Saturday, June 16, 2012

The day was June 5th. It wasn't an ordinary day. It was your birthday! It was finally here! After all those weeks of asking, "How much longer til my birthday mama?" It was finally here! I spent the day preparing for a family get together we were having that night. The plan was to have pizza and cake, and open presents. Grandma Arlet came, as well as Aunty Mel and Uncle Doug, Autumn and Jordan, and our friend Ashley brought her kids Hunter (your best buddy!), Harper and Hailey. The party was a success! You loved your presents and got lots of fun things. We had cake and ice cream, and then you and Hunter rushed outside to ride your bikes. A few minutes later, the garage door opened and in you came, crying that cry that no mama likes to hear. I knew something was wrong in an instant. I looked at your arm, and it was hanging limply at your side and you couldn't move it. My first thought was that it had been dislocated, since this had happened twice before and looked a lot like how your arm was hanging. But then I realized that had you just fallen off your bike, this would not have caused a dislocation. It was probably broken. Grandma and I rushed into the van with you. We had Grayson in tow because mama was still nursing him and I didn't have any extra milk stored for him. You were in tremendous pain on the way to the emergency room. Everytime I looked at you in the rearview mirror, my stomach turned. You were just in so much pain, and it was etched all over your face. When we got you into the triage room of the emergency room, you started to go into shock. You were as white as a ghost, and you started to shake. Thankfully, the nurses got you back into a room quickly. A few minutes later we had X-rays taken, which eventually confirmed that your elbow was in fact broken. The emergency room doctor told us that the orthepaedic surgeon on call was sick and would be unable to come until the morning and they would be admitting you to the hospital for the night. We got into our hospital room where the wonderful nursing staff had a pile of gifts with a card reading, "Happy Birthday" on your table. The dry-erase board on the wall also had a big, "Happy Birthday" written on it. This was not the way we had pictured your birthday night ending, but it was a thoughtful gesture. The nurses needed to start an IV for you, so they took us down to a room whose primary purpose is distraction. There are games and bubbles and all sorts of things to distract little ones from scary and painful procedures. There was also laughing gas, and this proved to be the best distraction of all. You sat between my legs on the hospital bed with a mask blowing laughing gas while a nurse let you play "Angry Birds" on an ipad. You didn't even notice when the nurse inserted your iv. On the way back to your room, daddy carried you and you said, "Dad, I liked that stuff!" (meaning the laughing gas!) We got you settled and asleep, and I ran home to check on the baby who had went home with grandma (daddy had come to take her place) and to get some clothes for us. Grandma told me then that it had just dawned on her that this was your golden birthday! My poor Graham! What a golden birthday this was for you! Daddy and I slept in your room with you on a recliner and a cot. The next morning, the surgeon stopped in and said he had a busy day planned, and that he wasn't sure when he would be able to place pins in your elbow, but that it would be that day sometime. We waited. And waited. And waited. You hadn't eaten anything most of the day to prepare for your surgery, and by 7pm that night, you were famished. You begged me for food, and I started to cry. The last two days had taken their toll, and I couldn't stand to see my baby hungry. And to top it off, your blood pressure was going up. The stress and strain was wearing on you, too. FINALLY, at 10:30PM, they wheeled us into the surgery room. They let me accompany you. I was covered from head to toe in a surgical gown and we walked into the ice cold, brightly lit surgery room. We sat you on the table and I stood in front of you holding you as best as I could. I knew you were a little scared. I was too. I whispered soothing words in your ear and told you everything would be fine. Pretty soon, it was time for the anesthetic. They placed the mask over your mouth and you were out in an instant. They laid you down on the table and I walked out. At this point, I began to get very light-headed and felt like I was going to pass out. It was all too much for me to watch my baby have to endure. I wished it could be me having to go through all of this instead of you. We waited in the family room until a nurse finally came and got me around 1:00 in the morning. They brought me back to the recovery room. A nurse explained to me that normally they don't have family members come to the recovery room, but that you had been very distraught when you first woke up, and they thought having me there would help. I went to you immediately and tried to love you as best as I could. You were very upset, and tried to thrash around on the table. Finally, the nurse gave you a second dose of a pretty strong pain killer and you calmed down. I later found out that they had to more closely monitor your heart and breathing because you were given a stronger dose of medicine than children your age normally get. We finally got to your room, and you just wanted to sleep. We did too. At about 3 in the morning, the nurse woke you up to administer more pain meds and to check your vital signs. You have never responded well when someone wakes you up in the middle of a sleep, and you certainly didn't this time either. You became very defiant, and refused to take your medicine. The nurse finally excused herself and allowed me to deal with you. I got you to take your medicine somehow, and then we all went back to sleep. The next day, they discharged us with plans to return to our surgeon's office in two weeks to have a permanent cast put on. This was certainly not the birthday we had planned for you. You were so strong. I was amazed at how easy-going and brave you were through the whole thing. You hardly complained at all, and you took it all in stride. I'm not sure why this happened to you. I wish it hadn't. But we do know God walked this path with us, and He prepares the way before us.

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