My goodness, Maiko. What a morning we had, huh? It started off like any other morning, you and Dorian yapping away while you both wait to be rescued into the morning of a new day. I got Dorian settled with the potty, toothbrushing, and clothes-changing. I picked you up, carried you downstairs, Dorian carefully walking behind us with his hands full of dinosaurs.
On the dining table, your warm bottle of milk and burp cloth were ready, as were Dorian’s banana and oats, milk + vitamins, and cleaning rag. I laid you on my raised leg while I bottle-fed you, occasionally switching hands to help Dorian with his errant bites and cleanup. You drank like a champ, Maiko, and I was so happy as I reminisced over the first day that Mom went back to work and you DID NOT want to drink from the bottle (we had a good battle that morning…I won, haha).
After breakfast and your customary ‘big burp’, the three of us went over to your play mat. Dorian gave you lots of love via hugs, kisses, and pretending to eat your adorable baby toes. I rapped to you in gibberish because it makes you smile. Oh, it was a such a sweet scene. There was no reason to think this morning could be anything but sunshine and rainbows.
I noticed that you needed to have your nails cut. I got through your left hand without a problem, but when I got to your right thumb I felt the awful crunch of raw baby finger flesh between the nail clipper blades. You let out the tiniest little squeal of disapproval. I immediately apologized and analyzed the damage. It seemed okay for a couple of seconds before blood started to exit the tip of your thumb.
“I’m so sorry, sweet Maiko Rose,” was all I could say, over and over, while I reached for a wet wipe to clean the area and applied pressure. Your thumb did not want to stop bleeding. Between the release of pressure and continued bleeding, I felt like it wasn’t making sense. Your cut didn’t seem that bad or deep. I repeated applying pressure for minutes at a time, then checking again, each time growing concerned with my lack of success.
“What kind of Dad am I, who can’t even stop the bleeding from a tiny cut on an almost-four-month-old baby?” I was feeling the worry creep in, so I reached out for advice. A quick Google search on my phone did not make me feel any better. The main points all suggested that the bleeding should stop within a few minutes of applying pressure. By my best estimate, it had been over 15 minutes since the accident. “Oh crap, did I just break my brand new baby?!”
Time to calm down and focus. The bleeding was not profuse, it just didn’t want to stop. It was time to seek professional help. Dorian had nursery school today, so I needed to get his stuff packed in case we were at the Doctor’s office for a while. Next was getting him to the potty, putting his shoes on, getting your diaper bag prepared for feeding with Mom at school after the Doctor, putting you in your car seat, locking up the apartment, getting Dorian out to the golf cart and buckled in his car seat. I placed your car seat on the golf cart, and away we drove.
We arrived at the clinic two minutes later, where I quickly took you in, assuring Dorian the entire way that we were there for you to see the Doctor and not him! The nurses greeted us with smiles as I showed them your bloodied pajama sleeve. I pulled your thumb out of the sleeve and was relieved to see that the bleeding had finally stopped! Two nurses took a look at you and promptly said there was no need to worry. They applied some medicine to prevent infection, free of charge, and that was that.
It was such a quick trip that it was too early to take Dorian to nursery school. The three of us had to return home to hang out for about 15 minutes. I decided to change your clothes so Mom wouldn’t see all the blood on your sleeve. Also, you still have one pair of PJ’s that have those built-in mitten sleeves. I thought they would work well to keep you from sucking your thumb. Then I went to scrub your blood from the old PJ’s before they set-in for good.
Being in a hurry, I simply placed you on a towel next to the shower while I scrubbed away. Dorian stood at the doorway delivering his observational commentary. “Daddy? Daddy cleaning? Oh, Maiko Rose on the floor. Oh, towel. Oh, Maiko Rose, sleeping.” Poor thing, because of the trip to the clinic you basically missed your morning nap. I wasn’t surprised that you fell fast asleep. I had a flashback to when Dorian slept on the same bathroom floor while I scrubbed poo out of his car seat (the same one you’re using now…eww, sorry!).
I have to tell you, Maiko, between your brother and yourself, you’ve both made me a pretty skillful stain remover, ha! If/when you have children, don’t be surprised if I give you a laundry brush as a gift. It has been one of the best investments for your stay-at-home dad!
I had some explaining to do when I brought you to Mom for your mid-morning feed, as you were still in your PJ’s. I realized that this was the first time you actually bled, Maiko. I was concerned that you may have had some issue with blood-clotting because it took so long to stop. Thankfully, everything turned out to be just fine. There’s a strange emptiness that hit my gut when I realized that I hurt my own baby.
I’m sorry, sweet Maiko Rose.