Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anika's Trip to the ER and a guilty mommy

SOME Of this post was written when I couldn't sleep last night and some this morning. I have calmed down a lot, but no matter how many people tell me "These things happen to every kid"  doesn't help how I FEEL! It never happened to me as a kid and  I didn't want it happening to MY kid, especially at the tender age of 6.5 months. SHe is a whole 15.5 pounds! She is tiny. Someone told me I cant put her in a helmet- as a joke...but maybe I will!  I want to start by saying thanks for the thoughts and prayers on twitter last night. It helped during our 6 hour visit in the ER. And to my friend L, who I had been talking to on my way home from work 20 minutes before this happened. I called her on my way to the hospital because we took baby first aid and safety together while pregnant ...and I didn't know how to get to the closest hospital and she knew. Also, there is vulgar language below. cant help it. My emotions make that happen. I don't talk to Anika with that mouth, by the way ;)

Earlier tonight my world stopped for a little bit.  My precious baby was hurt and it was because I didnt protect her.  I am crying again just thinking about it and how I was careless. I am sad, I am mad, and I am ashamed. Embarrassed. And I feel like I let my baby down. I hate that she had to go through all of this. I Know she probably wont remember, but I am sure she was so scared.  

I keep replaying everything over in my head.  We got home around 5:45. I parked in our attached garage and started bringing my bags into the house. My gym bag, my lunch bag, my work bag, my laptop, Anika's diaper bag, Anika's lunch box, my pump and then 2 bags of groceries. Anika and I had stopped at the grocery store after work so I could pick up a few things. The main stuff in my grocery bags were things to make Andrew a little care package. He was really upset to leave us early this morning (Monday) to head away for work for the week. More upset than normal. He was going to miss us and I felt bad for him. He hates hotel living and not getting to see Anika every night. SO, I figured out which hotel he was staying at, and I was going to make cookies and send some goodies and a sweet card to him via Fedex to his hotel. Some cute pics of A too. 

 After I put all the bags in the kitchen, I grabbed Anika out of the car and we went right upstairs where I changed her nappy. (by the way, those bags never got put away and her pumped milk went bad sitting there all night). After I changed her nap, She was antsy, so I didnt even put her pants back on. She was just in a nappy, shirt and sweater...and socks.   I had a dress on that was high cut and VERY hard to nurse in, so I took my boots off, my dress off and even my undies. haha- My undies were uncomfortable. I put on my worn out nursing nighty (sans undies) and left my boots and dress in a pile on the floor. I put the undies in the hamper though. I wanted to nurse Anika and then I was going to get her solids ready. I brought her down to the main level of the house and put her down with some toys. When I talked to Andrew a few minutes earlier he told me to check the bulk head. It goes from the outside into our basement and then there is a door from that to the actual basement. He had been in the bulkhead Sunday, putting stuff in our basement for winter. He couldn't remember if he shut it tight and properly. We have a little mouse problem in our garage and basement (I HATE MICE) so I wanted to make sure it was sealed up.  I am paranoid about mice.  So, I left Anika on the floor with toys 20 feet from the door to the basement. THe door is across form the kitchen. When I went down, I shut the door behind me....but as I later found out, it didn't latch, so it was open a little bit!

I was down in the unfinished part of the basement and I could hear the dog running around upstairs.I had already let her out and fed her before I even brought Anika in  from the car. I let her out first because she is really hyper when I first get home.  She gets rowdy when we get home but has never hurt Anika. Anika was sleeping in the car anyway, so that's just what I usually do. Anika loves to watch Piri and usually just sits and watches her with a big smile. So, I was in the basement and I could her them upstairs, and I was just about done checking the bulk head and I here BANG, BANG, BANG- I was like what the hell. My first thought was the dog ...then I thought Anika knocked something over upstairs, then I thought the dog fell down the stairs, but then I heard Anika SCREAM- and as I turned the corner of the unfinished part to to the finished of the basement, she was sitting on the basement floor and the door was open at the top! My heart stopped. Then, I picked her up and she just screamed. I was shaking. I checked her quickly and there was nothing visible.  I called Andrew back and just kept screaming "She fell down the stairs" but he couldn't understand me. I literally yelled/sobbed it 20 times. She was also screaming. I guess he didn't know what happened but he knew she was hurt. He said what came to mind was that hot water spilled on her while I was cooking. I don't know why he thought that.  I don't really remember what happened next- I was frantic. The phone kept ringing (it was Andrew calling me back).  I went to get in the car, but realized I had no shoes, no undies and a worn out nursing nighty so I ran up and put my clothes back on and boots -but forgot undies.  I got to the garage and contemplated driving with her on my lap so I could observe her, but I thought "what if I got in a car accident" so then I thought maybe put the car seat in the front so I can watch? but, I ended up putting her in the back as normal. Every time she got quiet, I reached around and poked her and she would whine. On the road, I called my parents house. My mom was not home, but  my dad answered. I told him and he started freaking out and yelling at me for not being careful.  I decided to go to the closest hospital, although it is known to be a shit hole and not great...but I couldn't drive further! As it was, this hospital was 20 minutes away, but it felt like hours! At one point before I left home, I considered calling an ambulance, but with where we live, I knew by the time it got to my house, (it would have gotten lost too) I could be faster.
My phone rang and it was my BIL. He just finished some intense emt course or what not, so Andrew had called him to call me to calm me down. He kept telling me to pull over and he would call an ambulance because I should not drive that way. I said like hell am I STOPPING and Waiting for someone.  I told him I was fine and he said since A was crying that was a good sign.

I called my friend, L, because I needed help getting to hospital. I Knew there were signs- I had seen them a million times, but they were so hard to see in the dark and I didn't have my glasses. I have a hard time seeing at night as it is...never mind with tears in my eyes. I was getting mad. Mad at Andrew for not checking and making sure the thing was closed, otherwise, I never would have been down there. I DO sometimes spend time in the finished basement, but I have an exersaucer down there for A and I always bring her with me if I am doing stuff down there. (my treadmill, files, crafts, etc).  I was Mad at myself for not double checking the basement door behind me.  I am usually so careful. I FRIGGEN started child proofing my house when she was a month old.  I TOOK every safety class I could. Baby first aid and safety. And Baby CPR. I EVEN went to a class on CAR SEAT safety!  Do you know how many people do that? Not many. I made sure that everything I bought her was rated THE Highest on Consumer reports for safety. Safety this. Safety that. I'm gosh darn obsessed with it at times. I don't use bumpers because research says they cause SIDS. She never had ANYTHING  in her crib until she reached that "Safe" age of 6 months.   I have been ahead on things since she was conceived!  HOW the heck could I let this happen? What kind of horrible mother am I?  My husband sucks for...well just because I need to blame someone else too. If he was home this wouldn't have happened.  Why did my mom not answer her cell phone..SHE NEVER has it on her when I need her. I spend SO Much time, energy, money, etc on making sure my child gets the healthiest start to life- I make sure she gets the BEST foods, the best nutrition. I spend hours researching what foods will not be in her diet and what will.  I have researched from before I knew she was a she...how to have the healthiest pregnancy, a natural birth, the best start to life outside the womb,...I don't take anything lightly when it comes to being her mom. I don't just give her meds and vacs because some ped tells every patient to. My daughter isnt every patient- she is MINE.  I spend my spare time at night washing her shitty diapers so she can avoid chemicals on her skin. I gave up some of my favorite luxuries so we can afford for her to eat an all organic/free range diet. We put MORE locks on cabinets this weekend and MORE gates up around our house. WE BOLTED furniture to our walls so they dont fall on her when she pulls on them...Yes- put huge holes in the walls to keep her safe.    I have tried to give her the best of everything and I let her FALL DOWN THE F*CKING STAIRS!  MY 15.5 pound baby!!
I keep hearing the thump thump and I keep SEEING her fall down, even though I didn't actually see it.  Did she bounce on her head? ON her butt? She landed on her butt though. Did she just crawl off the edge and just flip?  The thing is, I have ENVISIONED her falling down stairs before. I have seen it happen in my head which is why I am usually so paranoid. I just feel horrible. She had to be exposed to radiation and sick people...because I failed to keep her safe!
OK, That was last night and I am back this morning. I read some of that and it does seem a bit dramatic, but I'm not editing it because that is how I felt.
I will fill in the rest. SO, I got to the ER and grabbed A out of her seat and ran in. I had grabbed her bag but it had her dirty nappies in it because I had just gotten home. I hoped there were some unused ones in there (there ended up being ONE).   I ran into the front and rang a bell thing and this triage person came over. By the way, Anika still had no pants on. I was still frantic. They sat me down and checked her stats, etc. SHE had stopped crying and get this- SMILED at the lady. Oh yes. She was acting all fine and I appeared to be the coo coo. We sat there for 20 minutes and they checked us in. Anika just sat on my lap- not antsy like normal. I told the nurses or whoever, that she wasn't acting normal. She never sits still like this. The lady asked if she had eaten? I guess her bp must have been low? After examining her, they said there was a long wait and to go wait in the waiting room. What? ew.  Anika started reaching at my breasts then. She was hungry. I went past the waiting room and was looking for a bathroom. I had this high neck dress on..usually I just pull my boobs out the top of my dresses sand shirts.  One nurse asked if I was tyring to change her. I said no- I need to feed her. SHe looked at me confused and  then said "Like...breast feed her?" YES! The lady said "sorry, we don't get much of that in here"  Um, ok. So she found an empty room with a chair and bed and said I could go in there. I ended up ripping my dress down to get my boob out. What a bad choice of clothes!  I would have lifted it up, but then if someone came in the room they would have seen my box and ass rather than just a little boobage. And my stretch mark scars.  Then, my phone rang. it was my dad. He said he was there, but he was going to wait outside because there was a lot of scum in the waiting room. My dad is a worse germaphobe than me.  I told him he could come to the room I was in. I walked out and saw him and he came in. I had a blanket to put over me...I may be open when it comes to bfeeding, but I don't need to sit in a small room with my dad right next to me exposed...even if I am sobbing on and off. My dad told me Andrew was on his way from 3 hours away. My dad called him to tell him to drive safe while we were sitting  in the room. My  dad said my mom was close by at my niece's swim team thing but couldnt get in touch with her.  She finally answered when she was almost home (my parents live 40 minutes from the hospital) and my dad told her what was going on and I could hear her "Oh, Ashley. SHe needs to be careful. She needs to keep her eyes on her at all times. bla bla bla"  LIKE, I DIDNT KNOW THAT?!  We could now see the huge bumps on A's head, but she was in pretty good spirits. By the way, my mom was much nicer to me on the phone when talking to me than the convo I overheard her having with my dad.  A was cuddly which isn't normal, but the triage nurse had said probably because she sensed my emotional state. Whatever. I did just get an email from baby whatever.com yesterday that at this age they can sense emotions and may react when they see someone cry. Seriously- I just read that Yesterday in an email. I tried to calm down for her. And, when I did- She got antsy again back in the waiting room. That may have been because I wouldn't let her down or touch ANYTHING in that nasty place. There were sickies every where. Anika, my dad and I were as far away as others as possible. Weird people kept talking to us. We heard this lady cough and I grabbed one of those masks to put on Anika. It didn't work.
I was asked several times how it happened, and how far the fall was, how she landed, etc, but never felt like they questioned that it was an accident. I know I have heard about people getting drilled because they want to make sure there was no abuse. 
 I was soo thirsty. I had no water and nursing makes me thirsty all the time. I drink a gallon of water during a work day and that doesn't seem like too much.  I was thirsty, I was hungry, I was drained. And, Andrew came walking in. My dad left and Andrew took over.  I was mad at him still. Not sure why, but I just was. I mean, only hours earlier I was so excited to make him a care package because I was so sympathetic towards him and loved and missed him.   Now? It was just weird. I went to nurse again in the bathroom to calm her down because she was getting fussy again. We waited and we waited and finally we were seen. They examined her and the physician thought she needed a CT scan. Andrew didn't want to because of the radiation, but I wanted to make sure there were no head injuries. I just COULD NOT imagine that she fell THAT hard and THAT far and walked away with a couple bumps. I just couldn't accept that yet, but I started to. Andrew mentioned his mom watching over her. There was no time to research the cat scan options- although I tried via twitter (Thanks M).  They told me to take off her clothes and wrap her in a warm blanket. We got to the scan place down the hall and we went in. They started to put her in a straight jacket type thing and pin her head down. As you can imagine, she FREAKED. They said one of us needed to stay in with her and asked which one wanted to be exposed to radiation. Andrew said he would....and I kind of just went along with it because he can get her to smile and laugh a lot better than I can. HE is wayyy calmer than me and I knew my nervous energy would not help her.
  He had to lay on table and they escorted me out. I Heard screaming. SCREAMING. IT went on and on. I knocked on the door and yelled that I could nurse her to sleep and then we could lie her down.  No one answered. I wanted to walk in but the red light outside the door was on, and I didn't want to ruin it.  It took FOREVER. I listened on the other side of door and when I heard them say, "Ok we can go get mummy", I Just walked in. The tech said "wow, she is really strong" I ripped my dress a bit more and got my boob out to sooth her. Andrew looked at me like it hadnt gone well.  Apparently, the table got stuck and then it wouldn't move in the machine... and it took long and A was kicking Andrew hard out. He even said she was in a rage. I mean, she hates being restrained in a  car seat (for first few minutes) never mind having her arms, legs and head held down!
This was before the cat scan. I was nervous (phone pic)

She wasn't!
In our room waiting for results. I had laid down on that bed and kept nursing her. I was probably empty but I didn't have her solids and she was hungry..and Tired. It was 11 pm.
CT scan came back fine and we were given instructions and sent home. We got home at midnight. Andrew made us some food quickly and I got her in jammies and nursed her to sleep in our bed. ANd she stayed in our bed. We made sure she was ok throughout the night. Andrew left at 4 Am to go back to work. Anika and I slept in...on and off.
This is from the top of the stairs she fell down.

the stairs are hard wood and the bottom is lament floor on top of concrete.

View from the bottom. Piri is where Anik would have been ...
When I took these pics this AM, I was holding A. I started to get emotional and I decided to tape the scene. Now that I am posting this, it may seem weird, but I made it, loaded it, and so may as well show you. Just being down there again was hard and Ido start crying, but I also couldn't really talk. I called the concrete cement and I flubbed a few other things, like ca called the stairs hard wood floors, but they are obvi not floors  just hard wood stairs. you get the point.

We are sooo lucky and so blessed. I just cant believe she walked away with a bump, but I am grateful and I hugged that little girl a long time this morning...well, as long as she would let me until she squirmed out.
PS. she did wake up with a wicked runny hose this morning. Ugh. Already sick from that place.
And the pic above is from the weekend. HOw she spent most of Sunday. Up against that door looking outside and talking to the dog, or any other animals out there. She would walk side to side along the glass door. NO fear. Just none and It scares the living shit out of me. I know this may sound dramatic to some, but writing last night helped me cope...and today I still feel guilt and I still feel a bit shaken up, but IM better. I know I feel better for many reasons, but one is being able to express it all.


  1. You poor thing! I would have been a nervous wreck too. Truly. You are such a strong mama. And thank GOD she's okay!

  2. Girl what a crazy night!! And I know you said it doesn't help but crap happens with babies, Lexi had a busted lip already. You are a great great great mother and I can not stress that enough!! For her to fall that far and just have a bump, wow someone was definitely watching over her. It could have been much worse! Poor girl!! I hope she is doing much better today and isn't getting sick from that icky ick place, and you are okay! I can't even imagine. I had tears in my eyes reading it! You did everything right though! Good thing you took those classes :) love ya girl!! and Anika! you knw the number if you want to talk :)

  3. I'm not going to tell you to feel better about it, because you aren't going to. You are just never going to leave that door open again or whatever.

    I will, however, tell you that I did the same thing as an itty bitty like A. Only there was lots of blood. I had a few teeth, and somehow managed to bite through my tongue during my roll down the stairs. I still have a little scar on my tongue today! But, I never had any problems as a result. Then again, that's me speaking. Others may disagree :)

    The thing is...I don't even remember it. My parents had to fess up and tell me for me to even be aware!


  4. Oh honey, I'm so sorry this happened. Especially with Andrew gone, I'm sure you were beyond scared. This was a horrible accident, and honestly could have happened to anyone. This morning, I forgot to close the upstairs gate all the way, and Cooper would have gone out it if the dog hadn't come running up. I know that doesn't make you feel any better. My friend's 2 year old took a flying leap off of their really high bed last year, and landed right on his head. The ER doctor told them that infant and children's skulls are a lot thicker and can take a lot more than you would think. The important thing is that A is okay. And obviously doesn't have any bad connection to those stairs judging by her smile in that video. She will never remember this. And give yourself some time to get past it. Of course you're mad at yourself, Andrew, your parents, anyone. I'd be the same way. Soon enough it won't seem to raw to you and then eventually it will just be something that once happened, that (I know!) you will make sure never happens again. You are a great mom, Ashley, and Anika is so lucky to have you! xoxo

  5. I just started bawling reading this. Because I have HUGE fears like this, too, and I know you are such a good mom, and it was a total accident, but that feeling of not being able to help/protect your babe? AHHH!!! I hate it! It seriously freaks me out, and I can't handle it at all! You were so brave! I'm so glad everyone is OK!

    P.S. How weird that they "don't get a lot of that [breast-feeding]" there? FOR REALS? That's horrible.

  6. Oh, Ashley, I'm sooo sorry!! This must have been absolutely terrifying! It's amazing how resilient babies are, but they are so fragile, too. I think you handled everything very well; anyone else in your situation would've freaked, too. And, Anika looks like her happy self again, which is all that matters. Still, so very scary.

  7. Glad she is ok. You are not careless. It happens. My brother feel down the stairs when he was about a year and had to get like 15 stitches. I can only imagine your panic. Thank goodness everyone was there with you!

  8. This kind of thing happens all the time with babies. I think babies are just born to be resilient or something. YOu know the story of the mom that left the carrier on top of the car and drove off. that kind of thing. Well when I was 15 months at my grandmas I scooted UNDERNEATH the stair banister which was split level and fell 2 flights of stairs to land and started screaming blue bloddy murder. my mom was 9 months pregnant and flew down the stairs, she couldn't believe it had happened. I was fine, apparently. Like DSS others may disagree haha. no matter how careful parents are things like this happen. i'm very relieved though that everything is okay. hope the rest of the week is nice and uneventful :-)

  9. You were in my thoughts all day even today - I am so glad A is ok, and that you are feeling better today. I'm sure this experience will stay close to your heart for a while - but glad you are able to express it here and hopefully get rid of those guilt ridden feelings - because you are a FANTASTIC MOM!!!