I sadly put my Tater on the carseat that was affixed to the ambulance stretcher. The EMTs reassured me that they had plenty of blankets to keep him warm. But I asked if he could take his blanket for comfort especially since Danny wouldn't be riding in the ambulance alongside him- but following along in the little blue car. They agreed Tater's blanket would be a nice comfort for him.
(If Danny didn't follow in the blue car, he'd have no transportation home when they were all done.)
I stayed home with the other 6 kids. Squdge waved out the window saying, "Bye Buddy. Bye! Bye!" and continued standing there several minutes after watching the firetruck, ambulance, little blue car, and other emergency vehicles drive away.
Squdge had a hard time going to sleep that night not knowing why his buddy Tater wasn't back yet. We shared the following conversation three or four times:
"Buddy go way?" a big-eyed Squdge would ask me.
"Yes, your buddy went to the doctor." I'd reply.
"Bench fall Buddy's foot? Buddy owee?"
"Yep, the bench hurt his foot. Tater is going to doctor to get all better. The doctor will take care of him." I told him-- hopefully.
"Buddy need band-aid!" Squdge would say excitedly and pull me towards the garage where the first-aid kit is kept.
"Well, your buddy needs a sort of big band-aid. The doctors will make it better."
Then Squdge would play with Peach (who is often just a tagalong to the twins) until he'd think about his missing buddy and we'd start the conversation again. The other four children fell asleep relatively quickly following the excitement. But not Squdge and Peach. And definitely not me. I needed to know how my little guy was doing.
One hour after Danny arrived at the ER I tried to call him. That was 9:15 p.m. But his cellphone rang a few times and went to voicemail. Maybe it was on vibrate and maybe the doctor was with them at the moment, I reasoned.
I called again at 9:45 p.m. same thing. I called at 10:15 p.m. reasoning it had been 2 full hours. They must know something.
10:45 p.m. the phone goes straight to voicemail. The battery must have died.
11:15 p.m. I try again anyway and it also goes directly to voicemail.
11:45 p.m. It's been 3 1/2 hours since they arrived at the ER. Surely they must have been released from the ER by now, fallen asleep at the wheel on the way home, and died.
I carried the sleeping babies to their beds and forced myself to tidy-up the living room.
I stared out the front window pleading to the heavens to bring my baby home! I prayed. I paced. I watched the clock.
I played Scramble with Friends on my phone. But no more friends were taking their turns. It was late and I didn't have anyone to call. I had called grandparents earlier to ask for their prayers on Tater's behalf. But they were an hour ahead of me and since I had no news, I couldn't call them at this late hour.
It was midnight. I had the house phone and my cellphone beside me. I stared at them, willing them to ring.
I prayed. I stared at the phones. I looked out the window. Nothing. nothing. and more nothing.
Then I decided I could live with the paranoid mother stigma and I called the hospital myself. It was about 10 minutes after midnight.
I said in one breath, "My 2 year old was brought into the ER by ambulance nearly four hours ago and I haven't heard anything. I'm wondering if they were released or if they're still there." Then I added, "My husband should be with him. He followed the ambulance."
She verified who she was talking with and started to explain that they were just giving Tater a procedural sedation so he could handle all the stitching they'd need to do.
I asked her, "Does this mean he didn't break any toes? Did they x-ray?"
She told me she'd pull my husband out of the room and have him give me a call right back. I asked her to tell him to call my cellphone instead of the house phone so the other kids wouldn't wake up.
And then I waited a few minutes. 12:15 a.m. Then I pondered what "a call right back" meant in ER-speak. 12:25 a.m. Then I wondered if they couldn't make an outbound call to a cellphone from the hospital.
12:45 a.m. I wondered why Danny wouldn't at that point just call the house phone. Surely he'd know I needed to know what was going on with my poor little guy!
But there was still no call.
to be continued...
Part III here