In a blog post entitled, "The Struggle Is Real," Susan Sarandon's daughter confesses, "A couple of days after Thanksgiving, our Night Nurse fell asleep while holding Major and dropped him, and he cracked his head on the hardwood floor." Martino says she and her husband Kyle were sleeping at the time, and were "awoken by the sound of his head hitting the floor, and then hysterical piercing screams. He suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on his brain."
The newborn spent two days in the hospital undergoing assessment and further care. "To say these were the most traumatic and anxious two days of my life is an understatement," Martino writes.
Thankfully, her son, now three months old, is "completely fine." Explaining why she didn't post about what happened at first, the actress says, "It was so sudden, and so scary, and the idea of sharing it almost felt like it would make it all that much more real– all of the risks and the dangers. I wanted to make sure that he was definitely OK before I shared what had happened, so that I could have some good news to celebrate."
Martino also candidly admits she feared judgment, writing, "There will always be the people who say that this accident was my fault. That if it had been me in there holding him instead of a Night Nurse, that this never would have happened." She adds, "That I deserve this for allowing my child to be in the care of somebody other than me. Well, let me tell you– the guilt I bore in the days and weeks after this accident was more intense and more damaging than anything I would wish upon my worst enemy."
But as she has come to understand and accept, what happened to Major could, and does, happen at the hands of anyone.
The other reason the star mama kept mum about the freak accident is that she is still clearly, and understandably, struggling to process and cope with everything. She confesses, "Hearing Major cry hard immediately triggers my memories of the moments after the accident and instigates an immediate panic attack– my heart races and tears spring to my eyes. Sometimes I get dizzy spells. I feel nauseous and overwhelmed and even small discomforts he has make me anxious. My appetite has decreased to nothing, I have a hard time getting to sleep after night time feedings, and my milk supply goes up and down depending on the stresses of the day."
Anyone who has ever struggled with postpartum depression or anxiety, or frankly, any form of depression and/or anxiety at all, can relate to the feelings Martino so bravely describes. The star goes on to write she believes she is suffering from "some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, possibly linked to some form of Postpartum Depression."
Martino writes she is sharing what happened in the hopes of allowing herself "to move forward– and also in the hopes that anybody else who is trying to hold it all together with similarly emotional results will know it's ok to let go– to accept help, forgive themselves, and to move towards a solution."
Bravo to Martino for her courage to open up about this scary incident. I know I feel for her, and wish her and her family continued peace and healing. And I also know I speak for countless parents who thank her for sharing her experience. No parent is perfect. We all understand, on varying levels, how Martino feels. Let's skip the judgment, and instead, tune into our own "stuff" and work to deal with any depression or anxiety that may be keeping us from being our best selves, for us and our families.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.