First, we're o.k.. We're gonna be just fine. I'm very sore and very shaken, nasty abrasions and bruises, but nothing broken. Caroline has a few small scrapes and was very scared and upset, but seems o.k. now.
We were having a nice day, mostly relaxing with Katie and Abby in their hotel room. I did some sermon practice for my preaching tomorrow. We talked and nursed and yeah, it was good. I lost track of time and ended up behind schedule for meeting up with another good friend. I thought our meeting point was closer than it was and knew I'd have to move quickly in order to not be insultingly late. I opted for putting Caroline in the Bjorn because she LOVES walks in the bjorn. I slathered her with sun screen, then me too, put her adorable hat on her, gathered up her diaper bag, the camera, my purse, and off we went. Moving as fast as we could. I tried to take a short cut through campus, but ended up not where I thought I would- not shortening things much at all. But moved, moved, moved. We were getting closer to our destination when it happened. I wasn't running or being especially careless, but the edge of my sandal hooked on a piece of uneven sidewalk and I started to lose my balance, I thought I could fix it, but no... we went crashing down. I guess I nobly protected my girl, bearing the brunt of the fall on my elbows and knees, but she started screaming immediately and I started weeping. We were a mess heaped on the sidewalk. And I saw blood. And I didn't know if it was hers or mine. If I had been thinking straight I would have taken her right out of the bjorn and checked her from head to toe, then put her on the breast right away, but I was beside myself with fear. I called Katie and she assured me she was getting in a cab and coming to me. And then a few minutes later some strangers pulled over. Apparently they had passed me once and the woman in the vehicle realized there was a woman and baby on the ground and insisted they return. She checked out Caroline and assured me she was fine. She said something like "What she needs is for you to calm down. Everything is going to be fine." I took her out of the bjorn and handed her to her, and then they showed me that the blood on Caroline was mine and indicated that I had some nastiness on my elbows and I could see my knees. Later she said "This may sound awful, but you need I didn't especially hurt then. I was too afraid. She was crying, hard. And nothing seemed to soothe her. I put her on the breast and that sort of helped, I calmed down a bit. But when Katie arrived I fell apart again. She indicated that the friend I was on the way to meet was also on her way. And in the meantime I had called Kevin and he was on the way. I nursed Caroline a fair bit, right there on the side of the road- so much for modesty! And when Melissa got there she tried walking with her. But I could hear her crying hard, and asked for her back. When Kev arrived I lost it again. I felt so foolish, and embarrassed, and by now I was hurting... pretty badly. My elbow appeared to be swelling. At first I thought I wouldn't need the hospital, but... we were within walking distance of the hospital at my school. So, we walked. I carried Caroline. Kevin, Katie, and Abby went back to the hotel for some necessary things. And then they all met us at the hospital.
The initial care at the hospital was so-so. The good news was that using my student insurance there was no immediate expense incurred. When I finally got a bed in the E.R. it was in a hallway. And Kev tried to come in with me, but they said he couldn't. Actually, Caroline couldn't. But they didn't make that clear to him and I had no way of communicating with him after they made that clear to me. So I sat, alone, on a gurney, for what felt like too long. Somebody took an inventory of my property right away, but then nothing. No nurses or doctors said anything to me. Finally a nurse walked by and I said "Could you please find out when I will be seen? And could someone please explain to my husband that he is allowed in here, but my daughter is not, and please ask him to leave her with someone for just a moment and come in here?" So she indicated that I should be seen soon, after the person in the room across from me was discharged. And she or someone went to the family waiting room for Kev and he came in shortly thereafter. It was a terrible feeling- sitting alone on that gurney- no way to communicate with people- knowing my distressed baby was outside. She had calmed a bit- someone gave her a popsicle- our girl loves popsicles. But still... all my people were out there, and I was stuck in there, not even receiving care. It sucked.
Kev came in and I suggested someone he might call to help with Caroline and sent him out with my phone and her number. It turned out there was someone in the waiting room for whom a nurse could vouch who was willing to help. And Katie would be right there. So he came to be with me, right about the time I was finally seen. When I was seen the care was thorough and efficient and compassionate. I eventually asked a nurse if there was anyway my baby could come in to nurse. I could periodically hear a baby screaming and it was breaking my heart.
A little while later they got me into a room, a more comfortable bed, and they let Kev bring Caroline in, just to nurse. She laid down with me and nursed and fell asleep quickly. And then just as the x-ray guy came in (in-room x-rays? wow. i didn't know that was possible) he was on his way out with her. They x-rayed the elbow and knee that hurt the most internally. They gave me some ibuprofen. They gave me a tetanus shot (I think they did that when Caroline was still there! See Caroline, mommy gets shots too. Unfortunately.) And then I waited for the results. At this point Kev was out with Katie, Abby, and Caroline. The friend he had called was out of town and I didn't want Katie to be on her own. I felt better in the room, and under the care of folks. Katie offered to nurse Caroline when she woke up again, which was a huge relief to me. Haddon arrived and made arrangements to get Katie, Abby, Caroline, and him back to the hotel by cab.
But I was discharged with the word that nothing was broken, abrasions were the worst of it, and that was that, before they even got into the cab.
So, we're home now. And I have to preach tomorrow. And writing it out has strangely calmed me. It felt very, very lonely and scary. It didn't feel like there were a lot of people we could call for help. So many of our friends are away at the moment. Though I am TREMENDOUSLY grateful for Katie's presence and fast response and all she offered. And Melissa's presence through some of the worst of it too. Thank you! And of course Kevin was wonderful.
But... crap. I tripped and fell on concrete while wearing my baby. This is WAY worse than dropping her out of the rocking chair. WAY WORSE. I feel awful about it.
Sure I protected her, but... wow. This is just lousy.
And I hurt to boot.
And I have to preach tomorrow.
And preside at communion.
For a bunch of people I don't know.
And yes, I'll stop whining now. I am grateful that she is o.k., and that I basically am too. I'm just still shaken up. And feel badly about putting a blemish on several people's day.
It was terrifying. Just awful.
Thanks for your prayers in advance.