I was in the laundry room Sunday evening and heard Gabbers scream (not an uncommon sound). Then I heard Tater scream and scream and SCREAM! And I figured, Danny will take care of this since he's out there. I continued to fold washcloths and towels.
Then I thought I heard, "Nikki!" Then I definitely heard Danny yell in a very commanding voice, "NICOLE!!!"
I came running out of the laundry room, "What? What?! What's the matter?"
Danny was holding Tater who had blood pouring off his foot and said, "I need a clean dry washcloth right now. The bench fell on him and his toe is split down the middle."
I ran into the laundry and determined a cloth diaper (prefold) would be more absorbent than a washcloth and brought it back. And then I almost fainted when I saw it. I'm not a squeamish person. But this was my 2 year old-- a baby.
I said, "Should I call 911?"
Danny said, "Yes."
Then I convinced my stubborn phone to dial the 3 simple digits.
"911 What's your emergency?"
That's when I started to go into shock. "My baby! My baby!" was all I could force out. My arms and legs were growing weak.
"Ma'am! Is your baby breathing?" the 911 dispatcher said.
"My baby, yes, YES he's breathing but he's bleeding very badly."
"Okay let's start with your address."
I gave him my address.
"And your phone number that you're calling from in case we get disconnected."
I gave him my phone number.
Danny was saying to me at the same time, "Sit down before you faint! Sit on the couch!"
The dispatcher continued, "Ma'am, tell me what happened to your baby."
"Well, actually he's 2. The dining table bench fell on his foot and it looks like one of his toes split down the middle," I told him.
Danny put Tater on my lap and had me hold the cloth diaper around his foot and toes. Tater was screaming and reaching for his foot.
In between the dispatcher reassuring me that help was on the way, I reassured Tater and explained to the other children that we needed them to be calm and good helpers right now and that some people were on their way to help him. I asked Gabbers to bring his blanket.
I told the dispatcher that our porch light was burned out but my husband would be out front to flag them down.
Around this time, Tater stopped screaming and curled into a ball. But he was shaking. or I was. Or we both were.
The dispatcher kept me on the phone as the cops arrived first. The dispatcher said, "Someone should be there by now. Do you see anyone?"
"Umm, yeah, but I think they're cops. They have guns."
"Okay," said the dispatcher, "I'll stay on the phone with you until the fire department or the paramedics arrive."
"The fire department? Why are they coming?" I asked.
"We dispatched them all when you called to make sure we could help with whatever emergency you had," he said as the firetruck with flashing lights showed up. But no siren. At least not that I remember.
I said, "They're here. Some firemen are in my house."
And we ended our call.
It was maybe 3 minutes later when the ambulance arrived. They told me their names and spoke calmly to me and Tater.
I told them I couldn't look. They purposely blocked my view as they examined it with a flashlight and conferred with each other "It looks like a Partial-Avulsion of the smallest toe" and "this toe too."
They reassured me I did the right thing and that the cloth diaper was a good call. They said they probably wouldn't remove it and would let the ER doctor handle that in case parts of the area had started to coagulate.
The paramedics asked if we wanted to take Tater to the emergency room or send him by ambulance. Since I can't drive and someone needed to stay with the kids, we couldn't figure out how Danny could take him to the emergency room and still apply pressure the whole time.
So we sent him by ambulance. alone.
to be continued...