Let me take you back to 11:45am this morning. There I was trying to be the amazing husband that my wife believes I am by taking a load of laundry down to the basement. In order to get to the basement, I had to descend the long flight of stairs at the back of our home. Looking back, I thought that I had closed the door to the stairs...
Minutes later while I was shoving a load of smelly towels into the washer, I heard what sounded like a small toaster oven tumbling down the stairs above. Thinking that it was the stairs of our neighbors and not our stairs, I continued shoving. Seconds later, I heard a much bigger sound coming down the stairs and it was followed by a spine-tingling scream that sounded like my name. It was my wife.
I rounded the house after leaving the basement at a dead sprint, and found my wife at the bottom of the stairs, holding my almost one-year-old son Caleb in her arms, screaming "He fell down the stairs." I grabbed him into my arms and he continued crying, but not a cry that tells me "hey Dad, you probably want to remember to close the door next time" but a cry that I've never heard come from my son. And he falls down a lot. But this was different.
Remember how I said that there was a second, much bigger noise that came after the first noise. Yeah, the second noise was my wife. When she got to the top of the stairs after hearing our son fall, she panicked and rushed down the stairs but only made it past the first three steps. After that (according to Kara) she slipped and hit her back, butt, head, elbow, & knee as she tumbled down the stairs. She stopped herself from falling on top of Caleb, but in the process scraped herself up pretty bad.
Our neighbor called 911 immediately. I've never seen my wife like that, and I hope I never have to see her like that ever again. The fear in her eyes was potent. Don't get me wrong, I was pulsating with adrenaline too, but knew that I needed to keep somewhat of a level head for Caleb and Kara's sake.
When we got to the emergency room, we immediately turned all our attention on our unborn daughter, Sam. Immediately the worst case scenario began to play over and over in my mind. Did I just kill my daughter? What do I say to my wife if they don't find a heartbeat? How will I face tomorrow? Suddenly suicide made sense to me. Here me say, I didn't want to commit suicide, but it definitely made sense.
The first nurse that tried to find the heartbeat...couldn't. After 5 minutes of searching, she decided to wait til all the straps were taken off of Kara (they were keeping her attached to the gurney). After she was free of the most uncomfortable emergency equipment ever, another nurse began the search again for Sam's heartbeat. I will give Sam my heartbeat? Take me, God. Don't take my daughter!
30 seconds went by...no heartbeat. Just the subtle heartbeat of my wife's placenta. 45 seconds...nothing. My heart has never been that high in my esophagus before. One minute...still nothing. I began losing faith, to be honest. Thoughts that never should be in a father's mind reared their ugly heads and I lost it.
Then suddenly...thump...thump...thump...thump. A heartbeat. Blood rushed back into my face. Tears rushed into Kara and my eyes. We wept. We bawled. We felt alive again (Ok, that may have been dramatic - but it sure felt like we died a little bit there). Sam is ok.
Long story short (too late). Kara is fine. Caleb is fine. Both were x-rayed and discharged. Yes there are bumps & bruises, yes there will be more pain tomorrow when the adrenaline wears off. But they both fell down 18 stairs, and not one broken bone.
By the way, we've already named our daughter "Samaria" which means "protected by God". No joke.