On the socials, everyone was posting that it was going to be a magical day.
I had high hopes for it as well. Not because of some particular date. But because I was finally going to spend one full day with Lily – no caregiver, no Stephen – just us two girls, like how it used to be years ago. We were planning to buy her a new spring jacket and then head over to the history museum. A girls day. Get dressed up. Put on some makeup. Have some fun!
I was extra excited because it was the first time in a long time that I was feeling confident about going out with her alone. No stroller (that she doesn’t fit into anymore anyway). Just reliance on our legs and public transportation (and maybe a taxi if we were in a pickle).
The morning started off easily enough. Stephen got her ready for the day while I ran down and trained at our gym with a guy whose teaching me the Turkish getup (look it up – it’s legit). Once upstairs, Stephen headed off to work. I pulled up all the trip hazards (rugs) in our bedroom and Lily chilled in there listening to music while I took a quick shower. Once I got out, I started talking to her about our adventures for the day. She was very excited. And was following me around. I started to put some makeup on in front of the hallway mirror and she ventured off into the bathroom to look in the mirror there. Then I heard a thud.
And that’s when the day fell apart. Lily somehow tripped and fell into the tub. She semi-caught herself with her hands. But she still managed to bang her mouth.
The screaming was delayed. And that’s when I knew it was really really bad.
There was lots of blood coming out of her mouth and her two front teeth were nowhere to be found.
Thankfully there were no broken bones. I called Stephen to come home. I called the dentist to tell her we are on our way. None of this I remember very well.
The rest of the day was a blur of blood and screaming and crying (including mine) and holding her so tightly and Stephen taking care of us both, keeping level-headed and calm as I was feeling anything but.
I guess the magic of yesterday for us was that she didn’t lose her teeth. They got pushed back into her gums. Hopefully they will come down naturally. But if they don’t, she’ll need surgery. We go back to the dentist in 2 weeks to check in. And then another 2 weeks to decide about surgery.
For the most part, Lily is well; she’s got a fat lip and a huge gap in her mouth. But last night and this morning, she was smiling and giggling.
It’s going to take a while for me to find a place of peace. My confidence as a mother and a caregiver is shot. My heartbreak and grief over what happened to her on my watch feels insurmountable.
But I will push forward. For her. For me. For Stephen. For us.
This is my grief. Not hers.