A Valentines Day We Won’t Forget

We don’t really do romantic valentines days at our house. We never really have. Jesse brought me red roses two days ago. From the grocery store. And I was not offended. It was a sweet gesture in our budget. And he had jackson give them to me. Perfection.

He asked me what I wanted to do for v-day. I wanted to go to the closest target (an hour away) and maybe grab lunch with my boys. Ro-man-tic.

The weather was foggy and cold when we left home, which sucked because it had been so nice all week. I almost didn’t bring a heavy coat, but ran back in and grabbed it right before we pulled out of the drive way. And I almost switched jackson to be front facing in his car seat because he’s getting kind of intolerable to listen to him whine because he’s bored and can’t see us in the car, but we ran out of time.

On the way jesse drove and I played a game on my tablet as jackson threw all of his toys on the floor and whined about it. The roads seemed okay, we were all traveling the speed limit. We were about 10 miles away from town, when out of the corner of my eye in the opposite lane I saw a dark truck go spinning into the median ditch. It hit an approach head on and started flipping end-over-end down the median towards us. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever witnessed. We immediately pulled off the road and I called 911 as jesse ran to the pickup. Others behind us stopped. Jesse and I switched spots so he could be with the baby in the car while I ran to the victim who was laying face down in the ditch about 50 yards from his wrecked truck. It happened so fast, we never even see him get thrown from the vehicle.

As I approached, I was certain he was dead. His face was purple and mottled. As a nurse practitioner, I took over, kneeled in front of the young man. He was conscious, talking even. He wasn’t breathing well. He was in pain. People were bringing blankets and coats – it was 18 degrees and sleeting – to keep him warm. I knelt in the wet freezing ground in front of his face and learned all about him, asking him questions to keep him awake, and holding him down so he wouldn’t try to move. Thank, thank, thank God I threw in my coat. Too bad I was wearing ballet flats and had put my hair up wet! Brrrr.

It took forever for EMS to arrive. I felt so helpless – all I could do was keep him talking, keep him warm, and keep him still. Sadly, I could smell alcohol on his breath. At noon. As we waited, lots of people had stopped to help, someone shouted, “there goes another one!” I looked up, and about 200 yards down the median another pickup pulling a trailer rolled into the ditch. How they didn’t hit any bystanders, we’ll never know.

Eventually he was safely loaded into an ambulance. He was alive, but not in great shape. Definite back injury, and I think he probably broke ribs and punctured a lung at least. Not to mention a wicked concussion – he had no recollection of the accident and kept asking the same questions over and over again. I gave my statement to law enforcement and tried to warm up in our car. Then we slowly drove into town. We went to eat, but I was so shook up I didn’t have an appetite, jesse agreed he didn’t either.

That boy – he was 17 – is remarkably lucky. Lucky for his life. Lucky he didn’t hit anyone else. And really, lucky he couldn’t remember the accident. The other people who went into the ditch were okay – they were wearing their seatbelts.

The whole incident was crazy. So, so insane. Never a more appropriate day to be thankful for the ones we love. Hug em close! And jackson is staying rear facing for a while. Way safer!!

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sick kids

I am a nurse. Sickness does not scare me.

Pre-illness that morning. Goofy boy.

Pre-illness that morning. Goofy boy.

Last week there was stomach flu at daycare that eventually found its way to Jackson on Thursday evening. Unfortunately, I was working the late shift that night, my husband was out-of-state for work, and Jackson was at home with our good friend – who is 36 weeks pregnant, bless her heart. She texts me that she thinks he’s sick, that he’s starting puking.

"Oh mommy, thank God you're home"

“Oh mommy, thank God you’re home”

I get home and he’s wiped out, no shirt on because he puked on the last one, and my poor friend is wearing my sweats because he puked all over hers. He’s sucking down water from a sippy – rule #1, if your child is barfing, do not give them anything to eat or drink. No matter what. My friend is a teacher, and she doesn’t know these rules yet. Jackson pukes up the water all over him self, me, and the couch – rule #2, if your child is sick and an unpredictable puker, cover everything with towels. Towels are easy to change, absorb and protect well, and launder easily. I took the water away from him and we tried to settle in for a long night on the couch. He wouldn’t sleep, his tummy was bothering him. He’d sleep for short little spurts. Then, at 2 am he had very smelly diarrhea. At 3 am he crawled off of the couch and ran into the kitchen, pointing at the water dispenser on the refrigerator and crying. At 5 am I gave in, gave him about 3 sips worth in the cup with ice that could melt so he could drink slowly over time. Rule #3 – start slowly with re-introducing fluids and foods. This satisfied for a while.

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He was so sad. And I was, too, after he puked on me. I had to snap pics to send to his daddy to ensure he felt guilty over being gone and missing out on this. (Right.)

He was so sad. And I was, too, after he puked on me. I had to snap pics to send to his daddy to ensure he felt guilty over being gone and missing out on this. (Right.)

The next day I called in sick to care for him because that was my only option.  We both napped off and on, since neither of us got sleep the night before. Then my boss sent me a text asking if I was going to cover the late-clinic. WTH?? Can’t I just call in sick in peace?? Anyway, my hubby got home at 4pm, so I got ready for work, and right before I left, Jackson puked again. Good luck honey… I gotta go!

He was so snuggly.

He was so snuggly.

He’s doing better today, eating better, keeping pretty much everything down. It’s hard to watch your baby be sick, but seriously, follow those rules. As long as they aren’t acting too far off base, they are okay to go without fluids for a few hours, especially if they don’t have fevers, but if you are ever too worried, seek help ASAP, mother’s intuition knows best!