My husband leaves for work early in morning. Still breastfeeding (YAY or UGH, depending on how I feel any given day or night), I do the nightly wake up and feed the baby wee hour shifts, so often times, me and baby are snoozing and trying to catch a couple of zz's as he is leaving.
Sunday night was particularly rough. Multiple wakings and a feeding at midnight followed by a teething and/or ear infection screamfest at four meant that at six, me and the baby crawled back into my bed for a few more minutes of sleep before my older one woke for the day. Still trying to provide what comfort I could, I fell asleep with him nestled snugly in my arms, his tear streaked face pressed against mine and my hair firmly tangled in his little fist. Not wanting to disturb us, my husband gave us each a light kiss on the forehead and said don't forget to get up as he slipped out the door. It was warm and cozy and the baby was sleeping with his mouth slightly agape, breathing deeply. I closed my eyes again and sank back into sweet, quiet sleep.
Mother radar activated. Still deeply sound asleep, my eyes popped open. Oh no. Where is he? He's at the edge of the bed. Going from zero to one hundred and eighty miles per hour I lurched across the bed as he tumbled over the side. Silence. Still silent as I quickly lifted him from the cold, wood floor. Silent because my heart stopped beating for a second too. Then the scream. The angry, surprised, hurt, confused wail that I was waiting for.
I cradled him, his beet red face in the curve of my neck. Surrounding his body with mine. Oh baby, I cooed at him, whispering in his ear, mama's got you. I've got you. Shhhh. I've got you. I wanted to cry but my tears took their rightful place at the back of the line. They would have a turn later. I didn't know what hit the floor first, I only heard the sound. THE BOOM. The mattressess are high and the floor is bare. It was time to check for bumps and bruises, for wobbly legs or anything out of place.
I found only a bruised spot on his temple, hiding under his wavy hair. No other signs of hurt, apart from the look on his face and the chill in my veins. I tried to hold ice to the tender spot but gave up after the fifteenth time he pushed it away. Surely, that was a good sign.
It's only now, a day later, that I can feel like the danger has passed by and the fog of worry that clouded me through the night, slightly lifted. I'm an anxious mommy by nature and clearly still smarting from the fall we took together on a playground when he was only two weeks old that left me with a scarred knee and him a night in the emergency room CAT scan machine at Children's Hospital. The dangers of a newly mobile child seemed to have doubled with another boy in the house and I spend so much time in a mode of vigilance,searching for hazards of all measures and sizes that are readily found. Add to this news all around of bad things happening to good people and I found myself struggling many hours to assure myself he was fine. These things happen all the time. Babies are designed to fall down, that's what they do. It's how they learn.
Got it. I learned my lesson.