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On becoming mama

I am great in a crisis. Fabulous. Seriously, if the world is falling down around you, I am the person you want to have with you because I will figure out something, at least, that can be done and then I will do it. I will not freak, panic, cry, anything, I just deal. Same thing when I have problems of my own. I might shatter into a million pieces once the problem is dealt with, but in the moment I just take care of things.

Except when it comes to Mia.

Mia got hurt yesterday and she just wouldn't stop screaming. It was not emergency, she was not bleeding, her life and well-being were not in danger, the worst case scenario was a couple of broken bones. That's a pretty bad scenario, granted, but is the thing you need to take care of within a few hours, not a few minutes. I called Mia's pediatrician and they told me the first appointment was in 50 minutes. That was entirely reasonable, except that Mia wouldn't stop screaming and I was panicked. I said I would take her to the hospital and hung up.

Then I couldn't figure out what to do. I called our insurance company to find out where to go and they hung up on me (don't even get me started on that) and Mia still wouldn't stop screaming. I ended up grabbing my purse (but not my insurance card) and running out of the house, throwing Mia in the car and driving to where I thought there was an urgent care place. And there was, years ago, but now it is a bank. I tried again, struck out again, and found myself near the pediatrician so finally decided to stop being stupid and went in there.

They saw Mia, sent us for x-rays, had us come back so the Hotty Pediatrician could apply Neosporin and a band-aid (whatever), and everything was fine.

I don't know where that panic comes from, though. It's unlike me. All I could think was that I had to get her to someone who could fix her RIGHT AWAY. Fifty minutes was too long, fifty seconds was too long. She was hurt, I had caused it, and I had to fix it immediately. I'm going to try hard next time (there will be a next time, as much as I hate to admit it I know there will) to be calm, to assess the situation, to act rationally. I'm not holding out a lot of hope for myself though. This is my baby we're talking about here.

My favorite (can you sense the sarcasm there?) part of the day was this conversation with the Hotty Pediatrician when we went back to see him after the x-rays:

Hotty Pediatrician: So, were you relieved?
Me: Relieved? That I hadn't actually broken any of my child's bones?
Hotty Pediatrician: Yes.
Me: Um, yeah.

Like, obviously, right? Seriously, either this guy hates me or he is so hot for my bod that he can't think straight, and at this point I honestly don't care which.

Also, after all that, Mia took a two and a half hour nap. Too bad I was too shell-shocked to do anything other than stare at the wall for most of it.

Comments (72)

You did the right thing!

Once my oldest had a hair line crack in his elbow and I did not believe it was broken. He was moving it and only complained it hurt a couple times. An entire day later I took him to the pediatrician and sure enough the xray revealed the crack. I felt awful!

I am only half way through my first cup of coffee, that last sentence ....revealed the crack, sounds horrible!

I took my son for his 1 year exam (and shots) yesterday. He cried for a good 25 minutes after they gave him the shots and there was NOTHING that would make him stop. It's just awful when you can't comfort them and get them to calm down.

I'm so glad Mia's okay and that you were able to get her some help...I can totally understand the panic and probably would have been the same way.

You handled it like a champ. If you weren't panicked, I'd be more concerned.

Glad to hear no broken bones were involved.

Hugs to you all!

Big hugs your way! I can only imagine what you were going through. I read your blog knowing that these are all the things I will be dealing with in a few months. I was nursing Aeralyn the other day and I needed something to drink, so instead of putting her down for a second and letting her scream, I decided I would just multi-task and take her with me to the refrigerator. Then I proceeded to bump her little 11-week old head on the door of the fridge. She cried harder than when she got her shots, and it was all my fault.

we've all done it. we all can offer all the advice in the world...however, when it's your baby, the world stops spinning on it's axis, the atmosphere is a vacuum and color disappears.
The only thing I can tell you is be proactive. Plan for this. Sounds morbid but it will help you. Find the urgent care. Have your insurance card in all the purses and such, need to request more cards for this...do it. Find out what hospital your insurance plan uses, know how to get there.
It's helped me through four children.... but you panic every time.
every damn time... cause your world is that child.
it's okay, you're a mom.

Last summer, Aaron and I were getting ready to leave for the day and I turned to lock the door only to turn around and watch him decide to skip the last step and land on the cement sidwalk with his face. Aaron is not a crier when he get's hurt and he just screamed and screames. I felt terrible that I couldn't catch him before he fell. 5 months later, he is still has the scars and believe me, so do I. It's hard not to beat yourself up when your kid gets hurt.

Trust me, you really do "get better" with this kind of stuff. By the time she's 5, you won't even flinch at this kind of stuff.

(and that's a little piece of advice too. the less you react, the less they'll react)

BIG HUG-
she was fine, you did fine...
Another new step in motherhood out of the way (although it was one I am sure you would have been happy to avoid her whole life)

You did fine. You didn't collapse into a puddle on the floor while she screamed. You went for help.

I don't think that sinking feeling when they're hurt ever leaves but it does get better.

Sorry I didn't get over here yesterday. Your post didn't show up and then I suddenly had three at once.

Panic, yeah, yet another thing NO ONE tells you about when you become a parent. You made it through it, forgive yourself, and move on.

I can not believe your insurance company hung up on you!

1. You're still a good mom.
2. Hotty Pedi, just might think you are hot!
3. How would he have used HIS 10 seconds of your amnesia?

~Jef

Yep. The Hottie Pediatrician has it for you. Must be the smokin' ass!

I am glad Mia is fine. I would be a wreck.

I don't think anyone can avoid that panicked feeling. It's a lot easier when you're not biologically forced to freak the fuck out.

You're still an awesome mom though. Mia loves you.

You were wearing those jeans again, weren't you?

Sending another big ol' (((HUG))) your way! When your child is crying & won't stop, and you know they are hurt, it's hard to be totally rational. But you did a darn good job!

Hugs to you. It's hard, I know. I've been there. I'm glad you're both OK.

I handle accidents for a living. I become even MORE laid-back in an emergency than I usually am.
When my son split a brick open with his head (literally, but by accident) instead of calling an ambulance for his gaping, bloody head wound I scooped him up (100 lbs) and ran him to my car and drove - to the pediatrician!
Who very gently helped me get him to a hospital without telling me how stupid I was being.
We have jackets and everything - welcome to the club, schweet-hot.

Oh yeah, and you can make a copy (front and back) of Mia's insurance card and keep one in her diaper bag.

*hugs* Gabby lost a fingernail that way. We were leaving our apartment and it had a HUGE HEAVY Patio door. I didn't look to see where her hand was. I shut that door on her fingers. God it still makes me sick! But she was fine. The nail eventualy fell off and I convinced my self it would never grow back and she'd be forever be deformed, never to be a hand model (wtf was I thinking??!!!) But it grew back and she's fine. I just have to keep telling my self that. She's fine.

Maybe one day the guilt will fade.

And YOU were making ME feel better yesterday. Sheesh! You are amazing.

When Sam was 9, not only did he get hit by a car in front of our house, BUT, we were at our first baseball practice three weeks later, and he got hit smack in the cheekbone with the ball. Hard. Two days later, he was running in the backyard where he had been specifically told NOT to run, fell, braced himself on...the hot coals of the grill. Second degree burns on his palm.

That was a fun summer.

I totally understand about when it's your child suffering and crying that you just lose it. It all goes out the window. *triple shudders*

You'll never forget it-- even though everything is okay. It still sucks ferociously.

All I can offer you is a big hug. When it's your baby, no words will soothe you. But from what I "see", you are an amazing, loving mom.

See, the key is you felt panic, but you functioned in exactly the manner Mia needed you to function. You did a great job!

Sorry Mia was hurt, sending her (and you) a big internet hug!

I think just wanting more than anything to make Mia feel better sounds like a pretty normal reaction. And while it might not have gone perfectly, you got her what she needed.

Glad she's ok.

The most important part is that she's OK. And you too.

Sounds like we had a similar weekend. It sucks.

Daya burned her little hand on my friend's oven door. Glass. I didnt know it was hot. She didn't know about "getting hurt". She's never cried before like she did. Her little fingertips have little blisters. :*(

Hugs for you and Mia...but I think you need the hugs more. Actually, I need one too.

Hotty pediatrician wants you like you'd never believe. I mean, what a retarded thing to say, were you relieved...you've got him on a leash, should you so choose! ;)

No matter how it may feel sometimes, Mia is lucky to have you for her mom!

You are NOT a bad Mommy! This crap happens all the time. They're little kids, with little parts that get hurt easily. Before I was three I'd had a broken leg, a fractured finger, and more bumps and bruises than I can count. I know, because there were pictures. When my little brother was three (I was 13) I accidently closed the trunk down on his hand. Fortunately little kids heal quickly, forgive easily, and forget even easier. You're doing a great job. Chris wouldn't dare trade you in.

I wish I could say the perfect thing to make you feel better right now. But, I'm not sure what that is. So, I will just say: you are an awesome mom, accidents happen, and it sounds like you did great under the pressure of the situation. And I'm sending big hugs your way.

First, I'm glad Mia is fine! These kids! How they like to scare us!

I told Chris I had some stories that would make you feel better. When my Connor was about 2 I was Christmas shopping with my mom, Connor and my older son Jimmy. We stopped at the food court to grab something to eat. Connor and Jimmy were in the small arcade and I called them to come and eat. Connor refused to leave the arcade so Jimmy grabbed him arm and pulled him out. And dislocated his shoulder! OMG! The screaming that took place! In the crowded mall! At christmas! We rushed out of there and took him to the ER where then popped his shoulder back into place and the screaming stopped. But I was a basket case for days.

Then, about two years ago, Connor (we tease him that we are going to keep him in a bubble) fell off his bed (fooling around) and was screaming that his arm hurt. It was late. I was tired. I told him to stop crying and go to bed. The next day, after a night of intermittant crying, he still couldn't move his arm so off to the ER. He dislocated his shoulder again. I still feel the guilt from that one.

So this last time when he dropped a bowling ball on his leg I immediatley took him to the Dr. and of course it was just a bruise.

I'm thinking Santa is going to bring him a helmet and protective gear for Christmas. Or that bubble.

I am a medical researcher for a living, and cool as a cucumber in a crisis. But, I mentioned that scalding coffee incident? Basket case. Complete basket case.

Don't feel bad, Beth. We all do the best we can in a crisis, and like some of the others said - at least you didn't just stand there! And it happens to everyone...when my son was 11 months old he pitched forward out of my lap and hit his head on the coffee table before I could catch him. I'm not sure who cried harder, him or me...

I'm glad Mia is fine! And that you are fine too! Kids are uber-resilient and graciously forgiving.

My Dad closed a car door on my hand when I was six years old (on the very same day I had just had my six year old shots at the doctor's office). These things happen.

Lots of hugs hon.

Oh Beth! You poor thing. I'm so sorry that happened to you both. I found the whole thing so sweet to read, if harrowing and a little scary. What a good mama you are, really.

Don't feel too badly. My mom shut my hand in the door and rode all the way to her friend's house--ignoring my screaming because I screamed all the time, apparently--without stopping to check. I still love her.

The lesson I learned: when suffering from insomnia, scream for a half hour as loud as possible. Then sleep will come easily!

Don't worry too much until she's four. When the Kid was four he *walked onto my cigarette* - I swear, he went AT it! I was sitting far from him precisely because I was smoking! - and got a little tiny bit burnt (I moved my hand away as soon as I realized what he had done to himself, obviously!). Well it's over five years later and he keeps mentioning "oh yeah like that time YOU burnt ME!" (My own guilt is now gone because he's milking this too much)

Another thing to plan ahead: throw out the pants with holes. Just in case you grab those in a hurry on your way to the clinic and make your day a whole lot worse!

I'm sorry, Beth. I know how awful it is. So glad Mia's fine.

I'm also an emergency situation kind of girl. And my husband as a teenager was on an airplane involved in a bomb threat and his family members still talk about how unbelievably calm and collected he was, as he worked to get everyone else calmed down. He is the kind of guy you want in an emergency situation.

Imagine my shock, then, when I was 9 months pregnant with #2 and he came racing into the house yelling "Matt fell! We need to go to the doctor NOW!" My poor husband still relives the sound of our 2 year old son's head hitting the stone step. In the end, Matt was fine. And my husband? My love grew even more for him when I saw his reaction in that situation. Only a parent can understand.

So happy to hear that Mia is okay, and that you are some what back to normal....you are still a good mommy in my eyes! Great way to panic too. When I panic I sit there and cry, at least you can move!

just wait til there's blood. those are the fun days.

Stop teasing us and tell us what happened. It sounds like you're in bad need of other people to say things like, "Unless you deliberately hurt her, you can stop calling it 'the horrible thing I did' and using verbs like 'caused.'"

Like, obviously, right? Seriously, either this guy hates me or he is so hot for my bod that he can't think straight

I think it's clearly #2. Glad that the kiddo is ok and you will be too. It happens to all of us.

When I was 2 or so, my grampy left me unattended in a hammock. I fell off, hit my head on a tree root, and had a rather enthusiastically bleeding head wound. I still have the scar. It, um, adds character?
I'm glad you and Mia are okay. We KNOW, beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are a good mommy, who loves her little girl very much. Please give yourself a hug for me, okay? I bet it's hard, but stop feeling guilty about this right this minute, missy :-P Oh, and as long as you're doling (

Oh Beth, I'm so sorry! It sounds like an awful situation! I would have been freaking out like crazy. It happens to everyone, though. My mom had to take me to the emergency room 3 times in one week when I was 2 because I fell twice and cut myself terribly once and she was so scared that they were going to call CPS on her.

Big hugs, Mia will never ever ever remember!

Do u have a pic of this Doc?

Holy crap that sucks. I'm glad she's okay. No matter what happened to her, you did the right thing to fix it. I'm sure it hurt you way more than it hurt her. Just remember she is fine and she won't remember.

I am like you, I deal first, break down when it's done. Except when it comes to my kids. I'll tell you though, in the future just take her to the ER, insurance card or not. A screaming baby will be let right in, they'll worry about the paperwork later. But you will need to know where one is. ;)

Where does the panic come from? The title of your post answers that question. The panic comes from The Mama -- that part of you that would swap places with your child in a heartbeat if it would take away her hurt. Since you can't take away the hurt, you do everything you can to make it better ASAP. It's how your child learns to feel safe. Who doesn't want their mama when they are hurting, no matter how old they are? Mama will try anything and somehow she will find a way to make it better. This is a Good Thing, no matter how many gray hairs it gives us in the process.

I'm so sorry to hear about your ordeal. :( I hope you both are feeling better today!

Oh, Beth. I am sorry she was hurt and sorry you had such an ordeal. Fortunately for me I get even more calm when my children are hurt. I jump into super-mom mode and my whole world comes to a halt as I take care of them. Poor Mia. Hope she, and you, are healing well.

Whoa! Freak out! I would've reacted just the same and also wondered why I couldn't get a grip 'cause like you, I'm usually pretty calm, too, but when it's something concerning baby, all bets are off! I'm glad little M is okay. She sure is purdy!

Oh, Beth! I know exactly how you feel, although I won't hijack your comments by telling you the story about how I watched my mother-in-law's car roll over my nearly two-year-old son's body and I felt as though the world had gone into slow motion. I blamed myself, even though it was my MIL who had not put the emergency brake on her car, but I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS SUPPOSED TO SHIELD MY KID FROM DANGER. And I didn't anticipate how clueless my MIL would be.

Please, please, please forgive yourlself for whatever accidental pain you caused Mia. I understand the guilt and panic, but you're too good a mother to shoulder such self-recrimination.

I have another to share, my grandma took me for ice cream and as we were leaving the drive thru, she hung a left, and my car door flew open, this is when 7 year olds could sit in the front seat w/o a seat belt. Thankfully the ice cream survived!

i feel for you hun. My son took a spill while running to me to give me a hug. He fell and hit his nose on the rung of the chair I WAS SITTING IN. and i couldnt catch him in time. I expected blood, but thankfully didnt get any. Just a huge bruise. We took him to the er and $300 later, they said even if it was broken, he is too young to really do anything for anyway. He had the biggest black eyes for days. He screamed and screamed and it was the worst night ever. But we get past it and the next time (you;re right - there will be a next time) we handle it a little better. I dont think we ever handle it great- these are our babies after all. ;)

It's soooo hard watching your heart walk around, especially when s/he gets hurt. I've had to contain the panic many times, notably when MF tumbled down the bottom few stairs in our house and I wasn't close enough to catch him; when he planted himself face first into the concrete sidewalk and his mouth filled up with blood (bit lip); and the next time.... Sigh.

You did good. Really. You got her where she needed to go. And you were there for her. That's what she needs.

As for your insurance company...! I hope you call them back and give them hell.

Oh Beth - I know the headless chicken feeling and just wanting something to happen NOW!!

I got to rush my post-trampoline 5 year old to paediatric emergency and actually got waived immediately through to the back room (didn't really think it was good form to set off the whole waiting room) and onto morphine, and then had to wait beside her for 6 hours until her arm could be operated on - the morphine helped a little, but it was with a lot of tears and fear.

Glad your baby is okay.

Okay - I'm Emily's "big" sister. I've commented on your blog before. I'm here now, to commiserate. I am 11 years older than Emily. I am enamored of my "little" sister. I have been since the moment Daddy called me early before school and told me she had entered the world. One summer day I was babysitting her and thinking I was hot stuff when she woke from her nap. I went into her room and proceeded to lift my sweet baby sister (who was about Mia's age) from her crib. Said crib was positioned at a ridiculous angle under a cute shelf with scalloped edges and one very pointy corner and I hoisted my sister right up and into that corner. I nailed her sweet little head on that corner. She screamed and cried and I cried and I called Daddy at work and I cried some more and by this time...I was the only one crying. I was sitting on the kitchen floor watching her cruising around and I was the only one crying. I think you handled your situation beautifully. Honestly. Had Emily been my child, I might have simply imploded. By the way, I didn't even break the skin. And she has no memory of this and she says she loves me very much. My heart is with you, Beth. You handled it well.

I definitely think Hotty Pediatrician wants you bad! :)
I'm glad your sweet girl (who is an AWESOME dancer by the way) made it through her first trauma. And I'm glad you did too for that matter. Don't worry, you'll get better, I promise. It might take a while, but you'll find a way to be your usually calm self. Even when it comes to the Bean.

Glad Mia is okay. And for the record, I'd have reacted the same way. You're a great mom.

OH MY, that sounds like a flash back to me and my daughter last week...only we were out at a park having our family photos taken and my daughter,2, was fine for the first 15 min. and screaming the rest of the time...why you ask? Well, according to me during the photoshoot, "she is just being a brat," but according to the ER doctor that night around 11:30p.m....her elbow was dislocated (a condition not uncommon for toddlers called NurseMaidsElbow)most likely caused by a sudden jerking of her arm...you know like when I suggested during our photoshoot that my husband and I each grab one of her hands and swing her up because that would make a really cute picture. Yeah, not so cute after you know that you dislocated your kids elbow accidentily while trying to make her be cute, and then called her a "brat" for crying about it. So at least you didn't call Mia a Brat after you almost broke her arm ;)

Love your blog btw...been lurking for months.
:)CJ

Glad it all ended with Mia being safe.

And don't worry, I'm sure all Moms would act the same way.

I can only imagine what you felt like. But all I can do is hug you. >

It is universally agreed among those who know me that I am the most anally careful person they know. It must have started after the time when I was 10 and was clearing up the dinner dishes and dropped a big carving knife. It fell to the floor less than two inches from my 5 month old baby brother's head. I still feel sick if I think about that. Now I spend my life looking 40 steps ahead in everything I do so that nothing can harm my precious little boys. Guess what? Doesn't mean squat. For instance, I have managed to zip up my boys winter coats on their little chins not once but SEVERAL TIMES! God help me, that shock and pain level must rival the door on the fingers thing. You just can't perfectly predict a young child's movements and therefore you will inadvertantly hurt them on occasion. It will almost always be minor. Mine always have been, thank god.
No one makes it very far into motherhood without realizing that we can only do the best we can. Mia will not only continue to trust that she is safest in yours and Chris' care, she'll bounce right back from this and any other mishaps along the way.
By the way, now that Mia is napping less, word to the wise: Always tie your hair back while vacuming and mopping. Many times I turned around with the vacuum in hand and sent a child flying because my peripheral vision was compromised by my hair!

Uch. I'm crying for you. I know how you feel. It's normal. There's no cure for it. We're mothers. It's the way it is now. I hope you're feeling better now. *Hugs*

If you are usually calm in a crisis - you will get better. Of course I find it depends on my current state of mind and the type of injury. First time one of the kids had a small head wound (large amount of blood - always) I freaked. A little glue and all was good. A couple of years later I was calm as a cucumber when one of the kids needed 7 stitches in his FACE. But another incident where one - just one- drop of blood came from my oldest's EYEBALL caused severe panic and headless chickenness. (He was fine and the eye doctor told me I totally overreacted.)

Aw, you may have felt like you were freaking out, but you were focused on helping your baby. That's the important thing.

Hope you (and Mia!) are feeling better now.

Hope Mia's hnd gets better. and Hope you recover from the freak out. you're a great mom. don't worry about the little accidents. they always happen. my mom once accidentally stepped on my neck because she didn't see me lying at the foot of her bed. hehehe.

When I was little, I went to a babysitter's house. There were lots of other kids that went there, too. One of the other kids' mothers accidentally dropped her baby son down the basement stairs at her home and he had a tiny little broken leg in an itty bitty little cast. I'm sure she couldn't forgive herself at the time, but I can attest to the fact that he grew up just fine and holds nothing against her. He definitely was not scarred for life. Accidents happen, so don't beat yourself up over it!

Big hugs. And a big sigh of relief that no bones were broken. And more hugs.

"This is my baby we're talking about here."
This is why you panic. I'm Tess, and I'm delurking today on Turkey day. You panic b/c she's yours. Simple as that! I'm a nurse and deal with emergent situations all the time, cool as a cucumber then totally panic when it's my child!

Nothing nothing like seeing your child with some hurt you feel you should have prevented. Any time they cry is awful but if they are really hurt, it just gets into you and I think you would do anything to stop it. What a horrible feeling not to be able to find urgent care. Glad she was fine, and that it worked out at the pediatrician. The whole story is completely understandable.

Glad she is OK. Yeah, with kids its a three way toss up. Should that extra change go to college fund, burbon, or clairol to mask the grey?

Take care!

I'm sorry for both of you. Kids are resilient about things like that, but parents are less so. I'm glad you're both feeling better, now.

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So the Fish Said...

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