Thursday, March 10, 2011

(Not So) Proud Moments in Motherhood

Yesterday was quite a day. It started out just fine. We were at my oldest daughter's swim lesson. My youngest was sitting on the floor and reached up for me to pick her up. I grabbed her by the arms to lift her to her feet, and the next thing I knew her left arm was lying limp at her side. I sat her down and put things on the floor to her left side to try to get her to pick them up, but she couldn't move her arm. She wasn't crying, but something was definitely wrong. So, I grabbed my oldest out of the pool and raced to the pediatrician's office. After twenty tries at popping her elbow back in place, it finally took and she was fine. Then I heard "nursemaid's elbow" out of the doctor's mouth, which is code for "You may be back for this again. Often." Great.
image source

I felt horrible about the whole thing. How many mothers have picked their kids up like this a million times and had nothing go wrong? We hold her by the arms all the time while she practices walking. I know it wasn't really my fault... still felt bad, though.

Fast-forward to that afternoon. I was changing the sheets on my bed when my little one disappeared into the bathroom and within five seconds managed to grab my deodorant and may or may not have taken the cap off and licked it. My oldest claims she saw her lick it. I grabbed the deodorant from her, and I'm pretty sure all the color drained from my face as I read "Call a doctor or poison control immediately if ingested." Seriously? Am I going to have to call the pediatrician again today for another problem with the same kid?!? They're going to take her away from me! I immediately started checking her over, but I could find no traces of it on her face. I had my nose jammed in her mouth, and I didn't smell anything, so I'm pretty sure I got to her before she could do anything. Thankfully, no additional phone calls to the pediatrician were necessary.

So, my youngest is absolutely fine. You would never know that she partially dislocated her elbow. It's crazy that about two minutes after it was popped back into place she was using it like nothing ever happened. Moral of today's not so proud real moments in motherhood story... be careful picking your child up by the arms and lock up your deodorant!

34 comments:

Laura said...

This happened to us when our daughter was just starting to walk. She was very strong-willed as a toddler (still is as a 30 year old!) and decided she didn't want to go the way we were going so she went limp as we were holding her hand. We felt terrible! But apparently it is pretty common. It never happened again, though, so you could be okay. Oh, the joys of motherhood, right?

Stacey said...

So sorry. We all have those days. Kids get into the darnest things even when we are diligent parents. I have a friend who has the same issue with her son's elbow. They were into the doctor three times in one month. I think she said there is an operation but they usually wait until the growing has slowed down. At least it doesn't come with pain and screaming, right?

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I know quite a few children that's happened to. Their parents felt terrible but it really could've happened to anyone.

It was porbably worse for you than for her in some ways. You poor thing!

Sarahx

Shelley said...

This happened to my son three times when he was a toddler!!! One of the times I actually put it back in place while I was putting him in his car seat to take him to the Dr. We get to the Dr's and he said looks like you fixed it yourself! I was sure they would call child protective services on me!! But the doctor said my son was just more susceptible to it. He out grew it because it's never happened again and he's 9 now. Oh the joy's of motherhood!

sandytoesbride said...

<3 and hugs - sticky situations - but at the end of the day, everyone is ok!

Linda said...

I did something like that with my youngest son MANY years ago. When taking off a long sleeved button down shirt from him I pulled the sleeve off w/o unbuttoning the cuff and pulled his shoulder out of joint. It really makes you feel like a crappy mother. I can tell you that I never did that again!

Hele said...

i have heard about it before, it is not your fault, every one has grabbed a child like this sometimes...

don´t feel bad!

ohgivemeagnome said...

Please don't feel bad (as I type this I know from experience you probably still will, but I am still typing it). Last year, my baby broke his leg. He was throwing a fit in the living room. I walked away from him. He tried to throw himself on the floor in dramatic fashion, twisted wrong, and broke his leg (my then 5 year old witnessed it as I had decided ignoring the tantrum was the way to go). He had a "tortion" fracture of his femur (usually a sign of abuse). It was the worst day of my life. I felt horribly guilty about turning my back on him even though logically I know that is how it is best to handle his tantrums. Now, he is perfectly healed and normal (and completely fearless which regularly gives me heart palpitations). They rebound much faster than their mommies do! It is hard not to feel guilty and bad, but it isn't your fault!

kodie said...

my oldest had the elbow dislocation thing a couple of times, once when my mom was watching her (she fell down while holding a cousin's hands) and once with my hubs at home with her. it happened so easy both times. total freak kind of thing. our Ped. finally showed my hubs how to pop it back in after 2 visits to Urgent Care in less than 2 weeks. i totally understand. i felt like the worst parent ever...even though i wasn't even with her both times it happened!

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Awww Gwenny we've all had those days. I had to laugh about the deodorant once I knew she hadn't ingested any. That elbow thing is pretty common although it didn't ever happen to us, I'm sure I would have freaked out. You know you're a great mommy!!!!

Erica {B is for Boy} said...

Oh my gosh, I've heard my mom refer to nursemaid's syndrome but didn't know it was a condition. I've heard my 8 month old's arms kinda creak when I pick him up and worry that his joints won't hold his heavy weight... but we've been right there with you this week with the pediatrician visits. My 2 year old got hit on the head with a bar bell when my husband was working out ( boy that scared us!) then the other night the 8 month old fell out of his crib- somehow got over the railing... and ended up with a knot on his head. So I had to kinda joke with the pediatrician about her not taking our kids!

Kindra-At Home With K said...

We thought we would of made the same visit to our Dr. this weekend. My 3 year was trying to run off from us in the museum and my husband had to grab his arm. After than he was saying his arm hurt and it was limp. It was limp for quite some time but my husband was convinced he didn't pull that hard. Then all of a sudden, it didn't bother my son anymore. The weirdest thing but I was sure that his arm was popped out of place somewhere.

Glad your daughter is alright and that all it took was pop in place. That will be $300. Don't you love Dr. fees.

Tanya said...

My four year old pops his elbow out every few months. The first time, he was climbing a ladder at on an indoor playstructure, lost his footing and caught himself with his arm, twisting it a bit. No crying or anything. It took me a while to figure out something was wrong. He's done it a couple times while walking with me (he likes to drop himself to the ground when not happy about where we're going), and the most recent time, he managed to pop it out after letting go with one arm while riding on my husband's back. I'm hoping he grows out of it!

Danielle Bartran said...

OH NO. That's horrible! I pick my son up that way ALL the time. I suppose I'll be more careful.

I'm sorry you had to go through that, my son is obsessed with deodorant and rather than fight that fight--we only store it up out of reach now.

Maybe it's just the moon or the weather or something strange like that-I had a day from hell with my dogs yesterday....and then this morning when they ran away (after throwing up on the carpet) at 5am. Ugh.

Chris said...

My baby's arm does a similar thing...but screams every time it happens. Hang in there, mama, you're doing a great job.

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

Bummer of a day! I hear you! My daughter was the queen of dislocating her elbow during tantrums! Once it happens, it happens much easier the next time. Hopefully she'll out-grow it quickly- and you might get lucky and never have it happen again. :)
xoxo,
Amy

Impera_Magna said...

I look at the grey hair on my head and know I earned each and every one of 'em... you can't keep your children 100% safe even if you lock them in their rooms. Stuff happens and I'm sure you're doing a great job as a mom...

(((((HUGS)))))

Kristin said...

I echo what everyone else has said...don't beat yourself up. Things like this happen, and it sounds like there's nothing you could have done about her arm. You are a great mom!!! And the deodorant, well, kids get into all those things we don't want them to, no matter how hard we try. Cooper found the kid scissors yesterday and cut Rilee's hair. Really. Thankfully it was only a little bit and not her whole pony tail!!

Hope today is a better day, and that you'll let yourself off the hook! :)

{{{HUGS}}}

Christine said...

That is scary!! I have dealt with this 3 times already with my daughter, and always hours after the pediatricians office was closed. So 3 trips to the ER :(

I have been told that this is rather common, and it can be just the slightest movement that can cause it to dislocate with some children. That being said, it really does take a lot out of us parents!

Hugs!

Little Treasures said...

I have lifted my kids like that bazillion times - Thank God nothing happened.
My children, bless them, have bean wearing me out for years - Jacob (age 5) still does intensely. Today he cut his own hair, switched on the gas cooker,sprayed his sister's hair spray all over the bathroom floor, switched off all the phones in the house and managed to rent a movie.
You may wonder what the heck I was doing. Cleaning up behind him.

Cathy said...

I certainly lifted my 3 children this way for years, but probably gently even so...my grandma's baby sister had a shoulder dislocated while a toddler, so always had that in my mind. I have always been good at seeing myself in someone else's place...I shudder to think of how long it took to take the horse (& buggy?) & go find where the doctor happened to be that day, to come and put the (screaming) little girls shoulder back in place (1912)! My grandma told that story often, as she was twelve & was the one to "care" for her, while mother went to fetch the doc. The little one developed this from being swung by both arms in a circle by big brother in the typical fashion; maybe a little twist was the cause.

I was FOF-LOL about the deoderant though!!! Several others' posts here are also hysterical...as we all know these things to be true! Hope your little girl is doing well now.

Janet said...

I've had to smell a kids mouth a time or two as well to make sure they didn't swallow something they shouldn't have. Thank goodness for scented deodorant, right?

Hope your day goes better for you today, we all have those occasional crazy days. :)

Lu said...

What a day! It's amazing sometimes to think about all the things we have NO idea that we could even be worrying about, like dislocated elbows... I call it a tender mercy in the form of ignorance-is-bliss :)

Hope today has been better with some truly proud moments :)

Ashley said...

Oh girl! We've all been there! My daughter's elbow is sensitive too and has popped out of place two or three times. My son dumped an entire bottle of baby powder onto himself the other day and I had to do the mouth smelling then!

Caroline @ Atelier Caroline said...

OMG! I would have totally flipped out! Like the day I had to take my then 2-year old to the ER for stitches in her forehead (right between the eyebrows) after she tripped on a rug and landed headfirst on the corner of our dresser. Thank god my hubby kept it together and drove.

Jess said...

yikes! I've heard about the deodorant thing-my friend had that happen-but the elbow thing-yikes! I would have freaked out! Hope the rest of your week goes more smoothly!

April said...

Thanks for sharing! Seriously. Sometimes I get freaked out about having a kid because I know I will do stuff like this. But, hearing that it happens a lot to people makes me feel better!

Amy @ Increasingly Domestic said...

I have so had those days! Not the licking of deoderant kind, but just in general. I was laughing so hard when I got to the "May or may not have taken the lid off and licked it." Hilarious:)

Naturally Carol said...

I do sympathise...times when your heart just drops to your feet. I remember when one of mine just picked up a little bead and shoved it up his nose..why? Then we had to visit the doc and fiddle around with tweezers until the offending object was found. The kid couldn't explain why he did it...just did. Kids!

Sew Many Ways... said...

Hi Gwen,
So sorry for such a bad day! I've been there too...about 25 years ago with my niece. She was hiding down between the bed and the wall. Once I found her, she wanted me to pull her out. Well, you know how the rest went. She was fine as soon as the doctor popped it back in. I guess these are all learning experiences that make us stronger!
Take care,
Karen

K. the Littlest Crafter said...

Hey! Thanks for posting, being a Mom is not easy! But don't let those bad days get you down :)

Here's my own reality check inspired by your honest post :)
http://thelittlestcrafter.blogspot.com/2011/03/real-life-happenings.html

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

My husband did that to his little sister (they are 14 years apart) so I am aware, only through his experience, of this risk. That must have been awful to occur at the pool. Having to change one child, frantic concerning the other. PS my little one recently ingested my husband's right guard too, eesh.

Brooke said...

Ok, after 30+ comments, you may not read this... but thank you so much for your honesty and for making me laugh out loud at the thought of you shoving your nose in your daughter's mouth! Awesome! I happen to think that if you are willing to do that just to sniff out a little deoderant lick...you ARE a great Mom! xo

Elise said...

You know, a mom just KNOWS when it's time to go! You sound like a wonderful mother to me! My sweet lil' baby girl {she's now 10!} had the same condition. She fell off a chair, when she was about 18mos - it was a kid's chair, so not far. She didn't cry, but she also couldn't suck her thumb. I realized her she wasn't using her arm. WE WENT TO THE ER! {Oh, it was a Sunday!} Anyway, they didn't treat it as Nursemaid's elbow, but as a broken arm. By then she WAS in pain, scared and bawling, and the fact that she was trying to suck her little thumb for comfort, but couldn't - oooowww, GIRL! It was heartbreaking! Finally, it seemed that during x-rays, the manipulation of the arm, put it back in place. She was SUDDENLY just fine! When I went to the Ped. the next day, we figured it all out. I felt bad my kid had unnecessary x-rays, but at least we ALL survived. YOU'VE clearly earned some new stripes for your motherhood badge! You'll be FINE! xoxo!

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