Whew. So this is what my baby girl’s face looks like this morning. She doesn’t have a cleft, but she sure does have the stitches through the vermilion of her lip up to her nostril.  Same place and everything. What a freakin day.

Let me take you back…

The morning began with Abby dry heaving in her crib, only I didn’t realize it at first- I just thought she was ready to start her day. Nope- as I picked her up, I realized her little body was convulsing. Poor baby! She spent the rest of the morning sucking on popsicles then, barfing them all over me and the family room. Late morning, David picked Bean up at preschool, and brought home some french fries for Bean’s lunch. Abby ate about 5 fries, and, miracle of miracles, they stayed down. Hooray for grease and starch!

Then phone rings, and it’s a childhood friend I haven’t talked to in a few months- we are busy catching up, Bean and Abby are watching Wubsy, and there is no barf in sight. Shreeeeeeeeik!!!! What?! I run in the living room- Abby is sitting on the floor, blood all over her face, and Bean is hiding in the TV cabinet, screaming “I’m sorry Abby! I’m sorry Abby! SORRY!!”- I toss the phone on the couch, yelp to my friend that I HAVE TO GO- scream for David, and start to feel sick as I wipe the blood away to reveal the wicked, red gash of flesh on my daughter’s face.

“David!! DAVID!!!- Get Bean in the car- we have to go to the ER, NOW!!” I scoop her up, grab a kitchen towel, grab the phone, try and call Nana, mis-dial three times in my fluster, tell Nana we are dropping Bean off and we are going to the ER because my daughter…is…bleeding. Of course, all of this is accompanied by the symphony of Abby wailing and Bean screaming “I’m sorry!” (poor Bean- it was an accident- but he was traumatized)

There is a hospital close to where we live, but when we saw the triage nurse, she told us Abby needed plastics to fix this one, otherwise she could have a terrible scar. She sent us downtown to the big children’s hospital- and thank heavens she did. What an amazing place.

The ER at the children’s hospital is wonderful. It’s all just for kids- they take the kids to their rooms in Radio Flyer wagons, they have Little Tykes red cars with IV drip poles mounted to them, there are flat-screen TVs in every room, with tons of DVD’s to choose from.  If an ER can be a good place, they had it in aces.

We had to wait a while, but they put us in a room with Dora and Diego for Abby’s entertainment, and she was calm and distracted. We were waiting for the Peds plastic surgeon to arrive. I’m glad we did. Once she looked at Abby, she told us she would need to knock her out in order to really do a good job and minimize scarring potential. This made me nervous, but I also knew Abby would not want to be 14 and look like Frankenstein’s monster.

Never seen anything so wonderful as that Peds nurse who put Abby’s IV in- tiny hand, tiny vein, tiny needle- one stick, perfect the first time. Give the woman a medal.

When they started the procedure, the SIX nurses in the room let David and I sit in the corner while they all gathered around the bed, each doing something different- there was a tiny blood pressure cuff on her leg, tiny monitors on her back and heart, a tiny pulse-ox on her big toe, and one special nurse, up by Abby’s head, who whispered sweet, comforting words and held small flashing lights for her too see as she nodded off to dream land. Her whole job, I later learned, was to comfort the child. Wow.

I quietly cried the whole time.

When they were done, the doctor told me kids usually come out of the anesthesia better if you talk to them, so I went to her bed and started softly calling her name- Abby… Abby… mama’s here, sweet girl…

She turned her head, groggy and swollen, cracked her eyes, and said “Maaaa-mmmmaaa…,” then looking down, “Daaaaaaad” in the sweetest, drunkest sounding little voice you ever heard. My heart sang, and everyone laughed.

After about an hour, she was alert enough to eat a popsicle, and the nurses said if she kept it down, we were good to go. We got to go.

The cherry on top: Jeffrey went to a friends house after school, arranged from the ER on the last remaining drivels of cell-phone battery. When we picked him up, he had just had dinner, and on the way to the car, he looked a little green, said “Mom, I think I’m gonna…” and promptly hurled in their front bushes.

So, how was your day?

(Many thanks to Mo for posting an update last night- that’s a good friend, who will hack into your blog and tell the world what’s up when you are otherwise engaged! Oh, and Heather O, this is why I never called you back yesterday!)

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