An old friend of mine posted something on Facebook this morning that inspired me to share my story today. She did not only inspire me but she also has given me the courage to share my story. She wanted others to know so that the same thing might not happen to them. Up until this point I haven't shared it with anyone other than my my immediate family. I've been too ashamed. Today however, feels like a good time.
I was on maternity leave and I was at home attempting to do a bunch of different things. You know, chores and tasks on top of tending to the needs of my almost 3 month old son. At the time the best place for me to put my son when I wasn't babywearing or if he wasn't in his swing or crib, was in his bouncy chair. I could carry the chair with me where ever I went and he could be right there as I accomplished all of my tasks.
It was summer and this particular time of day the sun was beating down through our skylight and the island in the kitchen where I usually set him in his chair would have cooked the little fella. So I set him on another counter in the kitchen. What I failed to do was check to make sure he was really secure in this spot...
I went downstairs to grab my phone and that's when I heard it. The worst sound I have ever heard. I heard the jungle animals that hang down from the chair clank together and the most thunderous crack followed by the worst crying baby boy had shared to date. I ran up the stairs and came across him face down on the cold, hard kitchen tile with his chair over him.
I immediately scooped him up and laid him down on the couch examining his body and head. A huge bump and bruise immediately formed on his forehead and I started dialing the pediatrician. Luckily they are literally two blocks away from the house and they had me take him right in. I was seriously shaking and trying to keep it together. I called my husband and that's when I lost it. He reminded me to stay calm and he would meet us at the doctors.
Based on my son's age and the fact that he still hadn't stopped crying upon arriving, the pediatricians wanted us to go to the emergency room. There he was, my tiny little baby in the hospital for something that I DID to him. His little car seat was placed on what seemed like an enormous hospital bed and he was wheeled into catscans and x-rays.
I was a wreck. How could I have done this?!? How could I have been so stupid?!? Why didn't I just take a second and put him in a more secure spot?!?
He ended up being just fine and of course the doctors and nurses in the ER attempted to make me feel better and said things like, "we see this all the time," and "don't be hard on yourself." I didn't care. I was hard on myself. I am his mother. I am NOT supposed to be the reason that he is in the hospital.
My mother-in-law said, "he is going to get hurt, it's part of being a kid." Yes, she was right. He IS going to get hurt and every time he does, although I won't be thrilled, I will know it is because he is doing "kid things." This was not a "kid thing." He was a loaf of bread who couldn't walk, talk, or make decisions for himself that keep him out of harms way. I am supposed to do that for him. I am supposed to be his advocate, his protector. Even writing about it now I am sick to my stomach.
The bottom line is that he wasn't hurt badly and has no residual effects of hitting his head. We were lucky and protected that day. Although it was a terrible way to learn a lesson, I now try my best to take my time and not do too many things at once. Especially when my baby is around.
I've tried to forgive myself but I don't know that I ever will...