Where do I begin? It’s been a while since I’ve blogged (again) and so much has happened in the last few days. (That “so much” doesn’t involve a new baby, by the way. The little one is still cookin’!)
Here’s the story:
On Wednesday afternoon of last week, we drove into the city to run a few errands. It was a windy day and I’d heard there was a wind advisory, but I didn’t think much of it. (We found out later that the winds had reached 100 mph in some parts of the city.)
We stopped at Panda Express for a quick dinner. As we were leaving, we realized the wind had gotten much worse and we were all shielding our eyes from the debris in the air as we raced to our mini-van. We got all the kiddos buckled in and I was about to back out of the parking spot when we heard what sounded like a gunshot coming from the back of the van. The wind had blown a wall of rocks and debris directly at us, and the back two windows shattered — all over 19-month-old Boulder. All the kids started screaming, but Boulder appeared to be the only one hurt…we saw multiple cuts on his face and his right eye was pooling up with blood.
I lost it. Thankfully, Eric kept his composure and quickly pulled Boulder from his car seat and hurried back into the restaurant, while I climbed into the back seat to unbuckle Hudson and make sure he and Calla hadn’t been hurt. I ordered them to run back inside as fast as they could, and I lugged my hugely pregnant self back into the driver seat to grab my purse and phone.
When I got back into the restaurant I grabbed my wailing kids who were waiting at the door (and had already gathered quite a crowd) and we ran to the bathroom to find Eric and Boulder. Eric had managed to wipe away some of the blood and didn’t think Boulder’s eye had been damaged, although there was a gnarly, gaping wound directly under his eye, and several smaller cuts on the upper eyelid. (I’ll spare you the gory pictures Eric snapped with his phone!)
We didn’t know what to do. We couldn’t drive to the ER in the windstorm with two missing windows and shattered glass everywhere, and we couldn’t seem to reach anyone who lived nearby. After about 20 minutes Eric finally connected with some friends who offered to come pick us up in their van and take us to the hospital. (Let me mention that I was an absolute wreck for the first hour or two, but Boulder was amazingly calm. I sat at a table in the restaurant holding a wet paper towel firmly on his eye while we waited for Eric to make phone calls, and this little boy never made a sound or attempted to push my hand away. Grace.)
Our friends drove the kids and me while Eric followed behind in our van. Thankfully they offered to take the older kids to their house while we were at the hospital, and they also took our van, cleaned out the glass, and taped up the windows. More grace!
After 3 1/2 hours in the ER (in which Boulder never fussed or cried, but eventually fell asleep) we were sent home with some antibiotic ointment and an eye patch, and orders to call the opthalmalogist first thing in the morning. The ER doc didn’t want to suture the eye laceration that night because he was concerned about possible damage to Boulder’s tear duct, which would require putting in a stent prior to stitching up the wound.
We picked up the older kids and our patched-up van from our sweet friends and arrived home a little after midnight. Boulder slept in our room that night and again, never fussed or cried. So much grace!
We woke up the next morning to SIX inches of snow. There were reports of multiple wrecks and closures on our route into the city, so we weren’t able to drive to the opthalmalogist’s office until mid-afternoon. (We switched vehicles with some friends who live nearby so we wouldn’t have to drive in the cold and snow with our taped-up windows. They also offered to keep our older kiddos. We are blessed!)
Boulder was perfectly behaved at the opthalmalogist’s office. The doctor determined that there was no tear duct damage (Grace!) and he wanted to schedule surgery for the following morning to repair the laceration.
So, we drove back to our friends’ house, picked up Calla and Hudson, and headed to my parents’, who had offered to keep the older kids overnight since we were scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:15 AM the next day. (So grateful!)
As usual, Boulder woke up happy, even though we had to wrangle him from sleep at 5:15 in the morning.
I was nervous about Boulder going under anesthesia for his stitches. This was the first time any of my kiddos have required surgery. Eric, thankfully, was the one to accompany Boulder into the anesthesia room. I stayed in the waiting room and bawled my eyes out. But although I was a bit of a wreck, I knew we were being lifted up in prayer and God was protecting my little boy!
It’s a blessing to have a hubby who handles this sort of thing well and even maintains a sense of humor through it. This 39-week pregnant emotional mess really needed him over the last several days!
We were warned that when small children are waking up from anesthesia, they are typically disoriented and distressed, and they react by screaming and flailing.
Not this boy! We were in the “wake up room” with 4 or 5 other children who all came out of anesthesia screaming and flailing — it was CHAOS! But Boulder woke up slowly, looked around groggily, and then settled right into Eric’s arms without a peep. We were absolutely amazed. (Grace, once again!)
After a couple of hours in recovery, we were released from the hospital. We managed to make it to Chick-Fil-A just in time for their free breakfast special (a little thing, really, but it felt so special!) Boulder was already back to his normal, goofy self as we sat down to eat.
(Looking back on the last several days, Eric and I have talked about how thankful we are for this time we’ve had alone with our youngest. It was emotionally and physically exhausting, but we had the chance to see our boy in a new light and realize what a sweet and undeserved blessing he really is.)
The stitches seem to be healing just fine, and Boulder has faithfully obeyed his orders not to touch his ouchie! There’s a bit of a bruise where the area was traumatized, but that’s starting to fade already.
Eric and I are still recovering from the lack of sleep and emotional drain we experienced over this series of events, but we agree that we also have a renewed sense of peace and confidence in the Lord and His faithfulness. The situation could have been much, much worse…but it wasn’t. Our little boy could have lost his eye…but he didn’t. We were made aware of how blessed we really are…how much we have to be thankful for…all because of His grace!