Tuesday, February 28, 2012
She Is TOTALLY FINE, By The Way, Let Me Lead With That
Last Wednesday night, I had just put the kids to sleep, and was pulling out hair products to write a very important post (no doubt). And so when Lo told me her tummy hurt, and asked me to come in and rub it, I, uh, rolled my eyes, and took my time walking down the hall to her. Before you think me a heartless soul, please understand that while I'm certain that your children are all very wonderful, mine are the best...at bedtime procrastination. They could medal in it. ("My teeth aren't sleepy yet." remains the gold standard here.) I asked her where it hurt, she waved toward her lower left side, and as my hand touched touched the spot, I honestly jumped back. Because I wasn't prepared.
The best way I can describe the lump I felt is to tell you to imagine that someone's finger was pushing through from the other side. Or -- if you've ever had a baby -- the way their tiny elbow juts up and out, like they're trying to burst through, a la Alien. I snapped on her light, and asked her when it had started hurting, barely waiting for an answer. I started making calls. J (who was at a Knicks game, flew home in record time), my parents (for babysitting, in case I needed to dash with her to the ER). and the pediatrician, who, after hearing my description, asked me to take some pictures and email them to him (GENIUS). A pediatric surgeon was involved (he saw the pictures, too, and it was agreed we'd meet him at the ER first thing in the morning).
I had thought -- three hours ago, before all this -- that when I was going into that room, I were going to give an extra kiss, maybe get some more water, not, feel some horrifying mystery mass in my kid's side.
The ER was a blur of kind, calm, efficiency. I'd like to say that I myself was the picture of maternal, calm, efficiency, but the truth is I was a mess on the inside. I felt informed, but powerless, as I sat there smiling, listening, returning emails, and following instructions, my brain a paralyzing loop of WHATIFWHATIFWHATIF. After numerous doctors and nurses examined her, a series of potential diagnoses and directions (Hernia! Not hernia! Thrombosed vein! Lipoma! "PLEASE DON'T LET HER EAT WE MAY NEED TO OPERATE"), two ultrasounds, the surgical consult, and a lot of waiting, they determined it was a hematoma, which basically boils down to this: it was harmless. You get an injury that could result in a black-and-blue mark, but instead of being an actual black and blue mark, it turns into a scary mass of blood under the skin, inside the tissue, hence the scary lump. It could have happened from anything, they told us. She could've walked into the corner of a low table at school, or fallen on a toy, but regardless, it was going to be okay: they told us it should clear up on its own, no surgery necessary (and sure enough, it's already getting better).
It's been almost a week now, she's fine, and now that a little time has passed, the drumbeat of the WHATIFWHATIFWHATIF has subsided. There are, as we know, no guarantees with this whole parenting thing, but I'm just so very thankful this particular episode ended how it did.*
* Which was, to be precise, with her leaping around her room, asking me to be a baby bee, and that she would be my mommy bee, and that she was going to make me, her baby bee, some "beautiful soup."
I've never been happier to be a baby bee.