It was about a year ago, I guess February. Addison was 9 months old. We had just gotten new furniture and painted several rooms. The house had been a mess as it is when you paint and it was driving Paul crazy. I, the eternal optimist was trying to be cheerful and assure him it wouldn't take that long. I don't remember what day it was but Paul was working and our furniture had been delivered while he was gone. I was determined to make the house look beautiful and normal so I had been working hard all day long. He was on his way home and I was even lighting candles! I went into our bedroom to grab an extension cord I needed with Addie in my arms. I had been putting her needs aside all day to get my stuff done and she was NOT going to be ignored any longer. I sat her on my bed and put my hand right in front of her and then turned my head to grab the cord.
In a fraction of a second I heard the horrible noise. She had fallen from our waist high bed face first onto the hardwood floor. The sound wasn't a hard clunk but a soft mush. I turned to the bed and my brain skipped a second trying to figure out what had happened. I turned and saw her face down several feet from the bed. I scooped her up and saw blood everywhere. In a flash my mind jumped to a mission trip I had taken when Caleb was a baby. We had visited a nursing home and I was surprised to see a young woman in her 30's there as a resident. The nurses informed us she had fallen off her family's couch as a baby onto a hard floor and suffered brain damage. She functioned at the level of an 8-10 year old.
Paul had just pulled into the driveway and I met him at the door yelling, "help me" and handed him Addison. He rushed to the bathroom and used the blue newborn syringe to suck blood out of her mouth over and over. I called our doctor and the nurse told us to go right the ER. After several minutes we got the blood under control and because it had snowed and the car seat was in the van, Paul went to brush it off and warm it up. I took Addison and paced back and forth trying not to freak out as she laid her head quietly on my chest. After a moment she seemed to go limp. I thought she maybe lost consciousness and I lifted her up to find her awake but limp. She wouldn't lift her head, she wouldn't look at me, she wouldn't make a noise... she wouldn't lift her head! I screamed for Paul and called 911.
As I talked to 911 and asked a million times how long it takes to come the doctor called on the other line and told us yes we should have called 911 right away. I hung up from him and called our pastor. Poor guy had no idea who I was but somehow figured it out in the midst of sobbing- Addison, fall, not responding, blood, baby, pray. I hung up and called a friend and poured out the same message and just kept saying, "She's not OK, she's not OK." The first responder came and took Addison from Paul. She still wasn't making a sound. We told him what happened as he moved her limbs, tried to get a response of any kind or get her to track his fingers... nothing. She just laid there. I lost it. I went to our front room amidst all our new furniture and fell to my knees sobbing. I wish I had held her all day. I wish I never tried to make the stupid house look pretty. I wish I hadn't tried to rush in one last thing to make it perfect. I didn't know how I'd live with myself if she were brain damaged or blind or, God forbid died. How would I live if every time someone looked at her in the future they looked at me and knew I robbed her of what she could have been?
The paramedics showed up and took over. The first responder filled them in and they started checking her out. What we didn't know at that time was our pastor had started calling the congregation, my friend started calling friends and they called friends we didn't even know. Prayers had started a snowball to Heaven we were unaware of. Suddenly Addison cried. Music to our ears. As the paramedics secured her in the ambulance she began to respond more and more to them. She let them know she was NOT happy they were poking and prodding her! They started to reassure me she looked good, babies are resilent and even asked if I was a first time mom! (Yes, I really had lost it that bad.) When we arrived in the ER they told a two part story- She had fallen, lots of blood, was not responding to stimulus for the first responder. "For us she's been doing well and looks good besides the facial swelling." Over the next two hours and a clean ct scan our Addison slowly came back to us. It wasn't an instant healing or miraculous moment, more like the slow opening of a rose. And boy was it beautiful. When we later heard about the prayers it was as if we could look back and see her slowly coming out of her daze prayer by prayer. Later at a follow up appointment we were told how blessed we were she fell on her face. Apparently her face had worked almost as a shock absorber to protect her skull and brain. She was going to be OK.
Why am I sharing this? I don't like to think of it often. It was truly one of my scariest "mommy moments" ever. I'm sharing because this week someone shared this blog with me. Their story I understood only up to the ambulance arriving. Their precious boy who was Addie's age now died just before Christmas. He did not fall but had a dresser fall on him. The story will make you sob, for me it flashed me back to that moment and reminded me what could have been. It is heart wrenching. If you need to be reminded how good your crazy kid filled life is, one reading of this woman's honest journey to find life again will touch you to the core. If you have a moment check it out. If you do or don't please pray for peace and comfort for this family. Their children were all together when it happened and it will be a long road for them. Then, like I need to tell you this... go hug hug hug your children and thank the Lord for this very moment and day.