Thursday, December 30, 2010

Adventures The Night Before The Night Before Christmas

I guess the best way to start this is by could have been worse. This could have ended differently, and the end results could have been worse. The weather could have been worse. Our house could have a different roof.

It still doesn't make up for the fact that Jack fell out of his window.

{The Story}

Days like Thursday never start out like anything but an ordinary day. We had played outside with trucks before heading to bed, at which point everyone was told to be "quiet" and rest. That's nothing abnormal. Jack even came out of his room several times to use the bathroom. That's nothing abnormal either. It was so normal that I even went to our bedroom to rest a bit before doing more baking/cleaning.

Then the doorbell rang. Knowing that Jack rarely sleeps and would like to see a delivery truck (my only guess), I went into his room first.

He wasn't there.
The window was wide open.
He just wasn't there.

I ran downstairs, opened the door...

And there he was.

Sobbing. With two women who had found him at our neighborhood "safe" house, pounding on the front door (they were not home at the time).

What makes this story so terrifying?

His room is on the second floor. He slid down the roof WITH two blankets, three books and a pillow.

My initial reaction? Terror. Fear. Was my boy okay? He was walking and talking just fine, but did he fall on his head? Did he have internal bleeding? I thanked the women and tried to wrap my head around what happened.

I rushed Jack inside and was already thinking of how to get to the nearest doctor. Urgent care? ER?

At the same time, I grabbed a phone and called Trav to ask him to come home. Then I called my parents because I was hoping against hope that my dad would be home. I figure my dad has worked in the OR, worked call in the ER enough to know a thing or two. At the same time, Trav was racing home and calling Jack's doctor for info. I also tried to figure out how he was able to crawl out of the screen without taking it off. I can't even put the screen in!

MEANWHILE, I was trying to get everyone dressed, pottied and ready to go. I put Zoey on the potty and tended to Jack. Thankfully it was just a scratch, but the moment I told Jack that we were going to the doctor, he freaked out. At this same time, the doorbell rang.

{Lights & Sirens}

I answered the door to find two police officers. Apparently I looked "out of sorts" when the women dropped him off. (Translation: I didn't freak out. My parents always taught me to NEVER freak out in emergency situations because freaking out will never make a situation better.) Of course Zoey at this time came downstairs to join us with out any pants on.

That' pants. No underwear. In other words: if I didn't feel like a terrible parent before, I sure felt like one then.

At the same time, Jack is still freaking out and I was just trying to stay composed.

That failed once the officer called an ambulance. And made me feel like an awful parent because I wanted to drive my son to the urgent care/ER by myself.

(Side note: I trust & respect police officers and what they do to protect us. I'm not complaining about officers nor the actions of this one. It was just a REALLY rough time emotionally to being with!)

By the end of it, the ambulance came. The firetruck came. We had lights and sirens galore.

I kind of wished I would have taken a picture. Jack would have loved to see all of the commotion that was focused on HIM!

In the end, he had fallen more than 6 feet and needed to be taken to the local Children's hospital - Children's Mercy. They would take him in the ambulance.

Meanwhile, the officers came clean - they didn't believe me. How could this 5-year old get out of the window and NOT take out the screen? Had I placed it back in? The truth? I have no idea how it happened.

{The Hospital Visit}

Amazingly, Trav reached our house at the same time we were headed out of the neighborhood, so he was able to pull in behind the ambulance to allow me the ability to drop Zoey off with my in-laws who had agreed to watch her.

I don't really know if I should have been driving, honestly.  Between crying, wailing and just plain frustration, I don't think I would be what you would call a safe driver.

When we reached the hospital, here's what I saw:

Thankfully, Jack was in great spirits. In the end, he had two rounds of blood work, 12 x-rays and a ct scan during that 4 hour stay in the ER. Aunt April and Grandma Suzie even were able to visit, which was nice for US to have a bit of a break too. 

All were normal. He was okay. If you want a Christmas miracle, this would be it. He had fallen between between six and 10 feet onto either dirt (best case scenario), rock (the not-so-great scenario) or pavement (the worst-case scenario). He could have landed on his head or tush or arm. It could have raining or snowing or icy. We could have been dealing with broken bones, a bleeding brain, internal damage.

But he was fine. 

Not even stitches or an overnight stay in the hospital. 


So, why did Jack even try to get outside? Take any one (or all) of his explanations:

1) He opened the window because he was cold and the cold air outside would make him warm. 
2) The wind pushed him out, and the birds helped.

My best guess is that he wanted to go outside to read his books and then became very scared by being on the roof. Either way, we have child-proof locks on the window to prevent him from doing this ever again, and I can tell you that we made sure to give our thanks for our Christmas together. 

We told Jack that when he first came into this world, he spent 17 long days in the NICU:

After this trip, I think we can say that we're done with unexpected, emergency hospital trips for a long time.

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