It was 8:17 am yesterday morning when it happened. I know the time because I had just looked over at the clock and said to Josh, "Shoot...we need to get Caleb and Sarah up! We're going to be late for church. They both need baths."
Maybe it was the word "baths" that made Gabriel so excited to run out of our room. He was the only child awake in the house. We had been playing with him in our room, just giggling, hugging, hiding under the covers on the bed - stuff like that - until I sat him down on the floor so we could all start getting ready. He quickly headed out of our room, but I didn't follow him. I stood up, getting off the bed, and probably asked Josh jokingly if he wanted to do baths or if it was my turn.
Then we heard it. A loud thud. Followed by loud cries from Gabriel.
I raced into the living room to see what happened. There he was, just sitting on the floor almost to the hallway, covered in blood. I yelled for Josh, "Hurry, please! I can't tell why he's bleeding! I'm not sure if he just hit his nose or what!"
Josh scooped him up in his arms and quickly took him to the bathroom. I grabbed a washcloth, rinsed it in cold water, and began to wipe his face. And that's when we both discovered that it wasn't his nose that was bleeding. It was a large, deep cut to his forehead. A cut like I had never seen before. It was bleeding profusely, and to be honest, it just looked horrible. I felt panic hit me, and I looked at Josh and said, "We have to go. I will call Kim to see if she'll watch kids."
And he agreed.
I hurried to my room to find my cell phone, quickly called Kim, but there was no answer. "Oh, my gosh...she's not answering...one of us needs to run over there and get her," I said, continuing in my panic mode. He gave Gabriel to me, washcloth over his little head, and I continued to apply pressure while Josh ran across the street with no shoes on.
In that moment when I was holding him, I began to shake. I'm not sure why, I think I just couldn't believe that this was happening to one of my children. He was hurting, so badly, the bleeding not slowing at all, the cut looked like something I've only seen in movies.
As I sat on my bed holding him, I could see out my window that Josh was talking to Jim (Kim's husband) and then I saw him race back over here. I met him at the door, he grabbed Gabriel, and we began to load up in the van. Our garage door opened, and I saw Kim as she walked over to our house. I didn't even get to speak to her, and I didn't get to say goodbye to Caleb and Sarah or explain what was going on. They were still asleep through this entire thing, but we just didn't have time. We had to go.
I sat beside Gabriel during our 8 minute trip to the ER. The longest 8 minutes ever. I held the washcloth on his little head and tried to sing to him - my attempt to comfort him - with one of my made up songs that I sometimes do with my kids. It was something like, "Baby Gabriel...Mommy loves you," repeated several times, complete with my own melody. I stopped every now and then because I didn't feel like I was making a difference, and Josh would say to me, "Keep singing, Chrissy."
As we pulled into the parking lot, I began asking God that there would be very few patients in the ER at that moment. I know. Sounds weird. I just wanted Gabriel to be taken to a room right away, I wanted there to be plenty of nurses to take care of him, I wanted the doctor to not be consumed with so many patients that he couldn't see my son for hours.
He was taken to a room right away. Three nurses began working with him promptly. The doctor saw him within 15 minutes or so.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6
I guess that's why I was specific about my request to God - about there being very few patients in the ER. Because His word tells me to present my requests to Him. And in that moment, that was my request.
In the end, it took six stitches to sew up my little boy. On the discharge papers we received, I looked at the diagnosis, and it said, "Forehead laceration." Yeah, that sounds about right. Something about the word "laceration" that just makes it sound horrific. (Which is was to me.)
He is doing fine now, and seems to be his normal self.
I, on the other hand, am still emotional. If someone drops something, and I hear that "thud" sound, I jump...and sometimes it makes me cry. I don't know why.
Thank you, Kim, for coming to our house at the drop of a hat, literally in your pj's, to help us out. You are a true friend. I owe you so much.
And thank you PCRMC Emergency Department for the excellent care you provided to my little guy.
For the "How Did It Happen" post, click here.
For the "When He Fell" - the one year later follow up post, click here.
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