This morning’s jolt of adrenaline did not come from caffeine (the way I like it!). No, my “OK, I’m awake” moment today came from the sound of my baby girl sliding off the bed and hitting the hardwood floor. With her head.
She was hysterical. (I wasn’t too far behind her.) And off we went to the pediatrician’s office.
The rest of you mothers are always keeping secrets from us newbies – I know, I know…you don’t want to scare the crap out of us. Blah-blah-blah.
Newsflash: New parents are scared witless the majority of the time anyway, so maybe clue us in on how to check for head injuries, huh? That way we won’t want to run in circles screaming when we get to the doctor’s office.
I was planning a webinar today with #myWANA pals and I had to email and tweet to them about what happened, and what I’d be doing instead. (Click here for the definition of #myWANA – the short version is We Are Not Alone, and that was certainly proved to me in Technicolor today.)
Here’s a breakdown of the pediatrician visit (I didn’t say any of the text in parentheses out loud, although I REALLY wanted to):
Nurse’s Aid: Has she vomited?
Me: (What??! Vomited? Holy crap, is that going to start now?) No.
N.A.: OK. The doctor will be right in. [Peering down at the baby who’s now sleeping.] Isn’t she cute?
The next 5-10 minutes were spent:
- Waiting for the doctor.
- Watching baby girl sleep.
- Searching her face for bruises.
- Tweeting with #myWANA pals.
- Trying to stop being twitchy.
Dr. Wong arrived and introduced herself. She was a very nice lady, but not my usual pediatrician because they fit me in (you know, to check for potential head injuries).
Dr. W: Has she puked?
Me: (Thank God she hasn’t puked. What if she starts puking? That’s two of them now! What’s up with all this puking business???) No.
Dr. W: Did she pass out?
Me: Noooo…(Unless she’s passed out now. I THINK she’s sleeping…OMG, OMG.) Should I wake her up?
Dr. W: No, it will be easier to check her while she’s sleeping. [She feels the baby’s head.] Mm-hmm. Yeah. Uh-hah. [Poke-poke, pat-pat.]
Me: Is everything OK?
Dr. W: Her head seems fine.
Dr. W: Feel here, at the top of her head, where it’s flat. That’s her soft spot. You always want to feel there to see if it’s bulging.
Dr. W: If it’s bulging, that’s bad. It means there’s swelling on the brain and you need to bring her in right away.
Me: (Swelling on the brain? WTF! Do I need to check the top of her head every two hours now?) So, do I need to keep checking to be sure the soft spot stays flat?
Dr. W: Just keep an eye on it.
Me: (Like I’ll be doing anything else now that you said that.)
She proceeded to check Baby Girl’s reflexes and manipulate her arms and legs. When the baby woke up, the doctor shined a light in her eyes and moved a stuffed Elmo to watch the baby track it.
Dr. W: She seems to be fine but I’ll give you our handout on head injuries so you know what to look for.
Me: (SEEMS to be fine?? Head injuries? I’ll be looking for a big glass of wine if this keeps up). So, what all did you just look for.
Dr. W: I checked to be sure that her pupils are the same size and that they contract at the same rate. I checked to be sure that there’s no fluid drainage coming from her nose, ear or mouth.
I must have given her a blank look about then because she elaborated (drilling spikes of sheer terror into MY brain).
Dr. W: That’s cerebrospinal fluid and we see it a lot when kids fracture their skull. You need to bring her in if you see any clear fluid coming from her nose or ears.
Me: (Oh, my Jesus. I really don’t think I can take any more.)
Dr. W: Here’s the list of things to look for when your baby gets a head injury. (Dr. W circled a list of SEVEN bullet points.) She’s moving her arms and legs and seems just fine. Is she talking?
Me: (What?) A few words here and there.
Dr. W: Be sure to call us if you notice she is losing any of her words or if her speech decreases.
I was feeling a bit dizzy about then, but I thanked the doctor and left.
After finally getting a cup of coffee and something to eat for the day, I came home and Googled head injuries and read the Wikipedia page. It actually made me feel better to see it in black and white, especially since Baby Girl isn’t doing most of what the Wiki page talks about.
I let my husband and #myWANA pals know she’s fine and that all’s well around the Hansen House. You all made me feel SO much better – it was very clear that I was NOT ALONE.
As a thank you, I’m going to give you a quick shout-out right here (go check out the blogs of these amazing, compassionate writers!):
Jen Greyson: The Survival Mama
Jill Kemerer: Exiting Safe. Chasing Fantastic.
Sharon Louise: Travel, Spies, & Sexy Guys
Shellie Sakai: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Tiffany A. White: Things That Make You Go “Ooo”
Through it all, baby girl has stayed in a fairly good mood and now she’s walking her little car around the house.
I need some wine…I need a vacation. I need a nap!
Who else has had the stuffing scared out of them lately? Was it kids, work or your own imagination? Someone comment and take my mind off my day, will you?
Remember: I love hearing from you! To show that love, I launched the Let’s Meet Up (for Training) contest this month. Winners for the first webinar are announced on May 17th! Everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. Everyone who does not win a spot in the May webinar will be entered in the June webinar. Same thing for July. There are forty-five spots for the taking and I want to see one of them go to everyone who wants one!
Till next time,