While discerning the best starting point for my project I heard Jeremiah yell "Sarah!". There was a commotion and then, to my nauseating surprise, the sounds of people saying "call 9-1-1". I was the closest one to a phone but when I picked it up was unable to dial. I passed it off to another mama and went outside to discover Jeremiah holding my limp, blue baby and Dr. Haun (see, there she is in the picture, unaware of the drama about to unfold) administering mouth-to-mouth. I had no idea what had happened but as time stood completely still I thought she might die. Dr Haun, who I'd just introduced as "one of my favorite people on earth" the previous day, breathed only 4 times for Sarah before she came to and screamed. They handed her to me and I said "that is the best sound you've ever made". While our friend Kari talked to the dispatcher I walked with Sarah around the yard, trying to calm her (OK, me) down.
She'd been coming up the single step from the yard to the deck and slipped and fell forward. When Jeremiah scooped her up she leaned way back in his arms and he waited for what he thought was a full head of steam to explode. But it didn't. She just stopped breathing.
The EMTs arrived in 2 ambulances. Keith explained what would transpire next. It used to be that in his spare time, he was an EMT who volunteered for the local fire department. We moved Sarah to the living room floor where they proceeded to get her in the back board while she screamed and screamed. They asked me questions. Any history? Any allergies? When's her birthday (I don't know! I don't know! When we got home and mom was looking at Sarah's little hospital bracelet she pointed out that they had her birthday wrong. I had to admit it was probably not their fault). Then we headed out to the truck and piled in. Sarah screamed the 3/4 of mile to the hospital "I wanna get down! I wanna get down!" She was unmoved by the teddy bear they provided her, but luckily Keith had grabbed Bunny for her.
When we arrived they got her right into a bed and took all her vitals (again). Then we saw the doctor who examined all her ears and eyes and told us he planned to do a CT scan just to be on the safe side. Sue arrived. Keith arrived. Everyone else stayed home to keep the birthday girl distracted.
Sarah was fascinated by the CT room. I was sure she'd freak out but she was enthralled. Here we are as seen through the machine. I went in with her while Jeremiah peered at her brain from outside the tech's room. Keith took photos (see there he is in the photo, looking for a good shot). When we were heading back to the ER to wait for them to read the x-rays Sue, who'd gone back to the house, sneaked quietly in behind us with Sarah's clothes (Sarah had been swimming and was soaking wet). As I carried Sarah down the hall she said "Soup!" I was confused. "What?" I asked. "I want Soup!" she said (she never asks for soup at home...). "Do you mean Sue?" Jeremiah asked and Sarah nodded. "That's because I'm here" Sue said holding out Sarah's little flowered dress. Formerly the hospital's Risk Manager, Sue also made sure we got a copy of the CT scan before we left.
As I thought from the minute Sarah woke up and started screaming, the CT scan showed no damage. She was fine and we could go home. By the time we got around to that, Sarah had hopped down from the table and was playing peek-a-boo in the curtains. As we left she waved gregariously to the ER staff "good-bye! good-bye!" she said to everyone, then, to the nurse who'd just walked in, "we're going bye-bye now." She was fine. Jeremiah and I were wrecked.
We got home to find Kate, blissfully unaware of anything that had happened, on the dog bed in the living room watching her new copy of Beauty and the Beast. She looked up at me "when do we sing happy birthday?" Yikes. (maybe I should be posting this over at WME?) We grabbed the cupcakes the girls made earlier that day (another post), I lit a candle in one of them, and we all sang happy birthday to Kate. Just as Sarah got to work on hers, the high chair she'd been using all week without incident, my high chair from the 70s in fact, fell over backwards and down she went. I thought surely I was going to throw up.
When we compared notes later, I learned that Jeremiah's reaction to that second fall was similar to mine, first panic, then a touch of anger. How could she do this to us!?! She was fine, though. That night, we laid her down to sleep in the pack-n-play in our room, instead of on the guest bed with Kate, where she'd slept all week. I laid awake most of the night and listened to her breathe. She shows not one sign of even remembering what happened. Neither does Kate, for that matter. I, on the other hand, see Blue Sarah when I close my eyes.
That. Was not cool.