Morning sickness for this pregnancy hit last week, late on Monday. The nausea, the dizziness, the thoughts of "I knew this was part of the package, why did I want another baby?" My poor sweet boys have been on their own a lot, bringing books and dvds into my room or watching dvds or Netflix in the living room while I rest. I don't let Elijah roam while I'm sleeping, I put the gate up on his room and let him have free range in there. He's still curious and toddler enough that he could do some serious damage if left to his own devices in the entirety of the house.
One of their favorite games the past couple weeks has been to drag big blankets around the house. The comforter off our bed (it's too hot for it these days) and a fleece blanket we have for the living room and trips to the drive-in and those are the favorite to drag. They of course pick up lots of things in their wake (dead bugs that the cats are storing, dirty socks that Austin is storing, my clothes that didn't quite make it to the laundry hamper, etc) and deposit them far from home.
That's all set up for yesterday.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling halfway decent. I didn't immediately want to just lay down and curl up in the fetal position...or I suppose just curl up since I was already laying down. I even BRIEFLY contemplated a grocery store run because I knew we were low on milk. But I knew getting the boys and myself dressed and into the car would probably use up all my energy and then what would I do. So I didn't. I made some breakfast for me, gave the boys what they wanted, and we began our "Mommy's Sick" day. Lots of water and peanut butter crackers for everyone, dvds in the living room (or DVD...Asher wanted to watch Frozen on repeat and I let him), Elijah barricaded in his room to play while I napped. Everything was proceeding as normal.
Then 5pm rolled around. That last hour before Daddy gets home is the hardest for most at-home moms. The kids are a little sick of mommy's face, mommy's a little sick of their faces. I was bracing myself for an evening alone with them since Austin had plans at the church to do some sound system stuff with the praise team. And then Elijah put something in his mouth.
I saw him bend over from across the room, pick something up in his tiny little fingers and pop it in his mouth. I wasn't TOO concerned until I heard the metallic click on his teeth. I called him to the bed and was slightly surprised when he came to me but pulled him up into my lap and started fishing around in his mouth. He laughed and fought my fingers with his tongue, then started biting. I squeezed his little face with my hand to try to get him to stop doing that and that's when I saw it: a shiny metal pointy thing that could only be a nail. Not a big one, mind you, but a nail none-the-less.
I went to grab it since it was sticking out but he sucked it back in, closed his mouth, and swallowed. I screamed and forced his mouth open, making him cry as I frantically fished around in his mouth for it. Nothing. It was gone.
I looked at the clock and realized Austin would be getting to Abilene soon. I let him down and started flipping blankets around, hoping maybe he'd spit it out and I hadn't seen but no luck. Then I had to find my phone. The boys ran off into another room, laughing and playing. Maybe I'm just imagining things.
I called Austin and told him that he should come straight home, not go do the couple errands he had, because we might need to take Elijah to the ER. I called Mom and woke her up from a nap to ask if she'd keep Asher. She said "Oh, it'll probably pass on it's own." I figured she was still asleep because a NAIL is likely to do a bit of damage on it's way out. She agreed to keep him though. We called Dr. Adams and left a message just to confirm that yes, we need to go to the hospital. She responded within about 10 minutes with a confirmation.
So it's now been about 30 minutes since he swallowed the nail. No one is dressed but Austin. So we find some clean clothes for the boys and get them dressed, I get dressed and grab some snacks and water for myself, get some bags ready for the boys and we're out the door. A quick drop off at Oma's house, which Asher is excited about, and we're on to the ER.
Since we have a baby with a nail in him, they don't make us wait long. We got there around 6.15 or so and we were x-rayed at 6.30 and into an exam room by 7. I'm texting facebook and close friends and family, Austin's texting his parents, Elijah's watching a Tinkerbell movie and fussing to get down and go outside. Not a lot, just a little whine. He threw up a little bit and coughed nearly every time he took a drink of water, so we figured that meant his throat was a little sore. The nurses come and go but it isn't until about 7.20 or so that they tell us yes, there is a nail in his stomach. A little while after that the ER doctor comes in and says "We have to go get it, but we're not sure if we'll do it here."
Apparently, there are two GI doctors on call for the ER and one doesn't do pediatric stuff. So there's a real possibility we'll be airlifting Elijah to Cook's to get this thing out. He's paged the GI doctor and we'll know more when he gets here. In the meantime they do an IV on his foot.
That's the first time Elijah showed any real distress. He has to be held down by three adults while a fourth did the IV. The GI doctor came in while we were doing that and said he was going to get the nail here in a procedure called EGD and that the only possible complication would be if the nail had moved into his bowel before they got to it. If that happened, we'd be going to Cook's. The staff had been called and were on their way.
Elijah fell asleep shortly before 8. He's exhausted at this point. Shortly after that, Kathy, the MDO director, showed up with a giant bag of peppermints for me to help with my nausea and a plush monkey with a blanket for Elijah. She commented she hadn't ever seen him that still. This kid doesn't like to be still unless he's passed out asleep.
We get taken upstairs through the rabbit warren of halls that is Hendrick's to a darkened OR area. Elijah woke up along the way and started pointing out numbers. He knows 2 and 9, so that's what he called out, regardless of what it was. He was cute and chatty with the OR nurses and the anesthesiologist and Dr. Patel, winning admirers left and right. We signed the paperwork then snuck out so he wouldn't get upset when we left. It was now 9, 3 hours and 20 minutes since he swallowed the nail. Dr. Patel told us that he would know within about 5 minutes whether or not he was going to get it out here or we'd be sent to Dallas. Kathy sat with us while we waited and around 9.50, our pastor called and he and his wife were there. So Kathy went to get them, knowing her way around the hospital better than us. Shortly after they got back Dr. Patel came to let us know they were successful and to give us the nail in a jar and some pictures of it in Elijah's stomach. Elijah did very well, had no troubles with anything, and was in recovery where he'd be for a little while, then we were taking him home.
We went to get him and seeing my tiny little boy in such a big bed with tape residue on his face from the breathing tubes and the IV still in his foot and all manner of things to read his vitals stuck to him was hard. He was so drowsy from the anesthesia still, plus the fact that it was 10 at night, that he mostly just stared at us glassy eyed. Austin carried him out while I carried our bags and we left, Don and Carol walking with us. The guy who took us out didn't seem to know exactly how to get us to the ER exit but we got there eventually. The clock on the dash read 10.35 when we pulled out. Elijah again made friends and recited numbers while we left, waving and saying "bye" to people as we walked past them.
Asher was fast asleep at Oma's house when we got there and Elijah was so happy to see Papa Bob and Oma and Asher that he just pingponged between them. I was feeling bad all night and it was really hitting when we got to Mom's so I took him downstairs to wait for Austin and Asher. We got home around 11 and everyone but Austin went to bed. Austin went out to get the milk we needed yesterday.
So now I have a nail in a jar and a toddler with a sore throat and a new paranoia because what if I hadn't seen him swallow the nail? This kid puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. He's just at that age. If I'd been cooking dinner or actually asleep or just not paying attention, what would have happened? I guess it's POSSIBLE he could have passed it on his own with no trouble but highly unlikely.
We had the right doctor on call, the right people who knew what to do, and I saw that nail go into his mouth and down his throat. Friends who offered to bring us food and take Asher. People offering whatever help they could. It's so great having a community like that.
Fingers crossed this doesn't happen again. But heaven help us if the next kid is a boy because each seems more dare devil and active than the last...though I suppose a girl could be a little terror too.
The culprit. Not too big, but way bigger than you want in your child.