stupid.  I decided to pop into Allegra’s room next door to put away some clean t-shirts into her drawers.  Because in that split second, I didn’t think leaving the room for a second, would be a problem.  Because baby Claudia is only 12-weeks old and it’s not like she can roll or really move anywhere now is it? – Wrong.

Like a moron and incredibly rubbish mother to boot, I left her on her changing table, to kick about and gaze at her stickers, and I popped to the room next door and as I came back into the room, I was greeted with the sight of her legs hanging off the edge of the table and as I shouted “oh god, no!” and dived towards her, I saw her do a final kick and propel herself off the table and flop like a rag doll onto the floor below, landing face down, flat on her face, thud.

I was there to pick her up in a flash, but the screaming had already begun.

My poor baby, my precious 12-week old baby girl, the one I am meant to protect against all harm, to keep safe, to keep secure, I had just watched her flop about 3 feet off a table and land face down on the floor.

What kind of a mother am I? – clearly a terrible one in that moment.  In that idiotic, moronic moment when I thought it would be okay to quickly dash out of the room to put away some t-shirts.  What a total cretin.

I scooped her up, I held her close to me, I rocked her, I tried to soothe her, she screamed and she screamed and she screamed.  My mind was filled with fear, I just kept saying “oh god no, I’m so sorry, oh god please no please be okay I’m so sorry” and after what felt like an eternity but was probably in truth only about a couple of minutes, the crying slowed down and the deep breaths and choked tears continued and then she was calm.

Terrified and with my heart pounding, I stroked her head all over.  I looked for any visible signs that my baby girl might have been physically hurt in some way.  I checked her pupils, because I had some sort of recollection that I should check for them to be dilated.  When she was sufficiently calmed, I lay her down and moved her arms and legs and head from side to side to see if they moved okay and to see whether or not moving them appeared to cause her any pain or discomfort.

She seemed totally fine.  No signs of bruising, no signs of anything out of the ordinary.  She didn’t seem overly happy, but she did seem fine.  But I’m no expert right? – what if she wasn’t fine and there had been some damage, it just wasn’t obvious?

I was scared.  I was filled with thoughts of regret and what could have been and what might be.  Should I go to my GP? but I knew I’d struggle to get an appointment with a doctor I really trusted in baby matters and so wasn’t sure how much that would achieve.  I wondered if I should go to A&E, but then that seemed a little dramatic given that she seemed to be okay, but then I thought is it really possible to be overly cautious when it comes to babies and the answer there is probably no, better to be safe than sorry.

In the end, I decided to make use of the private doctor’s practice that is a couple of streets away from where I live and that has a private paediatrician in the practice.  I’ve never been there before, but before I knew it I had an appointment within the hour, registered Claudia on arrival, and was seeing the doctor.

I explained what had happened and the paediatrician gave Claudia a very thorough examination, checking over her head and neck and literally every inch of her body.  Moving her limbs, checking her hips, tapping her knees and other joints, carefully feeling her stomach.  He checked her eyes, that her pupils weren’t dilated.  He looked in her ears, up her nose, in her mouth.  He turned her over and checked down her spine and all over her back and her neck.  Reassuringly I felt he left no part of her unchecked!

He confirmed that she did seem to be fine and that most babies fall off something at some point and given that they are actually quite bouncy and soft, they rarely do themselves any damage, but he advised that I should continue to keep a close eye on her over the next 48-hours for anything out of the ordinary.  If she were to projectile vomit or seem drowsier than normal, if there’s any discharge from her ears or nose, if she appears to have any trouble moving her arms and legs or just doesn’t seem herself, then I’m to go straight back.  Or if I’m really concerned about a change in her then to go straight to A&E.

I’m also meant to wake her up 2 or 3 times in the night for the next 48-hours, just to ensure that she’s okay.  Great.  That’ll go down well…

So, I’m obviously keeping an extra close eye on her for the next two days, but I’m hoping that she’s actually completely fine, as she appears to be this evening, smiling and gurgling her happy little face looking at me with such love and trust as I put her to bed.  Such love and trust for a mummy that loves her with her whole heart but who let her down today.

I’m so sorry baby Claudia.

14 thoughts on “Not the best of days

  1. Oh my God, poor you. I’m so sorry that happened – we’ve all had heart-stopping times like that (believe me, you are not alone) and there’s nothing scarier. Don’t beat yourself up about it – we all take little risks like that every day. We have to, otherwise we’d never get anything done. Most of the time it’s fine, it’s just that unlucky once-in-a-blue-moon bad luck moment that something goes wrong. At least it sounds as though she’s fine. Babies are a lot tougher than they look! Xx

    • This is the thing, I did it because I was trying to get stuff done and I thought “she’ll be ok for a minute”… wrong! Won’t do that again! But yes, thankfully she seems to be fine, it was just a bit of a shock for the both of us and yes, I think they’re tougher than they look thankfully! xx

  2. oh Bianca i *know* how you feel. I havent told anyone other than my OH this but when Jenson was literally a few weeks old he fell off me and onto the bedroom floor I(i was on the bed) because i dozed off while breast feeding him – this never happened with Burton.
    Then , yes there is more, when he was about just under a year old he and Burton used to sit on our baby changing station in our bathroom to clean their teeth. they did it often never any problem. I walked to get a towell from the towell rail – literally a couple of feet away with my back turned and Jenson fell off head first in to the bath!
    And (yes one more ) when we moved into this new house back in january he fell all the way down our new stairs – he was up stairs with me but Burton left the stair gate open and he went to walk down but must have tripped over the gate – i dont know because I was at the airing cupboard! I dont know how he survived that one.
    I have always thought that maybe its the curse of the 2nd child – you are more laid back than with the first?? I dont’ know but I didn’t intend for any of that to happen same as you didn’t with Claudia – and as the doctor said luckily babies/toddlers are bouncier than us!!
    sending you big (hugs) and i am glad she is ok xxx

    ps. i sound like a baaad mum now!!!

    • Oh goodness me, Jenson has been in the wars hasn’t he!! I agree, I think it’s probably a second child thing too! Well, the main thing is that he’s fine and dandy – it seems they are pretty resilient! It’s just so scary when these things happen 😦 xx
      ps. you don’t sound like a bad mum!! 🙂 x

  3. I had a similar thing happen with P1. I bounced onto the bed and she bounced straight off. I was terrified too!
    I keep leaving P2 alone on the bed. This post has definitely made me think. We all believe that nothing could happen in a few seconds but truth is… It does!
    I’m sure baby C is fine. Don’t feel too upset.

  4. Oh poor you – I really feel for you! Glad that everything is okay! Don’t berate yourself – please don’t – I have done some really stupid things in my time as a mum too. We are human – we all make mistakes. I am amazed she managed to move herself in such a way that she would fall off – she’s only 12 weeks old! I now realise that babies and children can weather more than we give them credit for. Your not a bad mum! X.

    • Thank you 😦 it will definitely make me much more cautious now, so hopefully that tumble will prevent something worse happening! Like you, I really didn’t think that at 12 weeks old she could get very far very quickly…. wrong! xx

  5. You poor thing! I know exactly how you feel: I once dropped the car seat with e in it and H has flung himself off our bed before. And pulled E’s xylophone off the coffee table on to his head! For the next 48 hrs I was convinced every little thing meant concussion. They’re resilient little things though xxx

  6. Please don’t beat yourself up about it, you are far from a bad mother… Infact you’re a fantastic one for getting her so thoroughly checked out 🙂

    I remember when Fran was 4 days old I completely lost my grip of her on my lap and she rolled off our bed and on to the wooden floor! I sobbed for hours!

    And the day after they discharged Gee from hospital I dropped her carseat as I got it off the pushchair. We’re only human.


  7. Something to think about with the bath is where you will put it, where you will fill it and how you will empty it. With DD1 I was lucky – we had a shower that I could roll the bath on it’s stand into, and then filled it, rolled it out, and rolled it back in to empty. (we had a loan of one on a stand with wheels.) DD1 had grown out of it by 3 months. Wtih dd2 we were in a different house and I used the laundry tub – those baths get really heavy when they are full and I didn’t have a spot where I could park it and drain it. She grew out of the tub at 10 weeks (long baby) and a friend loaned me a bath which she grew out of by 3 months – then was into the big bath. I always liked having a spot next to the bath to put them down to change them so I don’t know how the ones with the bath under the table work – will be interested to see other’s comments. My change table is a solid wooden one. My mum has a fold out one for when we visit and I don’t like the instability of it. Don’t know if I have been much help!

  8. RichmondMummy – I am so sorry to say that I can empathise entirely. We had a similar incident approximately four hours after baby Eden was born in C&W hospital and I felt like the worst mother in the world.Paediatrician was amazingly supportive and said that these things happen. But that is scant comfort, when you are the person who is supposed to protect them from anything and yet still things like this can happen. Good news is that Baby Claudia and our Eden are both safe and well.

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