Thursday, September 25, 2008

I've been disqualified as mother of the year 2008*

Yep. It's official. I am out of the running.

Last night I was horsing around with Madeline before dinner and I swung her side to side by her arms. I was holding on to her wrists. She was smiling ear to ear but once I put her down she started crying. I had put her down because I thought to myself "I am going to hurt her I shouldn't swing her by her arms." Opps. I was too little to late.

I put her in her high chair because it was time for dinner anyway and that is when I noticed that she didn't want to use her arms. I called the Ped and they suggested waiting and watching but when I explained to them that she cried (like, CRIED) when I moved her arms, they suggested I take her to the ER.

At this point I had already been in tears. I hurt my baby girl! I was both sad and embarrassed. When they said 'ER' I lost it. Part of me doesn't even want to blog this story because of the embarrassment. I mean I feel like I totally should have known better. I felt as if I was going to get to the ER and the staff was going to report me to DFS- or have the hospital social worker in my room STAT. This is only exacerbated by the fact that my mother, in an attempt at humor, asked if they were going to hotline me. (I am smiling now Mom.)

So why do you ask am I blogging? I hope to save at least one other new (or experienced) mother the heartache of hurting their child like this.

So what happened? When we got to the ER the RN in triage (doesn't that word just make your skin crawl? Triage...) said it was most likely Nursemaid's elbow. The doctor confirmed that, but because she still wasn't using her arms after his exam he wanted to get some x-rays to rule out breaks. Three and a half hours, some tylonol and 6 x-rays later we got the answer that she had no visible breaks and that the nursemaid's elbow had likely resulted in elbow sprains. Yep, sprainS, it was both of her arms. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

She fell asleep in the car on the way home and slept through the night. As of this morning she is doing just fine. She is using both of her arms and I haven't noticed her in any pain or with restricted motion at all.

So after feeling totally guilty for hurting my little baby girl, I made her some promises. First, I would never swing her by her arms again. (I hope you all make this promise too.) Second, I would make her pancakes for breakfast. (Which I did and they were yummy. Mmmm... guilt pancakes...) And finally I think I may have promised her a puppy. (I think we might have to settle for a stuffed one though.)

*Alternate post title: My First... trip to the ER :(



Michelle said...

I know I don't have words to assuage your mother's guilt, but if this is the worst harm that has come to Madeline in the last year you are doing awesome. Seriously. Also, on the upside, she likely won't remember this incident (though I'm sure you will never forget it). And finally, as your mom pointed out--they didn't call family services. :)

Molly said...

What MGK neglected to say is that her very first trip to the ER was for the exact same thing. It happened when a teenaged visitor attempted to dress her and forced her arm into a tight sweat shirt. So, although I didn't have the direct guilt of hurting my baby girl, I was still responsible for her well-being and thus riddled with guilt. I was also worried at the hospital that they would hotline me... they ask you ALL THESE QUESTIONS all the while checking your baby head to toe (for tell tale bruises, scars, burn marks, pin pricks, signs of obvious neglect...)

It's a nerve wracking experience. But look! My baby girl survived to afflict the same ordeal on her own family!

Sorry, Mutz... you know how I am. Twisted sense of humor and all...

Kelli said...

Elle has nursemaid's elbow too! It stinks. Our Doc told us that since it has happened will most likely happen again. careful. We make sure that Elle's babysitters (and grandparents) know about it. Next time you're at you Doc's office, they can show you how to put the elbow back where it needs to be (Ugh, i hate it. That's why it is my husband's job).

Supposedly they outgrow it!

Elliot said...

Come on, the X-Ray didn't make it "all better"?

But seriously, Mo, you're doing a great job. I'm sure it's been brought to your attention now that this happens to many toddlers. It's part of growing up.

Noted: No more swinging her madly like a helicopter blade above my head holding only to her right wrist. I mean...I never did such a thing...

Adrienne said...

Thank you for sharing your story so that I won't make the same mistake. I appreciate that. I will let you know what I do to my baby so you won't make my mistakes. (That didn't sound bad, did it?)

If it helps, Alexander almost fell off the changing table yesterday. And I discovered that one reason why he likes to stand and look out the open (screened) windows is so he can eat the dead bugs. He is such a boy! Personally, I would think that you are in the running for the "real" mother of the year.

themurderhour said...

Yeah, I've heard about this, as my sister-in-law did the same thing. Let me also warn you that once it has happened, it can more easily happen again-as my sister-in-law found out the 2nd time when she was just holding his hand and walking. The ER nurse up here taught her how to "snap" it back in so she wouldn't have to keep bringing him in! It lasted about a year.
PS: Guilt is a useless emotion! You, my dear, are WAY better than that!

themurderhour said...

another member of my family asked,
"What? No pics of the ER?"

Profbaugh said...

Okay, I have an even worse story. My three kids, 4, 2 and 1 were jumping on the bed. I made the mistake of going to the bathroom. Suddenly I heard a yell and cry. The youngest had fallen off the bed and was now wailing away. The other two were singing, "Three little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and broke his head!" I did not find it amusing.

Long story short, we rushed to Cardinal Glennon. Best friend met me there and took the other two to her house. After an exam they sent us home. Nothing wrong with him.

Seven days later hubby takes the youngest to the pediatrician's office while I'm working. And then I get the dreaded call. My baby's arm had a buckle break. I sobbed and tried to get ready to teach my next class. Not sure to this day how I made it through that class.

Everything turned out fine except for the Barney Purple cast! (never send you hubby to pick out a cast color).

So no matter how careful you are, kids have accidents. It's just part of life.

Oh and by the way, we never went back to Cardinal Glennon--who missed a broken arm! Some things can be forgiven, but not forgotten!!

Take care and know you're in good company with the rest of us moms!

Much love,

bridget said...

mo...i'm sure you remember your cousin ryan's many many ear infections. well i got the bad mother of the year award on a sunday afternoon when he kept complaining that his ear hurt. we were in the car in ballwin and had a long drive home...even stopped for ice cream to "take his mind off of it". every time he moaned or cried i'd say "crying won't get us home faster" know it's hard to drive with a crying kid in the car! we got home and i put perscription eardrops in and had him lay down. marty and i went out to the patio and had beverages! sitting on the patio i could still hear him moaning, etc so i went in and asked him "are you really in that much pain or are you making more of it than you should?" he suggested he was being dramatic maybe. so outside i went to the patio until i couldn't stand him crying anymore and called the doctor's exchange (remember it's a sunday which is why i didn't call the doctor immediately...i'm not that uncaring!) they had me take him to the ER where he was examined and i was asked how long he had been complaining (uh...5 hours...i felt like the worst mom ever). that's when they told me that his eardrum had burst and "that's REALLLLLY painful".

so, maureen, i feel your pain. love, aunt b.

Christy said...

Now don't feel bad! And actually you are not disqualified in my book. I always think you look like a fab mom whenever I visit this blog. It's apparently very common for this to happen. And...atleast you didn't do what I did the other day. Carve an early jack-o-lantern. Well, not just that, I went to get my 4 yr. old a glass of milk and left the carving knife by the pumpkin! GENIUS! So he tried to carve it himself and cut his hand. Luckily no stitches or ER needed but it could have been so much worse because I am stupid! No one is allowed to be reading this except for Maureen. I am still horrified by this and there was much ice cream and sprinkles following the incident. Ugh. I'm worse, I promise. I SWEAR I am usually overly cautious but had some kind of overly stupid moment. (I deleted this several times before undoing the delete and putting it back up.)

Jodie Allen said...

2 things...

1. I had nursemaids elbow as a kid from the same thing. the first time it was a teacher at my preschool, then my dad and a few others. anyway, they did teach my parents how to pop it back it i guess. to make you feel better though, I don't remember any of it! Also, I guess my ped told my parents that if I strengthened my arm muscles it would help it go away faster so my dad put a metal pole in our back yard, like a fireman pole, and every day he made me climb it. By the time I was in grade school I could scale a pole like no one's business! :) AND, in fifth grade I was the ONLY kid to win the presidential fitness award b/c I was the only kid (counting the boys too!) who could climb to the top of the rope! :) Super strength arms!

2. To make you feel better... in 4th grade I was doing a cherry drop, hit my heel and told my parents I thought I broke my foot. They said I was fine. A WEEK later I had a softball game and being the pitcher I had to step on my hurt foot with every pitch. By the 5th inning I was in tears and my dad, the coach, took my out yelling at me. That night they took me to Children's and the whole way there told me what they'd do when nothing was wrong and I'd wasted their whole night. On the way home with a cast up to my knee for my broken foot I was promised ice cream for the rest of my life and I got to miss school for a few days! :) I still don't let them live that one down!!!