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An Experience I Hope Never to Have to Repeat

Good evening everyone, and welcome to my latest blog post, brought to you (like so many of them) by insomnia.

My day started out uneventfully enough. The only thing I had on my schedule was a late afternoon appointment with my ob/gyn. My parents had agreed to take KatyBeth while I went (I can't really take her to doctor appointments by myself, since she acquired the ability to open exam room doors.) I had decided to take her over to their house a little early, thinking I might run an errand on the way to the appointment. I had just changed my daughter's diaper, and was in the bathroom washing up, and otherwise getting ready, when I heard a loud crash from KB's room. It took me all of two or three steps to get from where I was to the doorway of her room, which I hit about the time that the hysterical crying began. I found KatyBeth IN her toy box, with a huge gash across her right eyebrow. I could tell at a glance that it was going to need stitches. I picked her up, despite my hugely pregnant state, and glanced frantically around, trying to determine what she had hit her head on, but there were no signs of blood on anything. In fact, the wound, as deep and gaping as it was, bled surprisingly little. I somehow managed to fish my cell phone out of my pocket, and called my mother. "Mom", I said, "help! I'm not in labor, but KatyBeth just opened a huge gash on her forehead, and I need to take her to the emergency room, for stitches." Mom shoved on her shoes and coat, and headed for my house.

I tried to put a band-aid over the gash, just to keep anything out of it, but KB kept pulling it off. She was still crying hysterically. I carried her to the living room, crammed some diapers into the diaper pack, one-handed, and looked out the window. I was grateful that my mother was coming, because my car (with a built-in child seat), the only vehicle available in which my daughter could be legally transported, was covered in about a foot of snow. I was glad I didn't have to leave my screaming child alone in the house, to go brush off the car. I laid KatyBeth on the couch, and covered her completely with a blanket (something she seems to find comforting, when she's upset). She would not, however, let me put anything on her feet - not even socks. I ran around, making sure everything we might need was packed, and then I called Arazyr at work. As luck (or lack thereof) would have it, his car was in the shop, leaving him more or less stranded at work for a while.

When Mom arrived, I left her to care for my little girl, and dashed outside to brush off my car, and get it started. We ended up wrapping KB in the blanket, and carrying her to the car, because she was no more receptive to putting on a coat than she had been to socks. "You're driving", I told Mom, handing her the keys. "I'm going to sit in the back with KatyBeth." We headed off to the emergency room, KB still with her head covered by her blanket, in the car. On the way to the nearest hospital, she actually calmed down enough to fall asleep, for the last few minutes. Somewhere in there, I called my ob/gyn's office and told them I wouldn't be there.

We were at the hospital for a long time. They got us checked in and to an exam room fairly quickly, and we even saw a nurse in pretty short order, but it was rather quickly decided that a plastic surgeon ought to be called in to do the stitching up, because a conventional job would leave a rather significant scar. We waited for quite some time for the surgeon to arrive, and for the operating room to be ready to take her. In the meantime, the staff X-rayed KB's head, to make sure she didn't have any fracturing in there. Four days away from my due date, I could not go into the X-ray room with her, so Grandma went. KB did NOT want to lie down on the X-ray table. Mom said it took four adults to hold her down, so that they could get the shots they needed. I sat out in the hall, listening to her scream. That was hard to take. Fortunately, she calmed down fairly quickly, once that was over. We returned to the exam room to wait some more. KB sat coloring with the book and crayons the hospital provided, and calmly told us, "I feel better, now."

We had gotten to the hospital at about 2:00 in the afternoon. It was around 5:00 when the operating room finally sent for us. After a bit of deliberation as to how to transport my little girl, they had settled on sending a wheelchair for me, and had her ride on my lap. I was grateful for it, because this pregnancy has been rought on my back, as it is, and I had been needed to hold and carry my 31 pound toddler, on top of all that, quite a bit. In the prep room, we changed KatyBeth into a hospital gown, and cap for the operating room (a green one, with snowmen on it, that she got to pick from a variety). We met the surgeon (very nice guy), and the operating room nurse (also very nice). Another doctor oversaw the preparations. He told us that she'd likely be very upset at being separated from me, but that they'd give her something, so that she wouldn't remember it, later. As they brought the tiny cup of reddish-pink liquid, I pointed out the operating room nurse to my little girl and told her that the nice lady was going to take her to the room where the doctor would fix her boo boo. Several minutes after she drank the medicine, I handed her over to the OR nurse, who carried her out the door, as she waved and said, "bye-bye, Mommy". Mom and I were escorted to a waiting room, to do just what the name of the place says. They left me the wheelchair, which I gratefully stayed in.

For about the next two hours, we waited, breaking to call Daddy and Grandpa with updates. Finally, we were called back to where two nurses watched over my slumbering little girl. The wound had been stitched and glued, and looked much less alarming than it had, before. Within a few minutes of getting back there, Arazyr arrived, having finally gotten his car back. We waited for almost another two hours for KB to wake up, stay reasonably awake (every time somebody got her to open her eyes, she'd close them, and roll back over, and go to sleep), and drink something (the doctor didn't want to discharge her, until she drank something). Upon discharge, Arazyr took KB's antibiotics prescription, and went to fill it, and to pick up some supper, while Mom and I took KB home. Carrying KB even the couple of feet from the wheelchair, to the car, made my back feel about like it was breaking. When we got home, carrying her from the car, into the house was almost more than I could manage. I'm a little surprised that I managed to carry her as much as I did, through the day, and so I'm not surprised at all that doing so pretty much crippled me for a few days. I can't tell you how many times that day that I prayed that I wouldn't go into labor, in the middle of all that.

By the time Arazyr got home with food, it was about 9:30. KB seemed quite psychologically recovered, laughing and being silly, and trying to climb and jump around, despite still being a bit wonky from the after effects of the anesthetic. The rest of us are still reeling, a bit.

So, anyway, that's the story of how my firstborn child split her head open, giving herself an injury that required minor plastic surgery to repair. The huge gash, repaired as it was, we are told should result in only a very thin scar, probably mostly lost in her eyebrow. All's well that ends well, I suppose, but I'd really rather not go through that again.

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