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To ask you to help me pull myself together- toddler serious fall overseas

132 replies

Chattycat78 · 24/06/2017 19:27

Just that. In Majorca. Now sitting in a foreign hospital where I can't speak the language and have been for 2 days. Toddler ds (2.5) fell from a wall- 3 metres- 2 days ago. He has fractured his skull.

Wall was very shallow on One side and then dropped away on the other. No signs or railings or anything and it was a deep wall so wasn't obvious there was any kind of drop on the other side. DS ran over, was able to jump onto the wall as it was his height and I couldn't grab him quick enough before he fell. In all honestly it wasn't apparent to me the depth of the drop until it was too late.

He was in intensive care following a terrible and scary first night. He seems to be improving now though and scans and his behaviour show no brain damage thank god.

It's all my fault. Why didn't I get him off the wall fast enough? I can't stop replying it in my mind and it will haunt me forever. I feel like an unfit mother and that I should have protected him and failed. I'm also doing the classic "if only" - if only we hadn't gone there, if only the walk had been too high to climb- and so on. I'm sure the rest of the family and Dh blame me too.

I'm of course incredibly grateful with the care we've received and that it hasn't been worse but I just can't see how we are all going to get past this or how I'm going to be able to leave him ever again in fear of what might happen.

What do I do to pull myself together?

OP posts:
youarenotkiddingme · 25/06/2017 07:52

Or course its not your fault!

You e said you wouldn't let him have climbed if you'd known about the drop. But we can't be everywhere all the time and accidents happen.

Are you sharing the time with your DH? You need to make sure you are eating and drinking properly.

steppedonlego · 25/06/2017 08:03

We would all blame ourselves OP, it's what we do as parents, but this was absolutely not your fault, nobody else is judging you except yourself, it's absolutely not your fault Glad to hear your little one is on the mend. Flowers

RoseVase2010 · 25/06/2017 08:10

Two year olds are tiny balls accident proneness, between the accidents and the emotions it's a wonder any of us make it to three.

Focus on the positives, yes he had a fall, but he's in hospital and will be on the mend xxx

Lucysky2017 · 25/06/2017 08:13

You will find over time you will think about it less. Get enough sleep. Distract yourself in the early days. I closed a door on my one year olds finger and the end of it hung off (he had pushed it into the crack) and I did not see it - we were waiting for an emergency doctor to come to the house for our 4 year old had a ridiculously high temperature (and had our 2 year old running havoc too). I still should have checked the door before closing it. Luckily they stuck it back on and he went on to get 4 grade 8 music exams, grade 7 piano and a music scholarship when once the end of the finger came off when he was 1 we feared all music (a huge part of family life) might have been over for him at aged 1. There is still a scar but the finger works fine. Even had it not been fine I hope I could have forgiven myself as in life things like this just happen. Blame of self and often of others too rarely does much good at all.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday · 25/06/2017 08:20

If PIL do "confront" you, have a stock answer ready like "well I already feel awful about what happened and don't need to be made to feel worse. I don't wish to discuss it"
Then walk away or keep repeating you will not discuss it.

Nobody has any right to make you feel bad about this!

Pengggwn · 25/06/2017 09:48

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummyofmoomoos · 25/06/2017 09:58

It was not your fault- hoping he is picking up and much better very soon, little boys seem hell-bent on self distruction, short of pinning down an already over excitited child (on holiday, new places to explore, new sights to see! Wahoooo!!!)- what else could you do? A drop like that is an accident waiting to happen, and im betting your little one wasnt the first. He was just the unlucky little soul who landed head first. Nobody has the right to make you feel you were at fault- if they werent there to see what happened then they have no need to comment on it, if they were, then they should have been able to time travel and stop it too- just like they were expecting you to. Now go sit with tiny one, we wish we could physically be there besides you- sending all the healing thoughts and best wishes we can Flowers

ShinyGirl · 25/06/2017 10:07

If anyone tries to blame you, send them out way. It was an accident and everyone knows accidents happen Flowers

User24689 · 25/06/2017 10:18

Gosh OP, you poor thing and your poor DS. Your post gave me shivers because I could so easily imagine it being me - it is in no way your fault and could happen to any of us .

My toddler DD fell off some play equipment the other week and I replayed it in my mind for days - we all blame ourselves when these things happen but toddlers just move so quickly.

Flowers for you, hope your DS recovers quickly and you're able to be kind to yourself x

youarenotkiddingme · 25/06/2017 15:18

I agree if your PIl confront you have an answer practiced.

Something along the lines of "I'm so sorry you feel such disappointment towards your ds for failing to protect our ds. We've forgiven each other for both our roles in preventing this - I hope you can forgive him in time too"

It doesn't matter who was nearest - it's an accident that neither parent had time to prevent. Something that happens daily.

Charlie97 · 25/06/2017 15:38
  1. It was not your fault

2. You must beyond exhausted and stressed and you are not thinking straight

3. Here is a hug (()hug)))
StripyDeckchair · 25/06/2017 16:05

When I was a toddler I darted away from my mum and fell over a fortunately smaller drop but still landed head first on concrete. There was a lot of blood and I had to have stitches but luckily no further damage was done (as I say, it just happened it was a smaller drop).

My mum still goes a little pale when retelling the story and does still feel some guilt 30 years on. BUT there was nothing she could have done differently, accidents happen, and I would never blame her. As a child this was genuinely a funny story to me about my younger self. Having had my first DS a few weeks ago I feel for her so much now and can see even more clearly that it was not her fault at all. But I also understand why she feels the way she does about it.

I think you have been through a traumatic event and with time you will feel better and the constant replaying should stop. If it doesn't you may need to talk to someone but you can cross that bridge later. For now, be as kind to yourself as you can, focus on what's happening now rather than what has already happened and try to believe that this is something your son will likely view just as a funny story in a few years. It wasn't your fault. It was an accident.

AnUtterIdiot · 25/06/2017 16:06

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Frazzled2207 · 25/06/2017 16:25

Just read this and thought God that could so easily have been me and my adventurous 2 yo.
Absolutely not your fault.
Pleased he is on the mend, he will be fine and won't remember. You on the other hand will be ok once you've given yourself time to get over this-
At the moment you are traumatised, sleep deprived and dealing with a difficult situation in a strange language.
It will all be ok Flowers

Sallycinnamum · 25/06/2017 16:37

OP, the Spanish healthcare system is great so you're little one is in great hands.

Unfortunately I have direct experience of it when a close famity member was in ICU for a month. Are you in Alcudia by any chance at the Murano hospital?

The worst bit was being so far from home in hideous circumstances while holiday makers were having a great time around me!

Wishing your DC a speedy recovery.

nocoolnamesleft · 25/06/2017 16:44

Of course you're feeling guilty. I'd almost worry if you didn't. You feel guilty because this is your child, who you love more than life itself. You feel guilty, because you were there. You feel guilty because you were the closest. If you had not been there, you would feel guilty and blame yourself for that. If you were not the closest, you would blame yourself for not being nearer. If you had managed to react in time, and hurt your ds's arm yanking him back, you'd feel guilty for that. If you'd realised even sooner, you'd still feel guilty for what might have happened.

You aren't feeling guilty because it's your fault. It was an accident. You're feeling guilty because the most important thing in the world to you is keeping your kid safe. And in the last few days you'd probably have sold your soul to swap places with him. And you can't.

You worry that your DH and family might be blaming you? Well, your DH is probably currently beating himself up that he should have been closer, he should have reacted faster, he should have saved him.

You're beating yourself up because you are a fit mother. It's what good, decent, people do when their kids get hurt. In an accident.

NavyandWhite · 25/06/2017 16:50

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MrsNuckyThompson · 25/06/2017 16:52

When my DS was 18 months he nearly drowned in a hotel pool. DH and I were both in the water with him and he was playing in the very shallow water near the wide steps in. We momentarily got distracted and didn't realise that the steps had a sharp drop off to one side. When we looked round DS was face down in the water (with arm bands on). It was likely 10-20 seconds before we scooped him up bawling. Thankfully there was a lovely Canadian paediatrician staying there as a guest who checked him on the spot and later that evening.

Anyway. That image of him floating face down was something I never thought I'd be able to forget. In the days following it seemed it would haunt me every time I closed my eyes. However it really does pass. When I think of it now my blood runs cold but I probably haven't thought of it in months at this point (it was 3 years ago). I'm sure you'll get to the same point.

You're not a bad mother and I'm glad your son is going to be ok. Lesson learned and this too shall pass.

mummymeister · 25/06/2017 16:59

op - apologies that I haven't rtft but wanted to make a really quick point to you.

get someone else in your party to go on social media. look for a facebook group of brits abroad in your local area and message them. someone will help you with an interpreter.

also again get someone to speak to the British embassy. they are usually pretty helpful in situations like this.

alternatively see if your insurance company will pay the cost of an interpreter. what makes this doubly horrible for you is not being able to communicate as you would be able to at home.

kids are amazingly resilient.

Janeismymiddlename · 25/06/2017 17:08

If you need help with Spanish, PM me.

CauliflowerSqueeze · 25/06/2017 17:13

Totally not your fault. You can't see every possible risk and eliminate it. In laws would be utter fuckwits to make any suggestion you were at fault.

Spanish hospitals are superb so at least you're in safe hands. Home soon and things will feel easier once you're back in GB. X

Chattycat78 · 25/06/2017 17:19

sally- no in Palma- it's a brand new massive hospital.

Thanks again everyone. I do appreciate the responses of "I didn't have time to react"- but I think that's the problem. I feel like I did. As soon as he jumped onto the wall I told him to get off- he ignored me, at which point I tried to grab him and he fell. When I told him to get off I didn't realise the depth of the wall - had I done, I would have just grabbed him, without negotiating. It's that which I can't see past.

Having said that, it all still happened in what seemed like a split second, so I don't know. Sad

OP posts:
NavyandWhite · 25/06/2017 17:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allegretto · 25/06/2017 17:33

Of course you would have grabbed him if you had known it was a big drop - but you didn't. Don't blame yourself OP, it could happen to any of us. My DD fell off a swing while I was holding on to her (obviously not very well) and broke her arm. I didn't do it on purpose!

PacificDogwod · 25/06/2017 17:35

There for the grace of god go I - this is the kind of accident that so easy could have happened to DS2 who was a climber and absolutely without fear. He was forever falling off something and only lucky that he never came to any serious harm.
Please don't feel bad.
The what if don't help anybody; focus on the fact that he is in fact fine (or will be).

You feel like you could've save him because time has a way of moving like treacle when you see a disaster unfolding in front of you.
Try and distract yourself away from replaying it over and over in your mind Thanks

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