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!

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