Real Life: My 10 Month Old Fell Down the StairsCasi Densmore-Koon
Disclaimer: We have a safety gate installed properly. This was the case of a falling parent, not a gate left opened or an unattended child. We are all about safety first! This was one of the most traumatic events for our family and this weekend is one we will never forget. Nothing like this has ever happened before and we can only hope it will never happen again.
On Saturday, I was running a quick errand to the bank when I got a terrifying phone call from my husband. He was in tears; I could hardly understand him. I immediately knew it was bad – he never cries. All I heard was a panicked voice say, “Sadie fell down the stairs, Casi! All the way down. She is bleeding! Call 911.” Ten minutes from home, I immediately pulled over and called 911 in complete panic mode.
By the time I arrived home they were already loading her in the ambulance. I ran over as fast as I could to see what was going on. Sadie looked at me with the most blank stare I have ever seen. It was like she had no idea who I was and she didn’t even crack a smile or reach for me. I was devastated. As a mother, this was beyond scary. Bleeding from her nose she seemed okay but because of the significant fall they needed to take her into DC to Children’s Hospital Trauma Center about 30 minutes from our house. My husband rode with her since he could explain exactly what happened.
I got in my car to meet my husband there. I still didn’t know exactly what happened, except that my 10 month old fell down our very large, steep hardwood steps – a constant worry of mine. I hate steps, they hate me. I can’t tell you how many times I have slipped, and they’ve cost me 2 concussions to this day. My fear was falling with a child. I can’t imagine my poor baby flying down the steps. Thankfully, I wasn’t there because otherwise I would have been in the ambo next to her after I had a heart attack.
So what exactly happened? We have very wide, steep hardwood steps. At the top they turn before coming down. Somehow my husband tripped while he was holding Sadie. As he went to stop the other 2 behind him from falling, our 4 and 2 year old, Sadie flipped out and rolled all the way down until the last few steps where she then bounced into a laundry basket. The laundry basket that pretty much saved her life. Thinking of her falling is giving me chills as I type this. I just can’t imagine.
After what seemed like the longest ride of my life, I arrived at the hospital and ran to the room. They had her in trauma observation where she would spend the next several hours. The doctor caught me up to speed with just what was going on. They would be monitoring her vitals for the next 6 hours. Her nose had stopped bleeding and they think it was just from her hitting it on the way down. She had no bruises or gel spots on her head – a good sign. And her ears only had a few specks of blood inside them which was from the surgery she had the day before. On Friday morning she had tubes put in her ears. So that was the plan to just watch her and if all went well, they wouldn’t need to do a cat scan. To a baby brain this age, a cat scan is 300 x-rays. Way too much radiation to do it just to do it.
As soon as she saw, me she reached for me and smiled. She was being a complete ham which made me immediately want to cry, but at the same time, I felt so much better. I wanted to just hold her and never let go. We were going to try and get her to drink and eat to make sure she wasn’t going to vomit and she passed. The next test up was the scariest for me. We had to put her to sleep in hopes she would immediately be alert when we woke her. However, there was fine print. The doctor warned us if she didn’t wake up, wasn’t alert, or was hard to wake-up, they would immediately have to do a cat scan.
So, you’re telling me I have to put my baby to sleep and she may not wake up? Talk about the worst feeling ever. Words just can’t explain it. It was like time was standing still. As I waited, one of the first things I did besides pray was tweet and ask for a prayers. The prayer chain immediately started and the text messages poured in – I knew everyone was praying for my fighter and she was going to pull through and be fine. I had to keep the faith. As a 34 weeker, she has already proven how strong she is through the struggles she has overcame. I just told myself, she has to pull through. She just has to.
After 2 hours, they gave us the okay to wake her. She immediately perked right up, smiled and reached for her bottle. She started crawling and trying to high-tail out of the hospital crib. Thank you God. Thank you so much for letting Sadie be okay. The doctor came in as we woke her and said, she is perfect. Just what I wanted to hear. I seriously felt like this was a bad dream, a nightmare I was finally waking up from.
So what did we end up with at discharge? A concussion and bruised nose. I am so thankful I left a folded basket of laundry at the end of the steps for her to land in. I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been hitting the bottom full-speed.
Apparently, this happens often. The nurses and doctors said each of their children have done it, and they see so many sleep deprived mothers come in with their newborns after they have fallen. For me, this was beyond a nightmare. I am always very calm but not this time. I was a hot mess and am still emotionally drained and really have thought about putting a helmet on her head. Now, every two seconds I am worried about her falling back while she is sitting and hitting her head. It has traumatized us all, and I truly pray this doesn’t happen to any of you. All I can say is that Sadie turned 10 months old on Saturday, and she sure gave us an exciting birthday.
For those of you who tweeted me over the weekend, your prayers, love and support got me through the roughest 15 hours of my life. Thank you all so much for not just praying for Sadie but for giving us strength from cyber space. And for those who asked about my husband – yes, he is emotionally drained but I reassured him that this could have happened to anyone. I think we are all just very thankful right now that she is okay.
(Pink Headband is from Banner Boutique)