Posts Tagged ‘falling’

20-30 seconds of double jeopardy

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

I mentioned that we’re having to find new ways to pass transition time safely. Ten days ago, I realized that if I read to the girls *between* nursing and bottles, that it holds their attention well enough that we can hang out on the bed safely while Daddy/Emily/Sharon/Sheila/Stacy makes bottles.

So this afternoon, we read Sandra Boynton’s Belly Button Book. Elizabeth Hawes gave us the “lap edition” which is big enough for both girls to have lots to look at. (Thank you, Elizabeth!)

One cool thing about the big Boynton books is that they have a die-cut hole in the front cover. When we finished reading the story, we played peek-a-boo through the hole in the cover of the book. (Where’s Sam? Here she is! Donde está Mama? Aquí! Where’s Cate? Peek-a-boo!) The girls LOVE to play it over and over and giggle and giggle.

So there we were, playing Peek-a-boo through the book hole, both girls laughing riotously, when Cate choked. She refluxed and got milk in her airway and she couldn’t breathe. Her face turned pink as she gasped and looked up at me, panicked. I set the book aside and pulled Cate into my lap, trying to reassure her as I willed her to breathe easily again.

In that moment, I caught motion out of the corner of my eye, and turned to see that Sam had turned away from us and dived toward the edge of the bed. I reached out and grabbed her left thigh as her upper body went over the edge. I yelled, “HELP!”, and Bill raced back in from the kitchen to rescue Sam, and returned her to a secure and upright position.

It’s interesting how 10 or 15 seconds around here can change the tone of our whole afternoon. F*ck.

With Sam and Cate both ok again, Bill and I took some deep breaths. Sam, Cate, and I went back to Peek-a-boo while Bill returned to the kitchen and finished making bottles. Afterward, they quietly drank their formula, burped, and resumed playing and crawling on the floor.

Fortunately, the girls are really resilient, and seem none the worse for wear. But I really hate these adrenalizing moments. I will be very, very grateful when Cate and Sam become more adept at self-preservation.

Well, that won’t work anymore.

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Our day has many transition times: between wake up and Prevacid, between Prevacid and nursing, between nursing and bottles, etc. There’s always a question of where the girls should be during these times:

  • When Cate and Sam were little and still somewhat floppy, they just rested in Boppy pillows on our bed.
  • When they started pitching themselves forward towards the edge of the bed, we moved them to the bedroom floor.
  • When they started fussing about being left in the bedroom, we put them in bouncy seats in the kitchen.

For several days, being in a new room was sufficiently compelling. They seemed content to just sit and look up and watch as Daddy Bill and I moved about the kitchen Doing Stuff. And if they got bored, I gave them teethers, spatulas, or small plastic containers to play with and they were content again.

About two weeks ago, they started fussing about being confined in the bouncy seats. But I wanted them in sight, so I pulled them out and sat them on the kitchen floor. They seemed both startled and delighted to find themselves unconstrained on the cold linoleum. Between the novelty and more spatulas, they stayed safely occupied, if underfoot.

But now, we’re in trouble.

This morning, after Bill left for Raleigh and before Claudia arrived, I sat the girls on the bedroom floor and went away for 90 seconds to pee. I came back to find Cate pushing the foot-pedal of the diaper pail with her hands, and Sam trying to pull up and reach the flapping lid on top. Since the pail was freshly emptied, it nearly toppled on them.

Next, I got down on the floor to change their diapers (because so far, the girls haven’t found a way to fall off of the floor). Cate entertained herself while I changed Sam. Sam insisted on helping me change Cate, leaning on her belly (which made Cate giggle) and tugging at her unfastened dirty diaper even before I could pull it off.

We moved to the kitchen so that I could start formula warming before nursing. I carried Sam in and set her on the floor, then went back to get Cate. As we approached the kitchen, Sam had crawled over and had her hands in Tibbs’ water fountain. I walked over her to set Cate down and turned around to find Sam’s hand had been in Tibbs’ wet cat food and was on its way to her mouth. While I cleaned up Sam, Cate got her hands into some of the cat food Sam had smeared on the floor. Yuck.

I moved both girls back to the middle of the floor, and gave them both spatulas to play with… except those obviously aren’t compelling anymore. As I pulled formula out of the fridge, the girls became interested in the garbage can. While I was filling bottles, Cate played with the foot pedal, and Sam pulled herself up and stood there for a while. But today is garbage day and the can is empty (light). When it slid, Sam lost her balance, and fell back and bonked her head on the linoleum floor. Ouch!

Then, as I comforted Sam, Cate followed suit. While I was putting Sam into a bouncy seat for safe keeping, Cate crawled over to the open dishwasher, and pulled herself to a standing position. Then, presumably because our crappy old dishwasher wobbles, she lost her balance, fell back, and bonked her head on the linoleum floor. Ouch!

So… I guess it’s time to pull out the safety gates and start confining the girls to their mat. But did I mention that they are apparently now compelled to pull up and stand at every opportunity? Even in their mat area, they can get into trouble.

As a result, solo parenting Sam and Cate has become especially nerve-wracking, and obviously a little dangerous. They’re constantly moving and trying to practice new skills. But the time it takes you to look at one, figure out what she’s doing, and assess whether she’s still safe, is just long enough for the other one to get herself into trouble. So if you’re in the area and available, let me know if you’d like to come by and help even the odds.

Nursery rhyme redux: Eeny, meeny…

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
catch a baby by the toe,
if she hollers, don’t let go,
because she’ll end up on the flo’!

Sam scares 2!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

When the girls initially began eating “solids,” they sat in Boppy pillows on our bed, but now they sit in booster seats in the dining room. Watching Sam twist and reach and lean, I have wondered whether she’s big enough now to tip the whole assembly forward, falling to the floor and bringing it down on top of her. (Check this later post for a visual.)


Tonight, we strapped the girls into their seats, and went into the kitchen to finish assembling their fare (pears and rice cereal tonight), and scarf down several bites of leftover chicken-and-gnocchi “soup” that Bill made last weekend.

At some point, Sam began to fuss loudly. I glanced around the corner to see what was the matter, and at first, I only saw one baby. Alarmed, I realized that Sam had fallen forward out of her booster and was dangling by her ankle, which was tangled in the “safety” straps.


I guess that’s why the warning label on the seat says this:

Always keep child in view while in high chair.
Never leave child unattended.

Note to self.

Luckily, I rescued her easily and she wasn’t hurt. In fact. I was more shaken than she was, and she was happy to eat the rest of her dinner back in the chair.

* * *
Earlier in the day, we tried a new snack. The “What to Expect” book says babies are typically ready for finger foods in the eighth month. They’ve already begun grabbing the spoon when we feed them, and since the girls are 7-1/2 months past their due date, I was curious what they would think of food they could hold by themselves.

I initially thought teething crackers were the way to start, but the book suggested rice cakes as a good option.

Not so much.

Both girls are eager to try any food that Mama and Daddy eat. After watching me nibble a bit, I put a ~2- inch portion in each of their hands. Once I showed them that they could taste it, they did. However, there wasn’t any chewing. Just sucking.

Fortunately, puffed rice pretty much dissolves in saliva, so they were able to eat some of it. But when Sam got down to a ~1/2-inch chunk, she put the whole thing in her mouth and tried to swallow it… and choked.

Luckily, I was easily able to sweep it out of her mouth with my finger, but neither of us enjoyed the experience. We will definitely wait a few more weeks before attempting finger foods again, and next time, we’ll go with teething crackers.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to focus a little harder on keeping our daughters alive and unscathed.

Sam scares!

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Thursday evening when she finished nursing, Sam tried to sit up on our nursing pillow. I say “tried” not because she couldn’t sit up, which she can, but because the pillow didn’t hold her when she did. As she sat up and her weight shifted, the pillow gave way, and she tipped away from me and went ass-over-teakettle toward the side of the bed. I caught her by the ankle just as she bonked her head on Bill’s nightstand (fortunately, not very hard). Poor, Sam!

And to add insult to injury, hanging there upside down while my friend Emily ran in from the dining room to rescue her (while I held on to Cate on the other side), her stomach contents came back “up” (down) and made her choke. Sam’s reflex is much, much improved/reduced, and she can now go days without experiencing it. But turning her upside down still brings stuff up (down), giving her hiccups or making her spit up, every time. Understandably, she was pretty subdued and clingy for the rest of the evening. Poor, Sam!

And that wasn’t our first scare this week.

Tuesday morning, I overestimated how much formula we would need, which means the girls nursed better than I expected, which is a good thing. Rather than put the extra back in the fridge, Bill just added it to their bottles. He told me, and urged me to just pull the bottles a little early. But I was too tired to remember to do that, and both girls ended up finishing their bottles, leaving them more full than usual.

In addition, both girls have been having trouble pooing. Ever since we started feeding them rice and oat cereals daily (which unlike adult varieties have zero fiber), they have strained a lot more to move their bowels, several of their movements have been hard/painful, and some days they haven’t pood at all.

Sam didn’t poo on Monday, so by Tuesday morning, she had to strain mightily to pass a “shooter marble” sized lump of poo. All of that straining put pressure on her stomach, which — overfull with too much formula — refluxed and she choked. For an alarming ~30 seconds, she sputtered, wide-eyed and panicked, as she struggled to breathe. Bill and I watched horrified, and considered turning her upside down to help get the formula out of her throat, but decided that it was safer to let her clear her airway unmolested. We knew she would be okay when she started to cry, and I cried, too. Poor, Sam!

* * *
Before we had babies, I didn’t fully appreciate how (often) their fragility could lead occasionally to life-and-death moments, and more often, to ooky/painful moments. I’m not at all sure that I have the constitution for it. My brother, Chris, urged me several times to brace myself and learn to deal with them. But so far, I would still prefer to find ways to keep Sam and Cate safer, so they don’t have to experience them, either.