I can’t take credit for this post I am about to write. This post is coming straight off the back off a blog post I just read, a blog to which I am a regular visitor. Enjoying The Small Things. I have mentioned this lady’s blog before on here and it is beautiful, seriously, check it out if you have time.
Anyway, her daughter ended up in the ER after cutting her head open and the post just touched upon how the Mum reacted in that situation. She said that she always had a plan in mind for the whole ‘A and E scenario’. She would be calm and focused. She would get through it. Only, it didn’t quite happen like that. She lost some of her cool and nobody can blame her.
I also believed I would always be cool and calm. But that is not the case at all. All rational thought goes out of the window when you see your child hurt.
When Leona was around 20 months , we had made it without any major injuries. Then one day, during a visit to a relatives house, she was running around as babies often do, full of excitement at being somewhere else, when she fell head first into the stair case. It was awful. I saw the whole thing as I was sitting at the door way with a cup of tea and it felt like it happened in slow motion.
There she was, this tiny little bald baby who had only learnt to walk a few months ago, and she just fell into the white wood. On the corner of course.
I’m not quite sure who took the longest to figure out what happened. Me as I stared at her in horror with my cup half way to my mouth, or her who before deciding that it did actually hurt, had stood back up and turned around to face me. I think she did it on purpose, just so I could grasp the full pain on her confused little face.
Did I stay calm? Did I heck! This was my babies first head injury and I was terrified. As soon as she faced me I could already see a mark/lump forming at the front of head so I knew it was a bad one.
I had a whole room of relatives sat in the room with me, which really should have encouraged me to act like the sane , calm mother I wanted them to see 😉 But no…..
I threw my half full cup down which actually fell over in my haste to get to Leona. Then I scooped my girl into my arms, with my heart racing so much I thought it was going to burst.
This was followed by me hugging her tighter than I have ever hugged her before.
“You will be OK , it will be fine, you’re not hurt , you’re not hurt.”
To which Leona, who had been clearly able to speak in perfect sentences since the day of her birth (only exaggerating slightly….) starts crying like mad.
“I AM!! IT HURTS IT HURTS!!!”
Back to me, still hugging her while trying to remember what to do with a head injury. At the time , the only thought that kept circling my head was….’Check if she’s alive, check if she’s alive.’ Judging by the wailing, she was, but you can never be too sure about these things.
I head towards the freezer. Grab a packet of peas, and hold it against her head which makes it scream even more. During this , I have seven different relatives all telling me different things.
“Just keep her awake for the next two hours.”
“You should really get her checked out at A and E, that was a nasty fall.”
“If she starts vomiting , you know it’s bad.”
“She will be fine, you are all over exaggerating.”
“The front of the head is the worst place for a head injury.”
“Really Maureen? I always thought it was the back?”
“If it’s a bruise it’s bad, if it’s a visible lump it’s fine.”
And there is me in the middle of all these people, rocking my baby girl backwards and forwards who to be fair, had actually already calmed down and I am shouting……
“It’s a lump and a bruise??!! A LUMP AND A BRUISE. Where does this leave me? What should I do. Oh my god, she looks drowsy, is she drowsy?!!”
A relative pipes up.
“Leona sweetie, what’s your address?”
Me, almost shouting at scared relative.
“She’s 18 months she doesn’t bloody know our address.”
Anyway, in the end i did what my instincts told me. I phoned NHS direct, explained the injury who just told me she would be fine and to watch her for signs of drowsiness, suddenly feeling unwell and that sort of thing.
She was completely fine. I let her stay up an extra three hours that night. Just to be safe 😉 And I didn’t get a wink of sleep because you know, my child had a bump to her head. Serious stuff people.
Of course, since then, there has been numerous other occasions that were one of those “stay calm but actually panic’ moments. It happens with kids. I don’t quite react as bad as I did that first time now, but there is no way that any parent can just act cool a cucumber when their kid has just almost smashed their head in. I think I have a photo of Leona’s injury that time….. You can’t really see the egg sized lump but the bruise and misery is clear for all to see!!
So that is that, and I just distracted by chocolate. So…..