Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Baby A's Injury

First, I want to start off by saying that I believe in God. I know that He hears and answers our prayers. I also believe in miracles and I believe we witnessed one in the past couple of days. Finally, I believe in "Mother's Intuition". And I'm grateful for it all.

It starts on my birthday. We're sitting at the table having dinner. Jeff's dad is at the head of the table, on the left side of him sits Jeff's mom and beside her, Lisa. On the right side of Jeff's dad, sits Jeff, then Caleb in his booster seat, me, and finally, Adelaide who was buckled in her high chair. We were enjoying a nice dinner, but it became apparent that there was no birthday cake for me. I started unbuckling Adelaide to get her out of her seat and while I was doing so, Jeff and his dad were talking about what to do about a cake. Not wanting me to hear their plans, Jeff said, "Don't you have to use the bathroom?"I decided that I did and so I got up and headed to the bathroom, not even thinking to tell anyone that I had unbuckled Adelaide.

Before I could even finish in the bathroom, I hear a scream and a "Get her!" Then I hear Adelaide crying. I rush into the kitchen to learn that Adelaide had stood up in her high chair and fell backwards, head first, hitting her head on the hardwood floor and landing sideways. Lisa had seen her fall, but was frozen and too afraid to move her. Jeff slowly rolled her over picked her up, also concerned that she may have hurt herself. When I came into the room, I took her into my arms. She continued to cry/ whimper and had a difficult time keeping her eyes open. She lay her head on my chest and opened and closed her eyes slowly and continued to cry for awhile. Jeff's dad had gotten out a flashlight to check her pupils. They were round, equal and dilated so we knew that was a good sign. When she had calmed down, I put her on the ground to see if she could walk. She immediately started crying, so I picked her back up to allow her some more time.

Before no time, she seemed perfectly fine. I nursed her, Jeff and his dad went to pick up a cake. We all had some cake, then we had a little dance party. Adelaide even danced and laughed. I did notice that her head was a little red where she had landed, but that was all.

Jeff and I went to the gym where we signed up for a gym membership, then we worked out for a little bit, used the massage chairs and then came home. When we got home, Adelaide was crying in her bed. Jeff ran up and got her and handed her to me. We noticed she seemed warm. She had coughed a couple times earlier that evening, but nothing to sneeze at.

I remarked that her head probably hurt and asked Jeff's parents to pray for her. When Jeff and I prayed, I asked him to pray for her as well. I told him that whenever the kids get hurt, I always pray that they will suffer no lasting effects from the injury. I asked him to do the same for Adelaide, which he did.

I lay down with her in my bed, nursed her, and I think I put her in her bed. But, whether I did or not, doesn't really matter, because ultimately she ended up in my bed where she stayed. She cried and moaned and groaned and tossed and turned all throughout the night. In my sleepy state, I knew something must not be right, so each time I was awakened by her moving and moaning, I prayed for her. Each time, which meant that I pretty much prayed for her throughout the night. By the early morning hours, I felt impressed that I should ask Jeff to give her a priesthood blessing. I didn't want to forget, or I was being reminded several times, but each time I woke up that morning, which was a lot, I kept thinking, "I need to ask Jeff to give her a blessing". So the first thing I said to Jeff when I saw him was to ask for a blessing for Adelaide. Jeff asked his dad to assist and they gave her a blessing yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

Jeff went onto work and we carried on with our morning. Adelaide seemed fussy a little throughout the day, but she also felt feverish and she was coughing more and breathing loudly, by this point. She wanted to be held a lot off and on. She would play for a little while and then want to be held for awhile or she'd be fussy for awhile.

Around 1 o'clock, I looked at Adelaide's head and noticed that it was swollen. Crystal, Evan's sister (Evan is Jeff's brother), was over and so I mentioned to her that I thought her head looked swollen. She said that she hadn't noticed, but that she hadn't really paid much attention to her head. So, I thought maybe I was just paranoid. But I just couldn't shake it and everytime I looked at it, it really did look swollen to me. Crystal started looking up things online (she's a trained nurse, too) and Lisa concurred that she, too, though it looked swollen. I decided to call her pediatrician's office, which I did, and left a message for the advice nurse to call me back. A little while later, the nurse called back. I explained, that she seemed to be acting normal, except for some fussiness, which could be due to the fact that her head might still hurt from the fall and that she appeared to be getting sick. She asked how high up she was (about 4 feet). She explained that if the swollen area was 2 inches around or up, then she needed to be seen. I told her my husband would be home soon, and I'd have him look at it, because I didn't want to over react. She said to call if I was concerned or had more questions.

Crystal looked at her head again and this time could tell that it was indeed swollen. I sent a couple of photos to Jeff, asked a friend what she thought, but still wasn't sure.

I showed Jeff's mom and dad. His mom said to take her in for piece of mind. His dad said that she was probably fine.

Jeff finally arrived home around 4. Adelaide still had a fever and was fussy, so around 5 we gave her some Tylenol and a little later, I called the on-call nurse again. I just couldn't shake the feeling that we should take her in, even though she wasn't really showing any symptoms of head trauma. I wanted to know if she thought we could wait until the morning and just take her to her peds. office. She told me about a famous actress or something who had a skiing accident, thought her head was fine, and didn't discover that there were problems until too late (why did she tell me that, as if I wasn't already worried). So, I asked if she thought I could just take her to Patient First and see what they think. She agreed that'd be a good course of action. I told Jeff that I thought we should take her. He said that she was probably fine and that it makes sense that it's swollen some because she fell on her head. I also called my mom and asked her opinion and talked to my friend a little more. They all thought she should be seen. I just want to interject here, that notice the men didn't seem too concerned, but the woman (all mothers) thought maybe she should be seen. I don't point this out to say that the men are wrong, in fact, I'm grateful for Jeff's level head because sometimes, I am too emotional and might overreact. But this just shows how fine tuned a mother's intuition can be and that it shouldn't be dismissed.

Okay, so we head to Patient First and wait about an hour before we're even seen. The doctor said that because she didn't sleep well the night before, because she moaned and groaned and because the swollen area was kind of large, that she'd just go to the hospital. She said they could do an x-ray, but might not see the damage, if there is any and so it would just make more sense to go to the hospital. She said she'd call ahead to let them know we were coming.

We went to VCU to the Pediatric ER. It took forever for us to be seen, but while we were waiting, Adelaide was in a pretty good mood. She was walking all over the place, imitating another little girl who was there, laughing, just having a grand ol' time. So we really thought she was perfectly fine and that perhaps it was pointless for us to even be there.

Finally, they had a bed for us. This is where the real nightmare begins.

Adelaide was going to need to have a CT scan done. So we waited for a few minutes and then the nurse took us back to get the scan done. They wrapped her up in a sheet and then lay her on the bed. I put on an x-ray shield and talked to her and played peek-a-boo while they did the scan, which by the way, she did awesome. Then we headed back to the exam room where we were told to wait while they looked at the scan. We were told it could take thirty minutes or more.

It didn't take that long at all. In fact, it was the quickest wait that we had throughout the entire ordeal. The doctor came in at about 11 to tell us that Adelaide had a fracture in her skull, but that it was a clean and stable fracture and that there was no bleeding. We couldn't even believe it. We were also told that they were going to have to admit her into the hospital, that she'd have to be watched and that a neurologist would come talk to us. Finally, we were told that CPS would also have to get involved and that it was protocol that they call CPS about things like this.

Several doctors came in and out to talk to us and hear the story and examine Adelaide. One doctor came in and looked over her entire body, even undoing her diaper to check her diaper area. It didn't even cross my mind that she was looking for signs of abuse, until Jeff told me that once she left. So when she came back, I asked her if that's what she was doing and she confirmed. Over the course of the next hour, several more people came in, including a quirky neurosurgeon and a social worker. They all wanted to hear the story. One of the doctors said, "I know they're giving you a hard time about not bringing her in until tonight..." What? We didn't know they were giving us a hard time.

Finally, at about 1:15, we got transferred upstairs to her room. The room was a shared room. There was another patient in there, no parents were with him and he was crying off and on while we were getting settled. They explained that Adelaide would need to be checked every four hours. I get the feeling that the neurosurgeon really felt like she was fine and that they wanted to observe her overnight, just to be sure- because some signs of head trauma come later and it was possible that she had a slow leak, but that they also really wanted to give CPS time to get involved.

Anyway, that night (last night), we did not sleep well at all. Adelaide did sleep some. She alternated sleeping in my arms with sleeping in the crib (I really wish I had realized that I could have gotten in with her, as the chair I tried sleeping on was not very comfortable at all.) The little roommate cried off and on throughout the night and by 5 o'clock, pretty much cried non-stop for several hours, so I really didn't get much sleep.

Adelaide stayed asleep during the exam at 8:30 by the doctor. Later, she awakened and seemed to be herself. I didn't think there was cause for concern. Jeff and Caleb came around 10:30. When they got there, we'd already been seen by another doctor, the nurse and a team of doctors and were playing in the playroom. We continued to play in the playroom for awhile, as there wasn't much else to do and our roommate continued to be quite fussy. Plus, the space that we had in the room was super tiny, I mean super tiny.

Finally, someone from the CPT team came to take pictures of Adelaide's head an to hear the story. She told us that the doctor would come up and talk to us later.

Hours past, nothing. At about 3:30, I asked the nurse to come in and check Adelaide's temperature. It was just 99.3, so not bad. At that point, Jeff asked the nurse if we could have an update. She said she'd page the doctor. She also said she'd come back to check Adelaide's temp again at 4, which was when she was supposed to check her stats anyway. The doc took awhile coming, so the nurse paged again. They both arrived around the same time. The doc said that she finally had somewhat of an update. The neuro folks saw no need for more imaging and she looked good to them. She said their team saw no need for more imaging, so she looked good to them also. She said that basically we just had to wait to hear back from CPS to see what they said- a call had been put in already, but they were waiting to hear back. So, basically, we were held hostage while CPS made a decision about our child who had been deemed medically unnecessary to be in the hospital.  I already felt terrible that I had allowed this to happen in the first place, that my sweet girl had a skull fracture and here they were keeping us until we heard back from CPS who would make the final call on whether or not she could go home. All of the questions, the waiting, it was horrible. And, to top it off, Adelaide started acting like she felt worse and worse with this cold- which it's looking to be like RSV which the doctor said is common this time of year and for her babies her age. She said there was nothing to do for it, really and that it will get worse before it gets better. What a double whammy.

We finally got to leave the hospital around 7pm. Adelaide's skull should be healed in about 4 weeks. She shouldn't have any complications, she not restricted in activity in anyway. I was just told to follow up with my pediatrician next week, which will probably be good anyway since she's sick.

This whole ordeal has been a nightmare. I'm embarrassed and feel so bad that Adelaide got hurt so badly. I feel bad that I didn't take her to the doctor right away. I just didn't know. But, I do have to say, this: I really feel like it was a miracle that she didn't get hurt more, that it wasn't bleeding. I think because I prayed for her all through the night and because she had a blessing yesterday morning before I even noticed the swelling, that that helped the situation to not be too serious. So, I'm trying to count my blessings. Also, Caleb spent a large portion at the hospital today and did awesome. So, I'm grateful for that, too.

Please continue to pray for my girl. She projectile vomited tonight and screamed until she fell asleep in my arms, I guess because she's not feeling well. It's so hard to see her sick. And please pray for me, too.

Please forgive me if this isn't well written. I seriously have not had much sleep in the last couple of days- so hopefully it's coherent.

If you made it this far, here are a couple of photos:

These first three photos are photos that I took with my cell phone to text Jeff to show him the swelling.

These next photos are taken at the hospital.
My sleepy girl and her rosy cheeks. 

You can see it's still swollen, but the swelling has gone down quite a bit. 

Looks good to me. She had fun playing in the playroom at the hospital.

These two are such troopers.

Happily playing with her brother.

This kid was awesome. For being in the hospital all day, he sure was well behaved. He took walks with mommy and daddy, played, ran around, read books.