Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Rite of Passage

We made our first trip to the ER at Children’s Hospital last week.

We met up with my aunt and cousin for breakfast & the playground—after bagels at our favorite little place we headed down to the Tot Lot to let the kids play. While Jack slept in the double stroller, the kids ran around & played on the swings & the slide. My cousin is 6 and LOVES to play with Liam. She’s so sweet with him & likes to “help” him—she likes to pick him up, even though he’s practically as big as she is! 

We’d played for a few hours & were just starting to discuss leaving and heading to lunch. There was a curb that separated the mulched playground area from the benches and the kids were heading towards us. My cousin tried to help Liam over the curb, lost her footing & they both went tumbling. Liam fell backwards, hitting the ground first on his back & my cousin fell on top of him.

For a second he was stunned, then he started screaming. I rushed over to get him & picked him up. I held him & patted his back, and said, “You’re ok,” while “Shhhhing” him. That’s when my aunt said, “Stef?” and pointed to the back of Liam’s head. I pulled my hand away & saw blood. It wasn’t much—a spot about an inch wide and two inches long, but I FREAKED out.

My baby + blood coming from his head = absolute panic.

My aunt, luckily, was very calm. (She’s a nurse!) She told me that he was going to be fine but that I should go ahead and have him checked out. Shaking, I dug through the diaper bag to find my keys and wallet. She kept Jack & I ran with Liam to the car.

The drive was horrible. Liam screamed at the top of his lungs the whole way, which broke my heart, but I was actually a little thankful for because I knew he was alert. The lunchtime traffic was terrible & there were a million detours due to roadwork. I called Rob on the way and told him to meet us there. I sobbed the entire way until we finally made it.

The staff was kind & they got us through triage & into a room really quickly—Liam screamed while he had his temperature taken, his pulse measured and his weight recorded. We had given him a bottle of water & he threw it on the floor. All of it seemed like a good sign that he probably had a massive headache, but was doing ok.

The nurse came in & wet some gauze to try to clean up the blood that had dried in his hair. He was hysterical the whole time, but she finally was able to see the cut. It was a small abrasion with some swelling around it. The attending & the resident doc came in to look & said that it appeared to be clotting without issue so stitches were not necessary—and that the swelling was not significant enough to need a CAT scan. So, they said that we needed to stay for observation for four hours, then we could go home.

I didn’t have a diaper. No toys. No snacks or sippy cups. Everything I have was in my diaper bag that I’d left with my aunt. I was in a bit of a panic about being stuck in this tiny room with a hungry & tired toddler for the next 3 ½ hours! Rob left to go get us some lunch and came back with chicken fingers, fries, apples and milk which entertained him for a while. (Then Rob had to go into work.) The hospital brought us a diaper. I turned on the tv and 30 minutes later, Liam was dancing around the room. What a relief!

The doctor came back in the room to check on us a few times, then after 3 hours they discharged us. My sweet little boy was asleep before I could even pull out of the parking lot.

Looking back, it’s easy to wonder if I overreacted… but I think with a head injury, you just go to the ER. Period. I’d rather take him 100 times and have him be fine every time than risk what could happen if I assumed he was fine when he wasn’t. The ER docs seconded that.

Here are some pics from our little adventure that day:

 {Admittance Bracelet}

 {Entertaining himself with the "wheels"}
 {"my milk"}

 {Fun with gloves!}
 {Burger King of the ER}

 {Long Day}

 {Adorable apology from my cousin-- "Dear Liam, I am very sorry for what I did at the tot lot. Love, Leighton."}

So very thankful that he’s ok. It took me a day or two (& several Ativan) to settle down from the panic. I’m sure that will be our first of many trips to the ER with two boys, but I’m hoping that our next visit isn’t for a LONG time. I don’t think my mama heart can take it!