Our very first trip to the ER. Three stitches later, we’re back to normal.

Yesterday morning started out pretty darn good. My baby decided to sleep in til seven – basically a miracle from a mama’s perspective. Bruno started whining in his kennel about an hour before that, but the hubs let him out so I could stay within the warmth of our bed. Amazing. Puppers got a bath, and if there’s one thing I love it’s the non-stink of a clean dog. And then, within twenty minutes of me actually getting out of bed…the whole direction of our day changed.

I sat on the couch, knees tucked into my oversized sweatshirt while running through my emails. In case you haven’t heard, it’s more than freezing in Minnesota these days. And minus twenty-five outside means you’re chilly inside no matter how warm you keep your house. Seriously. But that’s a story for another day. Anyway: Rick and I were on the couch, Ricky was running back and forth from his duplo tower to the couch, showing us his creations. Suddenly, he tripped. Fell and bonked his head on the space between the cushion and the base of the couch, and it was LOUD. Rick was off the couch before I could even gather my bearings, scooping up a hysterical child – who I assumed was going to need an ice pack and some TLC. He turned…there was blood everywhere.

Let me preface this – I know that head wounds bleed a lot. I know that they can be deceiving. But this was different. I lept upstairs for some clean towels for my baby’s head. Rick started cleaning him up, I started the car (minus 25 means you actually have to warm your vehicle up before driving it), because I knew this was going to result in at least a trip to urgent care. We got the bleeding to slow and immediately knew it was time to head to the ER.

ricky stitches, baby stitches, baby er visit, stitches toddler

By the time we were in the car, little man was calm. He was calm through check in. He was calm while they numbed his wound. The only time he cried was during the stitching process – which was traumatic. Poor little guy. By the time that we got home and he took a nap, he was completely himself. Running around, chasing the dogs, playing with his blocks. I am in awe at how tough he is – and how completely resilient he’s been through the whole experience. I mean, I’m sure that it helped that we got to go to Target to pick out special band aids and a special ice pack and a new toy. Oh…and he was extra happy after his chocolate treat. But still. He’s totally happy and himself. Thank the lord.

So: what came out of this? A few things:

  • I keep thanking God for the cut being on his eyebrow and not an inch lower. Had he cut his eye, this post would probably be completely different.
  • Keeping a cool head in an emergency situation is an important skill. You don’t know how you’ll react until you’re put into a scary situation – but I truly believe that you can prepare for situations like this through things like CPR/first aid classes, learning to meditate (it helps you keep a level head) and practicing situational awareness on a regular basis (for things that go beyond taking your kids to the ER).
  • Being prepared – by doing things like putting your new insurance cards in your wallet as soon as you get them and keeping your diaper bag stocked with essentials – will make the process go smoother. I had the presence of mind to grab our new insurance cards right before we walked out the door, which basically saved us a $250 copay at the ER (our insurance changed from last year). Our diaper bag was stocked, thankfully, because my baby was in his jammies and in need of a diaper change by the time we got to the hospital.
  • Be thankful for the amazing doctors and nurses you see. I’ve never encountered a kinder, more professional group of people than we’ve met through our local hospital, Woodwinds. And I would totally recommend them to any of my friends in the area – they’re the best.

So, tell me in the comments: have you had an ER experience with your kids? How did you handle it?

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Susan Maccarelli February 9, 2014, 7:53 pm

    I found you over at bloggy moms — oh my! I have a 2.5 and 3.5 year old and only 1 ER visit so far (my son got hives — this is when we first discovered his peanut allergy). I’m sure there will be more – ugh! I’m glad everything worked out okay for you. I don’t deal well with blood, so I am super impressed with how you handled it. He looks so happy in that photo — poor guy!!
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  • Kelly February 10, 2014, 7:06 am

    So glad you are all doing well and your baby’s back to his usual playing self. Thanks for your notes as they are so true…being prepared as possible is crucial. Kudos to you and hubby. I thank God for protecting your baby’s eye. Warm wishes to all of you!

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  • The Funster February 27, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Cortney
    What a way to start out the day, and being from Michigan, I can relate to the cold weather brrrrrrrrrr…. But it sounds like you handled the situation with Ricky superbly! The only time I took my daughter to the ER is when the car door closed (and shut) on her hand. Thank God there was absolutely no damage or long lasting injury! It was one of those sliding van doors. But within about 1/2 hour she was fine! Thank you also for your tips on handling emergencies, very useful. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it!
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    • Cortney March 2, 2014, 10:20 pm

      Emergency situations are definitely never easy!

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  • Thom Bastian March 4, 2014, 2:19 am

    Kids…what good are they, if not for contributing to the white and grey hairs of their caretakers hey?
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