I can’t remember a time EVER when I failed to post for 5 weeks. I’m the WORST BLOGGER lately. But travel plus book deadline plus starting back full steam ahead with homeschooling has kept me more than busy. If you’ve sent me a message or an email checking in, I appreciate it so much! We are all fine–thriving, in fact. But we did have some excitement when we were traveling in late August: our first trip to the ER with one of the kids. If you know Gwen, you won’t be surprised that she was the kid that merited this particular “first.” Here’s the story:
Moms can tell the difference between an upset cry and an “I’m really hurt” cry and on a hike down a mountain during our family reunion trip to North Carolina, I could hear four-year-old Gwen’s “I’m really hurt” cry. I was up the trail with Benjamin and it took a few minutes for me to get down to the parking lot where the girls were.
Gwen reached out for me and sobbed on my shoulder. Daniel told me that she and Lucy had been playing on a little rock wall next to the sidewalk and Gwen had slipped on a jacket draped on the wall and fell on her head. How ironic that she had safely climbed up and down a mountain only to fall in the parking lot!
(Snuggling with Dad before the parking lot fall.)
Her eyes looked fine, she wasn’t bleeding, and she could answer questions, but she seemed super clingy (understandably). We drove to get some lunch and she didn’t want to eat (weird), but it was nap time so we didn’t think too much of it when she preferred to snuggle in my lap and then fell asleep in the car on the way back to our rental. But then she started throwing up…
From my obsessive googling after any previous head bumps I knew that this was not good. I called a family member who’s an MD and after hearing about which part of her head she fell on, the vomiting, plus the sleepiness, he urged us to go immediately to the ER about 30 minutes away and to keep her awake on the way.
Of course our first trip to the ER with a child was when we were traveling. And of course it was for Gwen “Mom’s had to call Poison Control about me 5 times” Stewart, our daredevil.
If I hadn’t been 100% focused on keeping her awake and calm so she wouldn’t be freaked out about going to the hospital, I would have been a basket case. It wasn’t easy to convince her to keep her eyes open and keep her talking, but I talked her ear off the whole way as her little eyelids would droop. I tweeted a quick request for prayer before losing signal at the hospital and they whisked us into the ER quickly after arriving.
After getting anti-nausea meds, the next thing she needed was a CT scan. She would barely respond to us and still just wanted to go to sleep. Gwen is our firecracker girl and usually talks a mile a minute. Seeing her so lethargic made me feel sick to my stomach and I kept praying the Memorare. They let me go back with her for the CT scan and despite feeling horrible, she was super brave.
As we waited for the results, she started to perk up (maybe thanks to the anti-nausea meds?) and the knots in my stomach released a bit as I watched her begin to talk and act a bit more like herself. Then the CT scan came back clear and we could really give a sigh of relief.
By that evening she was bouncing around our rental, eating ice cream, and chattering away. She slept in my bed (so that I could try to rouse her a couple of times in the night as advised by the doctor to make sure she waked easily) and she had trouble falling asleep because she had so much to say: “I’m glad giants aren’t real and don’t live in North Carolina or else they might come stomp on us in our sleep. Aren’t you glad, mama?” (What a change from just a few hours earlier when I couldn’t get her to talk OR stay awake!)
She kept her little arms wrapped around me all night and I barely slept because of my inability to move and her propensity to talk in her sleep, but I did not mind one bit. It’s amazing how many worst case scenarios fly through your mind when it comes to your children and how precious and sweet it is if those fears can be set aside and all is well.
(Back to her old tricks the next morning.)
Now when I remind the kids to hold a rail when going down stairs or to sit properly in chairs Gwen pipes up, “Because you don’t want us to get a HEAD INJURY?! And have to go to the EMERGENCY ROOM?” Yup, that’s why, baby girl. Lord, help me. No wonder I find more grey hairs every week. I can’t wait to see how Gwen takes on the world. Whenever I try to describe her, the best way I can figure to do it is to explain that she was born on St. Joan of Arc’s feast day and that it’s extremely fitting. Watch. Out. World.
Well, friends, say a prayer that I can my whole book done before my deadline at the end of the month! I’m in pretty good shape but have lots of editing to do over the next week and a half. We’re starting back with our homeschool co-op and everything that comes with a new school year (and I keep having nightmares that I’m in college again and can’t find any of my classes!). The blog will probably continue to be pretty quiet until October, but I will TRY to have a new TWM up for you on Friday. I hope all is well with each of you and I miss this space bunches!