Monday, October 4, 2010

"My Story..." Monday: She Got Hurt

It has been a very long time since I wrote a "My Story..." Monday post. I guess I felt like I had pretty much exhausted the tale of C's birth and the NICU journey. Don't get me wrong... there are always more stories to tell, but I thought I covered it pretty adequately.

And then something occurred to me...

The story didn't end there.

The consequences of her prematurity didn't end and our hospital visits were not over. So, today, I'm going to start the story of one of the darkest weeks of my life...

I'm going to tell you about when C. got hurt... under my watch.


I woke up that Tuesday morning and set about my busy daily routine just like usual. I had fed both my babies-- then nine- and nineteen-months, respectively-- and was getting them dressed and ready for the day. I was tired. No surprise there... I had two very little ones to care for and, as so many of you know, being mommy can be an exhausting job!

As I finished getting A. dressed, I heard the coffee maker shut off. Thank heavens. I poured myself a cup and carried it out to the living room. I set it on the top of the bookshelf, well out of the reach of either of my children.

We had had family visit a month or so earlier and we still had a mattress on our living room floor. I kind of liked having it there because it was a convenient place to play and snuggle with the kiddos. We loved to stretch out on it and read together. Anyway, I also liked to use it as a place to get C. dressed and changed. I set about doing just that.

A flash of red caught my eye several feet away...

My son was climbing the bookcase! I could see, from my spot by the mattress, the scalding hot black coffee starting to slosh over the top of the mug. I panicked. I could see an immediate dangerous situation and I reacted...

I rushed across the room to move my coffee and pull my 1 1/2 year old off the shelves.

I turned my back for a second. I admit it. And that's when it happened...

C. rolled off the mattress.

It was only a mattress right on the floor... less than a foot high. But she rolled to where she was trapped between the mattress and a desk. She shrieked- only once- and then cried.

I scooped up my precious tiny baby girl... because, really, at nine months she was just barely moving out of 0-3 month clothes. I held her close and her sobs started to ease. I held her up to let her "stand" on the table- something she had always loved- and she pulled up her right leg and refused to bear any weight on it.

Crying myself, I called the pediatrician. I described what had happened and how she was acting. The doctor felt it was highly unlikely she was very hurt, most likely just scared, but advised me to observe her behavior throughout the day.

I fed her a bottle of her specially thickened milk (the reason C could never truly breastfeed) and she drifted off in her morning nap. I played with A. and tried to feel optimistic.

When she woke up, I again tried to hold her up on her feet. She pulled up her right leg and cried out.

I called the pediatrician back and they told me to come in.

The doctor's quick evaluation still seemed to indicate that C. was fine, but- just to be safe- she ordered x-rays.

Our ped's office was adjacent to the hospital so it was a quick trip to get the x-ray done. I went back to the office to wait for the results.

The doctor walked out, knelt down before me, and took my hands. She looked me in the eyes and said...

"It's broken. Spiral fracture of the right femur. I am SO sorry."

(to be cont... next Monday, of course!)

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