The Frankenbaby Chronicles

Two girls, three cats, some frozen sperm, a doctor's office, and a big dream.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

That Day No Parents Should Ever Have

An abridged version:

4:30 AM - I am sleeping. I awake to a thud, and then wailing. The baby had been asleep on Jen on the bed, and somehow fell off. Onto the floor. It was the most sickening sound I have ever heard.

4:45 AM - On call nurse for pediatrician's office says to take the baby to the ER.

5:30 AM - All checked into the ER. Eventually ER doc comes in and examines the baby, says she looks good but wants to do a CT Scan.

6:50 AM - I nurse the baby to sleep and then she gets a CT Scan.

7:30 AM - Pediatrician for hospital comes in, examines baby, says she looks good and is awaiting results of CT Scan.

8:30 AM - Pediatrician comes back and says that preliminary CT Scan results are normal and she is waiting for the final report, which should take about 15 minutes.

9:45 AM - Still no word from the pediatrician. Two nurses come in to weigh the baby and do vital signs. The crappy nurse says, "The doctor has been in to talk to you about moving to [hospital in another town that has pediatric specialty and ICU]?" We blink and say, "No. She said we would only be moved if they found something." She says, "The pediatrician talked to you about the contusion?" Umm, what?

10:00 AM - Pediatrician returns and I snap, "Some nurse said there is bleeding on the CT Scan." She says yes, a second specialist looked at the CT Scan and saw a small area of bleeding, so they are transferring her to the other hospital for 24-hour (or longer) observation in the PICU and a repeat CT Scan. At this point we start crying. Our baby's brain is bleeding. Our beautiful baby who fell off the bed with a loud thump in the middle of the night.

11:00 AM - After my first ever ambulance ride (I accompanied the baby), we arrive at the big hospital and check into the PICU, where everyone is chipper and friendly and shake my hand while they begin hooking my baby up to machines. At this point I realize that I am someone's /parent/. And I have to tell the sick story over and over.

11:15 AM - After terrorizing my baby with wires and exams, the nice team of doctors tell me that her exam looks normal and wonderful and she will likely be observed for 24 hours and have a repeat CT Scan, but that I can stay with her and order food on her tab since I am nursing. A very nice nurse says lots of very nice things.

11:30 AM - Jen and my mother (who of course is visiting through this whole fiasco) arrive - Jen stopped at home to pick up some stuff for us and also brought my mother. Nice Nurse talks to them and explains everything. The medical team is going to take the CD of the CT Scan and show it to a whole gang of specialists and they will report back. My mom leaves to get us some lunch and water, since we'd had neither since the night before.

1:30 PM - I am getting impatient and ask the Nice Nurse when the team is going to look at my baby's scan. In the last two hours we have listened to a scared little girl get lots of dressings changed from a severe burn due to hot soup. Poor little thing. Nice Nurse says the team went down to the neurology unit to look at the scan and should be back soon.

2:00 PM - The head doctor assigned to our baby comes up and looks quite sheepish and apologetic, and says that the Pediatric Neuroradiologist and the Pediatric Neurosurgeon have examined our CT Scan carefully and have determined that the previous doctors were mistaken, that there was no bleeding, just large blood vessels which are common in newborn scans but not in adult scans. The head doctor assures us that they went over and over the scan and wouldn't tell us this if there was a chance of bleeding (too much liability). She says that we are welcome to stay for observation but she has no medical reason (negative scan and normal exams) to keep the baby. We opt to take the baby home.

3:00 PM - Our discharge papers are signed and handed over with big apologies and the instruction to give the baby Tylenol if she seems to be in pain. I nurse the baby, we pack her up and take her home.

4:00 PM - We arrive at home after the most gutwrenching 12 hours of our lives. We proceed to watch the baby like a hawk for the next several hours, paranoid that the specialists made a mistake even though we knew rationally that they wouldn't have let us go home if there was even a chance of bleeding.


Being a parent is HARD. I thought I was going to die when I heard the baby hit the floor. I can't even imagine how Jen felt, but my heart broke when she asked me, in the ER, if I hated her.


Blogger Lo said...

Oh, I am so sorry. What a nightmare. Thank God all three of you are safe and sound.

10:13 PM  
Blogger K J and the kids said...

TERRIFYING ! SO glad that everything is good and you are back home with your baby.
Babies are resiliant little creatures. God made them that way for a reason :)

12:37 AM  
Blogger Ruth & Marolyn said...

Oh, I am so sorry you went through that. How awful.

Glad that now you are home and everything is alright.

Sending lots of supportive vibes your way.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous j said...

I'm so sorry guys, you shouldn't have to go through this. Much love.

1:28 AM  
Blogger lynn said...

ACK! Poor everyone! I am so sad you all had to experience that! Hugs to all three of you, and I am so glad to hear everyone is doing ok- if not a little shaken up!

2:07 AM  
Anonymous calliope said...

soooooo effing glad that everything is ok and that you are all back home.
what a nightmare.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

I think at some point in time every new parent has had some sort of accident with their child. My sister-in-law cut my nephew's finger pretty well while trimming his nails. A friend of mine accidentally banged her daughter's head against the wall while hurrying through the house to answer the phone. And me? I had the same experience you did.

Try not to beat yourselves up too much (I know it's easy for me to say) and know that we've all been there in some manner or another.

11:27 AM  
Blogger FosterMommy said...

That's scary to begin with, and then with the doctors making a mistake like that? terrifying!

but, yeah, we all drop/bang/cut/etc. our kids at some point or another. When I put Niblet down on the futon at a bad angle and she rolled off, onto her head, I think I cried harder and longer than she did!

11:39 AM  
Blogger Married Lesbian Mom said...

Geez ladies. I am so very sorry that happened, but I am glad little August is ok. Being the parent of an 8 year old I can honestly say that these types of things will happen every now and again. Please Jen do not beat yourself up over this. It could happen to anyone. I am keeping you all in my thoughts. Many HUGS.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Kathryn - partner of Donna said...

Oh my god - I'm so pleased you're all ok. What an awful experience for you.

I'm sorry my comment is a little late - like you, I don't get much "computer time" now :0) x

8:08 AM  

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