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Zer Netmouse
May 30th, 2011
03:41 am


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Slipped in mud and took a fall yesterday as I walked briskly back to my parent's house from the park with the baby after the severe weather sirens went off. I managed to toss her relatively lightly onto the muddy grass next to me, but I was laid out on the mud-slicked sidewalk, and of course she was upset and muddy though unhurt.

Brian had been bringing the car the two blocks from the park and I was walking. We were mock-racing; he was going about 1 mph in the street to my right while I was making racing noises at Rosie and joking about beating him there; we were having fun. Just before I hit the mud, my arms had gotten tired and I had shifted Rosie into a "superman" sort of position at the level of my waist, off to the right side. I was looking at her and Brian, not the sidewalk, when both feet started to slip. There are these long skid marks in the mud so you can see I tried to keep to my feet as long as possible while lowering the baby, and I can't say I "decided" to toss her onto the grass: when something happens that fast it's pure instinct. But she landed almost 2 feet to the right of me, so I clearly didn't just drop her, and I remember the feeling of tossing her a little once we got low to the ground.

It's clearly to her benefit that she was already horizontal, with her arms out in front of her. Her chin and lower cheeks got a little muddy, but her forehead did not hit the ground. Neither did mine, to come to that. I managed to come down mostly on my right side, with my right arm flung forward and my left hand catching much of the brunt of the fall under my stomach. It was not unlike how you take a fall in dance or martial arts (if it's not possible to roll); if my head hit anything, it was my right arm. Again, instinct (built on some training).

Neighbors who were out in the yard and someone else who'd been driving by came over with Brian to see if we were ok. He handed the baby to one of them to hold while he helped me up. The big toe on my left foot hurt badly enough that I iced it on and off before and after dinner, and I'm still limping, but no major injuries, just stiff all over, especially my neck and right shoulder. Rosie was crying for a little while but after we cleaned her up and changed her clothes she nursed and got cuddles and was back to her regular happy self, completely active with no sign of being hurt.

Lucky for me, I was wearing a long-sleeved knit shirt that covered my elbows, and short pants that just covered my knees. They were caked with mud all down my side but the only scrape I suffered was a scuff on the palm of my left hand (plus a small red dot on the end of the toe that got jammed - I was wearing sandals). The mud that took me down also cushioned my fall a touch.

I was up now just to pump some milk - Rosie's learning to self-settle and sleep through the night in her new crib, which is giving me the opportunity to stock some milk so Brian and I can go out to celebrate our anniversary later this week (it was May 22- he was away at a conference at the time). I'm going back to bed now, but I thought I would write this out while I was pumping.

I can tell I'm really going to be feeling this for the next couple of days; I'm just glad Rosie's fine. And it was a stiff reminder to maintain care and watchfulness even while playing games.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2011 11:54 am (UTC)
Ouch! Many parents have had similar experiences, where out of reflex we protect a baby in a fall or other accident. I recall falling with Glen in my arms, and I fell very hard, protecting him with my arms and body. It was all reflex. Another time, he stumbled into the kitchen just in time to fall on the open door of the hot oven. I body checked him back into the wall, which made him cry, but he only got first degree burns--I was that fast!
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
Tossing her rather than dropping her is a reflex I have just discussed recently with a pediatrician friend in the context of someone who is less safe because he lacks it. It's the parachute reflex, the same thing that makes people's arms go in the air when they fall, and it means that your spinal column is on the job, taking good care of you and Rosie. Go spinal column! I'm glad neither of you was permanently damaged.
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2011 12:44 pm (UTC)
My mom talks about how she instinctively protected babies when she slipped and fell - you've obviously got the Mom Instinct. Sorry it happened, but glad you're both (mostly) OK.
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
I have a feeling you'll be replaying that incident many times in your mind. Just remember that your body knew what to do, even if you didn't know you knew. :) Glad to hear the injuries were relatively minor. *hugs*
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
Scary. Those flexible bones that young children have certainly can help in these type of circumstances. Glad Rosie was not hurt, hope your recovery is speedy.

Was thinking of you this weekend, the English walnut you gave me from your place in Ohio is still growing. It got mowed down last spring, but has made a full recovery.
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