Olivia Rose: Fractured Finger

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
I don't even know where to start. All I can say is how terrible I feel. How guilty I feel. I feel like the worst mom on the planet.
We went to the park on Saturday. Justin planned to play basketball with a couple of the recruiters from his center and I had planned to take the kids to see the Easter bunny that afternoon. We didn't end up going to see the Easter bunny (definitely a post I'll be sharing at a different time), so instead, I took the girls to the park to play and watch their daddy shoot hoops.
All was well. The girls met a new gal pal, they played with a familiar face, and then we got impatient waiting for daddy since our water supply was non-existent after an hour or so. Since the weather was fitting, I had the idea of getting ice cream after the park. The girls always love a good impromptu ice cream trip. So that's what we did. All five of us piled into the mom wagon and we went to our favorite ice cream shop.
Everything was great. The sun was shining, this mama got her fresh pressed lemonade, and my girls were sticky + content. Justin was chatting with an applicant and a recruiter from the center when I asked if he could take Ava to the bathroom. When he did, Olivia followed. That is never a big deal. When I am alone with the kids, I have to take all of them to the bathroom with me... I didn't think to tell Olivia to stay with me while daddy took sissy to potty. Just this time, I really wish I would have.
A couple of minutes pass by and I see Olivia sort of pout "crying" down the hall where the bathrooms were - Justin and Ava trailing behind. When Olivia got closer to me, she came up to me and she showed me her finger. My initial reaction - I screamed in panic. I was confused, I had Liam on my chest in the ring sling... I just panicked. Justin approached me so relaxed and unknowing. Because her crying wasn't anything alarming, he had no idea that she was actually hurt.
When I started crying, Olivia started to panic and she started CRYING, too. Cardinal mom rule: Don't freak them out - they will freak out... yet somehow that rule flew right out the window when I saw my child's pinky finger off of alignment. It was already purple, swollen, and she was only gone for a few minutes. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I literally had zero time to ask questions.
Justin was trying to tell me that she kept pushing the door open. Finger caught in the door. Washing Ava's hands.. it was just a blur.
One of the staff members grabbed a bag of ice for Olivia's finger and then moments later we were out the door, trying to figure out where we should take her. ER? Urgent care? We had a mama friend there who worked in the health realm during her time in the Army. I asked her where to go and she replied, "She needs x-rays. Somewhere where they can take x-rays." 
The ER would be quicker. I was more panicked in the car because I had no idea whether or not our child's finger was broken.. if she needed surgery.. if this was going to impact the range of motion in her hand.. I don't know. All the thoughts just floored me.
Justin parked right in front of the ER doors and took Olivia in by himself. I had to nurse the baby, calm my nerves, and park before I could go in with our other kiddos. 
When we did head into the ER, Olivia wasn't crying. She was laying on her daddy's chest and she looked tired. We had skipped nap time and it was 2:30pm. I knew she was tired. Someone came in to take x-rays of Olivia's finger and Ava and I were asked to step right outside of the room with Liam (radiation exposure, I think?). Olivia didn't cry through the x-rays, she didn't cry when her finger was buddy taped (after they confirmed her pinky had a fracture), and she didn't cry when they asked if they could give her a dose of Tylenol. She was a perfect patient. Less than 45 minutes later, they gave us to follow up instructions for a pediatric orthopedic and a prescription for medication to help manage her pain.
The rest of Saturday was spent at home, relaxing, and getting rest. Sunday we watched our girl rock Easter egg hunting with her buddy taped fingers and she smiled and laughed like she normally would. We were beginning to think maybe her finger wasn't broken? It was insane that she wasn't complaining of pain or showing any signs of discomfort.
That was a short-lived thought. We did a follow up with a pediatric orthopedic yesterday and they did confirm the break. They put a splint on Olivia's finger and advised us to keep it dry and to follow up next week. This whole experience has made me feel like such a crap mom and I know Justin is beating himself up pretty badly too.
I know accidents happen, but this is something I feel like I could have 100% prevented if I had been there. If I had just kept Olivia with me while Justin took Ava to use the bathroom. It's heartbreaking to watch your children hurt in a way that you cannot heal. Tough as she may be, Olivia is still my baby. All of the kids are.
I've gone into lockdown mode. Like a hair short of just bubble wrapping all three of my Howland babes. I know these next few weeks we will be taking it easy...this experience was most certainly eye-opening for me.
If you guys could send good vibes, big prayers, and all your thoughts our way - we would appreciate it. The one thing that has been so comforting through this process is knowing that our girl has such a huge rally of warriors behind her, sending her all the best wishes for a swift recovery.

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