Friday, March 30, 2012

My Living Nightmare

This past week has been one of the most stressful of my whole life. And last Friday, the 24th was probably the worst day I have ever been through. One of a parent's worst nightmares come true.

Click through to read my long story

When my son was born, his delivery was a little complicated. He was in posterior position, and would not move down the birth canal. I pushed for 2 hours to no avail. My doctor and nurses were talking attempting forceps, and if that didn't work, then an immediate C-section would have to be performed. Before they tried that though, a doctor came and turned my son around. As uncomfortable as it was, I was very thankful he did it because shortly after I was able to deliver my boy vaginally, and I got to avoid all of those scary options.

A little over a month ago, while I was burping Max, Steve looked over and noticed a lump on the back of his head. It felt soft, almost like it was just extra skin formed funny. I didn't think it was anything, and put it at the back of my mind. Over the next couple of weeks though, the lump was growing and growing. It then felt like it was full of liquid. His head was starting to look coney, like a newborn's. I racked my brain trying to figure out what it could be. My mom kept us at ease suggesting it was just residual from birth, because his head was VERY swollen when he was born. And he appeared to be in no pain or discomfort. I brought him to see our doctor, and she wasn't sure what it was, but didn't seem too concerned. She referred us to a pediatrician to examine him, just to be on the safe side.

I began googling it a bit and I came across a message board full of people talking about what seemed to be the same problem with their babies. Their doctors ended up telling them it was a hematoma, and would reabsorb into their bodies over time. Most had a difficult delivery as well. I was put at ease reading that, thinking that must be it, it looks worse than it is. In my mind though I kept coming back to one instance when I accidentally bumped his head when I was rocking him. But it was such a light bump and he was so easily consoled, I was sure it couldn't have done anything.

The pediatrician examined him and then got a second opinion, and they both said it is probably a hematoma. I was so relieved, thinking it was what I had been reading about. The doctors said they wanted to do an x-ray just to be certain there is nothing else going on. Aside from the little wall bump, I couldn't think of anything that could cause any problems, so I wasn't worried about the Xray at all.

Later in the day the pediatrician called with the xray results. I saw the call display and thought "She is calling to tell me all is well!"

Max has a fractured skull. My world crashed around me. My little baby boy, a mere 8 weeks old, had a fractured skull. Did I do it with the bump? But the doctor was still talking. She said that when I child has an injury like this, Children's Aid must get involved. Children's Aid! In what universe does Children's Aid need to be involved in my life? I started bawling. I was devastated. I was convinced I had done it to him. Of course it was an accident, but that was of very little comfort to me!

I called Steve and he came straight home from work. We didn't know where to start. I was so scared about CAS being involved. We love our children and we provide them with everything they need. And we most certainly do NOT hurt them. I knew it was just procedure, but the accusation that it we hurt him on purpose was something I could not stomach.

Then suddenly our door was being banged down. 2 hours after being told this news, we had a police officer and a CAS worker on our doorstep. They questioned me about the incident with the bump, asking me if I was upset at the time. I wanted to scream NO! I don't get upset with my children enough to hurt them, especially a tiny baby. They told us they needed us to meet them at the emergency room as there was a doctor who was very interested in seeing Max.

While we were waiting at the hospital, the police officer and the CAS worker wanted to question Steve and I one at a time. They brought me into a little room with a video camera, and asked questions about Steve's temper, if he does DRUGS, how I discipline Hannah, and focused so much on the bump incident. Who was there? Why was I rocking him? Who saw? And they asked Steve similar questions. As I thought more and more about it, I was becoming more and more convinced that the bump could not have caused a fracture. The doctor ordered a full body xray to make sure he had no other injuries. The police officer asked me if the xray would uncover anything I wanted to confess to. NO! I was so upset. How can this be happening to us? Why does it seem like no one believes us?

We sat in the hospital for hours. Waiting and waiting. I helped them xray his little body. And we waited some more. In the company of the CAS worker, no less. (she was completely pleasant, it was just hard to stomach that she was even looking at us)

Eventually the doctor cleared us to go. The xrays did not show any other injuries (duh!) and the fracture on his skull did not seem to come from foul play (duh!). The CAS worker would be by for a home visit sometime in the week, and we were to hear from a doctor on Monday.We spent the weekend going nuts on our house. Cleaning every square inch. I wanted them to have nothing negative to day about us. 

But I didn't care about CAS. We have nothing to hide. We are good parents and our children are healthy and happy and well taken care of. But I was sick with worry about Max. I was becoming more and more convinced he has had this fracture since birth. Was there going to be permanent damage? Will he need a surgery? How long until he is healed? Now everytime he cries I wonder if he is in pain. I was such a mess. When Monday came I waited around by the phone wanting to speak to this docor. No one called. I e-mailed the CAS worker asking if she knew why he never called. The next day was the same. No home visit, no call from a doctor. The CAS worker e-mailed back saying she would try and contact him. Next day the same. I called my family doctor and they said they would try and figure it out for me. The next day, (yesterday) I decided to get out of the house. I got some groceries to make a yummy meal, and went to pick up Hannah from Steve's mom's where she had a sleep over.

Then everything finally started to seem bright and positive again. Steve called me and said that a police officer called him. Said that the police involvement was over. And CAS' involvement was over. And the doctor had said that there was not much concern for Max! Said he will heal up fine and to keep doing what we are doing. Not looking at any long term effects, or needing any therapies. SO MUCH GOOD NEWS AT ONCE! I was so thrilled! 

The CAS worked called me, she had one more thing she had to do which was to stop by the house. I was happy to have her. She came by today and said she just had to see where the kids sleep. So she did, and she was happy. Said her case with us is closed! HALLELUJAH! :)

Now we can put this horrible experience behind us, and move on. I had never been so scared and full of worry. I am happy they investigate though, because if there is a child injured from abuse, I would of course want them to find it! It's just a hard pill to swallow when it is you being questioned. 

At the end of the day, my little boy is going to be fine, and that is all that matters!

Max today.. the swelling has actually gone down significantly since the hospital.

*I just wanted to add a big thank you to my dad Gord and my step mom Kim for being there for support for us at the hospital, and taking Hannah for the night that night. You guys made a horrible night a lot easier*


  1. Holy Lord what a week indeed!! So glad to hear everything has settled and no more CAS involvement. Grace climbed out of her crib at 9 months and we took her to emerg to be safe. I was told that usually CAS 'pops by' after things like that and remember spending my entire week after super paranoid they would be there any second. Sounds like you handled it well, I'm afraid I would get quite defensive and not very nice if I was ever accused of hurting my kids. Way to stay strong! Most of all though, glad Max is going to be ok!!

  2. Thanks Sam... it was awful... but like you said, Max`s well being is most important, and i am so happy he is going to be okay