Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rough week (or, pride comes before a *fall*)

So last week I wrote a blog post about my irritation with parents who place their infant bucket seats on top of grocery carts. "What are they thinking?" I wondered, "how could they possibly think that is safe- what would happen if the baby fell?"

Flash forward.

Lucy is teething right now- getting her 4 top teeth in all at once. She's in rare form: not sleeping well, irritable, not wanting to eat. On Wednesday night she woke up around 10 pm- she goes to bed normally between 6:30-7:00. It's really unusual for her to "wake up," she might stir a bit, want to nurse, etc, but she rarely actually sits up in bed and wants attention.

Anyway, it was time for me to go to bed, so I thought, I'll just nurse her back to sleep and we'll go to sleep together. I should also add at this point that Lucy is a very quiet, still sleeper- she never rolls around or otherwise moves in bed at night. That's part of the reason why bed-sharing with her is such a dream. So I climb into bed, nurse her back to sleep, and we drift off to sleep- or so I thought. I was out like a light when I heard it:


I immediately woke up. My heart stopped as I heard my poor baby begin SCREAMING like I've never heard her scream before. I KNEW what had just happened- Lucy had fallen out of bed onto the floor. I jumped out of bed, grabbed her off the floor (she was laying on her back) and had her in my arms before Brett even made it into our room from the living room. I have never been so scared in my life.

Thank God she was okay. I was initially all for taking her to the ER, but after I calmed down some and we looked her over, we ended up staying home. She had not a bump, not a bruise, no swelling. No signs of dizziness or disorientation. She could move all her limbs, didn't seem to be in pain when I moved her. Lucy's pupils responded to light, and just a minute later she went from crying to playing happily again. We monitored her for any signs of vomiting or diarrhea, but ultimately, she is fine.

As for me? Oh, the guilt! I had been bugging Brett for a couple weeks about taking our mattress off the frame and putting it on the floor- when it's on the frame, the top of the mattress is at the top of my hip- probably three feet up from our hardwood floors. I felt extremely guilty about not convincing Brett to lower the bed earlier; he wanted to move her straight to her crib, but I wasn't ready for it. After all, she almost exclusively nurses at night now. Also, I felt terrible that she fell WHILE I WAS THERE. Whenever it's just me, as in Brett isn't in bed yet, I stack pillows around her other side, but clearly Lucy was able to climb over them.

The very next day, we took our bed off the frame. Further, we placed Lucy's crib mattress on the floor, between our bed and the wall. Add in a baby gate at the end of her mattress and you have what we call "the baby cave." This is my compromise with Brett- Lucy gets her own "sleep surface" so we can gradually move her into her crib, and I get to keep sleeping with her nearby.

The "baby cave"

It's really an ideal set-up. I nurse her to sleep, move her to her mattress. If she wakes up, I can reach over and pull her into our bed to nurse (and we often just fall back to sleep together in our bed). She is also able to pull herself to standing and reach me to wake me up.

We're working towards ultimately having Lucy sleep in her own bed, because I don't believe bed-sharing with a newborn and a toddler to be safe, and I don't think I could manage night-nursing two children at once. I definitely need to work on my own anxiety, though- I can't bear the thought of having her in the other room all night. I worry a lot: that she'll somehow become trapped in her crib, that she'll throw herself out and hit her head, that she'll be hurt in some kind of freak accident that would have been avoided had be still been bed-sharing.

I have no clue how some mamas are able to put their newborns in cribs in their own nurseries from the start. Please don't misunderstand me- I'm not judging here. I just trust my own instincts, and I worry about things like SIDS. The other day I was reading a magazine and saw a print ad for a device that alerts you when your baby doesn't move for a given amount of time. To my way of thinking, if I was worried enough about SIDS to consider buying such a device, I would prefer to bed-share instead. When Lucy was an infant, she never needed to cry at night when she was hungry, because I always woke up when she started to stir and her breathing changed. I trust my mama instinct over a monitor any day.


Kacie said...

Aw! You poor girls. That was probably scary for you both!

My son has fallen off of a bed (and other things he's climbed on/off of) a few times. He's fine, just usually crabby about it.

His coordination has gotten better now, but he still falls from things at times. I think it's all a part of growing up.

He sleeps in a double-sized bed right now instead of a crib (he can climb out of one, and he doesn't like the 'big-boy bed' version of it). One side is against the wall. He doesn't really roll around and can get in and out of it own his own if he wants.

I'd do a rail if I thought it would help, but I know he'd just try climbing OVER it instead of going around it, so that's no good.

As Lucy becomes more of a mover, there's gunna be more falls and big bonks. Scary, but most likely fine!

Big hugs!

Jenny said...

That happened to us several weeks ago, but I think Ivey may have crawled out of bed because she was down too low to have just rolled. It scared me to death and I felt awful, but she was fine. We have carpet and our bed is pretty low. Ever since she's decided to be a roller, we make sure one of us has an arm around her before we go to sleep. This is really the only good option, because we can't put our mattress on the floor (we have literally nowhere to put the king-size frame and all the stuff we're storing under it) and I fear putting up a bedrail would make things even worse, because it would give us a false sense of security and she might try to climb over it and fall on her head. I can't wait for the day we put her in a toddler bed, but it's a ways off.

We did something kind of similar to the "baby cave" when transitioning Suzi. Jordan built her an extremely low toddler bed and we put it right up against ours. We eventually moved the bed to her room, so she only had to get used to one new thing at the time.

Beth said...

Aww, that's terrible!! I can understand how you feel though. I am so embarrassed by this, but about a month ago Eleanor fell out of her stroller because she wasn't strapped in. I was at the pool with my cousins and we all sat around a table for a snack - we were in chairs and she was in her stroller. I put a towel under Eleanor since she was soaked, and that covered up the straps. I had this moment where I thought, "Should I somehow maneuver this towel so I can strap her in?" but I decided not to since I was sitting right next to her. She was content and feeding herself and never leaned forward. Then for ONE second I looked over at my cousin and Eleanor chose that second to lean forward and fall out onto the concrete. It was only about a foot drop, but it was concrete! And she was a little scraped up on her forehead and was screaming! I felt TERRIBLE. But I figure if that is the worst thing I do as a mother, it's not too bad. We all make mistakes - we just have to learn from them and not repeat them. Anyway, I hope my stupidity makes you feel a little bit better! :)

I have one of those monitors, by the way, and I LOVE it. Having E in the bed with us is just not for us, but that monitor gave me so much peace of mind. And they say it's good with toddlers too because it alerts you when they climb out of their crib, lol! The first night Eleanor slept in her crib all three of us slept better than we had with her in our room since we're all such light sleepers. I can totally understand the draw to having your baby in bed with you - sometimes I think it would be really nice - but it's just not for everybody. Just like cribs aren't for everybody. :)

Beth said...

Oh yeah, by the way, a friend's pediatrician told her that as long as your baby falls from less than twice her own height, she'll be fine.

Emily said...

Kacie- I agree with you on the rail. I considered it, but I concur that our babies would probably just climb over it. I guess I am lucky that this is the first time Lucy has ever been "hurt," or "sick," or anything to cause me real worry!

Jenny-I believe Lucy crawled, too- she had to too get over the stack of pillows I had around her. The sad fact is that Lucy won't go to sleep with me holding her anymore- she wants to be with us, but not touching, if that makes sense. For what it's worth, our frame (we have a king, too) is now in the garage, and all the junk is in the guest bedroom. I'll figure something out for storage later, but I COULD NOT sleep another night with the anxiety. And that's basically what we're trying to do- ease her, little by little, into her own space.

Beth- when this first happened, i felt like a terrible mother. then i learned that, indeed, it happens to almost everyone- we just don't like to talk about it! it's part of the "perfect mommy" myth- we don't want other people to know that we make mistakes, but of course we all do. so thank you for sharing!

thank you, also, for bringing your viewpoint to the table! i know we differ in some things, and i enjoy reading about that, because what works for one baby won't necessarily work for another. who knows? my next may hate co-sleeping and do better in a crib. I'm glad the monitor works for you, and brings you such peace of mind- i guess i am just leary about technology- like i am one of those people who just trust my instincts- whether that's good or bad! i just have this thing about having the baby in the other room- but that's also likely because it's how my mom raised us. still, something to consider- i would probably like to have one if lucy was being babysat, or for knowing if she crawled out of her crib- i hadn't thought of that.

Emily said...
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Emily said...
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Ida Mae said...

Sam fell out of bed one morning a couple months ago.. that lowered the bed to the floor...immediately. Now just to be safe i even have pillows on the floor, even though it's only a foot from the floor, and believe it our not, he slipped again. i felt horrible, but he barely woke, b/c he was on the pillow.. My little guy is a roller though! ALL over the place.. (takes after his dad I think)

I am so glad I read your post b/c i love love love the baby cave. and think we could do that too.

Don't beat yourself up!! This stuff happens, you were there and made it better :)

Jenny said...

We also had a pillow blocking Ivey in. Suzi used to immediately sit up and yell when she woke up (still does, actually). That was so much more convenient than Ivey, who sneaks off to see what mischief she can get into before we wake up.

We had one of those movement monitors too. Suzi slept in her crib in her room for several months (though not until 4+ months old) before we started cosleeping. Teething worsened and she needed cuddles at night. We now prefer cosleeping, but at the time the monitor gave me peace of mind.