Friday, November 6, 2009

Adventures in Parenting: Nail Clipping or "We've got a bleeder!"

Some of the most apprehensive moments in being a parent involve basic care for your child. As a new mom, freshly discharged from the hospital, I had two major concerns for my son: 1) Avoid touching the umbilical cord at all costs and 2) Praying his circumcision would heal properly. Those were nothing...

Fast forward a month and Caleb was extremely fussy, so I decided to be brave and get his temperature....rectally. Praise the Lord for a "flex-tip" thermometer that has an indentation as if to say, "no trespassing beyond this point." And I am even more thankful for the disposable covers and KY jelly for my son's sake. Yes, that was easy too when I think back on it.

But so far, the worst of it has been attempting to trim his microscopic nails. This is intimidation at its finest: Placing a mini guillotine on top of an itty bitty nail covering thin skin. I tried the avoidance tactic by choosing to file his nails instead. It worked overall, but I began to notice that his nails needed more taken off, instead of just filing the edges.

The saga continued at around 10:30 this morning. After a yummy bottle with a content belly, I thought it would be a good time to try using the aforementioned mini guillotine. I did my best, but ultimately it was not so. After a tiny clip, the boy began to cry. "Oh sweetie, it's not that bad," I reassured him. "Hang on, it won't take long."

Until I glanced down at his teeny thumb, and noticed that I had not clipped the nail, I had instead clipped his thumb. Immediately, blood began to bead up and I rushed to grab some kleenex and neosporin. Normally, I am pretty calm when it comes to first aid. Unfortunately, when you throw my precious son into the mix, I have learned I become anything but. I was crying, thinking "you horrible mother!", snotting all over my face, while my ponytail was conveniently loosening at this inopportune moment. Meanwhile, my sweet son was staring at me, smiling. Yes, smiling. It was then that I was truly grateful for a gentle smile. To top it off, he left me a "just because" gift in his diaper.

Since his thumb was not clotting after applying pressure for almost half an hour, I called his doctor's office and we made a quick trip over there to get a professional opinion. His teeny thumb left an itsy bitsy trail of blood on his pjs, my jacket, and a sock I was using on his hand to keep it covered. Dr. L. wrapped his thimble-sized thumb with some gauze and advised that it stay wrapped for several days. As we left the doctor's office, I thought, "Great, I've turned into that mom who freaks out and rushes to the doctor."

But ya know what, that's okay. I am doing something that millions of women have gone through before: an adventure in parenting.


Rachel said...

I probably shouldn't be laughing, but I am.

Megan said...

Yikes! Hope he and Mommy have fully recovered!

A tip for when he's older and even more wiggly - get an extra pair of clippers. We "lost" ours and bought another set after 2 weeks of searching and our son growing talons. As soon as we got the new ones, the old pair appeared. Of course. But it has turned out to be a good thing. Now when I sit Xander on my lap and start to snip, I give him the other pair of clippers (in his free hand) and he gets to play with them and he isn't grabbing for mine anymore. It won't hold his interest for long, but just long enough to get the job done. :)

Sister Beta said...

Hi! I found your blog through Steppin' Heavenward and decided to read it. I've been a nanny for many years and often come onto the scene with brand new, first time parents. I want to encourage you that your worries and slight (and I do mean slight) missteps in the baby department are SO NORMAL! Every kid I've watched (and there have been a lot of them) has gotten at least one finger clip instead of a nail clip. Tip for that, bite your baby's nails instead; or get one of the clippers with the magnifier and make sure the bottom "blade" is hooked under the nail. I find I'm often able to do things the parent can't simply becuase I'm more confident. Your baby doesn't know you haven't done this before, relax, you're doing GREAT. They grow up so fast, enjoy it!! Have a good Thanksgiving!

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

I'm just finally getting caught up on blog reading... HI!

I always (and still) use cuticle cutters to cut Reagan's nails. They have a much smaller "cutter" and are much easier for see and manage! Give it a try...