In another plot twist entitled OF COURSE THIS HAPPENED TO US... we spent another whole entire day in the EMERGENCY ROOM.
We stopped by a Gymboree store for the start of one of their sales, and Josie kept running away from me in the store. I told her to stop several times and finally said I was going to strap her into the stroller, so she ran behind the counter, tripped, and fell straight into the corner of an open drawer.
The extraordinarily sharp, razor edged, metal corner of the open drawer.
RIGHT BETWEEN HER EYES. On the bridge of her nose.
I heard the employee say, "Oh she fell!" and I heard Josie start crying. And then I heard another woman say, "Oh God, her face!" and my heart sank, and then my friend turned to me and said, "She definitely needs stitches."
By the time I made it around the counter, blood was pouring down her face. Everyone started handing me towels and tissues and bandages, but one look at her nose and I knew we needed an emergency room. It was disgusting. A huge open gash, indented in the center and then several cuts radiating outward with blood pouring down her face. And possibly a broken nose, from the site of impact.
I thought I might throw up for a minute, as blood dripped through my hands and down her shirt, and then I pulled it together, asked the woman to remove everything from my stroller where I'd been piling possible outfits, and rushed out the door.
Josh gave me directions to the closest hospital since we'd met a friend at a faraway mall, and I sobbed the whole way, and tried not to freak out as Gabe offered helpful narration from the backseat about how Josie was touching the gash and rubbing blood all over her face.
By the time I went to pull her out of the car seat, her face and hands were covered in blood, which in retrospect, got us checked into the ER rather quickly. Josh was on his way, so I fielded the initial check-in, and before we'd even been examined, he arrived to help with Gabe. I demanded that plastic surgery be paged, because this was a serious cut. In face, it was many different cuts, and right smack in the middle of her face.
The nurse was rather rude initially, even though I asked VERY nicely, and it was more of a suggestion really. He said it would be up to plastics whether they would come or not, and they might not think it was "worth it" to come down, and they might not respond to the pages, and it would be up to them. Josh and I said we'd really feel much better if they'd at least look at the cut, and he was super dismissive and insistent that they might or might not come. When Josh finally got a little annoyed and said that plastics refusing to come to even look at her face was unacceptable, the nurse just stood up and walked out before repeating again that it was up to them. Umm, okay? The resident and his attending agreed with us, though, thankfully, and agreed to page plastics since "we don't like to mess around with cuts like that."
Plastics, however, didn't answer the first FOUR pages from the ER, which oh my goodness! Are you really allowed to do that? In the meantime, Josie wasn't allowed to eat or drink. The poor thing was exhausted since we were missing her nap, and after 4+ hours waiting, I finally turned off all the lights and rocked her to sleep. Of course, 15 minutes after she'd fallen asleep, the nurse arrived to put in her iv. 10 minutes later, plastics FINALLY arrived- hurray! And said they were going to sedate her to put in the stitches.
From then on out, things went smoothly. Plastics was great, the attending had a baby girl about the same age and knew exactly how to talk to Josie. I was allowed to stay until they put her under, while Josh and Gabe waited in the waiting room, and 20 minutes later, we were done. The sedation wasn't bad at all, although seeing her go under, with her eyes looking all twitchy and strange, and then her coming out of it and acting totally drunk, was uncomfortable and not exactly something you love to see as a parent. The actual process, however, was not as terrible as I'd anticipated and she seemed most bothered by the blood pressure cuff, and then later, by the removal of the tape and heart monitors.
Another couple of hours later, and we were finally dismissed, 7+ hours after we'd arrived. It was a long, awful, no good, horrible day, and I suspect that tomorrow I will collapse into a sobbing disastrous heap. So many emotions are competing for space- relief, horror, sadness, gratitude, anger, where to even begin.
Tonight, though, I will be thankful for my safe, sleeping children in their beds. Tomorrow I will worry about scars and follow-up visits, and how the heck I'm going to keep her from touching the stitches. Tonight I'll just be grateful for those tiny stitches and nothing more. And I'll be closing all our open drawers. And buying some bubble wrap.