That Moment

People have described moments where their entire life flashes in front of their eyes. I’ve never really understood it until now.

SB was having her shower as usual, everything was fine, she wanted to splash about and we were trying to keep her still and teaching her about being safe in the shower. The shower’s finished, I’m sticking the shower back up on the rail, Daf turns to grab her towel and –

BANG.

And just like that, life flashes before my eyes. Not mine – hers. Instant panic washes over me, and I didn’t see it, I just heard it. A sickening bang that sends a chill down my spine, stops my heart for the longest moment and makes me feel like my stomach has just dropped out of my body.

For a moment, all I can do is shout “Daf!”, but I think he’s just had the exact same moment, wondering how the hell this happened. We’re so careful, we’re never complacent with SB’s safety, she’s never whacked her head on anything before.

The moment lasts half a second, but feels like a lifetime. Then we’re scooping SB out of the bath, wrapping her in her towel as she squeals horrible, heart-wrenching screams of shock and pain, crying so hard that tears don’t even fall. We’re straight into Mummy and Daddy mode, trying to reassure her.

“Oh dear, what a bump, what a noggin!” I chirp, trying to stay cheery as Daf checks the back of SB’s head. There’s no blood, and there’s a nice little egg already forming. That’s a good sign, I remember reading. Daf hands her over to me and I just hold her close, her little arms clasping around my neck, her body pressed close against me as he tries to make her smile and laugh.

Meanwhile, my head races. Do we call NHS Direct? An ambulance? The army? My baby is hurt. The bang, the scream, the gasps as she tries to cope with the shock, it all echoes in my head again and again. My baby is hurt.

For a while she is quiet. Then the smile appears. Then it becomes a grin. Then she’s pointing at the rubber ducks, saying “woof woof” (hastily corrected to “quack quack”) and giggling like nothing has happened. We go into the living room and dry her off, dressing her, and you’d never imagine she was screaming blue murder moments ago. She’s giggling at the TV, walking around, picking up her toys, chattering away.

Our nerves are shot to pieces. We keep her up for an extra hour, as she proves to us that she’s absolutely fine. Tuck her into bed, and she falls asleep. We’ve been popping in to check on her every half an hour. She’s absolutely fine, and doesn’t even seem sore – she let Daf brush her hair after she got dried off without a care in the world.

We won’t sleep tonight, but I don’t mind that. I’ll stay up all night, every night, if it means protecting my baby.

For all the jokes I make about parenting, for every time I call her a plank or laugh at something silly she does, I am still very aware that parenting isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes we have to pretend it is. We have to make silly faces and play with rubber ducks when our hearts are heavy with fear, and all we can hear in our head is a constant loop of a scream that has already ended. That’s part of being a parent, every bit as much as changing nappies and weaning and potty training is.

There’s a quote about parenting that goes something like “To be a parent is to always have a piece of your heart walking around outside your body”. It’s more intense than that, though. She’s not a piece of my heart; everything in my life is so intrinsically linked to her. There isn’t a minute of my day where I don’t think of her; not a decision I make where her wellbeing isn’t at the forefront of my mind. When I look back on memories, I think of the fun we’ll have making new ones with her. When I look to the future, she is weaved into every hope and dream.

To have a child is to have your past, present and future outside of your mind, wrapped up in an adorable, pooping, sleeping, walking package that thinks ducks say “woof” and can accurately name all of the Frozen characters, but knows her own uncle as “Boy”. That package is vulnerable and fragile but wants independence, and you have to tread that fine line between encouraging independence and protecting that package with every ounce of strength in your body.

It’s exhausting. It’s terrifying.

But my god, as I go in and check on her for the next of many times tonight, I know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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A Bit Of Everything
Best of Worst
Cuddle Fairy
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14 thoughts on “That Moment

  1. Not Yet Supermom says:

    Oh my gosh, this exactly. When my 18 month slipped in the tub, my heart stopped. And when he learned to scramble up the stairs, I grew several new gray hairs. Now that he fully launches himself head first without a care to where he may land, the wrinkles have shown up.

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  2. everythingsrosieandgeorge says:

    I’ve had an awful moment like this, I swear my heart actually stopped for about 15 minutes. Georgey bumped his head and while I was comforting him he fell asleep, he never falls asleep between naptime and bedtime. I was straight on the phone to my boyfriend (at work) and G’s Nanna who’s a nurse almost crying, it would’ve been 999 next if I hadn’t noticed he’d woken up and was glaring at me. Next thing he was off to play with his toys totally fine! You never get over it though, thats just 10 extra grey hairs for me to dye over next time xx

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  3. Someone's Mum says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. And so, so true. I wrote something similar when thinking of my son’s diagnosis:

    https://someonesmumblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/the-day-he-wasnt-neurotypical/

    It’s the poem at the beginning that your post reminds me of so much. It’s completely true about being more than part of your heart, your soul. My love and fear for my children is a million times more fierce, more bright than anything I have felt for myself. Beautiful post. #BloggersClubUk

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  4. Robyn - The Years Are Short blog says:

    What a beautifully written post, you’ve so perfectly described what it’s like as a parent to see (or even contemplate) your child get hurt. I’m so glad to hear that it was nothing more serious than an egg on the head. It really is incredible how resilient they are isn’t it? #bestandworst

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  5. Busy Working Mummy says:

    Aw this is such a great post to describe how it feels. Although I admit that I get about 3 bump forms a week from nursery to say he has bumped his head on something. If he does it at home, he shows that look of fear, and I think as long as we don’t show our fear in our faces they move past it pretty quickly. #bestandworst

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  6. avani111 says:

    Truly only a mother’s heart knows what is happening with the baby. I too had flash experience and it really reminds you that we all are internally connected souls. It happens to every one whom you consider close to your heart. #BloggerClubUK

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  7. theloveofacaptain says:

    We’ve had an incident like this too, scary stuff. Now that little man is mobile I’m watching him like a hawk, he has no fear factor! With all the best safety measures and eagle eyes, I’m sure there will be plenty more ‘knocks’ for us to panic about xx

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  8. helen gandy says:

    Oh god it is awful when something like this happens, I remember my little boy falling funny on his ankle and the scream coming from him were just awful! Hope all is ok now and you are managing to relax a little. Thanks for linking up #bestandworst

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  9. Bear and Cardigan says:

    Oh how we have all lived that moment, just one millisecond and bang! Doesn’t matter that they haven’t been out of your sight for a second they’re whole life. Your reaction was that of a great mum, smile on the outside whist sobbing with fear deep inside. I’m sure there will be a few more bumps and scrapes xx #abitofeverything

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  10. Sassy says:

    Oh my gosh, what a terrifying moment! I don’t have children so I know how that moment feels but it must be terrifying! You and your partner did a wonderful job of soothing your little one whilst keeping your own terror at bay! Thanks for sharing such an honest post xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. agentspitback says:

    I could feel the emotions in your post – and that made me think back of many a times when I have worried and fretted about my own children. You have written so beautifully about being a parent – it is indeed the same for me and will be even when my children are 60 years old. Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

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  12. Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

    Oh hun, you’ve brought a tear to my eye reading this. I know just how you feel. It’s guilt & worry & panic all mixed into one horrible scene. I’m so glad your little one was okay. Accidents happen even to the most careful parents. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Thanks so much for linking up with #BloggerClubUK

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