This past week was a trying one; one of the most trying our family has experienced in a long time, and one I never want to repeat again in my life. Due to a handful of emotional incidents this week, I was reminded how precious life truly is, and how it can be taken from you in a second. In addition, these incidents called to attention the fact that we must live our lives to the fullest each day, stop to smell the roses, and express our feelings to those we love at every opportunity.
The week commenced as most of our weeks do- with plans for errands, an appointment, two meetings, and four play dates. And after spending the morning with Nani and Molly, Monday proved to be a great start to another wonderful week. Tuesday, however, things changed... for the worse. To start, Asher woke up at 3:45 am with a fever of 102.4, which, despite round-the-clock Tylenol, wouldn't budge. All he wanted to do was cuddle (which was actually just fine with me, because I adore his cuddles). He wouldn't eat much, and took a three hour nap. I knew it was going to be a somewhat difficult day from the get-go, but nothing I couldn't handle. After naps, however, our world turned upside down, and it was obvious that I needed some help.
Around 4:15 pm, the kids and I were playing a game on the stairs. Positioned on the second and third steps from the bottom, the babies were tossing their stuffed animals off as if they were flying, seeing which animal could fly the farthest. Addy soon declared that she was thirsty, so I retreated to the kitchen to obtain a glass of water for her. Suddenly, while in the kitchen, I heard the loudest thud I have ever heard in our house. I recognized immediately that it was the sound of a head hitting the hardwood floor, as the noise was far too loud to have been simply a knee or elbow. I didn't hear anything else, but ran as fast as I could into the living room. At the bottom of the stairs lay Addy, lifeless. Her eyes were closed, and she didn't respond to my screaming. I knew immediately that we were in need of 911. As I swooped her up in my arms, she was still rather floppy and was not eliciting any noise. It was apparent that she had been knocked out. In fact, it took about fifteen seconds (while talking with 911) for her to "come to." Needless to say, the firefighters arrived and checked her out, then left, saying that she probably just bumped her head and to watch her carefully. Before leaving, they added, "if she begins to act unusual, or shows signs of a concussion, call us back.
I immediately called my Mom, a phenomenal nurse, who came over in a heartbeat. I wanted Nani to check Addy out too. But even before she arrived, Addy began acting very odd. She was unable to stand up, could hardly keep her eyes open, and wasn't speaking or answering questions. Furthermore, when Nani walked in the door, Addy had no response (unheard of for her not to jump up in excitement upon seeing Nani). Addy soon started vomiting, and we knew that we had to get her to the hospital as soon as possible.
I rode with Addy in the ambulance, where she proceeded to fall in and out of sleep. I did my best to be brave for her, and fought back tears that were trying desperately to cascade down my cheeks. I can't tell you how worried I was, and how helpless I felt. Moreover, I was struggling with a lot of guilt that Addy got hurt. Meeting us at the hospital was Nick (my hero), Nani (with Asher), Grantie, and Bubbie (who was approaching the end of her shift). As a side note, this whole ordeal re-instated within my mind just how perfect Nick and I are for one another, and especially that I need him by my side always. He and I, while similar in many aspects, are also different in some ways. Despite my mostly calm demeanor on the outside, I was hysterical on the inside. I needed my counterpart to bring me some solace, and he provided that for me perfectly. From the first call I made to Nick as 911 was on the way to our house, to meeting us at the hospital doors, he supplied the comfort and reassurance I needed. His demeanor alone helped me take a deep breath and assured me that we'd get through this dilemma as we have gotten through other tough times in the past. He is a blessing that I am grateful for daily. I love you, Pea!
In any case, upon arrival in the ER, Addy was evaluated by a myriad of medical professionals, was administered anti-vomiting medication, and monitored for quite a while. Despite the medications, she continued to vomit and act unlike herself for a couple hours. She was, however, responding to most questions. With a suspected concussion, the resident (who looked as if he should be buying pee-chee folders and notebook paper for middle school) decided it would be prudent to perform a CT scan to make sure Adeline didn't have an intra-cranial bleed. Like the little trouper she is, Addy was very brave throughout the procedure. Strapped to a table with a helmet on and tethers around her body, she laid still and calm as she moved through the big donut and images were taken of her brain/head. I was a very proud Mama, and prayed for favorable results.
After some time, they returned to our room with the report from the radiologist that there was no bleed discovered. We all breathed a big sigh of relief. Soon, we were able to accommodate Addy's requests for food and water, and then continued to monitor her for a while. After forty-five minutes had passed and she had kept her food and water down, we were given the go-ahead to return home. By this point, it was about 9:00 pm, much past bedtime. And despite the fact that Asher still had a fever of over 102 degrees (despite Tylenol administered) he was a perfect little angel at the hospital. Much of the evening he spent in the waiting room with Grantie reading issues of National Geographic and coloring pictures for Addy. He was so sweet and well behaved. And I although I was super proud of Addy and her courage, my heart beamed with pride for the way Asher conducted himself in the hospital in spite of feeling horrible.
Laying in bed trying to fall asleep that night, I couldn't help but thank God for the seemingly fortunate outcome of our horrible ordeal. It was the most intense, frightening experience I have had as a Mama. One of the hardest parts about it, is that I don't know exactly what happened. Neither child has been very forthcoming about how Addy fell, and because I didn't see the incident, I can't be certain what transpired. Could Addy have had a seizure and then fallen? Did Asher push her? Did she simply lose her balance? Exactly which step did she fall from? What makes it more confounding is that I didn't hear a lot of extraneous noise prior to the big thud. It was as if she fell like a tree, without attempting to break her fall, flat onto her back, which is how I found her laying- feet closest to the stairs. I am still confused as to what occurred, and that fact is one of the hardest aspects of the whole accident for me.
Later in the week, we were made aware of two deaths; deaths of two individuals related to people we love very much. One loss was bittersweet; someone who led a very long, happy life succumbed to a longtime illness. The other seemed more tragic; the unexpected passing of a woman in her mid twenties, with the world at her fingertips. Both people were taken from people who love them, and both will be sorely missed. For me, these deaths, in combination with our family emergency, reminded me just how precious life is, and that it is so important to let those around you know how much they mean to you. And while there are no words adequate enough to express how much my family means to me, I am re-vowing to remind them daily as best I can. I don't think a person can ever say "I love you" too much, and I plan to exhaust that sentiment to the fullest.
Happy and healthy after our trying week:
Welcome to Twinfinite Love. I hope that my periodic entries shed some light on the sometimes chaotic, but always joyful day-to-day shenanigans that come with raising twins. I can assure you, our life is never boring, and I have the blog to prove it.