Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All Things Work Together

When I woke Tuesday morning (March 20) at 8:28 a.m., I found it as no accident.  On a day when I was expecting the worse (and still was), I was reminded so clearly of my favorite scripture, Romans 8:28, which states, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord...  I had no idea how timely that verse would be throughout the remainder of the day. 

I quickly got myself and the boys ready for Mother's Day Out.  Samuel had insisted on wearing his brother's John Deere hat from Grandpa, his baseball outfit, and his Scooby Doo Crocs, and I, despite my best intentions, allowed him to mismatch himself all the way into school. 

When backing out of the garage, I noticed the most beautiful tulip in our front yard...  One simple, red tulip.  My heart was overwhelmed with God.  While nothing else seems to grow in our yard other than weeds and bugs, the tree that had once been in the center of our yard had died, so Brian had planted what seemed to be rotten tulip bulbs in its place.  Two years later, this beautiful flower appeared.  I was in awe of how God had placed that one tulip in our front yard on this particular day, when I just-so-happened to be filled with fear and anxiety.

I ran errands that morning until time for my OB appointment at 10:30, expecting that this would be the appointment in which I went on bed rest.  After having had strong contractions all day on Sunday, I just imagined that at 31 weeks all of my "running" would be over.  Much to my surprise, my OB was not surprised.  He smiled gently and explained that he thought all I was experiencing was normal with my history of pre-term labor with Samuel. 

While waiting to leave my appointment, I received a text from Brian who had left work due to an injury he had received Monday while playing basketball.  He explained that he was at the chiropractor who had discovered his injury was in fact a bulging disc.  Brian was instructed to do no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 3 weeks. 

I went about my day so thankful for God's provision of keeping me off of bed rest especially when my husband was going to be unable to lift the boys.  Stockpiling diapers, getting groceries, and running errands were my mission for the day.  I also had made plans with my sister to pick her and sweet Natalie up around 1:30 that afternoon before picking the boys up from Mother's Day Out.  Natalie was to turn 5 in just two days, so we had decided to take the cousins to McDonalds for ice cream and play.  We had originally thought we'd go to Chick Fil A in Rivergate, but I thought it'd be less crowded at White House McDonalds (and get 50 cent cones).  So, we headed to pick up the boys.

We arrived at McDonalds with three very excited kids.  Daniel and Natalie went running into the Playplace while Samuel, his normal, timid self, took his time climbing up the one step and onto the platform.  Mimi had gone to order our ice cream while Aunt Ca and I watched the kids.  I had just told Jessica that Samuel would simply climb the stairs and platform but never enter inside the Playplace.  True to his usual fashion, he crawled up the stairs but stopped just before going into the tunnel.  We'd been there a whole 7 minutes when Samuel fell face first onto the platform while Mimi still waited in line.  He screamed for Mommy when Ca got to him first, and she passed him to me.

We were certain he'd just gotten scared and that his face was hurting him.  It was just a simple fall, from the step to the platform.  He had twisted towards his left side downward onto the platform, but it wasn't anything major.  However, Samuel continued crying...  When Mimi returned with our dipped cones, Samuel would not take his - an indication that his fall was more than a scare for him.  I would go to sit down, and he would sternly say, "Stand up!" over and over again.  When his crying lasted for over 20 minutes and people began to stare, I asked Mom if she thought this was normal.  She agreed that it wasn't, so Samuel and I climbed into the van, leaving our family behind.  Just before heading out the door, I looked at him and said, "Samuel, tell Mommy what is hurting.  Can you tell me what's wrong?"  He looked up with his tear-filled eyes and quietly stated, "My leg, my leg."

Samuel was very quiet as I carried him into the pediatrician's office which was just two lights away from McDonalds.  I found it strange that while being examined, he kept his leg bent and his toes raised, resting his whole left leg on my stomach.  We waited as they decided to send us straight to imaging down the street.  Being 31 weeks pregnant, I knew I'd need to return to McDonalds to get my sister to hold Samuel for his x-rays.  The x-rays were difficult; I waited in the hallway as I listened to Samuel yell for Mommy and allowed Jessica to hold him.  Jessica knew he was in pain, and it hurt her to have to hold his leg with the grimacing expressions on his face.  I think she realized the outcome before I did.

We returned to the pediatrician's office only to be taken straight back to Room 1.  The nurse entered with a significant dose of ibuprofen for Samuel, and I believe this was my first indication that something might actually be wrong.  Moments later, our pediatrician walked in and said, "Well, he has broken his leg...  (my heart is sinking at this point) in two places."  I began to tear up because the emotions of the day were finally catching up with my hormonal, pregnant self.  She informed us that we'd be looking at 8 weeks of a cast...  and here I was, almost 32 weeks pregnant.  We really didn't have 8 weeks!

Jessica, Samuel, and I were sent to Vanderbilt Children's ER because all of the orthopaedics were closing for the day.  Thankfully, Brian was able (despite his bulging disc) to drive to McDonalds, leave his car for my mom, Daniel, and Natalie, and my father was able to take him back home where he remained on the couch for the next day. 

The wait seemed like ages in the ER, but we were home by 11:30 that night, equipped with Loritab for Samuel's pain and a cast from his thigh to his toes.  He'd had to endure the cast saw, and the doctors saw fit to saw a slit from the top of the cast to the bottom to allow for swelling.  The next few days were hard, adjusting to life with Daddy down and out, Mommy 32 weeks pregnant, and Samuel unable to walk.  He learned very quickly to scoot and crawl despite his 5-10 lb addition. 

Frustrated at the possibility of NOT playing at the train table

This is really cramping my style.

Learning to sit and sing with his cast.

2 days after the injury, a smiling Samuel
climbs his way up onto the chair.

Yesterday, Jessica and I took Samuel to the Pediatric Orthopaedics at Vanderbilt where he received another round of miserable x-rays and a new "outer" coating for his cast.  He's sporting a heavier, blue-colored cast which he will wear for only 3 weeks.  A splint may be necessary when we return to take the cast off to help him transition back to walking. 

This isn't too bad!

My mind, throughout all 8 days of this, has constantly gone back to the clock that I woke to a little over a week ago.  8:28.  As clear as the sky (and Samuel's cast) is blue, my God is still God, and He will and has already worked all things together for good.

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