First 911 Call.

First: Papillon is 100% fine. You should know that before I start this story.

It was bound to happen.
You hope and pray that it won't.
But it will.
We live in a Broken World, and are imperfect people, so it is not a safe place for babies no matter how hard you try.

A couple weeks ago, as a result of an a chance combination of absentminded moments, Papillon fell down a full flight of steps onto the basement floor. We suspect she slid for the top half of the steps, but definitely fell off the side at the bottom - probably falling off from the three steps high point.

Mon Amour had just come up from the basement and hopped into the shower, leaving the basement door open. I was "watching" Papillon play in the living room. She had just left my line of sight, but, knowing that the first floor was babyproofed, and not processing the fact that Mon Amour had just opened the basement door, I didn't really worry about it. I then heard:

"Thump, thump, THUMP"
At which point I thought "Oh no, she fell"
Then I heard, "Oh Crap" from Mon Amour.
At which I then thought "Oh, good, maybe Mon Amour just dropped something"

But I got up quickly to look for Phoebe anyway. She wasn't by the sofa where she had been. The basement door was open, and I looked downstairs. I didn't see her at the bottom of the stairs, but then I heard her wail.

I ran down stairs to see her lying on her face on the floor. I hadn't been able to see her at the bottom of the steps because she fell off the side (there is no railing on the basement steps).

I screamed for Mon Amour. I don't usually scream. But I did.

The next few minutes seemed to take an eternity and yet they are a blur in my mind. I called 911 while Papillon wailed on the floor. We were afraid to move her lest something was broken.
I remember it took 911 a good 6-7 rings to pick up. I actually thought somehow I must have called the wrong number cause it was taking so long.
The 911 operator asked me seemingly silly questions like "How did she fall down the steps?" "She just crawled off them" "So, was she walking around and got dizzy and then fell" " She is 10 months. She crawled off the edge" "Hmmm, I will put it down as an accident"

At this point Papillon had managed to get herself into a seated position and sitting there crying her eyes out, looking at me like "Why are you looking at me but not holding me". I decided it was safe to assume that her sitting up on her own meant that nothing severe (like her neck) was broken. The 911 operator would not validate this assumption, but I picked Papillon up anyway.

With Papillon crying in my arms, the 911 operator asked me to "speak up, or move to a different room, I can't hear you, it seems loud where you are". Really?!? What do you think that baby-screaming sound might be? Maybe my baby? Who is screaming?

Luckily, Mon Amour was there and took Papillon so I could finish with 911. She told me that paramedics were on the way and to "Assure the patient that help is on the much as possible... And keep her awake, and don't feed her anything".

Papillon was crying a lot less at this point, and so I held her while we waited for the paramedics. At this point I was feeling like everything was going to be ok. She was probably more scared than anything.

But just as I calmed down a bit, Papillon started to fall asleep. As in, her eyes were rolling into the back of her head. It looked like she was passing out. And once more, I freaked out. We splashed her with water to keep her awake, but she really didn't want to. And suddenly, in my mind, I was thinking we would being heading to the hospital to get her brain scanned or something!

Thankfully, then, the paramedics came. They walked (really, sauntered....slowly) into the house. And pretty much immediately told us not too worry. They checked her reflexes, her oxygen levels and checked for broken bones. All good. The only real mark was the golf-ball sized welt on her head. But they said not to worry about that, it would likely bruise, but beyond that she should be 100% ok. They were really great, and answered all our questions - if she started acting funny or out of character we could call them again, but otherwise, she would probably want to sleep and then would be fine.

And that is exactly what happened. They left, and she totally zonked out. Slept for a bit and when she woke up, she was 100% fine. Laughing, smiling, crawling around and eating dinner.

Here is her welt just a couple hours after the accident:

Papillon recovered very quickly. The guilt and fear for Mon Amour and I lasted a lot longer. We are fighting for greatest blame (Mon Amour feels bad about leaving the door open, I feel bad that I wasn't watching her). We had to fight off thoughts of "what if". Even though Papillon was clearly her normal self, it was hard for us to go back to a normal evening after that scare. We checked on Papillon quite a few times that night while she slept to make sure all was well.

It was. And in fact, the next morning, the welt was significantly improved, and much harder to see:

The day after that, it was impossible to see. 100% better. Crazy. We were totally expecting black and blueness for days.

In the end, it was a reminder of how good God is. He was watching out for Papillon when we were not. It reminded me how precious each day is. You don't want to think about the "what ifs", but it did make me so thankful that God decided to give her too us for another day...and another and another...etc. Each day is a gift, and we only get them one at a time.

You can't help but feel like a bad parents when something like this happens. We should be more careful. More watchful. But the truth is, you can't be perfectly careful. Even though I want to, I can't protect her from everything. It doesn't make me a bad parent. It's just life. And again, praise God for his mercies in our failings.


Adrian and Meredith said...

Oh so scary! Glad she's ok. My parents have the same kind of setup leading off their deck: steep stairs, no rail. Guess what Lyndon immediately made a break for on his first trip out there! Yeah. It's like they have some sort of magnetic pull towards the most dangerous situations. I guess that's why little kids are so resilient.

lindsay said...

It really stinks when things like this happen. We've had several accidents around our house. Thankfully,Kellen has been fine, but it doesn't help you feel less guilty. So glad Phoebs is okay! Just think, you've already gotten your first 911 call out of the way!

Eliz. K said...

I was holding my breath through the whole post. Scary!! I'm glad she's okay!

Cheryl said...

I'm so glad you put the sentence in at the beginning about her being OK. It made me not scared....And then I loved the ending. So true. Thank you.