Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mama Bean lived out a worst nightmare - and lived to tell about it.

Well, it happened.

I fell down the stairs while carrying Bean.

From the day he was born (or rather, from five days after he was born, since the midwife advised I not do stairs for those days while my stitches were healing) I have been scared of this happening. There are rational, physical reasons for this fear; our stairs are the steep, narrow steps of an older house, and I have the long feet of a (relatively) tall person. When I'm wearing socks, I often feel them slippery on the edge of the steps. I have fallen down these stairs before. I had become very conscientious about walking sort of sideways down the steps, so my whole foot stays on the step.

My precise fear is tripping forward, down the stairs or otherwise, and landing on top of Bean and crushing him. I have these sequential visions of this happening, then all the ways I might contort myself to remove him from danger. Twist to land on my shoulder. Reach out with the arm holding Bean, and down with the other arm to break my fall (and my wrist, no doubt.) Fall to my side and lift Bean over and around the side of my head. These visions get more complicated as he gets heavier (17 ounces in the last two weeks, finally, so he's almost 15 lbs. But still low percentile.)

Anyway, I slipped off the front of a step, and fell on my left sacrum, about three or four steps. It is a protective reflex to fall back - when we lose balance, all our extensor muscles contract to throw us back rather than forward. I rounded my shoulder of the arm holding Bean, but I didn't have the time or lucidity to enact any of the protective strategies I am constantly envisioning. He was uninjured, I needed ice. And an adjustment. He did get scared and started crying, poor thing. And now it's happened, it wasn't as bad as I thought, and maybe we can move on. Well, and I'm back to being hyper-vigilant while walking down the stairs, lol.

I wonder if other people talk through their babies the way Papa Bean and I do. It can be passive aggressive as hell, to be sure, but for now, when we do it it's mostly cute. (It is not cute when other people do it, as if anyone other than me or Papa Bean knows Bean well enough to speak for our child like we do.) (It probably will stop being cute when he actually starts talking, and the words we would have come out of his mouth are not what do come out.) Here's the conversation we had "with" Bean after the fall:

MB: I'm sorry I fell down the stairs with you.
PB: Say, "It's okay mommy, I forgive you."
MB: No, he's supposed to say, "It's okay, it wasn't your fault. It was just an accident."
PB: ...
MB: Because It was an accident. That's what he should say.
PB: Well, you said sorry, and we say "I forgive you" after sorry's. (A Relationship Rule of ours, I'll have to write about it some other time.)
MB: Well, then I'm not sorry... except I am. Sorry, Bean.
Bean: (giggle, smile, kick, wave arm, chew on Sophie...)

I reported the incident on facebook, and received the most lovely outpouring of support from other moms. J confirmed she thinks the same thing every time she goes down the stairs with her little D. Brother D uttered French epithets :) L reminded us of the previous results of stair-falling, namely, Bean's existence lol. K and J shared their own falls down stairs with children, affirming it happens to the best of us - and J wisely points out perhaps our pride is what's hurt the most. (K, I can't imagine falling when B was only 2 weeks! aie :S) And many others offered hopes for speedy recovery. I did limp through a day of work (perhaps not the best decision) but I'm about 90% improved today. Having yesterday off greatly aided the recuperation, although poor weather in Cowtown made for delays in my parents' return flights home. The weekend looks to be gray, so we will relax and recover nicely.


  1. I fell down the stairs with my 2 year old back in November. I'm like you in that I had tons of scenarios worked out in my mind in case I started falling, yet that didn't help. Instead I just slid on my back with her on my stomach. It was probably like a sled ride to her.

  2. Oh I'm glad you are both ok...I have only done that couple of time, always when pregnant!

    And yes I do talk through my babies...glad I'm not the only slightly twisted one! Kim

  3. Sorry you fell! I'm glad all is okay. These things happen in the best of families. I hope you have a nice pair of grippy slippers to slip your socksy feet into! XOXO

  4. By the way, wait until you have a chance to channel your passive aggressive voice when PB tosses the baby too high and he hits the ceiling! You'll get yours then! But all will still be well.

  5. Oh wow, that must have been a truly frightening moment! I'm so glad neither one of you got hurt. Gotta get those socks that have the slip-free rubber grip on the bottom. They work well!

  6. Mine went like this:
    -slip down pie-shaped stairs to basement; slam into wall (I think; I don't really remember)
    -run upstairs to Jimmy, clutching crying baby
    -K: *gasp* *hyperventilate* I... *gasp* fell...
    -J: (takes baby) sit down. don't move. (retrieves shot of strong alcohol and administers it to me)

    Now that's a husband that knows how to take care of his woman. :)