My little girl fell out of a second story window! It pains me to tell the tale, but I shall do so to ease curiosity and perhaps to prevent this from happening to another child.
Last week, we moved in to our new house, a two story townhouse. Of course the house was heavy with paint fumes, and central air conditioning is practically non-existent in Hawaii, so the windows were open to let in some fresh air. My little girl and I were in her new room, unpacking boxes and re-arranging furniture. I pulled her bed against one wall and thought, "I don't know that I want her bed to be that close to the window." However, I didn't see the need to move it immediately (oh, how I regret that decision!), so I began moving some other furniture. As I was pulling a dresser across the floor, she climbed up on her bed, and in an instant, in mid-sentence, she was out the window.
Supposedly when you are in an extremely dangerous situation, your life flashes before your eyes. But as I was racing down the stairs to get to her, the rest of my life without a daughter flashed before my eyes. It was the most terrifying 10 seconds in my life.
When I reached my little girl, she was bloody and wailing, but not lying in an unconscious heap as I'd feared. I picked her up--the paramedics later told me I shouldn't have moved her--and called 911. I told the operator what happened, and she promised to have an ambulance sent right away, but she couldn't find our street address. After repeating it several times, this frantic mother screamed step-by-step directions at her, and she finally said, "Oh! You don't live in town. You live on the military reservation." Yes! I said that! Three times! Frustrating! Then I hung up and called my husband at work.
Once our location became understood, it wasn't long before a fleet of emergency vehicles parked outside our house. (Hello, new neighbors! We have arrived!) Shortly after that, my husband got home. After the paramedics did a once-over of my little girl, they advised us to drive her to the hospital ourselves. She showed no signs of serious head or spinal injuries (she was walking and talking normally), and being strapped down in the ambulance would cause her to struggle and possibly injure herself more, they said.
So, we grabbed the baby and raced to the Army hospital in Honolulu. When we arrived, the ER staff was appalled that the ambulance crew sent us on our own. Falling that far often results on serious spinal injuries, so she needed to be immobilized immediately. They ended up strapping her down to a board anyway, and, boy, was that traumatic! I know one little girl who will cry every time she goes to the doctor for many, many years.
For nearly an hour, countless doctors, nurses and technicians were in and out of our room, and I cried the whole time. Finally, the head pediatric surgeon told us he thought our little girl was fine. No head or neck injuries, no broken bones. Miraculously, she escaped the episode with nothing more than cuts and bruises. Thanks to God for his protection over her!
Everyone at the hospital was very kind and told me not to feel guilty, not to blame myself for the accident. I can't help but feel that way, though. Ultimately, I was the responsible adult in the house at the time. Perhaps I didn't cause the fall, but I surely could have prevented it. I am just glad that God protected my little girl when I couldn't.