Saturday, August 2, 2008


Yesterday did not go as planned. The morning went well. Gideon woke me up a little earlier than I would have liked but that just meant that I got to shower before the rest of the kids got up. I got us all a quick breakfast and got to work making chocolate chip cookies. My friend Nora was due to have a c-section that day and we were all anxious to welcome little Sarah Olivia and I intended to come bearing gifts. What better for the tired parents than yummy, soft cookies. That's what I would want anyway (except for after having Zion I really wanted a big ol' steak).

After making the cookies I was going to blog a congratulations to my wonderful husband who put on Lieutenant Commander that day (congrats, Honey, sorry I failed to post!) and go shopping for a few items among other things.

Gideon was actually taking a nap and doing it in his crib (we're working on both those things). I was two sheets into the cookies (luckily not two sheets to the wind - ha ha) and had two more ready to go in the oven when he woke up. In heading up the stairs to get him I realized that I had forgotten to close the baby gate to the stairs and Zion had beat me up there. She was really excited to be helping me get the baby but did NOT want to go back downstairs. Even the mention that the cookie I had promised her was waiting at the bottom could not convince her. Three steps down the stairs she became even more adamant and went into prime tantrum mode. She was just getting full into throwing herself to the ground when I felt a quick "pop pop" in the hand I was holding. Zion's face went white and she started crying pathetically "ow, ow, ow!" She seemed to recover quickly but not fully and her arm appeared to be dangling quite lifelessly by her side. At that point I uttered a word that I won't put into type because this is a family sight.

Just to be sure that something really was wrong I took her into the kitchen and held up the cookie. She didn't take it. Just every few minutes uttered "ow, ow". I called her pediatrician to find out if I should go there or the emergency room and they said the ER. Oh boy. Three kiddos four and under one of whom is stoically and limply laying in my arms and refusing to let me put her down was just a little too much for me. I started frantically making calls to people who might be able to watch Gabe. Since I couldn't ditch my injured baby or my nursling it had to be him. That was a frustrating process since I was trying to ready Zion to go, Gideon was screaming, had to get the diaper bag ready, have Gabe get dressed and by that time my stomach was really turning over at the sight of her poor limp arm and her pained face. Not to mention the fact that no one was answering their phones. Finally one of my neighbors picked up and promptly informed me that she was just stepping out the door to leave for Oregon. Ahhh!!! Once she heard what had happened though she and her dear family came down to get Gabe and help me get the other two in the car. Zion is so still that she appears sedated. She only moves or utters a word if you touch her left arm and even then only "ow, ow". My heart is breaking.

Fast forward to the ER. I walk past the full waiting room and stand in line to check in. A wonderful nurse stops and asks me who we're there for and why and when I tell her that it is Zion and I think her arm is broken or dislocated she takes us past all those folks and into the last empty room in the ER (sorry to all you folks we passed, I feel bad and yet I don't). We are first visited by Nurse Cole (a very cool red-headed guy) who tells us that they'll x-ray and then the doctor will come in. So there I am sitting on the hospital bed holding Zion with Gideon in his carrier on the end of the bed when he decides that he is done being entertained and wants to eat. Badly! With Zion taking up the majority of my lap I propped him on his knees next to me and nursed him that way. What a sight I'm sure! Gideon kept popping off and grinning at me like "This is the weirdest thing you've ever done Mama! I like it!"

Ten or so minutes later (we're done nursing) Dr. Brooks comes in and tells me it's likely Nursemaid's Elbow a common dislocation in this age of child. He reassures me that he must see at least one a day (he's very kind to worried mamas like me). I'm informed that he's canceling the x-rays and simply going to put the elbow back in. Yeah right. Attempt one. He grabs and twists and she cries and I nearly do. He stops and says he'll check back in a few and likely she'll be back to normal. After a minute or two, once she's calmed down I take her pink dog away from her and ask her to take it back. She doesn't.

In a little while Dr. B comes back for attempt two. Second verse, same as the first. She still won't reach for the dog. This time when Dr. B comes back he reorders the x-ray. More waiting. When the nurse comes he just lifts the brakes on the whole darn bed and all three of us, me holding Zion and Gideon back in his carrier, down the long halls to x-ray. More waiting and then it's our turn. One tech takes Gideon behind the wall while I help position my poor baby under the light. Now she adds another word to "ow". It's "Mama" in the saddest tone with the most hurtful look. There's no way for her to know why I'm hurting her so. More heartbreak on my part. After the shots they wheel us back to our room in the ER. During all this we have created quite the sensation. People, patients and staff, keep stopping by to admire the pretty girl with red hair and her adorable baby brother (I'm not saying it - they did!).

More waiting before we see Dr. B again and this time he tells me there's no break (thank God!) but that he'll need to wrench on the elbow again. My stomach sinks. He says if it doesn't work this time that he'll send her home in a sling and she'll need to see her pediatrician the next day after the swelling in the tissues has gone down. Oy! This time her really cranks on it, she screams and squirms, I hold my eyes shut and hold her as tightly as I can. Finally after what seems like forever he stops and says he'll be back to check on her again in a few minutes. This time I can see a difference right away. She doesn't want to move her arm but as soon as the doctor let go she wrapped it around her pink dog.

After giving her a few minutes I test her with her precious bink, popping it out of her mouth and dangling it a few inches away by the ribbon clip. This time she grabs it and pops it back in her mouth. A minute or two later and she's a silly monkey jumping on the bed. I've got her by the back of her britches trying to keep her from falling off onto her head - I have no interest in remaining in the ER! Her next word? This time it's "cup?". Darn. I didn't even think to bring her cup.

Dr. B pops back in to verify that the elbow's back in and, get this, to show me how to put it back in should it happen again. Hate to disappoint you Dr. B but this Mama has no stomach for the cranking on of out of socket baby arms. If it happens again we'll be right back in the ER. And finally Nurse Cole comes by again (as well as the nurse who scooted us in ahead of the others, such a sweetie to check on us, I'm sorry I didn't get her name) and he discharges us.

Home we go, four hours after getting there, to meet Gabe and Jamie who dropped everything to drive down and get Gabe so the neighbors could go on their way. I text Rob, who was being flown from San Diego to Ft. Bragg and was calling on layovers for updates the last one being during the x-ray process. "Dislocated - back in & back home". I love how texting is so very reminiscent of telegraphs. The kiddos get naps and I get to finish the cookies. We even get to squeeze in a visit to my friend and her precious baby Sarah.

All in all a long day with a lot of my to-do list remaining undone and nothing happening how I planned but my baby is back to normal and that is a huge blessing. Congratulations to you Rob for your promotion! Congratulations to Nora, Matthew, Jonathan, and Isaac on new baby Sarah! Thank you so much Shawnee and family for helping me with Gabe! Thank you so much Jamie for driving the long way to help me also! Thank you to the nurse who put a rush on us so we didn't have to add hours of waiting to our time there! Thank you finally to Nurse Cole and Dr. Brooks for putting my baby right again! Oh yes, and to the x-ray techs who helped with Gideon and took the pictures of Zion!


Marfa said...

Gosh...I feel for you. Thank got the Doc got her arm back "in"...I've heard of such a thing before, but never happened to us. I remember when my Rob was deployed, 3 AM both girls awake and crying with high fevers, Tylenol not cutting it, I take them in their PJs one on each hip into the ER. Ends up being strep. They gave us liquid Motrin, which cut the pain and got us through the night. I don't know how single moms do it....

Shari said...

What a day, Julie! That happened to me once with Grace, only it was at McDonalds and she didn't want to leave. I was holding her hand and she just dropped her weight while throwing the tantrum, leaving all of her weight on the arm I was holding. It was bad, but it ended up ok. Way to hang in there!