Well, Sunday was my birthday. The big 2-6.
It was a fabulous weekend with friends and family, pretty low-key--just how I like it. On Friday I got this:
It was my birthday present from the hubby. I have one other tattoo, so I had an idea of what to expect. It was pretty much as I remembered the pain. It hurt of course, but was totally bearable and only lasted about 10 minutes. After giving birth without drugs, anything is bearable!
Then in the evening we went out to the Wild Onion and had a little dinner date before some of our friends joined us for drinks and people watching the groups on the dance floor.
Saturday we had planned to walk our dog in the annual walk for animals for our local humane society that I had also participated in last year. We planned this prior to knowing the weather and gosh darn it I was determined! It sucked. It was wet. cold. windy. But we went and showed our support for a whole 20 minutes and then went home. Not the most ideal way to spend the morning with the fam, but it was an experience.
Saturday evening we had planned to use a gift certificate to a favorite local diner for another dinner date--because Hey, it's my birthday weekend!
We never made it out.
I debated back and forth in writing about this, as it was by far the scariest thing that I have ever experienced and I was unsure how I would even put it into words, but now that some time has passed I will try.
Here is what happend:
I had just showered (after being all wet and muddy from the walk earlier) and was getting ready to go out to dinner. For the past few months, I get ready while Everett is either sleeping, playing in his excer-saucer, watching me while sitting in his bumbo or put on my bed with our dog and some toys. All of them seemed safe to me obviously.
Now in the past weeks Everett has become much more mobile and has developed a lot in his ability to roll over and kinda sorta crawl. Thinking back to it now, I realize how dumb my choice was. How incredibly dumb.
I chose the bed.
I put him in the middle of our queen size bed, like I often do, and he entertains himself with his toys or just staring at and petting our dog axle. Our bathroom is less than three feet away so I talk to him from the bathroom while I get ready and hear him giggle and coo and talk to his toys.
(Ugh, I feel sick just writing this...)
So I plug in the blow dryer to get ready blow dry my hair. Typically I don't dry it for more than thirty seconds or so-- just because it takes forever, and really, who has time for that?
Before I start to dry it I peek in to see how he is doing--same place I left him. Middle of the bed cooing away. So, seeing that he is fine, I walk back the three steps to the bathroom and begin to blow dry my hair.
About 10 seconds into my 30 second hair drying ritual, I hear it. Thud.
I knew instantly. In no time, I dropped the hair dryer while it was still running and ran into the bedroom and scooped him up.
My mouth and mind were going a mile a minute thinking and shouting, "Oh my gosh! No! No! No! Oh my gosh! I am an idiot! I am so stupid! Is he ok!? What did I do?! I am so stupid!.....you get the idea.
Baby boy is crying, whimpering, screaming and yes bleeding. I think he landed face first so not only did he catch his forehead, but also his nose. His face was running tears and blood.
I was in a hysterical panic (and did I mention Curtis was at work). Only clothed in my robe, I had an instant impulse of the flight response and wanted to run out the front door and start shouting and get help from anyone who could hear me.
A second later, my senses kicked in and after I monitored that he was breathing, crying, made eye contact and had no open wounds, I made a more rational decision and called the emergency nurses line.
That was the longest wait of my life.
He clung to me and just layed his head on my shoulder, his tears and blood running down my hair and robe. I started to sob while waiting on the line as I peeked at what he looked like in a nearby mirror. So pitiful. So sad. So banged up.
I started to fear the worst, concussion, broken nose, brain bleed, TBI....
The guilt overwhelmed me and as i wait on the line for the nurse to answer, I doubted my role as a mother and told myself what awful one I was to let such a thing happen. That is an evil and dark place to be.
Finally, as if forever wasn't long enough, the Nurse came on the line and after talking to her i was eased a little bit. She gave me directions what to do and assured me all would be fine and just to monitor him closely the next 48 hours.
I monitored that boy so close that I could have been one of his eyelashes.
I put ice on his wounds. made him drink fluids. woke him every four hours. slept in the same room as him. watched for the smallest change of behavior that I could call the doctor about, and so on.
After he rested briefly, he seemed almost back to himself. though I am sure he had quite a headache. His nose was not swollen at all, which was a good sign. He probably just hit it hard enough to give the little gush of blood he had. Which really, is not a good thing at all, but compared to being broken, I'll take it.
My poor boy. Poor Poor baby.
"What an idiot I am to leave him", I kept thinking.
Curtis finally came home after work and then I lost it. I crumbled in Curt's arms as Everett was crumbled in mine. He assured me it was just an accident and that I was in no way a bad mother. yeah, like I'd believe that. It was a valiant effort on his part though.
it was a rough, rough night. it terrified me to the core of my being and I can still feel a pang in my heart when I think about it or God forbid--picture it.
A few hours later, Everett went down for the night and I did as the nurse said and woke him every four hours to monitor his behavior.
I didn't want to leave him though. I wanted to hold him all night, in my arms where I could see him, feel his breath and be right there when he woke. Curtis, my more sensible half, told me I needed to let him rest in his bed and that I needed rest myself as well. I didn't want to, but I listened.
I finally put some clothes on while Curtis got us Chinese food to eat--though my appetite was minimal.
I must have checked on him twenty times in the first four hour interval.
He is fine. He is back to himself, his bruises are almost gone and he is just as happy and smiley as ever.
I hold him a little tighter now and if I wasn't already OCD and cautious before, I certainly am now.
I am still living with the guilt of the incident and while I know it was an accident, I feel I am to blame. The horrible mama syndrome has not completely passed, but will hopefully be gone soon.
I am so glad he is ok and that no long term damage has come from it. I was so afraid. I am not really a dramatic person, but feel dramatic for my reaction to it. but really, It was the single most horrible experience I have had. To see your child in that state is beyond words.
My mother and sister assure me things like this happen often and its just 'part of having kids'. This comforts me to some degree to know that I am not the only one who went through it or will go through it, but really, this 'part of having kids' I am totally not down with. God help me.
So, Saturday was not a great birthday eve. I could've cared less about my dumb birthday at that point.
Sunday, my actual birthday, was a little crabby on my part due to the evening before, but turned out to be a great day surrounded by good food, family, a smiley baby and nice movie.
So, 26. It made sure it was known this year and wouldn't be forgotten.
Oh and remember how I said we ate Chinese food for dinner Saturday night. Well, I opened my fortune and this is what I got:
Fortune cookie Sarcasm. Perfect.