Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No More Monkeys (Aaps)...

Our apartment in Belgium has a double bed with a crib in one room, two twin beds in another room and in an alcove off the hallway there's another twin bed. We decided that we'd put the two twin beds together for Buttons' bed and we'd use the full-size bed. At home in the States Buttons has a toddler bed that's close to the floor and quite small, so this would be quite a bit different. Almost the minute upon arrival in Belgium, I put chairs on one side of the bed, the crib mattress on the other side on the floor and pillows all around so she wouldn't fall off the bed during sleep or she'd at least have a soft place to land. Those first few nights I watched her sleep and saw that she knew when she was coming close to edge and would pull herself back. However, I still worried and found I slept much better sleeping next to her.

Now, we don't promote jumping on the bed, but last Friday night right before bedtime, Buttons walked on top of the bed to give her daddy a hug goodnight and fell off the bed. I was in the other room getting her blanket and doggie when I heard the radiator bang and Hubby call out her name. I knew then that something was wrong. I ran in to find Hubby holding her, she came to me and after briefly holding her, I could feel my hand was a little wet. Yup, blood. She was screaming and my heart sank. I put her down to get a look and I was pretty sure we needed to go to the hospital for some stitches. There was one place I hadn't "bump-proofed" and the corner of the radiator found a spot behind her ear to make a small hole. I didn't remember the way to the hospital and I thought both of our hosts were gone for the evening but I remembered their daughter-in-law (A) was a nurse who works at the local hospital, so I called her to verify my suspicions and also to get directions to the hospital. She came over and then went with us to the hospital. (So nice!)

I'm pretty sure since they knew A things were a bit easier for us. The only thing we had to do to check-in was to write down Buttons' name and our address. It was a Friday night so you can imagine it was busy. There were a couple of guys in football (soccer) outfits there, one being A's nephew and the other with a dislocated shoulder, also a man with quite a few family members present who had cut his finger pretty badly and then there was Buttons. She was in her pajamas, with an ice pack for a pillow and begging to just go to sleep (slaap in Dutch). I was so happy A was with us as my fears were greatly reduced just knowing she was there.

During the wait I explained to Buttons what I think will happen including a shot and stitches. She took it in and seemed to be mostly ok but a little frightened. I told her we would hold her hands and we would be right there. Her biggest fear was that she would have to stay in the hospital. I assured her we wouldn't be staying (I was pretty sure) and we would all leave together (100% certain) and that seemed to comfort her.

By letting her know what would happen she was able to lay calmly and let the doctor put the 2 stitches in with absolutely no fuss. And that's the end of the story.

Yeah, I knew you wouldn't believe me. Buttons was not happy and I forgot to tell her about the big green sheet with the hole that they would put over her while they're stitching her up or the need for 4 people, including Hubby and myself, to hold her still. I didn't know it would take 3 hours to do it either. Ok, it was probably like 5 minutes, but when you're holding your daughter down and she's doing a primal scream and shouting "mama" every few seconds it just feels like 3 hours.

While it took her a while to calm down, one of the nurses gave her a sucker and that helped ease the pain. Then we were told to wake her up every 2 hours to check for signs of a concussion. I was so hyped I stayed up for the first 2 wake-ups and she was not a happy girl when I woke her up and made her look into the light. We had a rough night and then she had the nerve to wake up at her usual time in the morning. (By the way, we decided to put her in the crib that night and now that's her new bed. The only problem? She knows how to get out of the crib and there's a radiator right near it.)

We went to Antwerp the next day to visit the zoo with Hubby's colleague J and J's girlfriend T. We had a great time and Buttons was thrilled to see the animals. It was really a wonderful zoo and we were able to see a snow leopard and two cheetahs moving around in their cages, a baby rhino and nesting storks. We went back to J and T's house for a wonderful dinner and Buttons had a major breakdown (understandably). After devouring some delicious homemade strawberry ice cream, we made a hasty retreat and Buttons slept all the way home and transferred quite easily to bed.

The next day was Sunday and we fell out all day and in the late afternoon watched most of Seabiscuit together. With the exception of some scenes in the beginning of the movie and a little bit of language, it's a surprisingly family friendly movie. We thought is was a good movie to watch because several weeks ago Buttons shared with us that she wants to be a horse rider, a ballet dancer and a sports player. Yeah, you better believe I'll be pushing her on the helmet issue.

So, one of the things I feared most happened and we survived. We had to visit a hospital in a foreign country. Although, things don't seem so foreign here anymore and with A by our side and everyone speaking English it seemed pretty much like any other ER. Still, I'm ok if we don't go back.

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At May 28, 2008 at 8:22 AM, Blogger Tammy said...

Oh no, how scary! Poor baby - that had to hurt. Glad Buttons didn't have a concussion. I bet she wasn't digging you shining a light into her eyes in the middle of the night. Been there, it's no fun. Parenting isn't for sissies.

Damn radiators!

BTW, I sent an email with a picture attached, let me know if you didn't get it.

At May 28, 2008 at 2:11 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Wow, what a scary experience!! Glad she is doing fine now.

At May 28, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Blogger Imperatrix said...

Yowks! Glad everything turned out OK (funny they told you to keep waking her -- I've read that nowadays doctors recommend you let a concussed person sleep).

What a story that will make, huh? Sorry for the stress during the living of the story!


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