I heard it.
I thought it was my skate slamming on the floor but the first sound was actually the crack of my ankle bones. That's when I lost my footing completely and slammed down onto my bottom and side onto the skating rink floor.
“Okay, just wait for the initial pain to pass, then get up and laugh it off, cuz I bet you looked ridiculous.” I thought. I hoped. Then, I dreaded the realization.
I’m not getting up.
All I could think was, where’s Jeff?
I looked up through the burning tears that were forming from the pain to see him coming quickly to me as he passed the baby to her sister.
So, a trip to the family skating rink ended with me in the hospital and my children went home as planned...I just wasn't with them "as planned."
I expected to go home. I expected that very last corner to be my last and I’d skate up and onto the side with the rest of the gang. I was already anticipating my response to their grumblings of having to leave.
Instead, I’m fighting the immense pain of my break (the setting of it into a splint) and the limited pain management options available during the first trimester of pregnancy. All I could see in my husband’s eyes was the pain of his helplessness to ‘solve’ this unfortunate issue for his wife and make it go away.
After four hours at the E.R., we make our way back home with our eldest. He ended up having to come back after taking all the kids home. We had the luxury of an ambulance ride to the hospital.
That first night, Jeff watched over me like a first time mom who watches her newborn breath deeply and rhythmically during their first night in the world - constantly there, until I fell asleep from exhaustion.
He didn’t even sleep in the bed for fear the vibration of him moving would cause too much pain (yes, it was that bad) but instead slept on the floor right below me.
Jeff immediately took the next week off from work without hesitation and vowed to not leave my side at any cost (and he kept that vow). He came up with a pain management schedule that still included the heavy-hitter drugs, spacing them out as far as comfortably possible.
My husband bathed me, brought me any and all meals I desired, and ever so gently carried me to the van for follow-up doctor visits. As my knight in shining armor, he verbally fought the ridiculous resistances we came across. Insurance was not very cooperative during the first 48-hours.
I witnessed a side of my husband that we both didn’t realize existed (even a side of myself). I was at my most vulnerable and his strength increased for me. Being a strong-willed ‘I do for myself’ woman, this was no easy feat, however, I was and felt unconditionally safe with him.
I confessed that I could definitely succumb to depression due to my lack of activity, newfound instant limitations, and worry over our unborn child. Especially with the heavy-hitter pain-management drugs I was taking. I told him, don’t let me wallow in my shit (for lack of a better word). Tears welled up in his eyes as he expressed his love and deep admiration for my trusting vulnerability and then said,
“We’ve reached a new level of intimacy we’ve never had before. I love you so much.”
I heard the sound… of my love; that’s all I needed to hear.
Update: One month after my accident, my mobility has increased to allow gentle strengthening exercises, the husband and other children are amazingly helpful, and baby #10 is still growing strong every day at 16 weeks.
Oh… and I get to set off the metal detectors at the airport… this should be interesting!
Photo credits: AndiL.