June 7, 2016.
A glass shattering scream and I’m up off my chair, I focus on my toddler in front of me and she’s on the floor, crying a waterfall of tears. This is not unusual, as two-year olds-especially mine- are super emotional. But I knew this cry to mean something was actually wrong, I immediately scan her for issues, and I see she has a bite mark under her eye and I pick her up in my arms and sway her until I realize they are dog bite marks, I throw my dog outside and try to comfort my baby. These are cries I’ve never heard before, I figure she’s mainly just scared beyond belief and trying to gather herself. I’m “shh” ing her when I look to the side and see blood on my shirt! I gasp and immediately panic. Luckily I know my sister-in-law is home and in her room, I race over and pound on her door,
“I don’t know what to do,” automatically comes out of my mouth as she opens the door.
“She’s bleeding! I can’t tell from where!”
I put her in Catie’s arms so I can investigate her further. I begin whipping off her face with a damp cloth and realize it’s not coming from there. It’s coming from her head.
“Oh my God…What do I do..”
Catie begins to pull Audrey’s hair back as she screams with pain,
“Oh shit! She’s gonna need to go to the ER. That will need stitches”
I immediately race to my bedroom throw on whatever clothes I can find and go out into the living room. I’m in a daze yet my heart is racing at full speed. I’m trying to think but everything is blurring together from exhilaration. I think enough to get a diaper bag and race through making sure I have essentials packed. I grab Audrey only to realize I’ll need my insurance card which means my wallet and that’s in a separate bag, I hand Audrey back to Catie and she cries with furry, she just wants her mommy, she needs comfort. After racing around to find it I throw it in the bag and buckle Audrey up and we are on the move.
BE PREPARED!! I AM ADDING THIS LIST OF KEY ESSENTIALS HERE FOR THOSE OTHER MAMA’S OUT THERE! Things like this happen, and having everything a go makes everything smoother and keeps you and your little one calmer!
- Have or have memorized your child’s social security number
- have medical cards in wallet for easy to grab and go.
- Keep calm.
- Keep a safety bag with toys maybe a book
- keep calm
- snacks that won’t go bad
- and any ‘lovey’ so they feel safe.
- AND keep calm!
Luckily Audrey stopped bleeding and crying right after we got into the car and I just tried to keep her calm by talking to her about Peppa Pig. We live about 5 minutes from the nearest hospital. Getting there it’s hardly what I expected of an EMERGENCY room but I suppose since she wasn’t visually bleeding anymore the staff wasn’t too concerned; they handed me paperwork which I of course felt like a failure at
‘insurance holders ssn’ –‘crap’–‘
patients ssn’—‘…’ –t
here was at least two other questions that I lacked immediate answers to but I turned it in as was because I just wanted her to be seen.
The whole process was about 2 hours. The nurse came in and asked me questions and took Audrey’s vitals.
“So she fell??” I could hear judgment behind their loaded questions,
“no, it was our dog..”–
“uh huh, and has animal control been called yet?”–
“well no..”–‘great another thing to worry about’
I felt like the worst mother in the world, like I was being judged for not watching her closely enough…
“you see I have another little one at home..”
Excuses kept coming out and I realize I wasn’t doing it so much for them but to make my inner self calm down. I should have known to not let her kiss the dogs when they sleep, especially knowing the one that did end up biting her had been abused by previous owners–
was this my fault?
I could have prevented this.
Would she be traumatized by dogs from here on out?
Was my husband going to blame me as well?
***(Warning: Some pictures included are “unpleasant”)
As we waited to be seen further, my husband came through the door and Audrey was her usual self, excited to see her daddy, her hero. They hugged and he asked me what happened, my sister-in-law had called him to tell him we went to the ER because Audrey “cracked her head open”. I can only imagine the horror that went through his head on drive. I assured him she was fine but I explained the story to him. He was calm and more relieved that it wasn’t as bad as he originally thought.
He didn’t blame me at all. And kept assuring me through out the night that “things happen, kids get hurt”. I just kept thinking, ‘Yeah but this happened under my watch, I’m her mother, I am supposed to protect her’.
The P.A. Came in and explained what was going to happen. They were already numbing Audrey’s wound with a cotton ball filled with some numbing agent. She kept knocking it off her head so they had to use a huge ace bandage around her head. She looked like a little war survivor. Which in a way she was.
They then squirt some further type of pain relief into her nose. They had a little straight jacket looking board to hold her down so they could staple her head without her moving her arms. She screamed the entire time but it lasted less than 3 minutes. Once it was over she just wanted to be held and carry the bear the nurses had given her.
She cried a good part of the rest of the afternoon I presume from exhaustion of everything that had taken place in a matter of three to four hours.
She has recovered well. It was just a scary experience but it didn’t seem to faze her. As of the day after she was back to running around and dancing like her normal self. She hasn’t shown any fear of dogs since the incident and is just as wily as ever. She continues to just be our Audrey.
As mothers we inflict a lot of pain. It starts with pregnancy, labor, and never ends- truly. We constantly question and fear for our children and their futures. Moments like this are simply a part of life, parts of our children’s lives that we as mothers must endure and feel the pain as if it is inflicted upon us personally. No one said the life of a mother was easy. Nothing worthwhile comes easy after all.