“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” Jill Churchill
Sometime during the course of the day we have those moments when we catch our babies from slipping as they try to walk, grab an arm of our toddlers as they take the stairs too quickly or rescue our babies from dangerous sharp corners. And then there are the moments when your think your heart has stopped beating from a second, your stomach flip flops and you gasp for a breath in panic because you have just witnessed something awful. My dear friend Em wrote a wonderful post about having A Heart Flopping Mama Trauma when her daughter caught her finger in a door playing hide and seek. I had a heart flopping mama trauma the other day.
I was folding my laundry on my bed. It was a rare moment when both girls were napping at the same time!! I felt like I was getting laundry folded at a lightening pace without little ones to entertain. About 20 minutes into my laundry folding party, Lillian woke up from a short nap. I nursed her, brought her onto my bed and we played while I folded laundry. She loved pulling the clothes out of the three baskets I had on the bed and we played peek-a-boo with shirts and socks. It was such a wonderful way to fold laundry. With baskets and king size pillows surrounding her I felt like we were on our own little island! In the middle of playing peek-a-boo with Charlotte’s shirts, I thought I heard Charlotte waking up. Her room is across the hall from my bedroom so I quickly got up from my bed (which is next to the door to the room) and stepped into the hallway. I was gone for all of a minute when I hear a loud THUD followed by a agonizing cry. My hear dropped and it felt like it stopped for a split second. I spun around and rushed towards Lillie who was now sobbing having fallen off my bed. I picked her up and couldn’t help but burst into tears myself. I quickly nursed her and examined the already black and blue bump on her forehead. How could this happen? But I already knew the answer – Lillian is so active that she must have tried to crawl over to me and fallen off the bed. How could I have let this happen, I was standing right in the hallway almost an arms length from my room and bed? Why didn’t I pick her up to walk into the hallway? All questions I know will haunt me for a lifetime as I can still hear the loud and unnerving Thud of my daughter landing on the hardwood floor.
After about 10 minutes she quieted and was soothed by the nursing so much so that she started to smile and babble words “mama”, ” baba” and “woof woof” Sighing loudly, I was relieved she seemed better. Still not sure if she had sustained any additional injuries I called our amazing pediatrician, Dr. Mendes and he saw me right away. I was so anxious waiting for him to see us, worrying that she might have sustained serious injuries. He examined her arms and legs, her soft spot and eyes and everything was normal. I took a deep breath in and it felt like I hadn’t been breathing for the past few hours. This fall is one to add to the books and I may have a few gray hairs from it, but I’m so thankful Lillian is fine.
For the past few nights, I can vividly see her tiny body on my bedroom floor when I close my eyes as I go to sleep. I feel so irresponsible and frustrated for not preventing her fall, but at the same time, I know that accidents do happen even to the best of us! Lillian’s guardian angel was working overtime on Monday and I’m so thankful she kept Lillian safe! As for me, my mama ego was badly bruised and that too will eventually heal. I will now be more cautious and never leave Lillian on the bed alone until she is old enough to climb onto my bed herself! I will add this experience to my mental scrapbook as I did when Charlotte fractured her foot at 14 months. These heart dropping moments are all part of the journey through motherhood, helping to make us stronger mamas.