Every mom wants to be a “good mom.” You want to do everything in your power to make your kid’s life the best. Its your job now, your one goal, once that baby is in the picture. Even your own basic needs get pushed aside for your baby. But eventually something will go wrong. Sometimes its your fault, often its not, but you always feel responsible in some way, and horrible when something isn’t right. Until last saturday I haven’t had any major incidences that were my fault. The first time Mark was hurt was by Vincent who dropped a book on his head when he was 3 months old. I cried more than Mark. Then last week Mark fell off the piano bench on Ace’s watch again, I cried, but this time Mark cried more.
Last week Mark became mobile and now has a lot more confidence in his movements. on Saturday morning He was sitting up on the changing table and I turned around to grab his shirt when he decided to lean forward to grab the water spray bottle. He leaned a little to far and fell forward, doing a front flip off the table and hitting his head on the way down. I scooped Mark up, him screaming, and me crying, and took him to the ricking chair to nurse. He calmed down pretty quickly, quicker than me! Then I noticed an indent in his head where he had hit it on a corner. Then I felt so much worse.
I really had no idea how quickly a babies skull hardens, or how hard a hit is worth a trip to the doctor. So I just called our doctor and told them what happened. They suggested x-rays right away, so off we went.
We walked in a told them what happened and the first thing the receptionist told me is, “You’re not a bad mom, accidents happen.” Which calmed me down a lot! When you walk in with a baby with a head injury they do a quick assessment before anything else to find out if its a real emergency that can’t wait. When they did that and sent us to wait I relaxed quite a bit. After almost an hour of waiting we finally saw the doctor, who was really good with Mark! He said he had a son just a little older at home. He let Mark play with one piece of medical equipment, while he was using another. It kept Mark from pulling at the stethoscope and other instruments.
The doctor said that our doctor was smart for sending us for x-rays as a fracture was very possible in that type of fall, and that it looked unlikely that there was any other damage, but there was no way to be sure. He suggested a CT scan and I asked, “Is that really necessary?” He replied, “Because we are in America, yes.” After further pushing he then said, “If I was in India I would say ‘no’ but here we always need to do everything or I could lose my license.” We ended up denying the CT Scan and just went down the hall for x-rays. Because it was a saturday morning, there was only one x-ray tech on duty. I guess normally there are two or three. Ace and I became x-ray tech’s for day. Holding the slides and holding the patient, my poor little baby.
We all had to wear lead suits and I got the job of holding Mark’s head still. In order to keep my hands out of the x-ray I had to hold foam pads against his head. He did NOT like this one bit. It was heart breaking, but I had to do it. 6 x-rays later (one was blury and had to be repeated) we were finally done and had an exhausted very upset baby who upon returning to the exam room nursed and fell asleep.
We waited a while longer, and then talked to the doctor again, the x-rays looked clean. SIGH. I felt much better hearing that. He told us to ice the bump, maybe give some ibprofin, and to watch for any behavior changes. We were also to follow up with our doctor. We left and got some much needed lunch and Mark got a much needed nap. We were so thankful our little man was mostly unharmed from his daring tumble off the changing table. I know from all my past (and current) experience with toddlers (including Vincent’s bloody lip on wednesday) that this is only a taste of what is to come. Hopefully with a watchful eye and a little luck we can avoid the ER for a while, but I know the odds are against us. I mean, he is my son.