Mar 18, 2010

Lesson Learned

My biggest fear when I'm out for a walk with Jane is that I'll trip... not because it would be slightly embarrassing to fall on my arse (and by slightly, I mean incredibly) but because I live in a neighbourhood basically built on a cliff (or so it feels some days). If I were to trip and let go of the stroller, Jane would be gone. The hills in my subdivision are so steep, I would not be able to catch up with her. Like I said, biggest fear.

Well, my biggest fear came true for my sister last week... not exactly the same way, but just as scary. After a walk with her 9 month old daughter (yes, we both had baby girls, born two weeks apart), Nancy stepped her stroller up onto her front porch (two steps up from the driveway), put the brake on and turned around to unlock her front door. Lesson learned.

My Mom calls me at 5 o'clock... on her way to the hospital to meet Nancy and Lucy. I couldn't imagine what had happened. Initially, I though car accident. Then, Mom explained that Lucy had fallen over the stairs in her stroller and the ambulance had taken her and Nancy to the hospital... she didn't know anything else. Oh. My. God. I didn't know what to think. I could only think positive things... Lucy HAD to be ok. I went through everything in my head... the logistics of how it would have happened and rationalized that because of the way strollers are designed (with the bar/feeding tray in front and the canopies) that, as long as Lucy was strapped in, the stroller would have taken the brunt of the force and the momentum behind Lucy's fall would have been slowed down before she hit the ground. And, then, I thought about Nancy. I knew, if anything happened to Lucy, that Nancy would never be the same... not only because her daughter was injured but because she would blame herself. How many times have I trusted the brake on my stroller? Lesson learned. I will never take both hands off my stroller again.

Thankfully, I was right about the design of the stroller saving Lucy. Lucy was strapped in and the front bar took the major blow (cracking). Nancy called from the E.R. with news that Lucy was happily smiling up a storm in the waiting room and only had a little bump above her eye. Thank God. They had to wake her up every few hours for the first night (which, of course, meant that Nancy did it for 2-3 nights - as any of us worried Mommas would). I'll never forget what Nancy said after she got home from the hospital (crying, of course), "I turned around and she was gone. I didn't know what I was going to find when I turned the stroller over". Oh. My. God. It makes me sick to think about how she must have felt in those few seconds.

Now? I have made a makeshift safety tie for my stroller for when I'm walking in my subdivision. I was thinking... you know how treadmills have emergency cords (that no one uses), that you hook to yourself so if you fly off the treadmill it stops (after you're thrown across the room no doubt)? Strollers should have something similar - wrist straps (or something) so that if it starts to roll away from you, you'll know immediately. I used my dogs old leash. Looped it through the handle on my stroller and then I hook it to my jeans. That way if I trip and fall, the stroller will come with me. Yes. Not ideal. However, considering the alternative (envision stroller flying down huge hill towards insanely busy street), I'd much rather the stroller tip backwards, likely not giving Jane more than a little scare.

I had to pass this story along. We often get so caught up in our habits and "the usual" that we get complacent and think "oh it'll be fine this one time"... I'm sure my sister will tell you, one time is not worth it. This "one time" mindset goes against all our instincts. Your instincts are their for a reason ladies - some people believe it's God guiding you, others believe it's nature. I don't care what you believe - but believe in your instincts.

Here's the cutest video of my niece Lucy, who's new favourite "trick" is falling asleep sitting up (caution - video is make-you-pee-your-pants hilarious):

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Angelene said...

Oh my god Jen - so glad to hear Nancy and Lucy made it through that alright. I know some of the jogging strollers have a wrist strap that attaches to the brake in case the jogger falls. It would be a good option on all strollers.

Glad everyone is OK!

**** April **** said...

OH MY GOSH I would have just freaked out! I'm so glad that she's okay. I have always had a strap on my wrist for walks. I learned this from my jogging stroller and even had it for my NOT jogging stroller. And now, going on boy #3 (due in about 3 weeks)... and KNOWING that my stroller only has ONE functioning break, I certainly won't ever take that chance. The break is for the stroller only. Otherwise, a living being needs to be there for it to be the brake.

Praise God!!!!

Amy Brown said...

Glad to hear she's ok, that must have been so scary! The video is hilarious :)

trac54 said...

Oh my goodness! Poor Nancy!
Scariest thing to every happen. When I was 5 my mom had my brother in his carseat on the floor in the kitchen with me and she went to the bathroom. I decided it would be a great idea to pick him up and sit him in the chair with me in the kitchen.

Needless to say uhhh he fell off the chair.

To this day everything he does that is dumb is my fault cause I dropped him on his head! hahaha.

I got so scared reading this post and my FIRST THOUGHTS WERE TO DO WHAT YOU DID! I was all ready to leave a comment saying "HEY YOU KNOW TREADMILLS....."

Yer sum smart woman. :D

My New Life As Mom said...

Oh my stomach was turning as I was reading your post. My heart broke a little. I couldn't even imagine what that must have felt like for her.

Jogging strollers actually come with this mechanism (so if you're running and trip the stroller stops) and I am happy to report that I do have a jogging stroller. The sad part is.. I've only used the strap once. We don't live in a particularly hilly area (we're pretty flat) but I'm happy to say that I'll be using it from now on.

It's like teen pregnancy, it only takes once.

Lena! said...

I'm so happy to hear that Lucy (and Nancy!) are going to be just fine.

I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but since it happened less than 24 hours ago, I'll be brave and share.

For baby #2 on the way in May, some of my colleagues got together and surprised me with a pretty bling stroller. After putting it together last night, I took one look at this "wrist strap" gizmo and scoffed - CUTTING IT OFF with a pair of scissors (even my husband was like, remove it). 12 hours later, I read this blog post and feel like a complete TOOL. Thankfully, if you'll recall, Mississauga is almost entirely flat, but still, now it'll be on my mind for about, oh, two years,

Thanks so much for sharing your story!