A Mother’s Worst Fear

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I’m pretty terrible about updating — and I own that 😉 — but the last few weeks were made infinitely worse by the terrible experience we had a little more than three weeks ago.

You know when you have one of those days where nothing in particular is really going right? That was totally my Wednesday when I packed the kids up and took them down to the YMCA. We had been going pretty habitually recently because they love it and I’d been trying to get back on the couch to 5k program but that morning was just a struggle. However, with three kids four and under you don’t think too much about that. 😉 Sometimes, that’s just life.

But because of that I parked in a way I usually never park and coming out of the YMCA I left Izzy and Orin to play on the hill while I threw Zelda in the car and then went back for them. They are typically content to run up and down the hill a million times but I guess because I was out of sight Orin decided to find me. No sooner had I gotten Zelda in the car then I turn around to hear Orin and Izzy both screaming.

There is no possible way to describe what it feels like to turn around and see your baby laying on the pavement, crying but not moving. I’ll never have words for it.

I ran to him immediately, picked him up, knew instantly that he’d been hit by a car, and watched as the person who hit him drove away. In that moment I did none of the things you are supposed to do — I didn’t get their plates, I didn’t even get the model of truck, I just watched and hoped they would stop but they didn’t. 😞

When I turned back to assess him I figured he probably had a broken arm because he was holding it like it hurt and he was obviously banged up. Because of this and the fact that I had two other kids with me, I made the decision to drive him to the emergency room. Now, in retrospect I probably should not have done this. If he had lost consciousness or been more severely injured I probably wouldn’t have but my child had just been hit in this parking lot and I didn’t want to risk hanging out any longer with two more children.

Also, I actually think this made my emergency room visit faster because man — as soon as I walked in there and the words “my son has been hit by a car” left my mouth they sprang into action despite all the other people waiting there.

Unfortunately they also freaked me out with the fear that he had a collapsed lung among other things but that’s their job. They also helped me file a police report on the hit and run and did tons of scans on every part of his little body and treated us so well I’m honestly tearing up writing this. I know this particular hospital gets a lot of flak around here but my experience with them as a trauma center was nothing short of perfect.

Ultimately they made the decision to transfer him to the children’s hospital that had performed Zelda’s heart surgery so my mum came and picked up the girls and Korey dealt with our cars with my in laws while I took the ambulance transport down into the city.

Being as I was familiar with the hospital we were transfered to I was pretty thrilled to be going back. I knew they would take amazing care of Orin and find out exactly what was going on with his lungs — which turned out just to be a little touch of air from trauma and not a collapsed lung — and that if he needed surgery on his arm he was in the right place. Thankfully he did not need surgery as it was only a fracture but we still spent the night to get some more x-rays done and verify that the air in his lung didn’t get worse.

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We both managed to get a little sleep that night and in the morning they confirmed he didn’t need surgery so I ordered him breakfast. Poor little man though — he was in pretty good spirits when I got him dressed to take a walk but it wasn’t until his sisters got there that he really perked up. Zelda was so happy too! They really miss each other when they’re not together, it is the sweetest, most heart warming thing to see as a mother.

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Of course, the cookie daddy left him didn’t hurt either… 😉

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Thankfully we only had to spend one night there and when we finally got home it was obvious he was missing it. He was back to his old self immediately, being entertained by his sisters and eating pizza like a champ. 😂

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A week later we went back for a follow up orthopedic visit and was put in a real cast. 😱 An experience I was not looking for to facing — ha! None of my siblings or I ever had a cast as children. It’s really sad and cute to see a little baby cast. 😂

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Already you can see how quickly his face healed though! Mostly surface scratches, only a couple were very deep.

Ultimately though — holy shit could this have been much worse!! As I’ve thought and rethought about this, I have decided the driver probably didn’t even realize he hit Orin. I think what probably happened was that Orin ran straight into his tire. He might have even looked back at Izzy yelling at him not to run because he had a big radial burn on one side of his face and the other was much more banged up. I would guess the power of the tire spun him into the pavement and his elbow took the brunt of the force and fractured. He was only in the cast for three weeks, my initial assessment of his condition was accurate, he never lost consciousness or suffered from a concussion, and he has healed perfectly so far. We got very very lucky with this accident and I’ve learned that I need to have more patience and always park near the sidewalk — no matter how inconvenient or how long the walk — or get out the stroller. At least for a little while longer.

The takeaway here for me is — parenting is difficult as hell. It’s hard to know when you need to teach them independence and when you need to carry them through an experience. It’s easy for me to look back and say “I should’ve done this, I should’ve done that” but the truth is I thought they would be okay and they weren’t. It was an accident. But one I hope to god I never experience again. 😩

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