For the last 20 minutes of the drive home from shabbat in the Galil, Koala was hysterical in the car. It’s amazing how hysterical a car ride can make him, but last night was particularly bad. The heaving was worrying, and when we got home, I raced to get him out of his seat and get upstairs so I could calm him.
Going up the first set of stairs, I managed to trip and fall with Koala’s wet, red face in my arms.
A few things about falling with a baby: Firstly, I can remember what I saw and thought in that split second we went down together; it may as well have been five or ten whole seconds. It was also the most in-touch I’ve ever been with maternal instinct. I simultaneously saw my baby and the floor, and all I could think about was how not to have the two meet. It was like a checklist in my brain: baby’s head – check. Arm strategically placed underneath it – check. Hard floor – somewhere below us, better left unchecked.
In the end I had my arm in a way that his neck was on it and my arm fell first and his head bent back a little but didn’t hit the ground. Believe me, baby was tested and I was interrogated multiple times on how we fell and I know my gut would have made a different call if there was even a nano-doubt. But Koala was ok.
I picked us up and realized: a. he was ok, and b. I had broken a toe. I’m guessing that in our fall, I was focusing on him and didn’t prepare my bottom half for landing, and my foot got caught on the stair. As soon as I recognized he was ok, I realized I was not.
Take your index finger and middle finger and make a V… That’s what my big toe and index toe looked like. I felt like my body was turning alien, starting with my right foot, its second toe pointing out right, like my big toe had cooties.
Another baby-mother moment; after I picked us up, we looked at each other and he instantly stopped crying… I think he saw the look on my face before I even realized I had a look on my face – pure, penetrating, piercing pain.
It was just a toe and I’m very lucky. I breathed through it on the way to Jerusalem and after a relatively quick trip to the relatively new Terem at the tayelet, I was back home, buddy-taped and feeding my sleeping, unhurt baby.
I’ve got crutches from Yad Sarah, a hafnaya to see an ‘orthodped’ on Wednesday, and an optimistic resolve that I’ll be ok to fly international alone with Koala in less than 2 weeks.