My Healing Baby

On Friday I took Hadley back to Emmanuel Children’s Hospital for her follow up appointment at The Bone & Joint Clinic. Having never broken a bone myself, I had no idea what to expect. But I was hoping they would be removing her cast. We arrived a little early (what can I say? I was anxious!) and so Hadley got to play around for a bit in the waiting room.

"Coloring" in the waiting room

When it was finally our turn a nurse called us back and explained to me that they would cut off her cast, take some X-rays to check on her healing process, and then we would go from there. We entered the casting room and the tech explained the saw to me. Knowing he does this for a living, I figured he knew what he was doing and so I wasn’t worried a bit. I took from his soothing over-explanations that most mothers do not approach cast removal with my same level of calm. He showed me where to hold her to keep her still but as soon as the saw turned on, Hadley’s entire body tensed. When the saw touched the cast Hadley screamed. I could see that he was only cutting through the tough exterior of the cast and knew she was scared and not in pain. The tech made several quick cuts and it was over. He pried the cast off of her leg and slid off the “sock” that was under the cast against her skin. Seeing she was no longer in harms way, Hadley instantly stopped crying. We then went to a different waiting room to wait for X-rays. While we were waiting, Hadley could not stop pinching her newly exposed leg.

Pinching her leg

I, on the other hand, was marveling at her little dirty foot. Considering her lack of baths for the past three and a half weeks, coupled with the fact that she was dragging that cast all along the ground, I was expecting them to be WAY dirtier. What I wasn’t expecting was the SCALES that had replaced her once baby soft skin! Her foot and leg were so dry it was shocking. (The doctor later told me a little lotion would get her back to normal in no time.)

Dirty toes

Within a few minutes we were ready for X-Rays. As soon as I was positioned to hold Hadley still again she started crying. I can only assume the memory of the saw was all too fresh in her mind and she couldn’t imagine what they were going to do next! So we quickly took the necessary X-Rays and went into an exam room to meet with a doctor to discuss them.

Hadley's healing bones

The doctor came into the exam room and pulled up the X-Ray. She said her bones looked great. Everything was healing properly and Hadley would make a full recovery. She explained that it wasn’t totally healed, so we would need to take it easy for a couple weeks. In the mean time, Hadley might regress a little bit in her mobility while she re-learned to use her leg. She said children who have had similar injuries that were able to vocalize their experience said their healing leg “felt weird” at first. So we were to expect her to be a little clingy and not want to use her leg for awhile. All totally understandable. Otherwise Hadley was free to go and unless we had any problems, we didn’t need to follow up any further.

Hadley couldn't stop touching and pinching her leg

Once we got home Hadley wanted to GO. So we set her down but instead of standing she instantly crumpled to the floor. She didn’t want anything to do with putting weight on her leg, so standing and cruising were out. She would drop to the ground and crawl, still tossing her right leg far out to the side simply out of habit. This lasted for a few hours but by late afternoon she started trying to use her leg more and more. (In the picture below she is more displeased with the fact that I wouldn’t let her have my phone than she is with having to stand on her leg.)


That evening we were all so excited for Hadley to finally be able to take a bath! Sim lowered her into the water and she giggled with glee! We let her soak for quite awhile and when it was time to take her out, Hadley actually threw a fit. Apparently we weren’t the only ones missing her evening baths!

Yea for bath time!

Hadley has now had her cast off for four full days and I am happy to report that she is back to her old self. She is crawling, cruising, and standing just like she was before the injury. She isn’t walking by any means, but after what she’s been through, I’ll cut her a little slack.

A Letter: Fourteen Months

Dear Hadley,
Today you are fourteen months old. And what a lovebug you are becoming! You have recently started giving us kisses, huge open-mouthed, drooly kisses, that you once reserved only for “the baby in the mirror.” You light up with glee when you see our reactions to the kisses and you quickly turn from Daddy to me to Ana giving us all kisses over and over. It makes me so happy to see you so willing to share all the love you have.

The big news this month is that you broke your leg. I wasn’t even really aware that babies could break their bones. I was under the impression that you were practically pretzels, able to be twisted and bent any which way. But nooooo. Apparently if you fall at JUST THE RIGHT ANGLE you can easily break BOTH the bones in your leg. Which is just what you did. So we have spent most of the last month with your lovely cast. While it seems like it would be quite cumbersome for you, you have managed quite well with your new appendage. It hasn’t slowed you down a bit! Sure, there was the little mishap with the first (pink) cast which you crawled out of in under four hours. But now that you have the pretty purple one, things have been just fine.

Knowing the cast was not going to be very fun, we did the best to make an unfortunately situation more pleasant. I picked up an assortment of Sharpies and we let your family and friends all sign their names on your cast. You thought this was very fun and even tried to get in on the action a few times when I handed you a (capped) Sharpie of your own! And knowing your toes were going to be exposed most of the time, I painted your toe nails purple to match the cast. We even painted Ana’s toe nails purple too! Solidarity sister!

With Christmas only days after you broke your leg, there were a a few presents we bought for you ages ago that were simply not going to be fun while your leg was broken. We bought you a cute rocking chair…that you were unable to climb on or off of with the cast on. Your sister picked out a fun jogging stroller for your baby dolls…that you couldn’t push with your broken leg. But thankfully your gift from Santa, a Little Tikes 3-in-1 trike, was something that you could enjoy with or without your cast! As soon as we put you on that seat you were beaming from ear to ear. Once you realized it could MOVE, it was all you could do to contain your shrieks and giggles. It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen.

But the gifts from me and your Dad weren’t all bad. We got you a new Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, for those of you not up on Disney princesses) toddler doll. They recently came out with the “animator’s collection” line and they were too adorable to pass up. I picked out one for you and one for Ana. Trying to select dolls that look like you girls, I picked Belle, with her honey eyes and wavy brown hair for Ana, and Aurora, with her huge blue eyes and golden blond hair for you. Once you ripped the wrapping paper off the box, your eyes were glued to her. Then when we handed her to you you couldn’t stop hugging and kissing her. I had never seen you react that way to a doll and it was simply heartwarming.

Once Christmas was over, the decorations were packed up, and the last of the pine needles from the tree were vacuumed away, our house was able to return to normal. This meant that our little Ikea table could come out of Ana’s room and back into the living area. You girls have gotten more enjoyment from playing together at that table than I ever imagined. You have had numerous tea parties (some of varying themes, like the infamous “ballerina tea”), played restaurant, animal hospital, and of course, dolls. I love how one little thing can fuel your imagination in so many creative directions.

It’s a lot of fun watching you and your sister together. Ana is a great sister because she truly wants to be with you and keep you happy. And you simply idolize her and want to do whatever it is she is doing. I just love that, despite the difference in age, you and Ana are always able to find things to do together.

We do a lot of craft projects around here. Coloring, stickers, paints. You name it. But mostly it’s Ana and I working on the craft while you sit on the sidelines (generally in your high chair, entertained with a snack). But the other day we finally decided to let you try your hand at some art. I plopped you in your highchair, tossed a couple crayons and a giant coloring page on the tray, and let you go to town. You of course instantly stuck the crayons in your mouth.

You were not happy that I would not let you eat them. But eventually you did try coloring a bit. We got a few scribbles out of you before you figured out you could drop them off the side of the highchair like little Crayola torpedoes. Yeah, so we may try art again in a few months…

Well, Hadley, it has been another amazing month. We certainly had our ups and downs, but you have proven once again that you are an amazing child. Between the cast, a round of random throwing up, and being unable to give you anything more than a sponge bath to clean you for over three weeks, I would think you would have pretty solid grounds for being a little grumpy this month, but you were anything but. You are always happy, smiling, and eager for the next adventure, waving “bye-bye” and pointing at the door as if to say, “Come on, Mama! Let’s go!” Well I just want you to know that I will happily follow you anywhere and I eagerly await our next adventure together.

All my love,