I learned a hard lesson this week, and that lesson is: Trust your maternal instincts. When you feel it in your gut that something is terribly wrong with your child, believe that gut. Do not believe the husband who says she is just tired. Because you will feel guilty when you are in the emergency room the next morning and they tell you she has a fractured clavicle. Also known as a broken collarbone.
And you will feel guilty the day after, too, and probably forever and ever amen.
Tuesday evening, Angel face and I were playing outside, and she began her usual (she’s been doing this for MONTHS) activity of climbing into her stroller on her own. This time, however, was different. She was clutching her little Curious George stuffed animal and trying to move the straps out of the way so she could sit down when her foot slipped and she took a pretty vicious tumble that ended with a head bounce on the concrete.
I rushed to her side and picked her up, which only made her scream harder at first (see, I was moving around the little broken bones when I picked her up). When she calmed down, she pointed to the stroller, so I took her for a walk. When we got back and I took her out, the screaming began again.
It wasn’t particularly late, but we’d just come off a weekend in which she slept very little at night and had virtually non existent naps, so when Hubby argued that she was just tired, it would have been totally believable if not for that feeling in the pit of my stomach that cried out that Angel Face’s behavior was not like every other time she’d been so tired.
She ended up sleeping in bed with me, Hubby in the guest room, and she didn’t move all night. Every time she tried to change position, she cried out in pain. By the morning, I had made up my mind. Once we had the emergency room doctor’s diagnosis and knew NOT TO PICK HER UP UNDER HER ARMS ANYMORE, I began to feel better.
But that’s also when I felt worse. As I carried her out of the hospital, wrapped in her blanket and wearing her cute “duck, duck, moose” t-shirt that I got her in
Portland, I began to cry. Quietly at first, then big teardrops and sobs, while Angel Face looked at me with wide eyes and a goldfish-cracker-crumb mouth.
Now, more than 24 hours later, I still feel like I’ve gone 12 rounds with an ultimate fighting champion and then another six with that kangaroo from that terrible Anthony Anderson movie… at least emotionally speaking.
Angel Face? I found her late yesterday, sling tossed over her shoulder, dancing around and tossing her snack crackers at the dog. A few more rounds of “Little Bunny Foo-Foo” (the way she asks for it is absolutely kick-you-in-the-stomach adorable, I’ll have to tell you about it sometime) and she’ll be good as new. Plus, we have the entertaining bonus of asking her “Is your collarbone fixed or is it broke?” and she replies “It’s broke.”
So I’d like to take my maternal instinct out for a drink and thank it and at the same time beat myself senseless for not listening to it. Apple-tinis, anyone? I know where we can catch a great fight afterward…