What I Learned About Motherhood The Other Night

Last week, my son got bit by a family member’s dog; because he was running around the house, tripped, and fell into her. She reacted, only natural, I suppose, by biting his ear, causing a puncture and laceration at the top. Not a big deal right? I guess, only if it isn’t YOUR child. At that moment that it was happening, all things went into slow motion, and I was speechless, motionless. But only for a split second. I went into action and snatched my baby up (who was screaming and bawling hysterically), to assess the damage, and to comfort him; my poor, sweet, innocent boy. At first it only seemed like a little puncture on the front of his ear, in the cartilage. But, when I lifted him away from my shirt that he was resting his head on, I noticed about 8 or 10 nickle-sized blood drops on my shirt. That sent me into sheer panic… What in the fuck else did she get? I wanted to kill that dog. I seen red. I immediately started looking at the back of his ear and found a gash. His hair was already stuck to it, and it was still bleeding pretty steadily. I made the choice to go to urgent care, because it did not seem life threatening. After seeing the doctor there, he stated that it was very bad, and he needed to go to the ER at the children’s hospital because that kind of tissue didn’t have good circulation and then he started talking about a plastic surgeon on call, and blah, blah, blah… I started to get really dizzy and a little frantic as he left to go and call the ER at Kosairs. I felt really bad at that point for not just taking him to the ER in the first place, I felt like I had failed him as his mommy… I had one job! One! But then again, Liam was already running around like the wild man that he is, laughing and squealing. All the way to the hospital, I kept thinking to myself, is he going to have to have surgery on his ear? Is he seriously going to have to be “put under” at his age? I WAS FREAKING OUT!!! My baby is hurt, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. Once we got to Kosairs, we were brought straight back to triage, and then on to the back so that the ENT could see his ear. Luckily, she said that it just needed to be cleaned and steri-stripped, and that it would heal up nicely. THANK GOD. Or whoever is watching over my boy…. Thanks daddy. But then the real fun began. They came in and put a numbing cream on the area, which pissed him off, and we waited 30 minutes for it to kick in, then we took him to the procedure room. There, they wrapped a sheet around him, which pissed him off. The kid was never swaddled as a baby, he moved too much. He started screaming at that point, and then they laid him down on the table, belly down and proceeded to clean his ear with sterile water and steri-stripped it. This was the worse thing I have ever had to witness (not the cleaning of the wound, cause I’m all about that kind of stuff, just not on my kid); him withering and screaming and crying his eyes out, while looking right at me, like, “How can you sit there and let them do this to me?” It was awful. I just started crying with him, and I’m pretty sure his daddy was too. That’s all I could do. As soon as the fiasco was over, he came straight to my arms, and fell asleep. The poor guy went through a lot that night. But here’s what I learned: I know that we, as moms, like to joke and say, “Well, I kept the kid alive today.” As funny and as taxing as that can be some days, you don’t realize how important and hard that job is. Your child can be taken out of your life in a split second. Over something so small as a dog bite. If that bite would have been a few more inches down, that would have been his jugular, and that could have been very bad… I just don’t even want to think about it. I’m crying again. It scares the living shit out of me to think about life without my son. I could have lost my baby. That may be a little over-dramatic to you, and that’s fine, but until you are in a position that warrants this kind of a freak out, don’t judge. I want to be clear that I do not blame the family members to whom the dog belongs to (and if we want to get technical, it is my husband’s dog), as we all know that this particular dog is just old and cantankerous, and up until now, we’ve all done great keeping Liam away from her. And she has done pretty good at avoiding him. It was a freak accident; they were both in the wrong place at the wrong time, I know that now. But I also know something else, and this solidifies my choice in that this family will NEVER own a dog. NEVER.

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4 thoughts on “What I Learned About Motherhood The Other Night

  1. Oh bless your heart. It’s a parenting rite of passage I think. All four of my kids have had near-death moments (three were when I wasn’t around, two were due to Husband negligence). In We Need to Talk About Kevin there’s a passage about the near-miss moments.
    You never forget that look of betrayal when you have to stand by and watch your baby endure something horrible. They forget, but you don’t.
    I hope Liam’s ear heals well. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words. His ear is healing well, and he sees the doctor tomorrow to make sure it is doing what it needs to do. I guess these kind of things happen to reign us back in and realize that life truly is precious. I’m sure with four kids, it happens more often. Bless your heart! 🙂

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