My Broken Baby, Part II

Hadley woke up Tuesday morning and you would never know she was injured. She is one tough cookie. Literally the only time she ever fussed or cried was when she would try to stand on her broken leg. Here you can see her standing, but not putting any weight on her leg. She would allow her foot to hover above the ground, but never set down more than a couple toes for balance.

Standing without putting weight on her foot

Eventually it was time for our appointment, so Hadley and I headed to Legacy Emmanuel Children’s Hospital to meet with the pediatric orthopedist. Hadley was thoroughly enjoying exploring the office and was especially fond of making quick attempts to escape.

Crawling out of the doctors office

Once we got into the office, I finally got to see Hadley’s X-rays. Doesn’t she have the cutest little bones?

Hadley's X-rays
Here you can see the front view of her leg:

Hadley's X-ray, front view

And a close up of the break:

Front view, up close on the breaks

The break on the tibia (the larger bone) was obvious to me, but they assured me that her fibula (the skinny bone) was also fractured. I guess I needed to go to school for a few more years to see that one. But I trusted the doctors.

The side views weren’t as easy for me to spot the break, but I will include them as well for those of you with medical interest. Plus she has cute, chubby legs.

Hadley's X-ray, side view
Side view, up close

Then I talked with the doctor and he assured me the breaks were very minor. I asked about the growth plate and he said it was very unlikely that an injury of this nature would cause any lasting damage. She was very lucky and the recovery time should be very quick. We would need to put her in a cast covering her entire leg since sometimes babies can slip out (HA!) of the shorter casts, but she would only need to keep it on for 3.5 weeks. And with that, they started the casting process:

Slipping on the sock
Wrapping the cast
Pretty in pink
Hadley's GIANT pink leg

Hadley was an angel the entire time. She didn’t fuss or whine but simply stayed still and watched everything the techs did. (Seriously, can this girl be any more amazing?!) As I was setting up her follow-up appointment for the cast removal, I set Hadley down to see how she could get around with the cast on. She took off just like normal, with the cast dragging behind her like a zombie with a useless extremity.

Crawling with her cast on

Once she got to the wall she even pulled herself up and gave standing a try! She was wobbly and a little awkward, but she wasn’t in pain!

Trying out standing with the cast

By the time we got out to the car, Hadley was loving her new cast! She was smacking it, scratching her nails on it to feel the bumpy texture and listen to the sounds it made, and even having fun trying to grab her toes.

Hey! This is actually pretty cool!

On the way home I needed to make a couple stops for supplies. I wanted to pick up an assortment of Sharpies for cast signing and, knowing her leggings and skinny jeans were not going to fit over the cast, we needed to stock up on stretchy boot-leg pants. Hello, Old Navy! I also scored some awesome cozy socks that fit over the cast to keep Hadley’s tootsies warm when we had to go outside.

Mama got me a fuzzy sock to keep my toes warm!

When I picked Ana up from our friend’s house, all the kiddos were VERY excited to get to sign Hadley’s cast. I had to make sure everyone understood that the Sharpies were only to be used on the cast and this was the only time it would ever be ok for Ana to draw on her sister.

Let the cast signing begin!

Not wanting to be left out, Hadley too wanted to draw on her cast. So I handed her the Sharpie (conveniently leaving the cap ON) and let her go to town. She was thrilled.

Hadley wanted to "sign" her own cast

Hearing that his granddaughter was broken, my dad stopped by to visit. He came bearing a baby doll with a little medical kit for Hadley to take care of her own sick baby. As we were chatting and marveling at how well Hadley was getting around with the cast, I happened to look down and her leg looked a little funny. Thinking it was just the cast and the angle it was positioned as Hadley sat on the floor in front of the fridge, I said, “Wow. That cast makes her leg look really long.” Then my dad said, “Actually, Care, I think something is wrong. Her leg is on backwards!” Then we picked Hadley up and sure enough, her cast was coming off! She was crawling right out of it. So I promptly, with more panic than I care to admit, called the hospital. They said I would have to wait until Thursday because they only have surgeries on Wednesday. I said there was no way I was going to be able to keep a 13 month old off this broken leg without a cast so they put me on hold to see what they could do. When the receptionist got back on the phone she said if I could get there by 5pm, they could get the cast on. It was already 4:30pm and the hospital was all the way across town. It takes me about a half hour in the best of conditions and since we were reaching the height of rush hour I was less than optimistic but I assured her I would do my best! I was not about to give up without a fight. So I threw the girls in the car, and waved good-bye to my dad as we peeled out of the driveway and set off for the hospital. Again.

A legless cast

I am a firm believer that the employees at Emmanuel must be saints because they were amazing. When it got to be 5pm they called my cell to see if I was going to make it. My heart sank as I was sitting on I-405 on the top of the Fremont bridge stuck in traffic. The lady said it was fine and they would wait for me to get there. At 5:10pm I pulled into the hospital parking structure, grabbed the girls and literally ran all the way to their office. They locked the door behind me, took Hadley straight back to the casting room, and I took a couple minutes for my heart to start beating again.

Ten minutes later Hadley was sporting a lovely purple cast. Ana was sure the purple one would stay on better. In further attempts to keep this cast ON Miss Hadley, the techs used “baby glue,” less padding, made it go up as high as possible on her thigh, and made sharper bends at the knee and ankle to make it harder for her leg to slip out.

Purple cast!
Hoping this one stays on better!

As of today, Hadley’s cast is still on and she has been in wonderful spirits. She hasn’t fussed or whined all day and is doing fabulously with her new appendage. She even managed to successfully crawl up and down the stairs. This entire experience has really proved to me what an incredibly mild-mannered, mellow baby I have. She has been amazing and I can only wish to have a fraction of the patience she possesses. My kids is clearly a rockstar.

Hadley was very excited to get her own cookie!

My Broken Baby

Today did not go at all according to my plan. Since Ana is out of school for Winter Break we got to sleep in a little bit this morning, but we still had places to be. So we got up and out the door just a few minutes behind schedule and arrived at Hadley’s baby play group. But about half hour into play time, things went horribly wrong.

Hadley fell.

It was a minor fall. Barely a couple feet off the ground. She was climbing on an indoor play structure but as she was trying to put her feet in front of her to go down the slide, she slipped and slid backwards down the steps. She went down on her bottom and we were impressed that she never even bumped her head. But then she started shrieking. Everyone assumed that it must have just scared her since the way she landed it couldn’t have hurt that bad. Oh how wrong we were.

I tried to comfort her with no success so I brought her upstairs to try and get her to calm down. I got her blankie out of the car and we snuggled together and after what seemed like ages, she finally started to calm down. It was so unlike my normally happy, mellow Hadley. The weird thing was, she hadn’t cried more than a single tear. Her face never got red. She just squealed like a baby pig. So it didn’t even occur to me that she was in pain. I came up with several possible problems: she was scared, over stimulated, teething, tired. But pain wasn’t even something I considered.

Eventually she was so exhausted from how hard she was crying (is it crying if there are no tears? Just whimpering and whining?) she snuggled in an passed out on my chest.

My poor baby girl
When she eventually woke up she was happier and wanted to get down and play with her friends (or rather she wanted to play with their toys) so I set her on the floor in a standing position. She instantly started shaking, leaned onto the chair foot rest, and refused to put any weight on her right foot. It was then I knew something was wrong.

Being surrounded by fellow moms, we went into exam mode. Poking, prodding, and checking her all over to try and pin point the injury. Eventually we narrowed it down to her right ankle. Nothing felt out of place and there was no obvious swelling, but she clearly winced and recoiled whenever we touched it. I decided it was time to call the doctor.

So we left play group and I put in a call to Hadley’s pediatrician. Of course, the office was closed for lunch from 12-1pm so I headed home to regroup and figure out what to do next. Eventually I got through to the doctor’s office and they told me they could see me at 1:50pm. I loaded up Hadley, leaving Ana home with Sim, and we went to see her pediatrician.

Waiting to see the doctor.
When we saw the doctor, I explained what happened and he started checking her over. As he was turning, twisting, pushing and pulling Hadley was smiling up at him like he was giving her a massage. I started to feel like the most over-reacting mother on the planet. I am not one of those moms who goes to the doctor for every bump and bruise. I’m just not. And I was really starting to get embarrassed for even taking up his time. But then he said, “Well, I think she probably just hyper-extended something but I am ordering an X-ray just to rule out a spiral fracture. Sometimes you can’t detect those as easily and the bones can just shatter.” So Hadley and I packed up to head downstairs to get an X-Ray.

The waiting room for X-rays was barren and not very kid friendly, but they did have a lovely fish tank so Hadley and I sat down right beside it and thankfully it kept her nicely distracted until they called her name.


They took several X-rays, with Hadley sitting between my legs on the exam table so I could help position her and keep her still. Hadley was mesmerized by the equipment. Pointing all around the room and staring at the machine as it made its electric hum. Eventually we were done and they sent us back upstairs to see our doctor again.

When he walked back into the room he said, “She has two fractured bones and a possible spiral fracture. I want to refer you to see a pediatric orthopedist.” I was in shock. Stunned. I never in a million years imagined it was something that bad. The doctor left the exam room to get the info for the referral and I just sat there holding my poor child. My BROKEN baby. My eyes filled with tears as I imagined what this would mean. But before I could let my mind fill with worst-case scenarios my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but I relished the distraction. It was the orthopedic office calling to let me know they made me an appointment for tomorrow morning. My doctor gave me instructions to give her ibuprofen and a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine to help her sleep tonight. He also said to try and keep her immobile and as comfortable as possible.

So Hadley and I went to Walgreen’s to fill her prescription. While we were waiting for her pain meds, we were strolling up and down the aisles. Hadley got all excited and pointed at a display of mini holiday Beanie Babies. I held out two in front of her to let her choose between a soft little polar bear and a cute snowman. Hadley grabbed one with each hand and gave me the biggest smile. Will I buy you a toy? Oh yes! Hell, I’ll even buy you two if it will make you smile at me like that!

Waiting to pick up her pain meds

So now we are home and Hadley is sleeping soundly in her bed. She is such a trooper. Through this whole mess she was in the best spirits. The only time she was truly upset was when she tried to stand. It breaks my heart to think of her in what I can only imagine is intense pain. I never saw the X-rays myself, so I don’t know much at this point, but I hope to know a lot more after our appointment tomorrow with the specialist. I promise to update on Hadley’s status and keep you all posted.

A Letter: Five Years

Dear Ana,
Today you are five years old. It’s so hard for me to remember sometimes that you are ONLY five. You look, speak, and even act so much older. But it must be said, you are the most amazing five year old I know. And, thanks to you, I know quite a few five year olds!

Not only are you an amazing five year old (and fabulous daughter, which goes without saying) but you are a wonderful big sister. No. Scratch that. You are a WONDERFUL BIG SISTER. (It must be proclaimed in all caps.) I could never have asked for a better sister, helper, and friend than you are to Hadley. It has really shaped the person you are becoming. For someone who was an “only child” for as long as you were, you are incredibly well-adapted at sharing, taking turns, understanding the importance of other people and their feelings, and wanting to include Hadley in everything you do. It never fails to warm my heart when I watch the two of you together.

As such, you have taken it as your personal mission to help us keep your sister safe. You are always hovering over her like a little mother making sure she is protected. I don’t know many other children your age who are even concerned about other people, much less babies, and yet here you are. Like I said, you are truly something special.

While being girly is something you are clearly no stranger to, over the last year you have started to develop other aspects of your personality. You are tougher, somehow. You are no longer afraid to get a little dirty. You have quite a few close friends who are boys and you can certainly hold your own when playing together. While pink and purple are still your favorite colors, they are no longer the ONLY colors that exist. You now have quite a fondness for black. But while you are being one tough cookie, you never fail to bring a pinch of princess. Whether it is sporting a tiara while gardening and playing soccer or wearing a sparkly tutu with your black Converse “kicks” you are always true to what makes you happy and you are not afraid to be yourself.

As part of this newly blossoming part of your personality, this year you asked to take a karate class. You enjoyed getting out there and learning something new and different. It was great to get you out of your comfort zone of dance classes and remind you that there are so many options out there for you to explore. I always tell you that you can be anything you want in life and getting to try new things is a sure way to help you discover what that may be.

Aside from physical activities, one of your favorite things to do lately is art. It can be painting, coloring, drawing, or simply writing. You love it all. Our house is covered in your latest masterpieces and just about every room in the house has at least one “Ana original” taped to the wall precisely at your eye level. I love that you are able to tap into your creativity and I marvel at watching your artistic abilities grow.

Oh and we certainly cannot forget to mention that you are still obsessed with horses. I keep thinking it’s going to be a phase, like princesses, and eventually your obsession will wane and you will move on to something else, but I’m starting to think this may not be the case. In fact, I’m getting a little worried that you are going to be holding me to the promise I made in your last letter and next year I will be signing you up for riding lessons! Oh well, at least you can totally work the outfit.

A few months ago you started pre-kindergarten, which is still pre-school (you will be in Kindergarten next year) but you go five-days a week. I was worried that it was going to be a bit of a jump from only going two days a week last year, but you have adjusted wonderfully. You are an amazing student and your thirst for knowledge grows every day. We recently had parent-teacher conferences and your teacher informed me that you know all of your letters (capital, lowercase, and the sounds they make) and numbers, and can count to 100. In fact, when she asked you if you could count to 100, you said, “Sure! Do you want me to do it by 10s, 5s, or 1s?” And when you got to 100, and it was clear that you could have kept going, she simply said she was sure you could keep counting but it was more than sufficient for her test!

But preschool is more than just letters and numbers. So much of it is social development and learning to interact with your peers. And you are having no trouble with this. Your teacher also told me that you are very loving and affectionate and are one of more popular kids in your class. She said, “She is a favorite playmate and is often the source of competition for her attention from the girls.” Not that I thought you’d have any problems making friends–heck, I’ve been managing your social schedule for years– but it’s another thing entirely to have it confirmed by your teacher.

Because you are so social, we have quite the active schedule. I am constantly having to remember to schedule in some down time. Occasionally it catches up with you and, while you haven’t taken naps in almost a year, I catch you dozing from time to time. I find it incredibly adorable and while teenage Ana will loathe that I take pictures of you sleeping, it’s a reminder to me to let you be little. So teenage you will just have to deal with it.

Speaking of teenagers, there have been several occasions (and they keep increasing in frequency) where I catch glimpses of what you will be like as a teenage. For the most part, I can handle the sass and independence (where do you think you got it from, anyway?) but I just don’t think I can prepare for how quickly that time will be here.

Ana, I just love you so much. It’s crazy watching you grown and change before my eyes. So much happens over the course of a year that it can be hard to summarize it all for you in one letter. But know that I haven’t missed a single thing. Every skinned knee, every horse-back ride, every dance class, every piece of homework. I treasure you. I love you. To the moon and back.

All my love,

A Letter: Thirteen Months

Dear Hadley,
Today you are thirteen months old. Thirteen sounds like such a bad, unlucky number, but I have high hopes for you. I am certain there are wonderful and amazing things ahead for us this month. And it’s not only because we have so much going on (ok, when don’t we have lots going on?!) but I just love sharing all the amazing things around us and watching as you delight in each and every new discovery.

Once people find out how old you are, the first thing they ask me is if you are walking. And I always tell them, “Nope. But she could if she would just try.” And it is totally true. You are amazing when it comes to standing, a rockstar at cruising around, and even (and it pains me to admit this) awesome at climbing. You are a physical force to be reckoned with. Yet you refuse to walk. As soon as we let go of your hands you drop to the ground and crawl away (with astonishing speed, I might add). I’m not worried, by any means. I know you will walk when you are good and ready. But all this bending over is really killing our backs!

Not walking certainly doesn’t keep you from getting around. You are always ON something. Whether you are driving…

Or riding…

Or rocking…

Or just sitting. You are always content and keeping yourself busy. Over the last month you have finally figured out how to get on and off of the plasma car, trike, and rocker so you are even more inclined to head over and test out your new-found abilities. I am just glad you found things to do that make you so happy!

Your personality has really been coming out lately. And I gotta say, it can be quite mischievous! We will tell you not to do something and you give us this giant smile, bat your eyelashes, and just keep on doing whatever you want. I’m sure some of it is you testing your boundaries, and some of it is you enjoying that you are able to get a reaction out of us (excellent displays of ’cause and effect!’) but I am fairly certain you have a little evil streak that is really going to shine one day!

You still aren’t saying many actual words, but from time to time I feel like I am having full on conversations with you. For example, I swear you and I had this conversation last night:

Me: Hadley where are you going?

Hadley: Down.

Me: But I don’t want you to get down.

Hadley: I do.

Me: YOU do?

Hadley: Yes.

And then you slid off my bed and crawled away! Now I’m pretty sure we didn’t really have that conversation. But just the tone of your “words” and the back and forth of our banter, it feels like you have plenty to say, and it’s just a matter of time before you are chattering away non stop.

You love Ana more than anything. You follow your sister everywhere. To you, there is Ana and then there is the rest of the world. I love the relationship the two of you have. You can get each other giggling in a way that no one else can. I love listening to the two of you play together. Sure, I hear the occasional, “MOM! Hadley is messing up my room again!” But it is almost always followed by, “It’s ok, Hadley. You can play with this.” Or at the very least, “Come on. Let’s go play in YOUR room.” I am so happy that you two enjoy each other as much as you do and I pray it is a relationship that will only strengthen as you get older.

You are such an amazingly happy little girl. You are all smiles (and teeth!) and giggles. You have made such a wonderful addition to our family. It is so hard to imagine a time when you weren’t with us. It seems like it has always been “the four of us.” We have so much fun exploring, going on adventures, and conquering the world around us. It seems like there isn’t anything we can’t do when we are together. We are a family… and you made it complete.

All my love,

Five Year Doctor Appointment

Ana had her five-year doctors appointment yesterday. Here are her stats from the appt:

Height: 43 3/4″ (80th percentile)
Weight: 41.4 lbs (60th percentile)
BMI: 15.2 (55th percentile)
Blood Pressure: 98/62

The nurse also asked for a urine sample and did a finger prick to test for anemia, both of which came back fine. Ana was very excited that she didn’t need any immunizations this time, but was a little bit bummed to find out she still needed a flu shot. She was more bothered by the finger prick (and the amount of blood that kept leaking out after they collected their sample) than the flu shot.

Upon seeing the doctor he commented that she just keeps getting taller and taller (from 65th percentile at 3 years, to 75th at 4, and now at 80th). I said that if the size of her feet were any indication, I could only imagine! That girl has some seriously huge feet (I can sympathize since she gets it from me. Sorry, Ana!). Along with all the routine check up items, they also checked Ana’s vision and hearing. I could see the excitement on her face each time she got the answers correct and then ultimately knowing she rocked both tests. They didn’t give me the official results, but she did perfectly.

Everything else at the appointment went great. Ana was chatting with the doctor during the entire visit and by the time he was leaving he looked over at me and said, “Wow. She must really keep you on your toes.” Boy does she ever! Until next year…

Five year check up!!