Monday, March 16, 2009

Momma's Baby Steps

Today was an exciting start to our week in the W family! This morning we spent 2 hours in the ER because JK fell into a metal end table at Gramma’s house. Upon investigation, Gramma notices there’s a cut in the middle of his forehead. A frantic phone call to Mommy's office has us deciding that a trip to the ER wasn't such a bad idea. Monkey seemed fine, but the cut was pretty deep and because of the placement (smack dab in the middle of the forehead), we thought a doctor taking a look might be best. So I tell my boss what happened, race to the ER, and start filling out paperwork while I wait for Gramma to show up.

A few minutes later, I see them walk into the ER waiting room. Monkey looks fine. Sippy cup in one hand, stuffed monkey in the other and a big grin as he sees me. “Momma!” As he gets closer, he points to his head and goes, “Ow”, proudly showing me his injury. Yep, we definitely need to be at the ER. This was no cut, but more along the lines of a gash.

As we wait to get called, Monkey keeps himself busy watching Handy Manny on TV and looking at the fish in the fake aquarium. Occasionally, letting Mommy and Gramma mop his head with a washcloth. But it’s hard to keep this little guy still. He actually seems a little hyper and too happy. Very surreal to witness while he has this huge ugly red hole in the middle of his forehead. Weird. Later the nurse says he was probably running off adrenaline, thus the elevated energy.

Finally we’re ushered in to meet a PA. He was great! He was a young, charismatic man with a long dark ponytail, named Tad. Monkey took to him right away. All smiles, chatting, high-fiving. Tad took a look at our little guy and said it would definitely need stitches, but didn’t think it necessary for a plastic surgeon. So all was going fine. Until we had to wrap Monkey in a straight-jacket fashioned out of a sheet, so we could hold him down for the lidocaine shots and the stitches.

Oh my word. There really are no words to explain how I felt at that point.

For the next 10 minutes, I listened to my child scream, plead and beg for me while he’s scared, in pain, and cannot move. The fear in his eyes was the worst. I was watching my son go through an immensely fearful and painful process and yet just KNEW that it was in his best interests to let him go through it. I know he was confused and didn’t understand why Momma and Gramma were contributing to this torture. My heart was breaking!

This is the part of parenthood that people SAY is going to be hard, but until you’re there, you JUST. DON’T. GET. IT. The flood of protective emotions is immense. Like nothing I’ve experienced before! But I think to myself that I have to be calm and strong, otherwise I’m no help to anyone. So I focus on other thoughts. Like, knowing what I know about my son and most of the men in the W clan, that this is probably just the first of many ER visits. There WILL be more stitches, more broken bones, and other injuries in Monkey’s future. Most of which, I will have to sit back and allow him to go through MORE pain in order to get well for the long run.

As the procedure wrapped up, my fear began to release the constriction around my throat. I was so proud of my little man! I could tell he had exhausted himself with crying and he was starting to relax. Nothing but little hiccups under the swath of blue paper covering his face. He had really worked up a sweat crying and fighting, so once we sat him up, he was soaked and exhausted. His face all puffy from crying, wet curly hair sticking in every direction. And SEVEN, count ‘em, SEVEN bright blue thready stitches closing up an angry red hole. The assisting PA said that Tad was the best seamstress they had in the ER, so we were in good hands. I hope so. Those stitches are right in the middle of my precious baby’s forehead. I try not to think of the scar it might leave.

Monkey actually lets me cuddle with him for a few moments, which is rare. He’s not a cuddler since he hit toddler-dom. My poor Monkey! As he hiccuped into my neck, I had an overwhelming urge to turn, run, and somehow stick him back in my belly where I knew it was safe and all his needs would be met. But it dawns on me in that split second cuddle, that those days of safety and control are long gone. That’s another part of parenthood that you don’t really get until you’re there: at some point you have to let go. The concept that this is just a baby step in that direction is a hard pill to swallow. Someday, he’ll be off to school, off driving with a permit, off going on a date, off going to college. All bigger steps towards the eventuality of what he's meant to do: off living independently with his own family, making independent decisions, struggling to watch his own independent child grow up.


How can this experience be so amazing and blessing-filled and wonderful and still sooo hard?

I watched my son with a mix of relief and sadness as he struggled to free himself from my arms. He'd spotted a latex glove that had been blown into a balloon and wants to kick it. He turns and smiles and says, "Bwoon".

"Yes, baby, that's your balloon," I said, gulping away the lump in my throat.

Thankfully, watching my son start his own family is at least two decades away. Until then, I’ll just take my tiny baby steps, while I watch him take his big boy steps.


The Mills Gang said...

Oh my goodness! Poor thing! I can only imagine how you felt watching that whole process! I am glad it's all over with. He's such a little doll--stitches and all!

McMama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cubstarr said...

=( Poor little dude... I don't think I could stand to see ****** *** in such pain. You're brave for hanging in there to watch! He doesn't seem to be in too much pain now that it's over!!! Hopefully the lidocaine won't wear off too soon and cause an immense amount of pain for him.

Flakymn said...

I could feel this post right with you. Probably how God feels with Jesus and with us so often ... I may link to this post from mine. It really touched me in aspiritual way friend.

Mandi said...

Ouch, for both of you. Way to hang in there girl. <3

Karrie said...

Ugggh...I'm so sorry and totally with you. This independent stuff is SO much harder IMO than the baby care stuff. Somehow, no idea how, we've managed to avoid the broken limbs/stitches thing, but I'm under no illusions that will last.

That had to be so hard watching him get those stitches:-( The worst time I've had was this past August when I had to pin R on my lap while they did the allergy scratch tests. Not only did I have to sit there while they poked him with 10 different needles, but also knew that he was then going to be dealing with serious itching and discomfort for the next several minutes without being able to do anything. Not a highlight of my mothering days thus far.

Glad to see that JK is doing ok! Sweet baby...have a feeling you're going to be feeling traumatized a lot longer than he will:-)

The Kennedy's said... I can't even imagine. We had 2 shots today and that was bad enough. seriously my heart hurts for you!! :)

Monkey Momma said...


I just want to say how proud I am of you for the way you handled yourself during and after the procedure. Just reading this post makes me nauseous...both from imagining the cries and seeing the stitches being put in. You're an amazing mother to our child...he is very lucky. I know this won't be our last trip to the ER, but I wasn't ready for it to start this soon!

Anonymous said...


Well, if it gives you any consolation about scarring, Sammy has a very similar cut he got on his head as a little kid. He didn't even get stitches, just butterfly tape, and the scar is barely noticeable!

What a trooper!

Luke, Kristen and Pierce said...

Holy Cow! That is one giant gash - and headwounds just don't stop bleeding! I'm so proud of you for making it through all that. My stomach was in knots just reading....

I guess this was his first rite of passage into 'Weathersbee Man-dom' (see broken collar bone....)

Kiss him for me!

Tara said...

Poor JK! I'm sure it was so difficult for sounds like he's a super brave boy, though.

And I've been out of the blog loop for a while and didn't know you had a new blog and especially didn't know you were pregnant!!!! I am SO excited for you! :)