Friday, June 09, 2006

Adventures in Babywearing: What NOT to Do

(as dictated to Cait)

At almost two months postpartum, I am finally really feeling like myself again, with energy levels I haven't had in almost a year. So this past week, Natalie and I have embarked on a series of journeys, exploring our full range of baby carriers (and we have many). I had visions of blogging about it, too, comparing and contrasting different slings and carriers and even the stroller. And then we had today's adventure.

(I think it all happened because we dressed her in this outfit.

Is that not literally asking for "trouble"?)

Cait had the day off and we decided to go for a picnic and a hike at Great Falls, where we once had our first almost-date. We packed bread, cheese, and chocolate, and had a lovely picnic -- Natalie's first on real grass, though the night before we had a pseudo-picnic on Astroturf. We made sure to explain the distinction. But I digress. At any rate, after the picnic, we decided to walk down to the falls overlook. Mind you, this was not our real hike, just a photo op down a short, wide well-maintained path. I was carrying Natalie in the Ergo*. When we were about 150 yards into the woods, I began to tell her how much her moms love the woods. The words were not fully off my lips when I felt myself stumble. In what was the longest second of my life, I fell forward, knowing I was falling with Natalie on my chest, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I hit the ground hard, and I knew it hurt, but I couldn't think of anything else except Natalie. Cait rushed to help us, and everything gets a little blurry at that point. Cait was trying to talk, but I just kept saying "Is she OK? Is she OK?" as Cait worked to free a screaming Natalie from the Ergo. While comforting her, Cait looked her over and spent a long time examining her head, which terrified me even further. Once it was obvious that she had no cuts or broken bones, I found a rock and sat down to nurse her and help calm her down. Cait finished looking her over while she nursed, concluded that she had a small bump on her head, but since she wasn't even flinching as Cait touched it, that she was probably OK.

I was another story, crying hysterically at what had happened, what I had done to our baby, and what could have happened. I was also scraped and battered all up and down the right side of my body, though I wasn't paying a hell of a lot of attention to this. Trying to save what we could of our day, we continued a few hundred yards to the falls overlook, but all I did was look at the falls and cry, so we decided to leave.

As we drove out of the park, we debated whether we should call the pediatrician or go directly to the emergency care clinic. I began to realize that my elbow really hurt, and while there was a Puritanical, masochistic voice in my head saying I deserved it, the practical part of me realized that if I had done something to my arm, it was going to make life with an infant really difficult, and I should get it treated sooner rather than later. So we went to the clinic, where our favorite doctor/friend prounounced Natalie (who wiggled and grinned and cooed on the examining table) fit as a fiddle, but sent me for an X-ray. The X-ray revealed nothing, but the radiologist and the tech think there must be something wrong with my arm from the way it looks, my limited mobility, and the amount of pain I'm in. We may yet end up in the Emergency Room or I may hold out until Monday and see an orthopedist.

It could've been so much worse. We are so grateful that Natalie emerged with just a small bump, and I am trying really hard not to beat myself into smithereens over this. It's been almost 9 hours since it happened, and I still feel terror in every cell of my body.

Great Falls, my ass. Hideous Falls is more like it.

*The Ergo, by the way, is a lovely carrier, and not to be blamed in any way for what happened.


  • I can't imagine how scared you must have been...I stumbled once going up the stairs with a newborn in my arms, and the only way I could stop was by hitting my head against the piece of furniture that was against the wall on top of the stairs....ouch!

    Don't beat yourselfup too much for that, it long as she is fine everything is ok!

    By Blogger Bebu, at 10:50 PM  

  • Whew! That sounds breath-stopping.

    I'm so happy I found your blog, though.

    It's great!

    By Blogger Fuck You Google, at 10:54 PM  

  • Oh my dears! Just reading this my heart was in my throat. It's one of my biggest fears (I'm a faller by nature). So glad that everything turned out ok for Natalie. Just make sure you get that elbow taken care of (don't pull one of those "well, it feels a bit better, I don't need to see the doctor after all" trips on us, m'kay?).

    By Blogger Miss W, at 7:47 AM  

  • Keep a journal of all the horrible things you do to your kids. One day you'll look back and laugh. When I let my 4 month old fall off the recliner on his head, I cried longer than he did. Then my friend told me when her daughter was a baby she dropped scissors on her head, so I felt better.

    We all have those moments. You wouldn't be human if you didn't.

    By Blogger Amy, at 7:53 AM  

  • OH! This is Narda's biggest fear with me, as I'm a total klutz.

    I'm SO relieved that Nat is OK, and I hope you get better soon as well.

    After I gave our daughter a staph infection, our doctor *reassured* us by telling us that 75% of the injuries that we bring Malka in for over the first year will be parentally inflicted.

    er, thanks for the reassurance?

    And yeah, we have gazillions of baby carriers, too! um, no, just 5...

    By Blogger Shelli, at 8:11 AM  

  • Oh my goodness, you must have been terrified! Amazing, how babies get over it so quickly, yet we are scarred for life!

    When I was with my mom in the hospital, a few days before she died, Persephone was 5 months old. She was just at that point where she was starting to wiggle out of things, like, for instance, her car seat! My mom was sitting up in the corner of the room, facing out, and I wanted her to be able to see the baby, so I sat facing her and put Seph in her carseat on the bed. Except, I'd taken her out previously, and she wasn't strapped in...anyhow, I nearly managed to kill my mom via heart attack, because all of a sudden her eyes bulged out and she yelped,"DebdebDEB!", and Seph landed with a SPLAT! facedown on the floor. Luckily it was her first fall, so she hadn't tensed up, but she still screamed bloody murder. She was fine within a few minutes and just hag a small bruise on her forehead, but I bawled harder than she did. My mom was drugged to the gills, though, and whe I sobbed that Dave was going to divorce me when he heard I'd dropped her, she said, "Oh please, you really think nothing happens to her on his watch??". Truer words were never spoken, b/c Daves bonks her on stuff all the time =) So when it's Cait's turn, you'll be better able to comfort her!

    I hope your elbow feels better soon. Can baby slings double as elbow slings??

    By Anonymous DebbieS, at 9:00 AM  

  • Oh, dear God. How scary for you! Not to contribute to freaking you out, but broken bones don't always show up on x-ray. I had a break that would only show up on bone scan. But if it's broken, you'll probably end up in clinic before Monday, because IME, breaks hurt. Lots.

    By Blogger Emilin, at 12:31 PM  

  • I remember when my mother fell with my little brother when he was just an infant and she still cries abou it. YOu must have been so scared.....glad everyone is ok.

    By Blogger Hoping, at 1:02 PM  

  • Well, if it makes you feel any better, I dropped the phone while "multitasking" today and it bonked Logan in the head. Oops. I also cried longer than he did. And to top it off Don was watching the whole thing. I am sure he now wonders what goes on all day while he is at work.

    So glad Natalie is a ok. Hope your elbow is just sore. Hugs to all of you!

    Carrie (targetgirl)

    By Blogger Targetgirl, at 6:13 PM  

  • It happens to all of us, I think. I've stumbled more than once with a baby or toddler in my arms. Hey, even Britney stumbles. LOL. On a serious note, I'm so glad you are all ok! Babies are incredibly resilient things, though us old folks break easily! Feel better soon!

    By Blogger KristinC, at 7:09 PM  

  • YIKES! Am glad you (?) and babe are both okay. How scary for everyone involved.

    By Blogger art-sweet, at 9:05 PM  

  • My step-greatgrandmother had a theory that all babies need to be dropped on their heads at least once to make them smart.

    Seeing that she didn't even get bonked on this one, you still have a pass for next time!

    I am so sorry for your scare and also your elbow. Please do get it looked at. Remember that Wes limped around Trader Joe's on his foot that we didn't yet know was broken. Take care of yourself!

    By Anonymous bri, at 11:42 AM  

  • i have fallend down a flight of stairs (well, half the flight actually) with my then six week old son in my arms. He was fine, I could still cry about it. He hit his head just a bit on the banister. I also fell in teh kitchen one day while holding my son, a tile kitchen. He was ok. Again, i cried for a long time. I think everyone falls with kids. It happens. I'm glad that the baby is ok, and hope that you have a mere bruise and nothing is broken.

    By Blogger Cristin, at 5:59 PM  

  • So sorry to hear about such a crappy event. It must have been scary. I fell with Gus in his sling once- just walking down the street (happened to be February and really icy) - luckily I fell backwards on my butt (it hurt), but I think it happens. They seem pretty resilient- i think we moms that suffer the most from it. Hope your arm is better soon

    By Blogger Gus and Moms, at 8:30 PM  

  • How scary! I'm so sorry that happened to you guys. Hopefully you'll feel better after some sleep and it won't turn out to be anything more serious than the scare and little bump.

    By Anonymous Liza, at 10:45 PM  

  • Boy, have I been there, done that. I have fallen twice with our daughter and I've hurt myself both times protecting her, but thankfully these little ones are so resilient. I am hoping that YOU are okay too... please keep us posted.

    By Blogger tonya, at 10:46 PM  

  • In my experience, babies bounce. Mothers on the other hand, do not. Glad Nat is ok and I hope that you are just bruised, not broken.

    By Blogger Jennifer, at 7:09 AM  

  • oh my goodness!!!
    I can't even imagine how freaked out you guys must have been.
    SO glad that you & Nat checked out.

    Hope your arm heals quickly.

    By Blogger Calliope, at 11:32 AM  

  • Good God. I can't even imagine how terrified you must have been.

    Here's a story-- when I was 5, my dad and were on his bike. I was sitting on the bar, holding the handle bars, my legs side saddle like. I ended up swinging my left leg into the spokes of the front week and crushing my ankle. My dad was so freaked out about the whole thing he didn't realize his arm was broken for HOURS. So the moral of the story? See the orthopedic doc today.

    By Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom), at 12:42 PM  

  • Lurker delurking--oh, how scary for you!!! But please, no more beating yourself up. There's a word for these things--ACCIDENTS. They happen. NO ONE could love that baby more than you two. And she knows it, believe me. Hope the elbow is OK. Take care of yourself!!

    By Blogger terri c, at 12:59 PM  

  • also delurking... glad everyone is more or less ok. babies recover so much faster. my mother used to love to tell the story of accidently poking me with a pencil when i was little (she was a writer and i was very active). she was horrifed because the pencil lead broke off and imbeded in my skin. its still there 28 years later and has become the source of many laughs over the years. no harm done!

    i would suggest having your elbow checked to see if it is broken. i know it sounds odd, but you can break your elbow (my DP did 3 years ago) and it is very painful. it rarely shows up in general x-rays. if that is the problem don't let them put it in a cast, only in a sling. we saw a ortho. specialist about it because the ER guy had never dealt with a broken elbow. he said that if the arm goes in a cast you will lose all mobility and that the only real way to heal and have (almost) 100% mobility and function return is to keep it in a sling and within in a few weeks do a few specific streching exercises. DP recovered in about 3 months (although mild pain was their for about a year) and gained back 95% mobility.

    i hope this is not the problem and wish you luck, but thought i'd pass on the experience just in case.

    By Anonymous jumanah, at 2:46 PM  

  • Let me see … in his first year I - dropped him out of the stroller going down some stairs, tripped over one the steep steps at home with him in my arms and managed to save him but completely ruin my tail bone and he had a freak accident with a washing line which missed his head by mms.

    In his second and third years he drove his small car off some stairs as I ran towards him at full pelt, tripped over the food cart at day care and had to have two general anaesthetics and fell down the stairs himself.

    And this child is known to be rather over protected!

    On all occasions I cried more than he did!

    Hope your elbow is OK and your heart mends quickly. It is another right of passage over …

    By Blogger Clare, at 8:09 PM  

  • Terrifying! I am SO SO SO SO glad she is ok. If it's any consolation, I knocked my daughter onto Ikea's concrete bathroom floor (and she hit her head pretty darn hard). Ugh. I was an hysterical mess.

    By Anonymous KatS, at 9:39 PM  

  • I don't know what happened to my bloglines, but I didn't see this when you posted it, only now when I clicked over to your site for some other reason... how terrifying! I'm so glad she's ok! And I can completely sympathize with your reaction (especially the self-hating parts).

    By Blogger Trista, at 3:05 PM  

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