Yesterday, just as the kids and I were getting home from our daily grocery shopping trip, Joni accidentally pushed the stroller down some stairs in the stairwell outside our door, WITH. JACKSON. IN. IT.
I came around the corner just in time to experience the sheer horror of it first hand, but I wasn't close enough to catch him. The front wheels rolled down the first couple of steps, then the back end of the huge stroller came up and over, causing Jackson to face-plant into the stairs, followed by the landing, and come to a stop with the stroller on top of him.
It still makes my heart pound to think about it.
I SCREAMED as I ran down the stairs and began to pull the stroller off of him. I had never seen ANY kid take such a tumble before, and in those few short seconds, I had come to the conclusion that as I uncovered him he would be dead, unconscious, or have his face mashed in by the marble-like stairs.
Just as I got to him, he joined me in the shrill screaming, with Joni joining in the choir, also. I quickly rolled the stroller over to see a very bloodied face with what looked like throw-up all over. I unbuckled him with my hands shaking like mad. As I picked him up, I had no idea what to do. I was expecting all my neighbors to come running out to help, which they didn't. Finally, a sweet Asian lady from two stories up came running down with her teenage daughter. They helped me get the stroller and both kids up into our apartment.
Joni kept screaming, "It was an accident mom! It was an accident!" The sweet teenage daughter took Joni into her room to comfort her while me and the other mom assessed Jackson.
I kept saying in a panic, "I don't know what to do. Is he okay? Do you think he's okay? I don't know what to do!" Since she was thinking MUCH more clearly than I was, she suggested we clean off his face to figure out where the blood was coming from. I grabbed the closest dish towel and started wiping....and wiping....and wiping. We first concluded that it was not coming from a cut in his head - good sign. There was definitely blood coming from his nose. And after a lot more wiping and flushing of his mouth with water, we finally decided there was no bleeding coming from his mouth. Whew!
So the two nice Asian ladies left, and I did my best to calm Jackson down who was still crying VERY HARD. I realized at some point that my hair was drenched in sweat and my jeans were sticking to me. I was a nervous wreck. I went to the computer to see if Tom was on his computer at school because instant-messaging is the only way we can communicate when he's gone. He wasn't online. To say I felt VERY alone would be a huge understatement.
So me, Jackson, AND Joni sat here and cried for longer than I care to admit. At some point I told Joni that she and I had to stop crying or else Jackson would never stop. I needed to know if his crying, and occasional thrashing around in my arms, was from pain or just from being upset. His nose was still bleeding but had finally started to slow down.
After several attempts, Joni and I finally stopped. Then Jackson made many attempts himself before finally calming down. I was still quite nervous that there was something else wrong with him. I just couldn't imagine how that kind of a fall could do so little to a helpless little baby. He had a bloody shirt, and I had dried blood all over my arms, and a couple bloody dish towels, but that was it. I seriously couldn't believe it. Oh, and I even decided that he hadn't thrown up on himself after all (or at least I don't think he did). I realized at some point that he had been eating a sandwich on the way home, and I think the force of the fall had caused whatever was in his mouth to fly up onto his face.
Once Tom got home, he gave Jackson a priesthood blessing. It said what I had suspected - that the Lord had protected Jackson from much more serious harm.
So that's the good news of it all. Jackson is okay. His nose is a little swollen, and he was a little more fussy than normal the rest of the day, but he'll be okay.
The bad news is (and sorry for being negative here), that I'm a little annoyed at my neighbors! You have to remember that from inside our apartment, we can hear EVERYTHING that goes on outside in the stairwell...every time someone walks up the stairs, talks, opens their door, or anything else. And yet the only person who responded to a hysterical lady with two screaming, crying children was the only other foreigner, who was two stories up. It might take me a while to get over that one.
Hopefully writing this has been therapeutic for me. It literally makes my heart pound every time my mind replays the sight of Jackson going face-first down the stairs, strapped in a stroller. But I am monumentally grateful that the Lord protected him from something much worse from happening. I think I've hugged that kid to death today. I'm so glad he's okay.