A week ago today at this exact time, we were in the ER. What we experienced on this day is something that I would not wish on my worst enemy.
Our day started off fairly normal. Josh was heading out to work, and to keep Jaxon’s crying at bay, I decided that we’d walk him out. Still in his PJ’s, Jax hopped in his stroller, I strapped him in and we were off. Once we kissed Dad off, I decided to head down to the coffee room for a pick me up. It was a quiet morning. There was no one in the coffee lounge but us and the weather was perfect for an outdoor stroll. I picked out and brewed my coffee, then decided to make some tea for Jax to enjoy later. Immediately after making his tea, I sat the cup down on the countertop and put a lid on it. I turned my head for what seemed to be a split second to grab a pack of sugar, but little did I know what was to happen next.
Jax quietly and quickly reached from his stroller, grabbed the cup, and attempted to drink the freshly brewed tea. Before I could grab it from his hands, he had turned the cup upwards to speed up the flow and the shriek of shock and pain I heard will never be forgotten. The tea had spewed out from both spout openings onto his face, neck, and chest. I immediately removed him from his stroller and pulled down the top of his half-zipped pajamas. I was shaking. He was screaming and there was nothing I could do. I ran as fast as I could back to our apartment with my baby on my left hip while steering the stroller with my right hand. I ran to the sink to apply cool water to the area and called my fiancé to have him meet me at the ER. I wrapped him in a large towel and kept a cool wet towel near. My knees began to buckle at the sight of our precious angel’s skin burning, bubbling, and blistering before my eyes. I was shaking, nervous, confused, scared, and more. I failed at protecting my baby!
The next part was even worse than I could imagine though — strapping him into his carseat. As much as I wanted to hold him in my lap, I could not. I could hear Josh’s voice in the back of my head saying “Be safe! Don’t turn one bad situation into two!” Once I finally got him fastened in, I headed to the ER as safely, but quickly, as I could. It seemed like I was stuck behind the slowest of vehicles and incurred every roadblock possible in those seven miles. As he screamed “Mamaaaaa” from behind, I did and said everything I possibly thought could soothe him in that moment. I sang, I called on Jesus at the top of my lungs, I massaged his feet, I tried to play his favorite song. The harsh reality was that nothing could comfort him in this moment. The. Worst. Feeling. Ever!
I pulled into the parking lot and half parked my car. Josh met us at the door. Jax went from arm to arm seeking out comfort in any form or fashion. Once we got in, we were immediately seen. They began taking his vitals and placed us in a room. Once the doctor assessed the burns, he cleaned the wounds, covered it in medication, and bandaged him up. He had suffered first degree burns on his face and neck and second degree in the chest area. Jax laid there with such a look of despair as he was pinned down to the table. He’s a favorite there and was surrounded by just about every staff member. His dentist even came in and gave me some mom-to-mom support. The popsicle they offered at the end of his treatment seemed to wipe his worries away. Long story short, Jax was going to be fine. On to Mommy.
Jax’s Healing Progress
Warning: Graphic Images
Josh had jokingly asked the doctor if there was anything he could prescribe to ‘Jaxon’s Mom’ as he knew it would be a road to emotional recovery. I giggled in that moment, but it was true! Again, I had failed my baby you guys! As I was leaving the drive-thru at CVS, my aunt called to provide some emotional support and I BROKE DOWN! I felt so guilty. What if I hadn’t parked his stroller so close to the counter? What if I had skipped coffee and just went for a walk? What if I had zipped his pajamas back up? What if I was quicker in grabbing the cup? What if, what if, what if? WHY, LORD?
As Jaxon’s dentist, my aunt, my mom, and my mother-in-love told me, this was going to be the first of many as a boy mom, and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. It was an accident! I spent the next couple days doing absolutely nothing but loving on our noodle. I also did something to comfort myself. I reached out to a few of my mom-friends to tell them what happened and give a warning. One of my girlfriends immediately called me to let me know that her sister had just gone through the same thing. Being my longest friend, she knew that her friend was sitting here blaming herself. Another friend said something that was eye-opening. She said “I’m proud of you for sharing. Something similar happened to my baby, but I was way too embarrassed to say anything.”
Fast forward to today, August 21, 2018, Jax is doing great. His face has completely peeled and the pigment is returning. (Thanks Neosporin!) His chest and neck is almost completely peeled but is still super pink. (Thanks silver sulfadiazine.) He is as happy as ever but will probably have a scar with a story. I wish he wouldn’t simply because I want no reminders of that day. He won’t remember, but we certainly will and I’ll probably cry every time I tell this story no matter how many years pass.
The moral of this story is certainly to share our experience and bring awareness to how quickly things can happen. However, the underlying message is to all my moms and parents out there. WE. ARE. HUMAN. We make mistakes. We aren’t perfect. Things happen. It’s normal to feel guilty as it’s our natural instinct is to protect our cubs, but as my leading ladies said, “Don’t beat yourself up!” Maybe you had a long day, maybe you only got 2 hours of sleep last night, whatever the reason, IT’S OK! We need each other! I needed to hear those words from them! It felt good to know that I wasn’t alone. Let’s lean on each other and share our experiences. You never know who is going through the same thing(s) and who needs to hear “Me too.” I always tell my mom that if my mistakes can be a lesson to someone else, I don’t mind the humility.