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,
I would bring you that bottle of wine myself if I wasn’t all the way in Texas! That picture yanks at my heart…Baby Girl is gorgeous! Thank you for the blog love – we’re our own WANA family! Sending love your way…and I’ll have a glass of that wine!
Thanks, Tiffany! I appreciate you all talking me off the ledge all day today. I’ve got a 6 pm appt. THEN I can have wine. 🙂
I am so glad she’s okay, Jenny! She’s such a cutie in her little car.
Have you had a chance to take a deep breath or two or twenty? 🙂
I’m glad our WANA group was a help to you today. You’ve always been such a great help to the rest of us!
Thanks for the shoutout!
Sorry I missed your scare…I’d have set your mind at ease as much as one can in a situation like that.
I’ve got four boys, I know the ER staff on a first name basis, well, it feels like that sometimes. #3 also took a fall off a bed…on Mother’s Day :eye roll: Thankfully, my mother, a retired RN, was there thus saving us a trip to the doctor. Babies are so resilient it is amazing.
I feel I need to make a comment about the walker though. If babies spend too much time in there (this applies to the Johnny Jump-up things too) development can be delayed. It’s more important for a baby to spend time on the floor without “crutches” so they can develop the muscles needed for crawling, then walking. Every doctor is different but my rule of thumb when the wee beasties were babies was 1/2 hour to 2 hours of floor time and never more than 2 hours total per day. You can tell me to stick it in my ear, I know unsolicited advice can be the worst, and I won’t be offended.
You’re very sweet, Raelyn! Hopefully it will ease your mind to know that she was never interested in more than 15-20 mins at a time in ANY of those things. The car is exciting because she pushes it up and down the hall. Same with the stroller and the walking toy she got for her birthday. This baby likes to GO (as evidenced by the tumble off the bed)!
Glad she’s okay.
Oh Honey, your first injury – you’ll never forget it, but I promise someday you’ll laugh about it. I’ll tell you what, since I’m such a giver, I’ll go have a glass of wine FOR you – because you’re gonna be busy looking for spinal fluid. I’m not laughing, promise.
So sorry for your scare, and Baby Girl’s pain.
It’s OK if you’re laughing (since she’s fine and all). Every person I’ve talked to who ISN’T a newbie parent has found this blog to be as hilarious as I thought it would be.
I saw this on the emails (on my DUMB phone) but since Internet was down, couldn’t respond. Sooooo glad baby’s okay. And though it doesn’t come close to having a human baby with potential trauma, I get palpitations every time one of the fur-kids has problems. *weak smile* Wine sounds like a very good suggestion!
Amy! It’s so great to see you (despite that crappy Verizon service you’re getting)!
I worried a lot about my Baby Doggie, Hoshi, but she never really got hurt or was sick until old age set in. So this constant array of new ways to be jacked up that comes with babies has been stressful, though parenting IS loads of fun. I think that’s true whether your kids are furry or human.
Such a cute picture! I’m so glad she’s okay. These children will be the death of us all, I’m convinced of it! I spend so much energy worrying over mine…
I love that pic too. I am slowly adjusting to that wonderfully awful feeling of having my heart walk around outside my body. You have a few more kids than I do and so does Raelyn, who also commented. I only have a glimmer of the mental adjustments that required you to make, but I’m seriously impressed!
Thanks for commenting!
Glad to hear the baby is ok. Being a new parent is very stressful but it’s rewarding, too. Hold every moment close, even the bad ones. It’s all precious and I’m speaking as a mom who has gone thru many surgeries and one car accident with both her daughters.
One phenomenon to watch out for is when they stop breathing. My youngest ran into a wall and cried so hard she passed out. She turned blue. Talk about being terrified! The hospital kept her overnight for observation but she was fine.
What upset me is my sister in law’s pediatrician told her about this phenomenom because she had a boy and evidentally it’s more common in them but girls can have it happen, too. They lose their breath if they cry hard enough and it causes them to black out.
So when Tracey did it again (not the running into the wall but crying and I can’t remember why now) several months later I understood what was going on. This time I did see what happened. It’s the longest minute or so I’ve ever lived. She was crying then lost consciousnes and then turned blue. There was no breath or movement. The next thing I knew she took a breath and opened her eyes. She was very quiet for awhile but ok.
She is still prone to passing out though it has decreased as she’s gotten older. Not fun to watch but she takes it in stride better than I do. She’s been checked out on many occasions. Nothing’s wrong, it’s just one of those things.
Take care and give the baby a hug for me.
Oh my goodness, Angela! Surgeries and car accidents? That is SO hard. I am really enjoying new parenthood. We only get one baby so I’m trying to wring every drop of joy from the experience that I can.
Bless your heart. I pray you’re very blessed and there’s nothing like that in your baby girl’s future. That being said just realize if it happens it’s what makes your family grow and becomes a part of who you all are. I prefer to think it’s made us all stronger and closer. My oldest, who is still going through a lot and will continue to do so for the rest of her life, is proof of that. She’s my little engine that could and does.