On Thursday afternoon, Jane from His Boys Can Swim tweeted that she was on her way to the doctor because her baby fell off a couch and that she felt like the worst mom ever. So I responded:

Of course, saying something like that is basically like running naked into the middle of a large field holding a flagpole during a thunderstorm and saying “Oh no, I’ve NEVER gotten struck by lighting before!” So three hours later, this happened.

Since Baby Evan has been walking for a while now, I don’t watch him as closely as a good mother would I used to and in an attempt to rip apart my current knitting project he climbed around the couch, tripped over a shoe and fell face first onto the lower shelf of a wooden end table. He scraped a couple layers of skin off his forehead and the swelling – OH THE SWELLING – started immediately. So did the screaming. OH THE SCREAMING. Of course I used my trusty boob powers to put a stop to the noise immediately but after 10 minutes of nursing he was still pretty sad. Exhibit A:

You guys, this picture does NOTHING to show the true awfulness that was the swelling. And right on his biggest, bluest forehead vein too. It's the curse of the pale.

Of course, when I called my pediatrician’s office they has already closed for the day. Their answering service gave me the number of the on call doctor, so I called HIS office and explained Baby Evan’s head bump and asked if I should be concerned. Instead of the generally calm, reassuring voice of reason response I get from the nurses we see in person, this one was…not. She said things like “SKULL FRACTURE” and “BRAIN BLEED” and “IT’S REALLY A JUDGMENT CALL ON YOUR PART BUT…” What she didn’t say was the rest of the sentence after that “but”, which is: “If you were a good mother, your baby wouldn’t have fallen at all, but since he did why wouldn’t you immediately rush to the nearest emergency room?” So I grabbed the diaper bag, left a message for E at work, and drove less than a mile down the road to the hospital. (When we eventually have to sell this house, all I have to tell families thinking about buying it is “You can have your kid at the ER less than 3 minutes after they fall down the stairs/break a leg/cut off a finger/start bleeding from their eyeballs” and the offers will come rolling in. Guaranteed.)

By the time I got him out of the car into the BabyHawk carrier, Baby Evan was smiling. When the check-in lady called him cute, he laughed. When the  ER nurse sent us down the hall to non-emergency Convenient Care, he climbed out of my arms and ran around throwing magazines on the floor. The only time he cried the whole visit was when I wouldn’t let him push the very exciting shiny blue button that said “CODE” on it in the exam room.  When we were seen, a very nice doctor assured me the worst case scenario was a concussion, something most kids bounced back from with no problem whatsoever. Then he said if Baby Evan slept more than usual for the next 48 hours, I shouldn’t be concerned and I was all “Concerned?! Heck, I hope he gets concussed every day!” I don’t think the doctor got the joke. He sent us home with a handout on how to tell if your baby is bleeding into his skull and a promise to see us again soon when my daredevil child tried his next stunt.

The whole thing took less than 2 hours. By Friday morning Baby Evan’s forehead was almost back to normal size and the bruise was almost gone. He hasn’t done any extra sleeping. And because I am not a horrible mother, I made sure he really was going to be ok before I wrote about it on the internets.

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3 Responses to “Faceplant”

  1. Meg says:

    I’m so glad he’s okay!

    Hey, I did a head-first dive into a brick fireplace mantel when I was a year or so. Dad had to hold me down as they scanned my head. Accidents happen, and babies fall on their heads.

  2. Mkp says:

    Yikes!! Glad things turned out ok – and if it’s any consolation, my younger brother spent ages 3-7 with a goose egg on the left side of his forehead we just called “The Bump,” and is now 6+ feet tall, very bright and only annoying on purpose. He was farsighted as a baby and used to smack into things like car doors and coffee tables and walls because he couldn’t focus on them.

  3. Leah says:

    I am sorry you had such a frightening experience and all. I know how terrifying it can be but IT ONLY TOOK 2 HOURS TO GO TO TH ER!!!!!???? I need to move back to New England methinks. That is unheard of here.

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