I’ve been putting off writing this post because it brings up emotions and memories that I’d rather forget. I’m going to talk about the day that Baby J fell out of his Moses basket. I haven’t really spoken about it to many people about what happened this day but here we go……
Before I get into what happened I thought it was best to give you some details on the Moses basket. As you can see above, it was a rocking one. It didn’t have the raised safety brackets at the ends, as the newer models have now, the basket just slid in. Also, we didn’t keep the basket there or keep all the stuff inside it whilst Baby J slept in there (just in case you were wondering!).
The 20th July 2018 Was The Worst Day Of My Life
It was approximately 8 am and Baby J was just 13 days old. He was laying in his Moses basket next to me. Daz was still on paternity leave and all 3 of us were sleeping. I heard Baby J start to stir, probably looking for a feed when all of a sudden I hear a crash and the worst scream from Baby J that I have ever heard in my life. He had been kicking his legs and somehow had managed to knock his Moses basket off of the stand and fallen forward into the bedside table.
I remember screaming for Darren, who jumped out of bed in a second and scooped Baby J up. I don’t think that I will ever forget seeing baby J laying on the floor. He looked a bit like a rag doll. I was crying and almost hyperventilating. Our poor, beautiful little baby. I felt sick. It was our duty as parents to protect our little miracle and we had failed. I had failed. How could I have allowed this to happen? How had this happened? I was terrified that our baby might have brain damage. He was so tiny still.
We didn’t know who to call, so we called the midwives at the maternity unit who told us to go to A&E. We threw on the first clothes that we could find and jumped in the car and went to the Hospital. I dropped Daz and Baby J off at the door and went off to park before running back up to the hospital.
At The Hospital
Thankfully we were seen straight away. They checked Baby J over and cleaned his head where he had cut it on the bedside table (he has a tiny little scar going through his eyebrow now, a constant reminder of what happened).
I sent text messages to my midwife and health visitor, telling them what had happened. They text back quickly, giving me support and arranging a day to come out and see us. As Baby J had hit his head, the hospital had wanted to monitor him for 6 hours from the time of the accident, so we were told to wait for a space in the children unit.
When we went up to the children’s unit we were placed in a private room but were moved on after less than half an hour in there. They said that they didn’t have enough space and as Baby J was so young and not yet had his vaccinations they couldn’t put us on a ward. So they moved us to an office. Baby J had been placed in one of the see-through baby cots and me and Daz were left to sit on office chairs. And that’s where we sat for over 6 hours.
What Is Going On?
So we’d got to the hospital at about 8:30 am. We’d been seen straight away but stayed in A&E for a good few hours and went up to the children unit around half 11ish. Baby J had the accident around 8 am so we expected that we would be home by 3 pm latest. Nope. All-day in that office we sat. Doctors and nurses would come in, check Baby Js obs, and leave again. No one told us what was going on despite us asking.
I was a state the whole day. I was tired, I had a headache from my almost non-stop crying and I was in pain. It was only 13 days after giving birth and having an episiotomy and forceps. At the time, I didn’t care how I felt, my only concern was Baby J, but looking back, I am a bit pissed off. I was also still breastfeeding Baby J and not once was I offered somewhere more comfortable to feed in. Maybe I should have asked, but it just didn’t occur to us at the time.
Every time someone came in to do Baby Js obs, we would ask what was happening, is he okay, will he be okay, will there be any lasting damage, when can we go home? We got nothing in return. I do remember some of the doctors and nurses saying that we can go downstairs for a coffee if we wanted and that they would look after Baby J. No way! I’m not leaving my baby! I was in super pain by now with my stitches so I would take a walk up and down the corridor. Up and down, up and down, up and down……..
We were finally seen by the head of the ward. She took Baby J off of Daz settled into a chair with him and began questioning us; How did this happen, what time did this happen, how did you find him, where were you, where was he, was he left alone?
We were then asked the same questions over and over, but always in a slightly different way, almost as if to try and catch us out. After the same questions again, Daz got on to the floor to demonstrate how we found Baby J. Once we had finished answering the questions the head of the ward handed Baby J back and said the words that made my blood run cold and made me feel like I was going to be sick;
“I’ll need to call child services regarding this”.
She then left us. Me and Daz were in floods of tears. We love our baby so much, we would do anything for him. We tried for a baby for almost 3 years and in only 13 days of being with us, this had happened. Both of us were beside ourselves with worry that our beautiful baby boy was going to be taken away from us.
At approximately 4 pm we were told that we would be staying overnight so that Baby J could be monitored. That was fine with me, I would much rather be safe than sorry. We were told that we would have a bed by 5 pm. But 5 pm came and went.
We were then told that we weren’t staying in and that we would be able to go home soon. We were then told different again. What was happening?! At around 7 pm we were moved to our own room but still, no one was sure what was happening. Finally clarification, we were staying in. Daz had arranged to go home and pack an overnight bag for myself and Baby J. Only when he tried to leave he was told that child services were here and that we were due to be interviewed.
Just before the interview, a nurse came to see us to take us round to the interview room. It was then that we were told that it wasn’t just child services that would be interviewing us. The police would also be there. I was in shock. I didn’t think that I had any more tears left in me, but they streamed down my face. They were going to take our little boy away from us, I knew it. We were good parents, I wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Baby J wasn’t allowed to come with us so I had to leave him with a nurse. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life.
In the interview room sat the child services lady and the police officer. We were questioned again. Halfway through Daz couldn’t take it anymore and asked if they were going to take our baby away from us. They both reassured us that they would NOT be taking Baby J. Me and Daz lost it and broke down hugging each other. They finished the interview and we were allowed back to the room.
Daz was taken home by the police officer who wanted to double-check where the incident had taken place. On the drive home, Daz was informed by the officer that the head nurse that had reported the case to them had told both the police and child services that she had no doubts that what we were saying was true. The officer went on to say that she rarely gets a positive call from the nurse and more often than not further questioning is needed. As soon as the officer saw the Moses basket she understood straight away how Baby J could have fallen out.
I don’t know if it was just my view on things but I felt like everyone was a lot nicer after that. They offered me some dinner and Daz returned with my bag, so I showered then fell into bed. I couldn’t wait for this godawful day to be over and done with.
Nurses would come in overnight and check Baby Js obs. I would wake regularly to check on my baby, make sure that nothing had happened. It felt good to know that nurses were coming in every hour as well to check on him.
The Next Day
Daz came up to the hospital early the next day. Our mission now was to get Baby J home. There was some confusion as to what we were waiting for. Child services had given us the okay and the Police were happy for us to go home too. Finally, we got the happy news that we could go home! But, we had one stop to make first – Mothercare.
We went to our local Mothercare store to pick out a new bed for Baby J. He couldn’t go in his cot yet and there was no way in hell that we were putting him back in the Moses basket so we started looking at the other options. Daz lifted down a selection of the beds and I stood there, rocking them all, making sure that there was no way Baby J was going to be able to rock out it. We decided on the Chicco Next2me crib.
When we got home the Moses basket was sent outside to rot.
The Weeks After
We had visits from our midwife, health visitor and Child Services. Two weeks later we got the letter from Child Services to say that our case has been closed. When that letter came through I felt like I could finally relax.
I really did feel like I was on trial and I feel two ways about this. A big part of me is happy that these situations get investigated so heavily. You hear horror stories in the news about poor children and babies that are beaten and worse by their parents or carers so its good to know that our local hospital looks into each case with such detail.
The other part of me is upset with how we were treated. This is by no means a dig at the NHS as they did their job of looking after our child and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I am so thankful that we have an NHS, but me and Daz were clearly devastated and to be left in that awful office with no news on what was happening most of the time was extremely difficult. I was terribly uncomfortable and in pain with my stitches but had to take my own painkillers.
I’ve been really scared about writing and posting this blog. I know people will ask how it happened because I would ask exactly the same thing and honestly we have no idea. I just felt like I needed to warn people of the dangers of using a Moses basket. I’ve heard stories from friends who have known people who have had similar situations, where the parents were carrying the baby in the Moses basket up or down the stairs and the handles broke.
As I said above, I haven’t really spoken to many people about what happened this day. Fear of being judged, maybe? Obviously it affected my mental health. I still hate the idea that something like this happened to Baby J on my watch and at the time I felt like a terrible mother. It’s so difficult right now, where he’s walking everywhere and obviously tripping over, I instantly worry that something serious might happen. I just want to wrap him up in cotton wool and keep him safe!