The lump on my baby’s head

standard July 20, 2009 10 responses

It’s OK now. She’s OK now. But for a moment this afternoon I wasn’t convinced that would be the case.

It started with a ton of crying. Not Little L’s tears. M.J.’s tears. But really that’s not true either. It started with a fun afternoon at the beach. After which we decided to clean up in a hurry and grab a quick dinner before heading back over the hill to our respective homes.

C chucked her sippy cup towards her suitcase and somehow hit M.J.’s head instead. She buried herself under a couch cushion, devastated to have hurt her baby friend. M.J.’s parents did their best to comfort their inconsolable, very tired baby. M and I were running around cleaning. And Little L? Well, I don’t actually know what she was doing.

We all heard the thunk at the same time. When you have a gangly 4-year-old and a rambunctious almost 2-year-old there are always a lot of thunks or thuds. After a while you know which ones are worth investigating and which ones can be ignored. The dull, hollow sounding thunk this evening sounded very much like a head hitting something hard. Hitting something hard, hard. Something like the sharp edge of a plaster wall.

M reached Little L first, gathering her up from her prone position at the base of the wall. I got there a split second later, pulling her into my arms even before the first wail worked it’s way out of her throat. Her eyes stretched wide open and circled madly as she opened her mouth to let lose and I waited, holding my breath.

The amount of time that wail takes to come it directly proportionate to the extent of the injury. This wail took forever and a year. By the time her ear splitting shriek pierced my eardrum I was looking for blood.

I didn’t find any. Instead I found a lump on her forehead that was growing horrifyingly in front of my very eyes. I’ll admit I might have freaked. I yelled for M to get me some ice. I couldn’t stand to see that bump grow any bigger. It just didn’t seem possible that at some point the skin wouldn’t burst open and I really didn’t think I could handle that.

Once some ice had been applied I busied myself trying to look deep in Little L’s eyes. I’m no doctor, but I know that when it comes to head injuries the big things to look for are weird looking pupils, vomiting, and excessive sleepiness. Little L had no desire to let me look into her eyes. She was very focused on snuggling as closely as possible and fighting the ice pack. I didn’t give up. Neither did M.J.’s mom.

We both started intently at her pupils which reacted fine to the light. No vomit spewed forth. And despite having skipped her afternoon nap Little L didn’t seem all that sleepy. Her complaints that the ice was too cold were crystal clear despite the pacifier firmly lodged in her mouth. And after a while I had to relax my hold on her for a moment and concede that there was probably no serious damage.

She danced and sang all the way home, ate her dinner, and chatted her way through her bed time routine. Now she’s sleeping sweetly in her crib. I’m the one who’s still shaking and feeling nauseous. You never know what you’re going to get when you hear that thud. I know all too well that we were unspeakably fortunate that Little L’s run-in with the wall turned out to be just another bump.

Sometimes the holidays start with a crash

standard December 21, 2008 13 responses

The car slammed into us so hard that C’s lovey flew out of her hands and landed at my feet.
“Fuuuuuck!” I howled, shocked by the attack.
“It’s OK. Are you OK?” M asked me. “Are you guys OK?” He asked the stunned girls in the back seat. I glanced back at the two sets of wide eyes staring at us.
“My heaaaad! It huuuuurts!” C started wailing, hands clutching at her head. A quick assessment showed that she wasn’t so much hurt as shook up. Little L just stared at us, unsure of what to think. Clearly she was OK as well.

We glanced around us to see where we had stopped and to see if anyone was hurt. The car that had hit us was mangled, bumper on the road, front of the car completely crumpled. For a moment it seemed as though a third car was also involved, but they drove off so quickly it was unclear if they had actually been in the fray or not.

A passing ambulance saw the carnage and stopped to make sure that everyone was alright. The driver lent his phone to the guy who hit us, who promptly drove off, with the phone, in a flurry of sparks and broken car bits. We all stared after him completely flabbergasted. Where did he think he was going in his destroyed Honda?

After a million hours California Highway Patrol finally arrived on the scene. And after a long while we convinced them that a) we needed a police report and b) we couldn’t drive off and needed a tow, because there was something drastically wrong with the back of the car, and the exhaust pipe seemed to be emptying itself into the car. Whoops.

To make a ridiculously long story short, CHP agreed to write up a report, the perpetrator of the hit and run was caught, the tow truck came to collect our poor car, and a heroic friend came to our rescue.

But the best news of all, aside from the fact that none of us seem to be hurt, was that we miraculously did not miss our flight to New Jersey, scheduled to take off three hours after the
accident. A ton of snow and some thrilled cousins awaited us and it didn’t take all of us much time to shake off the post accident jitters and dig into some serious snow play!

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This week, in a effort to spend as much time with my family as possible, instead of lengthy wordy posts like this one, I’m going to attempt to sum up each day with just one picture. Wish me luck, with five kids running around and delighting in each other’s presence I have a lot of pictures to chose from!