As I turn around, the image meeting me in the “baby mirror” hanging opposite baby girl’s car seat fills me with horror. The bleeding has started again, except this time it’s not trickling, it’s gushing out of my baby’s mouth.
I’m thankful for the valet as we pull up right outside Children’s Hospital’s emergency room entrance, I put baby carefully in the baby carrier, grabbing the pink diaper bag and I just throw him the keys (engine running). Baby M looks up at me with tired eyes, her mouth is swollen and she just looks exhausted. I feel like crying as the automatic doors open.
People move out of their way as they see me with the bleeding baby (probably imagining all sorts of horrendous accidents-it looks that bad). I get to go ahead of everyone (no time to explain or consider the other kids but I’m sure they are being taken care of) and before we even have time to check in, tall green doors swing open and a nurse runs out, and then rushing us inside.
The nurse taking the vitals, skips over the weight and height, trusting me with the numbers, she doesn’t even want to take the baby from me. The nurse taking us to our own hospital bed (in a room of many) actually audibly gasps as she sees our girl, pulling the curtains shut around us. She orders a little suction machine but the baby screams every time she comes near her mouth with it. They call for a supervising nurse who is considering stitches but isn’t sure. It seems like none of them know how to proceed or what to do with us. They also seem surprisingly clueless as I describe for maybe the third or fourth time what has happened.
In the middle of all of this, my little blond boy comes running in the children’s ER straight for me and…then somehow misses, and straight into one of those metal tables on wheels (he actually hits his forehead so hard, he falls down). I catch my husband’s eye, who is right behind our energetic son, “really?” This is when the doctor “on call” shows up. “Easy there buddy” he says “I didn’t sign up to treat two patients in the same family”, he smiles down at my son who is rubbing his forehead, blinking away tears. He runs into everything that kid, not exactly watching where he is going, but he seldom gets real hurt (thank God) or complains. Aw, my little trouper!
Talking about trouper, the little girl on my arm is now looking at her dad, blood dripping down her chin and eyes tired and glazed over. I can see that it breaks his heart. The boys have brought some essential in case we have to stay awhile (but no change of clothes, which I really feel like I need right now-hopefully we get to go home soon).
The doctor takes one look at the suction machine and tells the nurses to stop trying to suction the blood out of the baby’s mouth (I had already picked her up and away from it when she was screaming; maybe in more fear than pain) and to take it away. They shrug and leave with it. The doctor hears my story one more time and as I finish, feeling like I just want him to fix her here and now so we can go home and sleep, he clears his throat telling us that he is not qualified to treat this patient.
I am so tired, what does that even mean? He is saying that she needs to be admitted to the hospital (wait what?) and be seen by the ENT surgeons (what whaaat?) and probably peeped for surgery. Did I hear that right? I feel like fainting, they are going to perform surgery on my little three months old baby girl?
There is no time for explanations as a new nurse with brown hair and nice eyes leads us out of the ER and into the surgical wing at the children’s hospital. She is apologizing for running, (I’m not even sure why she does, but it can’t be a good sign) “your arms must be burning, poor mama”. I can’t even feel it, I hug my girl tight and say to myself “just one step at a time”.
Our boys are right behind us, husband holding our son (he seems sad and confused… well, they both do). This is no place for an older brother (of 3 years) and as we run around the hospital we have a hushed/screaming dialogue about how it’s time for them to leave. I know hubby feels bad for me, having to handle this all on my own and he asks numerous times if I’m sure. I am, our son shouldn’t see this and it’s time for dinner and bedtime anyways. Besides there is sadly nothing they can do to help now anyways. What a day…
I am exhausted and while I fill out paperwork, I can’t believe I’m filling out, I’m required to give up control for a few minutes and give the baby to the friendly brunette nurse. She holds her as I ask questions about baby being “put under”, “how long it will take”, “the outcome” and “healing/time spent in the hospital”. An anesthesiologist comes in the small room to explain further. Baby’s mouth has at least stop gushing blood but it’s still trickling. She is in a way to big baby hospital gown with little animal (tigers and elephants I believe) prints and the nurse gets a towel to hold underneath her chin.
Nurse G from the tongue tied procedure office calls and texts me wanting updates, I text my mom and baby M’s aunt and Godmother. We don’t have to wait long before who they call doctor “Magic” (sounds promising at least) enters the room, explaining that they will have to stitch her back up which should not take long depending on how deep the wounds are and how much scar tissue there is. Unfortunately they also have to pump her stomach because of all the blood she swallowed. I can’t believe this is happening. Why is this happening? Isn’t she way to little…too young for anesthesia, for surgery? I’m powerless and have to trust these doctors. They estimate 30-40 minutes for surgery give or take.
As they take her away it feel like my heart is being ripped out of my body…