Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring "Break"


My darling little Batman turned 4 on March 13th.  I didn't take these photos.  If it weren't for my precious friends Chryshelle and Dee Dee, I wouldn't have seen my sweet boy enjoy his presents and cake at all.

We had a party at Pump-It-Up, per the birthday boy's request.  This is a photo of Lucy, just a few minutes into the party, getting ready to climb up the big bouncy slide.

Just as she reached the bottom, she sort of fell forward on her face.  I ran over, thinking she'd scared herself as she started to wail.  When I picked her up, her arm flopped... but not bending at the elbow.  The two bones in her forearm had completely broken, and her arm was at a strange angle. 

I will never forget holding her as she screamed, holding her arm and feeling the bones just beneath the skin in a place they shouldn't be.  I ran to the parking lot with her, calling over my shoulder that I was taking her to the ER.  When I got into the parking lot, I started shaking so badly I felt I couldn't walk.  Chryshelle had gone back for my keys and purse, but by that time it was obvious that I wasn't driving anywhere.  We called the ambulance, and I held my hysterically screaming baby as they loaded us on. 

Photos by Chryshelle

My tiny little girl has so much fight in her.  She absolutely would not let anyone do ANYthing to her... not take her vitals, not put on a bracelet on her ankle... nothing.  It was a very long and difficult trip to the emergency room.  Thankfully, my baby had not quite weaned yet, and was able to nurse herself to sleep between exams.  She finally received pain medications, and they were able to set hr bones without surgery.

My parents took the 3 big kids back to Tulsa for Spring Break, so that I could spend the week focusing exclusively on my Lucy.  I held her for seven days straight, giving pain medication by the clock, and watching hours upon hours of Yo Gabba Gabba and Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street.  I didn't touch my phone or Photoshop.  It was entirely about her.

A few days later, we went to Texas Children's for a hard cast.  They left the temporary soft cast on, after x-rays showed that the bones were still not knit together enough to risk removing it first.  This has left our Lucycake with a very big, bulky, heavy arm.  She cried and closed her eyes the whole time that the doctors put on her new pink cast.  It didn't hurt, but it did scare her.

Since she is still unable to move her arm much in the full-arm cast, we've been hiding out at home for three weeks now.  She cannot climb or pick things up for herself.  I worry when she runs.  And my sweet little one is also now terrified of slides.  In two more days, we return to TCH and will get a short-arm cast.  This one will be waterproof, and she will be able to bend her elbow again.

A complete freak accident changed everything.  I just keep thinking how lucky I am that it was only her arm.  It could have been worse.  I tell you without any exaggeration... that was the most traumatic event of MY life.  I've never ever seen any of my babies in so much pain, and it took me several days to recover from the shock.  Lucy will not remember this, but I always will.

I've struggled publicly this year with many things... faith, depression, balance, work.  This terrible incident did give me one gift: Perspective.  As I lay on my deathbed, I'm not going to wish I had taken on one more photography client.  I'm going to be glad that I was a mother and a wife, and at the same time, I will wish I had been even better at it.  My time and attention need to be with my family first.  I'm totally comfortable with saying no to other opportunities that take me away from them.  Yes, I will still work as a photographer.  But no... I won't let it take over my life.  My family IS my life.  My clients could easily find another photographer.  But to my children and husband... I'm irreplaceable.


Maggie said...

Poor baby girl! And poor Mommy! That picture of you holding her on the stretcher just touches my heart. That is a perfect picture of a mother's love.

I can't imagine how you must feel. My heart breaks when my 7 month old topples over while sitting up and hits his head. I cannot imagine how I'd react if he broke his arm. My mom always chuckles when I run over to Joe when he gets hurt and says, "That's just a part of childhood. You can't run to him all the time." I sure as hell will try!

Hope you all are getting better!

jerseygirlmama said...

Wow, just wow! Being off facebook has had major disadvantages, like not knowing about poor Lucycakes! Such a sweet face she has. I remember surrendering Will to the helicopter Life-Flight paramedics as I drove three hours to get the hospital. Clearly the worst event of my life which just followed Joey being transported by EMS for respiratory failure two months before. Terrifying. And yet, during these times, we find out how much faith we truly have. I did not want to let Will go, but had to. The doctors, nurses, flight paramedic, ultrasound techs were angels. It was as though God hand picked them to care for Will while I was driving. And the second his procedure was over, he went back to being my baby. Offering lots of prayers of healing during this time.

jerseygirlmama said...

oh, btw, jerseygirlmama is me, Kristen from St Monica's Bridge, forgot about this old profile for blogger :) and if you get a chance, you may want to peruse Rachel Balducci's blog Testosterhome's archives about her son Henry's leg break and almost full body spica cast that was a total freak accident too.

Stay At Home Mom at Work said...

Oh My Goodness. I remember when my seven year old was only 9 months old, and had a small fracture in her shoulder, where she would scream when we'd pick her up. She didn't need a full cast, only bound up for long time to allow the healing. I tell you, these types of things make me believe in guardian angels, as they could have been so much worse. Your last paragraph, I couldn't have said it better, I try and tell myself daily, how irreplaceable I really am to my family, as it might be rare that I ever hear it....but I need to hear it.....I think all Moms need to hear it.

Mum2eight said...

oh Lerin,

What a time you have been having. I hope Lucy's arm heals really quickly and that life is back to normal soon for you.

Hil and Bob said...

Oh my goodness! I just wandered in here for the first time from Betty The Geek's place, and this story rips MY heart out! I can't imagine how tough this was for you and your little one. God bless! Hope she is back on her A-game soon!

Hil and Bob said...

Oops! I left the previous comment but I was logged in under an old account! Let me fix that so that you can come by my place sometime, if you like. Hugs for that little girl in the pink cast...

Josette said...

oh my!!! Poor poor baby! I would of been traumatized!!!