Blood is trickling out of my baby’s mouth as she starts crying again, it’s hard to make phone calls so I frantically text my husband, pacing in the rectangular shaped back room while holding my crying baby in one arm and holding up my cell phone for better reception with the other. Bathroom, microwave, couch, bathroom microwave, couch. I need to get a hold of someone who can help us. Nurse G keeps checking on us but it’s clear they have run out of ideas.
They don’t want me to leave while the baby is actively bleeding but at this point even the doctor agrees that going for a second opinion or maybe even the ER is necessary. We talk about trying the silver nitrate again but I can’t put her through that. The doctor says the first dose should have stopped the bleeding for sure.
We are in the room again – the room where it all happened, I shudder as I wish us far far away. The doctor just wants to take another “peak”, not understanding at all what is going on and why it is still bleeding. He tells us “there is something off here”. I put my baby down yet again and she literally freaks out, if I told you she cried like a maniac before-this is worse, she is losing it. The doctor gently opens her lip and then her tongue taking a look at the wounds but I can’t stand it. I just snatched my hysterical daughter and run out of the room and out of the office.
We stand outside in the blaring sun as she cries and cries and cries-her voice horse, snot mixed with tears and I can’t believe we are in this situation.
I wish us mothers had the ability to take on our children’s pain (she is so little, vulnerable and defenseless and has no idea what is going on, or why she is hurting. I feel like I failed in my duty to protect her). We should be able to take our baby’s pain (I know most moms want too- probably more times than we can count) but unfortunately we can’t. It is just not possible.
The nurse tracks us down and she is just beside herself, I can tell that she cares. She begs me to come back in to talk with the doctor. He is in there performing procedures like nothing ever happened (three patients since us) and it’s making me kind of upset. A little boy my daughter’s age and two baby girls (one older and one a newborn) has come and gone. I heard them all cry for about 2 minutes and then completely stopped. As they were leaving, two of them slept peacefully and the boy smiled-SMILED. I can’t help feeling that it is unfair, but it also alerts me that our current situation is wrong. Nurse G thinks that it is time to call an ambulance.
The doctor thinks it is okay to stop by the baby’s pediatrician since she has agreed to stay after hours to see us. My kids’ amazing aunt has already picked up my son from summer school and my husband is on standby to leave from work if I need him to come meet us at the hospital. Honestly I don’t want him to see his little baby girl like this- it is literally heartbreaking. I feel such an extreme guilt is eating away at me. I ask the doc to write the pediatrician a note explaining to the best of his knowledge what is going on. The note talks about her platelets count and a possible blood disorder (wait what??), I meet his eyes as he shakes his head looking forlorn and telling me a simple “sorry”. I’m not sure what to think.
I’m nixing the ambulance idea and decide the make “a run” for it (not even sure if that is the right decision). The nurse walks me to my car, actually truly looking devastated, carrying our pink “Juicy” diaper bag I just got for Mother’s Day. She urges me to please keep in contact with them and to update them with any news, hugging me again. I solemnly agree as I put baby is the car seat- luckily both the bleeding and the crying have slowed down. Praying that this is the end of it and that her ped will have the answers on what to do next I race down the freeway.
I call mom and dad on speaker, too tired and shaken up to even cry, I’m sure they are shocked as well and of course they have no more answers to give me.
A well-meaning lady tells me to try to nurse my crying baby as we sit in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office. I have baby M wrapped in a blanket so she can’t see what kind of shape she is in but as the lady steps closer, she sees all the blood. She audibly gasps and steps backwards almost falling over a green rocking chair. I am too exhausted and emotionally drained to give any explanation.
Once we get a room, I change baby into her third and final outfit (pink and the last one in her diaper bag), swaddle her (as best I can) and offer her the breast. She is actually interested for the first time since the cut.
Everyone has left for the day, it is only baby’s doctor and one of the other doctor’s nurses left. The female nurse with her huge curly hair looks taken aback (I swear, she gets teary eyed) and our kids’ pediatrician looks shocked. I try to make a joke “should have went with you” but nobody is laughing. She initially says that the upper cut is way too deep and that is what is bleeding, she says she is forced to apply more silver nitrate. She is surprised the other doctor already tried that but feels pretty confident she can do a better job, besides hours have passed since the procedure. This is pure terror, I’m telling you but the upper lip bleeding does stop. Doc tells us that she will be around for another twenty minutes so we can stick around.
Except after only five, the bleeding starts again. This time underneath the tongue.
I find the nurse so she can go tell the doctor who has changed her clothes (football jersey and yoga pants, well okay) that baby is bleeding again. “Well I guess I was wrong about my theory of the doctor cutting to deep and I probably owe him an apology” she says. Not sure I like this statement, does that mean something is wrong with my baby? She also tell me the platelet theory is wrong, this wouldn’t happen and she doesn’t think it is preemie related either.
More silver nitrate terror, underneath the tongue this time.
She leaves again but then the lip starts and by the time she is back in the room, the tongue does as well. She throws her hands up telling me “it’s ER time”.
As I speed there, the bleeding has slowed down again… but as I look back into the mirror facing my baby girl in her “pink on black” car seat pulling up to the hospital, the image that meets me will haunt me forever.