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Thursday, July 03, 2008
Pretty much the worst day ever.

Nope, those aren't pictures of some weird X-Ray I found on the internet. Those are pictures of the insides of my 8 month old daughter Brielle. Today started off normally enough. Me waking up to having no job, Nicki getting ready to go to her $3 an hour job, Kayla waking up in turn waking up Brielle because Kayla turns her music on really loud in the morning. So like I said, the usual.

All of us ended up downstairs around 8:15, and we all started eating breakfast together. I gave Kayla a couple plums, and then made her some pancakes. I made Brielle a bowl of baby cereal, and Nicki had just started on her muffin, coffee and Bible study. When Brielle finished eating, we put her down to let her crawl, and she went and grabbed one of her toys she loves to play with, the Disney Princess Cell phone. Her face lights up every time she presses the buttons and makes the phone beep. Everything was going as usual. Brielle was crawling with her phone, and ended up in the kitchen. A few moments later, we heard a smash, and looked over to see the Disney phone in 3 pieces. So Nicki walks over and starts picking up the pieces to the phone, and asks me:

"How many batteries are in this pink phone?"

"Three." I said.

Then Nicki said "Oh no." "Are you sure?"

I asked her what the problem was, and she said "I only see two batteries".

So I assured her that one of them probably went under the refrigerator or the oven and not to freak out. We both looked all over the kitchen floor for a few minutes and didn't find it. So I got the fly swatter and started sweeping out the contents from underneath the fridge. Then the oven. No battery. Alright, so I'm a tad nervous at this point and say, "I'll go check online to see what happens if a baby swallows a battery. I guarantee you we just have to wait for her to pass it. No big deal."

So I google "my child swallowed a battery" and within seconds I kept seeing the same thing in the google mini results; "Take your child to emergency and call poison control". At this point I was getting a little more nervous but was SURE that poison control was going to tell me that we should let her pass it. Wrong again. The guy tells me we have to get Brielle to emergency room sooner than later, as the alkaline (if the battery was stuck in her esophagus) could damage her throat and burn a hole in it. It could also burn a hole in her stomach if it had settled there as well. Bottom line, it was NOT good, and not something to be passe' about.

At that point Nicki went upstairs, changed Brielle, called her office to tell them she wasn't going to be in until around noon (it was 9am at this point) and off she went to Sutter Hospital in Roseville. I was totally fine. Calm, cool and collected. I bathed Kayla, ate breakfast and started looking for a job. Then Nicki started texting me things like "took first X-ray. it's not in a good spot". So I text back, ask some questions and start getting really emotional. About an hour later she texts me again "It hasn't moved, so they're taking us by ambulance to Sutter in Sacramento to suck it out of her stomach. My phone has one bar btw."

I decided to call Nicki anyway, and get some more info. Her phone stayed alive just long enough to tell me she was being transferred to Sutter Memorial in Sacramento, then her phone died. I was pretty much a sobbing mess at that point. I had Kayla here at the house, but Nicki took the car with the carseats. So I frantically called a few friends that lived in Lincoln to see if they could watch Kayla while I went to the hospital. Unfortunately, none of them answered their phones. But my mom was doing the same thing from Manteca, and got her best friends parents who happen to live less than a mile from us to come watch Kayla. They arrived about 15 minutes later, and I left Kayla here with them. She was screaming bloody murder because she'd never met them, which made me feel even WORSE, but I had to go. So I kissed her good bye and off I went.

I actually arrived at Sutter before the ambulance had, which made things worse on me because I had been gearing myself up the whole ride over to see Brielle immediately and be with her. So when she wasn't there, I got more anxiety. Anyway, to shorten the story up, her and Nicki arrived 2o minutes later, and I spotted the EMT's rolling Brielle down the hall in a stretcher (in her carseat still). That's where I lost it. What little thread that was holding me together at that point broke. I got so emotional seeing my 8 month old daughter on a stretcher that I just couldn't keep it together.

I followed them into the Ambulatory Response area, and that's where they told me all about the procedure. Basically, they were going to put Brielle under anesthetics, (not exactly something I was thrilled about hearing) then they had to stick a breathing tube down her throat (keeps getting worse) then finally stick a vacuum down her esophagus, (strike 3) and get the battery out. The funny thing was, at this point in the room Brielle was up and playing and laughing and making all the nurses love her. It was strange to think that in a short while she'd be on an operating table (even though she wasn't technically being operated on) undergoing a procedure.

About an hour later, the team came in, said they were ready to take Brielle, and off we went into the prep room. Now look, I wasn't so much upset and emotional because I thought she was going to die. I was upset and emotional because thinking about my 8 month old daughter having to go through all of that just broke my heart in two. Even now as I type this, hours removed and Brielle asleep in her bed, it STILL makes me emotional. So back to the prep room, the nurse performing the procedure said "Don't worry Mr. Borba, God's got this baby. It's going to be ok". Now since my mom was in the room with us, my mom said "Well, lets just go ahead and pray right here then, since you mentioned God." I could tell that a couple of the nurses were REALLY weirded out, because my mom had put her hands out for all of us to join hands, but they all grabbed each others hands and there we prayed together. After that I kissed Brielle, held her tighter than ever before and said one more prayer. They took her, then escorted us to the waiting room.

We were told it was going to take about an hour, so we were prepared for that. But about 15 minutes later the nurse came through the door and motioned me over. My heart fucking stopped. (Sorry for the F-bomb, but I literally have no other way to describe it). I got really dizzy, and started thinking the worse. In my mind, the nurse had a sad look on her face. Thank God when I finally made it over to her, she said "Well that was quick! We got the battery out and she's doing just fine." I took the biggest sigh of relief in my life, and stabalized myself. Then started crying again.

About 20 minutes later they let us into the recovery room and I saw Brielle sleeping in the arms of one of the nurses. I went over, took her and held her closer to me than ever before. She looked so peaceful, sleeping. I knew that the worst was over. But I felt so horrible for what happened to her. I just looked at all of her little body parts and thought of the IV going in her arm, the tubes down her throat and then the battery being sucked out. But I was so thankful that she was ok. I just sat there with Nicki for what seemed like an eternity, looking at Brielle and thanking God that she was alright.

An hour later they woke Brielle up, and as soon as she opened her eyes, she started smiling and playing. I felt like I had just won the lottery 52 weeks in a row. I'd thought I loved my daughters, but after today, I really realized just how deep my love for them goes. There has never been anything more urgent and important in my life, than being with Brielle today. It just makes me realize even more how unimportant the stuff of this world is. Some people are blessed with fame. Some fortune. Some both. But I've been blessed with two beautiful girls. And there isn't a thing, person or place on Earth that's more important to me than them. I have no idea how we're going to pay the rent this month, I've been looking for a job for almost a month and have only had one interview, Nicki is struggling at her job with making decent money and we never know where or when or how we're going to have money for groceries and things. But all of that pales in comparison to the concern and stress I had today going through all of that.

I'd gladly lose everything and live on the streets the rest of my life if it meant I got to keep my family. God has blessed me more than I can even comprehend. Maybe I'll never make good money, maybe we'll always have these struggles. It doesn't matter though. I am rich beyond measure. My girls are priceless to me.
posted by Ricky @ 8:32 PM  
  • At 7/07/2008 07:14:00 PM, Blogger Smith said…

    I am glad that Brielle is okay! What a scary situation!!! Quinn tries to eat batteries too, but they are AA, so they don't go that far down. Are you going to turn all Amish on us and have toys that have no batteries? Maybe you can whittle a new phone for her.

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