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Question of the Week - Scary Moments

Yesterday, I was walking down some stairs outside my church, when my shoe slipped a bit and I lost my balance with about 8 steps to go. I started stumbling down the cement stairs. With the Pumpkin settle against one hip, one arm holding her to me, which became a death grip to keep her against me.

I struggled to stay upright, and luckily succeeded--but just barely. Thanksfully, I had my other hand on the rail and used it to pull myself upright. I almost regained my balance twice, but gravity kept pulling me down. I didn't get my balance back until my knee landed on the cement at the bottom of the stairs.

One shin and both knees got scrapped up, pretty bad in some places. My arm was yanked pretty hard behind me, and that hand has a burn in the palm from the railing. My foot and the muscles in both legs are extremely sore, even more so today than yesterday. My arm that had been holding my baby is also sore because of the death-grip hold I had on her.

The Pumpkin? Not a scratch on her. Not even a hair ruffled. She was a bit upset when she realized I was so upset. One of the girls who works in the church nursery happened to be there and took the Pumpkin while I tried to calm down and regain the ability to speak. Once I was able to be coherent, I assured everyone I was fine and took the Pumpkin back and acted like it was no big deal.

But it was a big deal. Not just because it hurst to fall down cement stairs. Because I was holding my precious baby girl while it happened.

In the first instant I started to fall, I had this split-second vision of me tumbling and my little girl falling, with her head going straight for the cement ground so far away. That was probably the scariest vision I have ever had, because it was so close to happening and would likely have had a tragic ending! Even now, I'm so choked up when I think about it.

I do belief, though, that the vision was part of what spurred my herculean efforts to stay upright. It impressed upon me what HAD to be done, not what would simply be optimal. I fought so hard to stay upright, and through sheer force of will and (I really believe) a little help from God (I was outside of church, after all), I was able to land at the bottom without the baby ever touching any hard surface.

I shouldn't have. Really, the fall was in such a way that I should not have stayed upright and landed relatively okay at the bottom. I will take the scraps and bruises and the feeling of having gotten beaten up. I will also take the feeling of protecting my baby at the cost of my own body, the feeling that I was able to protect her against something tragic. I might not be able to protect her for the rest of her life (though I will try), but at least this one time I was able to. And I proved to myself that I am able to.

That is a good feeling, even if I had to go through such a scary moment to get that feeling. I'm all about the silver lining. ;-)

Which brings us to the question of the week:

What a scary moment have you had that you were able to come out of with a good realization about yourself or others?

I'm trying to keep this positive, as I'm not in to scare tactics and living in fear. So tell me something that ends positively! I know you all have stories!


Sharina said…
Wow! I am really impressed by your awesome reflexes and mama instinct. You deserve major kudos in my eyes. I slipped down the stairs once while holding my baby and he hit his head against the wall and I felt so guilty afterwards. I’ve never really had my instincts tested much, so when I fail the not life-or-death scenarios, I feel awful. For you to have them tested and for you to succeed, should give you the reassurance that you are an awesome mom with the necessary instincts to protect your child!
My scary moment of late is almost the same, except that it was Alexis who fell down the stairs all by her self. Somehow I managed to catch her at the bottom and save her from plopping too hard. I didn't breathe for 10 minutes after, but she was unscathed and truly did not understand what the drama was all about.

Well done with the save, btw!
BisBink said…
So sorry that you had to go through that, but glad you were able to protect the Pumpkin from a bad fall, and that you weren't seriously injured! Falling with the Main Man in my arms is one of my worst fears.
Cloud said…
Oooh. I'm glad you are both OK.

My biggest scare was in the car, and wasn't really that bad: I was backing out of a parking space, and a truck was waiting for my space. Someone on the other side of the aisle saw the truck waiting, assumed it was for her, and almost backed into the backseat of my car, on the side where Pumpkin sits. I honked, the truck waiting honked- no accident occurred. But my heart was racing!

It is amazing how upset it makes our babies when we get upset, isn't it? I slammed my finger into a cabinet last weekend, and yelled "ouch!" (I was proud that this was all I yelled) had to sit down and nurse the sore finger. Pumpkin was playing on the kitchen floor, and she got up, toddled over to me, and looked up in to my face with big, worried eyes. I had to smile, and pick her up and give her a big hug- finger throbbing in pain and all.
paola said…
Oh goodness. Glad you are both ok. I hate stairs and we have loads of them in our place. A few tumbles but nothing serious.

I remember 2 years ago when we were on holiday in France. Noah was 19 months old. We had a couple of friends with there 5 kids for a BBQ and everyone was helping collecting wood for the fire and someone left the garden gate open. I was inside, Noah was out with the big kids and when I went out into the yard, of course, Noah was no where to be seen. I instantly panicked, ran to the gate and was calling his name at the top of my voice and there he was, playing on the edge of the road. God, sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I'd come out a minute later. What would have happened to him. Perhaps nothing, he may have wandered back inside, or maybe a car might have come down the road and hit him. Urgh, I can't even bare thinking about it.
Mine was driving. I was driving out to my father's farm with babySaid sleeping in the back seat. There are three possible turn off from the right turn lane. McDonalds, a bank, and the road I was turning on. I waited until I passed McDonalds to get into the turn lane, cause I know those crazy always think I am turning in there. But the guy in the bank driveway looked, saw my turn signal and didn't look back and started to pull out. Since I was not planning to turn in there I was going pretty fast still.

I punched the horn, breaked and pulled all the way into the left turn lane to avoid him. He would have smasehd right into babySaid's side. It took me quite a while to get my heart back under control.
Becoming Mommy said…
I had a few of those when dealing with my year-long ear infection. I'm amazed I never dropped him.

But really the biggest one was back in college. There was a guy from the mental hospital in our class and one day he went off his meds. Came in dressed in a bed-sheet toga with a shaved head waving around a gun saying he was sent by God to smite us all (at least I thought it was a gun. Turned out it was a toy--he'd removed the orange plastic tip).

I kept cool and just dialed campus police emergency number and let them hear his rants over the phone while I read the paper and tried to look invisable.
Rudyinparis said…
I have a couple stories. One I won't share, because it just makes me look like such a dumb, dumb, dummy. But the moral at the end is to avoid escalators. You can fill in the blanks. Here's the other one: Younger had just been born and I was on maternity leave. One of our first outings--with Eldest, too--was to Target. Younger was strapped into her carseat with a bunting on and several blankets over her. Once we got into Target I realized she was getting warm, so I unsnapped the belts, unzipped her bunting and threw one of the blankets up and over the whole carseat, a la covering the parrot cage. She fell asleep. Eldest was being potty trained at the time, so the end of the trip was a bit frenzied and confusing with rushing to get to the bathroom, etc. We leave. Pulling out of the parking lot, I realize I've gone the wrong way up a one way exit. We almost get hit head on. I'm quietly freaking out. We make it home. I get the girls out, carrying Younger still in her carseat. Get inside, lift the blanket covering the carseat, and realized she had been unbuckled the entire time. I'm not sure what I learned form this, except that I shouldn't drive when sleep deprived. Or do anything, really, when sleep deprived.
Colleen said…
wow...that was scary! And from the sounds of it, you could use a good massage and a visit with the chiropractor to make sure your spine isn't somewhere around your shoulders. :)

Several months ago I was carrying Cooper (not yet old enough to hold onto me) down our stairs, and Gavin was coming down, too. In the briefest of moments I had like a vision of him misstepping, tripping, and tumbling down our steps. Just as that flashed through my head, I stepped to my left in front of Gavin's path. No sooner had I done that when Gavin slipped and started falling. Since I was immediately in front of him I was able to stop his fall and still managed to keep my own footing and not drop Cooper. It was so weird and I wasn't sure whether his near-miss or the preminition spooked me more! But I figure that it was God's way of helping me protect my child.
Judy said…
sleep-deprivation combined with new-mom out-of-paid-work-guilt could have killed me. Towards the end of my official maternity leave, (unpaid - don't get me started), when my daughter was about 2.5 months old, I decided that I should take her out for the day so my terrific husband (no not being sarcastic, he is) could have the day to himself. Forgot about how I'd been up probably every two hours or so nursing and forgot how the fog of recognizing day from night was just beginning to lift... anyway, on the way home from about a 45 minute random drive somewhere I actually...FELL ASLEEP at the wheel. I remember it distinctly as I just closed my eyes at a red light and then... BUMP bumped into the car in front of me, which was about twenty car lengths after the red light. So, so, so, so, so incredibly lucky that was only a bump on fenders, the other driver didn't care, (AMAZING luck!), and, MOST important - and bizarre - my daughter stayed asleep in her carseat the entire time including through the very teary phone call to my friend to please pick up my husband and bring him here because no way could I possibly drive with all this guilt and being so shaken. I used this as a clear lesson to learn limitations about how not to drive when sleepy and have had to actually spell out this incident to a relative when she wouldn't take my polity no and insisted that I drive 2 hrs each way to an informal, late afternoon gathering on a weekend after a planned very busy week... (PS my daughter is almost 4 years old now and this scary incident reinforced that I must make my own rules as a parent and wife and worker. For example, I learned I had to make sleep a priority for me, even if that means that I regularly go upstairs to get ready for bed at 9:30 and don't answer the phone past 9.)

Oops - sorry for the long post...
nutmeg96 said…
An acquaintance of mine had a similar fall and BROKE HER DAUGHTER'S FEMUR in two places. Can you imagine?!
electriclady said…
When my daughter was four months old, I was wearing her in the Bjorn--facing out--and tripped and went flying headlong onto the sidewalk. Somehow I managed to slam onto my hands and knees and not onto my baby, but it was a few long seconds before I was able to determine that her head hadn't slammed into the concrete. My left knee was completely torn up--in fact, I still have a scar that I think will never go away--but it was a revelation to me that I managed to protect her from the fall. And at a time when I wasn't so confident of my mothering abilities, too.

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