That time the baby got a concussion during a pandemic…

Well Mommas, it was a Monday. Baby and I spent the better part of our day at Children’s Hospital for concussion observation. It was all about as wonderful as you might imagine.

So despite the fact that said baby woke up super early and I was feeling extra tired, the morning started nice and slow – because, pandemic! not like we have any place to go or could even go if we wanted! Everyone was reading or playing legos, still in pjs, I had time to do the dishes and make a list – was looking forward to a productive day. Bwhahaha! I should know better by now. But it did start out well…

Like all kid injuries, or so it seems, I saw (or in this case, heard) it coming but couldn’t prevent it. Big brother was helping me with laundry (side note: the five year old LOVES to help me with laundry?! I have no idea why and I feel like maybe that’s a whole other post). Anyway, he had an armload of clothes, so his vision was blocked. He was rounding a corner and at the exact same time, I heard the baby (21 months) running full speed towards the same corner, opposite direction. I should mention that the five year old is quite big and sturdy for his age, the baby is on the smaller side – you all know what happened next. Full on collision. Baby literally went flying backwards. I didn’t see what part hit first, but one second later when I rounded the corner, he was flat on his back, silent, staring at the ceiling. I described it to the doctor as “one of those hits in the NFL where the entire stadium does a collective inhale and makes ‘that face’.” And just like those hits, where you wait to see if the guy gets up, you hold your breath, you look for a little movement – it was that, but with my baby. The next minute or two felt like an eternity. The fear and anxiety and decisions…and with three other children, who get so much credit for being so calm and listening to my instruction and helping. It was all such a blur.

Phone calls were made, my husband sped home, and we raced to the ER at Children’s. It’s so weird, it felt simultaneously like it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r and that the time flew by. I’ll spare you all the medical details because some are boring, some are confusing, and some I just don’t want to talk about yet. But we ended up with a diagnosis of mild concussion, no sign of a brain bleed, and we will never know for sure if there was a small seizure because we didn’t do that scan (at doctor’s advice).

Turns out that concussion observation is, really, just sitting there, waiting.  And waiting. And waiting. While you think of ALL the things that could be wrong or could go wrong: like the brain bleed which hadn’t even crossed my mind until we got there and the doctors started talking about bleeding brains; or a seizure, which also had never crossed my mind until they started talking about seizures; or a fractured skull – which no one mentioned at all and I had no reason to suspect but still, I thought it was good to worry about, because, why not?! My anxiety was already thru the roof. Oh, and not sure if you’re aware, but there’s a global pandemic killing people and we live in an especially hard hit area so I was also simultaneously trying not to breath and convinced that we were both going to catch covid and bring it home and infect our whole family. (In my more sane moments I could acknowledge that they were  doing an excellent job, they clearly were separating everyone, I saw tons of sterilization and safety protocols in place, and it was probably way safer than any grocery store.) Most of that time, the baby was also just sitting there, sort of out of it, only wanting me to hold him. We weren’t sure if he was tired, shy, grumpy, hungry, scared, had a headache, or maybe a combo. Poor sweet thing. We did get him to eat (I guess that’s a thing, they wanted him to eat) and drink some juice. And like magic, at some point, he was “back”…he started talking (he talks a lot but had been almost entirely silent since the fall) and then started climbing and when he tried to jump off the bed onto the chair several feet away, I knew he was back to his old, crazy, normal self! The relief I felt, the thankfulness – momma’s baby was going to be ok. Even if I may take awhile for my emotional recovery.

My husband said someday we will laugh about this and talk about the time big brother knocked his baby brother out cold during a pandemic. I’m sure he’s right but currently, I just feel grateful for the wonderful nurses and doctors and for a happy, healthy, baby!


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