25 years ago I had my first ice skating lesson. I am not now and have never been a well-coordinated, athletic human being. I think I was seduced by the pretty outfits and pretty ladies who were so graceful on t.v., seduced into thinking I could be coordinated and athletic enough... So I had a lesson. And the first lesson went pretty well. I didn't fall even once! I was so proud. After the lesson, a friend from church who was a much more experienced skater caught sight of me and gleefully slid across the ice to me. She squealed as she reached out a hand to me. I was overwhelmed and lost my balance as she took my hand. My arm, the one attached to the hand she was holding, twisted underneath me and got pinned there. I think that was a Saturday morning. I complained about my arm hurting all day. I think, maybe, we had seen the pediatrician and they thought there was nothing to be concerned about so I got the distinct impression my mom wanted me to stop complaining. Or at least that my complaining wasn't going to be heard. So I stopped. Sometime late-ish on Sunday night my mom said "You must be feeling MUCH better. I haven't heard you complain in quite awhile." I looked up at her, tears welled up, "Because you weren't listening." And then I really started to cry. "It really hurts!" She looked crushed. We went to the E.R.. I had x-rays. My right wrist was broken.
Two weeks ago tomorrow, as you all know, Caroline and I had a scary fall. She cried for about four straight hours. But by the time my more obvious injuries had been checked out, she was calm. And starting the e.r. process all over again at the children's e.r. just didn't make a lot of sense. We noticed the next day that she wasn't putting weight on her right leg, but didn't react to pressure on the leg, was moving her leg well, and save for a few scratches and this favoring of the leg- seemed fine. She wasn't complaining. She had rough times last week- remember that I characterized it as swingy- but... there were SO many possible reasons for hard moments (as we reviewed last week). Well, this Wednesday my mom's best friend, Debbie, a nurse, stopped by. And in playing with Caroline noticed she was really not putting weight on her right leg at all- 10 days later... She recommended that we call the pediatrician again and have Caroline seen. So shortly after she left I called the pediatrician and made an appointment for this morning, the day on which I knew I would have the car, and needed to be on that side of town for several appointments anyhow. We dropped Kev at work (his last morning of the temp work he's been doing) and then made our way to the pediatrician. We got there an hour early and Caroline fell asleep on the drive so we stayed in the cool car (on one of the hottest days of the year thus far) so she could sleep and I could get some sermon organizing done. And then into the appointment... and Caroline did put weight on her right leg while in the pediatrician's office, but was favoring it in other ways so she thought it best to have some x-rays done. She ordered hip x-rays (in case there was a pre-existent hip issue that we hadn't perceived) and x-rays of the right leg. We made our way to the Children's Hospital at my university, eventually got x-rays- she was in great spirits until the x-rays. Our active baby (who had appts through her big morning nap time and thus was getting very sleepy) did NOT appreciate being held still. 15 or so minutes after the x-rays we were called to front desk to talk to the pediatrician on the phone after she had received the results... the results? Her hips are fine. The leg is broken. BROKEN. The femur. The x-ray showed it is already starting to heal, and that's a good thing, but as that is a major bone she wants Caroline to be seen by an Orthopedist. So we were sent to the Orthopedic group in the hospital. At this moment I was feeling LOUSY. My baby's bone had been broken for TWO weeks because I fell. And I hadn't had her seen until now. Now, I'm the mom. Now, I was the one who wasn't listening. She cried for four hours the day of the fall not just because she was scared, but because she was in pain. But... we weren't listening. Or we were... but... she can't talk. And she was happy for a lot of the last two weeks... and we loved her through it all. Anyhow. Kev's work day ended at noon and he got a ride to the hospital and joined us just as we were checking in at the ortho's office. Perfect timing really. When we were taken in the exam room the nurse said "So why are you here?" "Because our daughter has a broken leg." Shortly thereafter we were ushered to the CAST ROOM. Gulp. And there we waited for quite awhile for the doctor. I was thanking God that if it turned out she needed a cast, which in that moment it seemed it would, it would be when Kev would be home to help. But I was also terrified that they were going to need to rebreak her leg or something. When the ortho. came in he said "So tell me the story. How did this happen?" And so I did. And he examined her briefly and then said "Well, yes, that is exactly how breaks like this happen, when there is a fall with a baby in a front carrier." And then he went on to say that she was healing well, that most breaks like this in babies this age take three weeks to heal so there wasn't really much point in casting her now. If this had been caught much earlier it would have been casted, but now a cast wouldn't add much. He doesn't anticipate needing to even see us again. He imagines that she'll be back to normal in about a week, but, of course, if we have any concerns we can bring her in at any time. If she still is favoring the leg or not putting weight on it in two weeks he wants to see us again, but he doesn't imagine that will be the case. So with that, and some xerox copies of her x-rays, we were dismissed.
Phew. I thought I might be posting pics of a cast tonight (a purple one- that seemed the best option to Kev and I, and we think Caroline agreed- though she seemed rather drawn to the neon ones we found abhorrent, well, the camo was abhorrent, the neon just- blech!) But thanks be to God, all the visual evidence I have of our day and of her break (other than the x-rays which I haven't scanned yet, but may... we'll see) is the arm band which she delighted in sucking on. So... for your viewing pleasure...
We have a TOUGH and a SMART little girl. We are so glad that she's going to be o.k.. And ultimately, I think it is a good thing this wasn't discovered sooner. Don't get me wrong. I still feel badly about the whole incident, but... it is hot, hot, hot now and will be all weekend. If she were going on her second week in a cast... oh my, what misery... And the last two weeks would have been SO hard. Instead, we've had pretty good weeks. This week in particular was pretty darn good. Our girl, even with a broken leg, mastered sitting independently this week. And is LOVING this skill. She still topples occasionally, but is capable of sitting for good long stretches without even using her arms for support, and capable of catching herself before toppling a good deal of the time. Some photographic evidence of her sitting:
Early in the week, pillows ready should she topple on the hardwood. I think she was watching Sesame Street at this particular moment.
And just today. Supporting herself with hands...
and who needs hands???
She's actually able to sit more upright than these pictures suggest. Ah well. Just haven't caught it on film yet!
We did sweet potatoes once more, but... yeah... she's not so into it. We'll try something else soon, but this week mostly I nursed A LOT. And Caroline has a new habit of pinching my breasts while she eats, which REALLY hurts. I hope this passes. Soon! Fortunately, she has really taken to the teether necklace Great Aunt Sherry sent along. Sometimes she'll squeeze that and play with that and spare my breast tissue.
Caroline is working like mad to get up on all fours. Perhaps she has been delayed by the break, but it has not delayed her efforts at all. And especially when playing on our bed she gets REALLY close. In the meantime she's moving in a worm like fashion, stretching her front half out and then picking up her butt and scooting forward. She can make her way diagonally across our king sized bed, especially if my cell phone is in the opposite corner, or something else it would be better for her not to play with! For the most part, her movement has not been hindered by her injury- looking back we can see that she has been far less interested in standing than she was before (she used to practically pull herself up and preferred standing to sitting), but otherwise... she's been rolling, scooting, picking up both legs and chewing on her feet. She's still a VERY mobile and active little girl. I can't even imagine what she would be doing now should she have not had this injury!
One very exciting piece of news from the doctor's appointments today, as of today Caroline has EXACTLY doubled her birthweight! Woohoo! We had thought we might take a family hike in celebration of every weight doubling, but... not this weekend. Blech. Too hot.
Here are a few more pics from the past week, all in her eating/playing chair. She spends lots of good play time in this chair when we're eating or cooking or whatever... One day I heard her playing the piano and came out to see Kev had placed the chair in a position where she could reach the key board. I hoped to get a picture of her playing, but by the time I got to her she was more interested in eating the padding behind her... ah well... cute enough.
And these, just cause. Caroline loves the piglet teether that Mamie picked up at a dollar store when she was here. More than once this week I have heard her squeaking away on it.
Caroline Grace, I'm so sorry we had such a scary fall. I'm so sorry you have a major injury. I'm so grateful you are so resilient and are healing so well and finding so much joy in life. And I am SO glad you don't have an icky cast! We love you SO much baby!