Thursday, April 14, 2011
Scariest day of my life.
George is fine. That's just a good way to start this story.
So yesterday I went to go get the mail. That's another way to start this story. I wish that was the beginning of a terribly boring story, but boring stories don't end with stitches and black eyes and emergency room visits and fearing for your baby's life. Whoops! Belated spoiler alert!
I was carrying George in a sling as I was walking back to the house. I tripped over the curb - who the hell trips? - and discovered that as you fall to the ground while holding your six week old baby, you have a frightening amount of time to think. And get scared. And do your best to break your fall with your free hand, the hand in front of the sling, and your face.
Oh my god. I really cannot even tell you how awful it was. There was blood everywhere, and my glasses were broken so I could barely see a thing. George was crying, and I could not even see well enough to tell if he was okay. I started screaming for help. And no one came.
With no idea where my cellphone was and no way to see well enough to look for it, I ran into our house, hoping that by setting off the alarm that help would be sent. Then I went to the neighbor's house to ask to use their phone so I could call 911, have them check the baby, and call my husband.
Our neighbor's poor kid opened the door. Facial wounds bleed a lot, so I don't even want to think about the mess that kid had to look at. I asked him if his parents were home, trying not to hyperventilate. His sweet mother, who barely speaks English, came to the door. It all gets blurry after that. She took George from my shaking arms, looked him over as I frantically asked if he was okay, and she pronounced him fine. Her husband handed me a Blackberry I didn't know how to operate. Their son ended up dialing 911 for me. After that, I asked them to come to my house with me so I could look for my phone and insurance cards.
The ambulance arrived quickly, and there were so many paramedics. Maybe there were two ambulances? In the end, we only used one. Half of the paramedics attended George, and the other half tried to attend to me, but I insisted they all check the baby before even looking at me. George was crying since it was time to eat, he was alert and looking around, and absolutely everyone assured me they were not worried about him in the slightest.
They looked at my hands and my wrist, which was swelling pretty nicely by that point. They looked at the cuts on my face and tried to assess if I had broken my cheek. When they asked what hospital I wanted to go to, I said Arnold Palmer for Children. I needed more people to tell me George was okay.
Poor Rob. I called him a couple of times before he answered. Who on earth wants to receive a call that begins, "They say the baby is fine, but I might not be." He has an amazing fortitude for staying calm and seemed to take it all in stride. He left work to meet us at the hospital.
The hospital was more of the same - people looking at George and pronouncing him fine. I kept crying. Accident is such a terrible term - it's not a magical word that mysteriously alleviates all guilt. I still feel terrible. George has a little scrape on his head, maybe 1/10th the size of my pinky nail - I would need a macro lens to even photograph it. I hate that scrape.
His onesie was covered in my blood. When we finally got home, I tossed it on the floor of his bedroom. It's still there. I don't know what to do with it, so I'm just leaving it there.
I am fine. After lots of poking and prodding and stitches and x-rays, nothing was discovered to be fractured. I was worried about my hands and wrist because I so badly wanted to be able to do everything I can to take care of the baby. Today I'm working on getting back in the saddle - we drove to my six-week postpartum visit, and I will walk to the mailbox with him later today.
When we were at the hospital, I told Rob I do not want to have anymore kids. This is terrible, to have your heart live outside of your body.
Wow, what a negative story so far, huh? Here's the upside: I am so grateful. I am grateful it wasn't worse. I am grateful my baby was fine and most concerned about his feeding time being messed with. I am grateful he was in a sling so my hands were somewhat free to break our fall (along with my face). I am grateful for Rob and his sense of humor. I'm grateful for my own mother's strength, who had to start her day by putting down her cat and end it by seeing her daughter and grandson in the ER. I am grateful I am able to force myself to get out today, because the alternative of hiding from the world would not do any of us any good.
Yesterday really sucked, guys. Today is better.