Ugh.

2 Mar

Today I broke my baby’s leg.

It wouldn’t have happened if not for me and I feel terrible!  We took dad to play paintball with some friends and we planned to stick around and watch outside the playing area. Since he’s an energetic toddler I wanted to keep him close to me for safety (and I miss baby snuggles) so I brought our awesome ergo carrier. Once dad went off to play, I started to get him settled in the carrier.  I brought him from my hip and slid him back into the carrier, but he wasn’t settled correctly (i.e deeply enough) into the carrier so I decided to pull him off and try again. I dropped one strap and slid him back to my hip. Then, as I held him by the arms I let him slide down my body to stand so I could get the carrier arranged again. As he slid down, he spun away from me and landed on the ground–with the twisting I was actually worried about hurting his shoulder. He immediately began to cry, so I picked him up to calm him and we walked over to a grassy area to check things out.

Once we sat down, he immediately reached for his foot. I took off his little shoe and socks and it was red and swelling. I held him to stand and he wouldn’t put any weight on it . . . and he was crying a horrible fast-breathing cry. Poor baby was in so much pain!

Not knowing what the right thing to do was (and being 30 miles from home) I put him in the car thinking driving would calm him. He kept wailing so when I saw a pharmacy (just a few blocks away) I parked, locked the car, and ran in to ask a cashier if there was an urgent care nearby. Luckily, there was one right across the street!

I took him in, wailing, and we got registered. It was a nice little doctor’s office that has weekend hours and they got us in fairly quickly (we probably waited 20 minutes). He immediately got x-rayed and then we waited for the doc. That was a while–30+ min–and while we were waiting I finally got N calmed down by playing “Sting” music videos and he fell asleep in my arms.

003When the doctor came in he immediately said, “Ok, stay calm, but his leg is broken.” I’m sure I cried out “No” and immediately started crying (before I even realized it). He directed me to calm down and listen–he said N would be just fine, with no long-term effects. He would need to see an orthopedist and most likely get a full-leg cast. In the interim, the nurse splinted his full leg (from thigh to past his toes) with a fiberglass splint and bandages.006

He was still fussy for the rest of the afternoon (including a long wait at the pharmacy to get his baby narcotics for pain) but once he got home and ate something he was back to normal. I gave him a dose of tylenol and he was positively cheery.  What a wonderful boy–the first big trauma of his life and he’s so resilient! He ate a huge dinner and went to sleep with no problems (I’m not sure if he’s officially sleeping yet, but he pretty much begged to go to bed and when dad checked 20 min later he was laying in his crib playing). I hope he sleeps well tonight and we don’t need to use the strong drugs . . . and I hope everything goes well on Monday.

I’ve done a bit of research and it seems like he’ll have a cast for about 4 weeks and it’ll probably be a full leg cast like the splint. My mom found a description of the fracture on wikipedia and he seems to have a classic “Toddler’s Fracture” which is a low-energy trauma, sometimes from rotation. . .and it’s common among babes from 9mo-3 years.

That made me feel a little better. It’s terrible that it happened, but how would I know that something that seems so ordinary could break his leg? No point in feeling guilty because it’s done–and I need to focus on making it better. But it KILLS me to see my baby in such pain and knowing that I played a part in it. 😦  😦  😦

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