Usually when we put the babies down for the night, it’s pretty easy. Hugs, kisses, place them in their crib and walk away. If anyone gives us trouble, it’s usually G and it’s usually because he’s demanding more food before beginning his 12 hour fast.
But one night recently, it was E that was making noise. If he does wake up, it’s usually the result of a bad dream, and it will be hysterical crying which will bring us running. But this was just small cries, which sometimes happens when he wakes up at the end of a sleep cycle and before he rolls over and goes back to sleep. So we watched him on the monitor and figured that’s what it was. He was lying on his back, rubbing his eyes, and softly crying.
Nothing looked wrong. He wasn’t standing up waiting for us. He didn’t look super upset. It was odd. Which was exactly why it left me unsettled. I kept watching him, waiting for him to settle and go back to sleep, but he didn’t. I told Tom I was going to go check on him, and he shrugged and went back to work, since he was still technically working.
I got upstairs and into his room, and asked E if he was okay. “Nooo,” he said, “my leg!” I traced his leg down with my hand and found one of his legs stuck through the rails of his crib and shoved up against the wall. I tried to pull it out and it. was. stuck.
I told him I’d be right back and ran back to the stairs. “TOM! I NEED YOU NOW!” I yelled down the stairs. I’ve been accused of not conveying the urgency of situations in the past, so I tried to be more forceful, but Tom told me later what I thought sounded urgent still didn’t come across like that, and he remember being annoyed and wonder what I could possibly need to interrupt his work.
When he reached the room I was trying to pry the bars apart a bit, but the leg was still stuck, and E was getting more panicked. Tom picked up the crib and started moving it away from the wall, while I tried to calm E down. He wanted to be in my arms, and the inability to move was starting to freak him out. Even with the extra space, force wasn’t working, and I swear Tom was about to break the crib apart with his hands. I’d been trying to manipulate E’s body, and eventually I got him sideways and his leg to move enough that I got the bend of his knee between the bars and that somehow gave us room to get him out.
Once he was free, he freaked out.
Poor kid was hurt and scared. We brought him out of the room, gave him some cuddles, and some Motrin for the pain. Of course mom guilt hit pretty hard then too, as I thought about how long I just watched him as he was stuck and in pain, but didn’t go help. Luckily he went to bed pretty easily after that, and didn’t have any bruises or soreness the next day.
I guess we were lucky it took us so long for something like this to happen… here’s hoping it was a one and only!