Sunday I was busy getting the kids ready for an afternoon out. Julien was covering my shift at the tea house. Such a busy time in our lives right now. And while my mind was thinking about things to come later in the week I had one second of inattentativeness with Alixe and the next thing I knew she had catapulted herself off of her brother's 4.5 foot high loft bed and landed flat on her back and banged the back of her head. The sound still haunts me. I picked her up immediately. She didn't cry right away because the fall had knocked the wind from her but once she found her voice the cry was like nothing I had ever heard before. I rushed her to my bedroom and looked at her. She had stopped crying by the time I put her on the bed but her nose was bleeding profusely. The moments after that are sort of a blur, I remember grabbing some clothes from my dirty clothes basket and throwing them on and then throwing clothes at Max to put on as I rushed to put my shoes on. We live right across from our pediatrician's office so my first thought was to run over there and see Alixe's Ped. But it was Saturday afternon and they were closed! Carrying Alixe and holding Max's hand we walked back to the apt and I called Julien. He was home in 5 minutes. We called le quinze to see what we should do. By then it had been 15 minutes since Alixe fell. I had gotten her nose to stop bleeding and she was surprisingly acting completely normal. It freaked me out even more. We were strongly advised to head to the nearest pediatric hospital to have alixe checked out. And we were off and less than 30 minutes after the accident we were waiting in line to get Alixe checked in. The waiting room was filled with sick/injured children but suprisingly they took us in right away. Her fall apparently pushed her to the front of the waiting line. I felt bad for the parents we bypassed but also felt relief that we were going to be seen right away. At this moment, I was convinced that I had caused permenant brain damage to Alixe.
The doctor ran a few physical tests on Alixe and everything checked out well but head injuries in babies can manifest themselves differently so they wanted to keep Alixe for observation. They checked us into a private room and then watched her. The room had a window where the nurses and doctors could see Alixe while she sat and played. I was encouraged to feed her dinner and then try to put her to bed. Finally after 4 hours of trying to rocker to sleep, Alixe gave in and fell asleep on her own. So tired she slept practically sitting up. They hooked up monitors to her to watch her heart rate and breathing and to make sure she was getting enough oxygen to her brain. They told me that I should sleep because it was going to be a long night. Yeah, right... sleep?! I couldn't stop staring at the machine and her vital stats.
I watched this machine for 6 hours. 3 of the hours Alixe slept. I learned that my daughter indeed can sleep deeply. This is something I highly doubted until now. I also learned she has moments of apnea when she sleeps (!) which kinda freaks me out but the doctor reassured me that it's normal. After 6 hours of monitoring they let us go home. Alixe has been her cheery self ever since and I am slowly letting go of the image of her falling out of my head.
I was talking with a friend about parenting and how it's all trial and error. You learn from your mistakes. At one point, I said to her kids are forgiving and if you make a mistake they will forgive you. Look what I did? I let my kid fall on her head and she still loves me. Ok, maybe that's a big extreame but I learned from all the tweets from my Mama friends that these things happen. Such is life. Time to move forward and not look back.