Monday, July 22, 2013

Fulton's ER visit and God's protection

I want to begin this post with how extremely thankful, grateful, humbled, and undeserving we are to have a healthy boy. 
We deserve none of these.

It was a typical  Summer weekday evening after eating dinner.
Monday, July 1, 2013.
Our family heads outside to play before bath time.
This night we decided to hike up the trails in our neighborhood.

The boys had fun getting super dirty and throwing a gazillion rocks.
We headed back to our house because our friend Micah Butler, Julianne's hubby, was in town for work meetings and he was going to visit with us that night.
We were in the driveway playing and Micah drove up.
The boys love to walk around in the bed of Alan's truck.
Yes, it's parked. Yes, we are at the tailgate. No, we don't let them climb in it or over the sides.
It sounds so redneck and irresponsible.
But, they are boys, and they love Alan's truck.
So, it's late, I tell the boys, let's go inside and get a bath.
I grab Ridge, and I'm setting him down on the driveway to my left.
Alan is to my right. He turns to say something to Micah, and Fulton decides to run and jump out of the bed of the truck without asking for help down or telling us he's getting down.
Just runs and jumps.
I see a blur of Fulton flying by my right side and Alan and I both hear a terrible thud as his forehead hits the concrete driveway and absorbs his fall.
He cries for a few minutes.
We wait for the HUGE expected knot on his forehead.
Nothing happens.
His left eyelid starts swelling.
We walk down to our internal medicine doctor's house at the end of our street.
His wife answers, he's not home.
Fulton is very quiet and looks drowsy and sleepy.
Still no knot.
Something had to absorb the impact of his fall.
It's time to go to the ER.
Thankfully, Micah was here and offered to go with Alan.
He drove them to the ER, Alan sat in the backseat to keep Fulton awake in case of a concussion.

I was terrified.

It kept replaying in my head.
That awaful, awful sound.
I stayed home and bathed Ridge and put him to bed.
Also, thankful for more good friends, Jeremy Tuggle, came over and stayed at our house with Ridge sleeping so I could go to the ER.
The first hour he was there, Alan said he was not himself.
Sleepy, quiet; just wanting to be held.
So so thankful when I got there, he had perked up. Such a good sign.

He was laughing, playing, climbing, saying "Micah! Micah!" over and over.
It was a hopeful sign.
Fulton had a CT scan of his head.
Results = skull fracture.
We were scared.
We didn't know what that meant.
They were admitting him to run more tests the next day.
Alan left, went home to shower, pack and come back to stay with Fulton.
I left and went home to stay with Ridge overnight and to relieve Jeremy.
The nurses woke him often to check his pupils, his vital signs, and other signs for concussions.
Needless to say, Alan didn't sleep much at the hospital.
And, I didn't sleep much at home.
My mind kept racing with thoughts of everything I had learned in school about TBIs.
Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Brain swelling, internal bleeding, neuro surgery possibility, speech problems, language problems, personality changes, eye problems, nerve damage, eye muscle problems, etc. etc.
While I was at the hospital, it was as if  I was testing him for every deficit I could think of.
And, that night I was thinking of everything I didn't do, wondering if he could perform that task or not.
My therapeutic mind couldn't rest.
And, more than that, my mother mind couldn't stop worrying and my heart couldn't stop hurting.

That morning, I woke Ridge up early, and we headed up to the hospital.
Fulton was still asleep when we got to his room.
He slept til almost 9 am.
He woke up and was ready to eat breakfast. 


Good sign since he was not able to eat or drink anything that night.
He was able to eat his breakfast and keep it down without nausea or vomiting; which was important for his head injury.

We saw an ophthalmologist.
He dilated his eye and checked his retina, nerves, and as much muscle control that he could with his swollen eye.
Praise the Lord, everything was good!
We saw a few neurologists. All the results were as positive as possible.
His skull fracture affected the orbital bone right above his left eye (which is why his eyelid swelled).
It runs posterior toward the back of his head.
No swelling of the brain.
No bleeding.
Best case scenario.
Healing time:2-3 months.
No follow-up appointments needed unless changes noted.

Finally got a bath and took a good nap before discharge home.

Alan and I were so so so relieved.
And, so unworthy.
But so so so so grateful for God's protection of our son's head.
So thankful for good results.

So, basically, for the next 2-3 months, we just try to be extra careful with Fulton.
Not easy. No one told him he has a skull fracture and needs to take it down to his lowest gear.
He was climbing, jumping, doing his normal thing in the hospital and after we were discharged.
I asked the neuro surgeon for a helmet. Seriously. 
He said it was not necessary for the location of his fracture. He would not benefit from it.
Again, I begged for one.
He is not aware of this little boy and his boy behaviors.
All boy.
Hence, a skull fracture at not even 2 years old.

I am thankful for his protection.
It could've been a lot lot worse.
A lot worse.

So, here we are, exactly 3 weeks since his injury.
His black eye is gone.
His movement in his left eye is normal and there's no droopiness or slow to follow the right eye.
Praise God.
And, hopefully, his fracture is healing as it should.

Seeing your child in a hospital gown, admitted at Children's Hospital, not knowing the results and when you will go home, not knowing if they would have brain surgery that day or go home that day, is extremely frightening.
Just because the Lord has formed a healthy baby in our womb, and born healthy, doesn't mean that they are forever protected from the world and accidents later in life.
So scary.
We are not in control.
But Praise God, I know and trust the One who is!
No matter the results.
He is in control.

"Have I not commanded yo? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

"In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10

I love you so much Fulton.
I'm so thankful you are healthy and healing.

My little superhero's birthday party

(This post has been a working progress for 1+ month)
(Not because it's extravagant, just because I can't get it together)

So, about 6 months ago I asked Ridge if it sounded fun to have a birthday party with Fulton.
He said, YES!!!
And, thankfully so.
So, I took the advantage of a "somewhat close" birthday situation of June 1 and July 27 and combined the 2 boys together.
We actually had the party on June 1;  Ridge's actual birthday.
It worked well because:
  1. Ridge actually knows when his birthday is and is aware of these things. Fulton, not yet. He just goes with the flow. Ignorance is bliss.
  2. Hopefully a cooler time than late July.
  3. And, farther away from baby Wiggins being born and Momma being as big as a house.
The party planning began after the date had been chosen.
I felt like our home/backyard would be tight if both kiddos were having a party together.
So, I called and reserved a pavilion at the shadiest park in Gdale.
Thankfully it was available and I reserved it for the earliest birthday party time ever. 9-11.
Hey, I'm just trying to keep it cool. Literally.
The theme: Well, it was pretty obvious when all your oldest child wants to wear is superhero shirts and costumes. And, of course, Fulton just wants to do whatever Ridge does.
So, superheroes it was.

(Just pretend this says Ridge and Fulton, ages 4 & 2)
((I couldn't figure out how to edit my phone number out of the original invite file))
(((Sorry creepos)))

Invitation file purchased here on Etsy.
Shop LeeLaaLoo.

I really wanted to make sure wherever we had the party was shady.
So, not my first choice, but we ended up at the oldest park in Gardendale.
And, it ended up being perrrrfect. It was very overcast.
So overcast that it looked like it could rain at any minute.
But, it didn't.
And, breezy. So, it was so nice on a summer Saturday morning.

Of course a lot of party prepping took place and it was really a lot of fun!

City night scene. Would not have completed without Nonnie's teacher expertise!

Girl superhero cape

Measuring and cutting.

These were soooo easy to make.
I found a great how-to here by Jolly Mom.

FYI- Spray adhesive worked the best with felt.
I had a difficult time printing the template, so once I folded the felt in half, I just eyeballed it and cut each one out eyeing it.
So so easy to make! And, didn't take much time at all.
I had a good idea of what friends were able to come to the party, so I cut out their letters one night while watching TV with Alan. Just free handed those as well.

Chalkboard art for party decor

All of the remainder photography was taken by the amazing and super talented and amazing best friend, Lauren Tuggle @
(And, I apologize I don't know how to create a collage)

The kiddos received their capes and their letter I had pre-cut.

He wore his cape for 5 seconds.

cookies and cakes by Adrianne Richards @ Glory through Sugar

Kept the menu simple since the party was from 9-11 am.
Nice for me!

Decorating their masks and getting tatted up.

Love this pose Ruthie!

Jude won the cutest mask contest! Love it!

Alan was the official tattoo artist.

sweet MDO friends

And, Mommy fail = forgetting to change Fulton into his batman shirt :(

The superhero cape that I bought Ridge and he refused to wear it. Oh well.

Tough face.

Sad because it was too breezy to light the candles :( Poor buddy was sad.

Results of black icing.

Nonnie and Poppie with their grandchildren. Not sure what Ridge was pouting about. I think I have some very similar childhood pictures with that same face.

Granna and Grandpop with their grandchildren. Still pouting.

Just weeks before Lawson made her debut!

so so sweet

It really was such a great birthday party.
 It was so much fun to plan, the boys loved it, and it was easy and simple for Mommy. 

Happy birthday boys!
Mommy and Daddy love you both so much!