My family and I were tired and very hot. The wedding had suffered from a poorly timed blackout (we now get them everyday), so there were no fans or air conditioners, making for a rather warm event. Add to that the fact that the wedding was held under a large, translucent, greenhouse-like dome, at high noon, and you can imagine that we were cooking. Even Promise had BO!
We were anxious to get home, crank the aircon, and take a nap. I suppose you've already guessed? Yes, Murphy's Law was in full effect. We took a taxi home from the mechanic, only to discover that our neighborhood blackout had just begun, and would leave us without power for three hours. Awesome.
But, we have the victory. God's grace was sufficient. We took a cold shower with what little water pressure we had left (no power means no pressure), and I called our friends Darrell and Shannon and invited ourselves over to their place. Darrell and Shannon have a generator at their house, so they have aircon and internet even during blackouts. We like them for other reasons too, but the generator is certainly a good bonus.
Freshly showered, yet already sweaty, we chased down a cab and headed across town—Murphy's Law still in effect. We were halfway there when it happened. Our car was t-boned in the middle of an intersection by a large SUV. The vehicle struck on Bethany's side, pushing her door in significantly and showering glass over the three of us. I'm still not sure who was at fault, but certainly one of the two vehicles did not belong in the intersection at that moment.
Our immediate concern was for the baby, as Bethany was experiencing sharp pain in her belly. The other major issue was the blood running down Promise's face, though it looked like just a small scratch from the flying glass. Sitting on the other end of the bench seat, I was fine.
I didn't panic, but I wasn't sure what to do. Once I had taken a moment to assess the situation, I determined that there was no immediate danger to Bethany, Promise, or the baby (this boy really needs a name). Rather than wait for an ambulance, the traffic cop helped us hail another taxi and we headed for the hospital that was only two blocks from our location. The emergency room nurses were great and took good care of Promise, who had a few pieces of glass lodged in her skin, including one in her scalp that led to a small bit of suturing.
In the meantime, I had been on the phone rallying the troops. I called Matt, the director of Mercy Maternity, because he always knows what to do. I called our midwife, Béa, because I wanted to have somebody looking out for Bethany and the baby. I called Darrell and Shannon because I knew we were gonna need some friends to take care of us. I called Toti because he is my dear friend and he is very good at looking out for me.
That seems like a lot of people, and perhaps it was a bit much. And yet, I was so glad to have each one of those people around. Matt arrived quickly and gave me the scoop on what to expect as far as the legal details were concerned. Béa was so good with Bethany and Promise and really helped to reassure us that the baby was okay. She fought to get us an ultrasound even though the technicians were just closing up shop for the day. The ultrasound was good, the heart tones were good, and baby seems fine (as does the placenta, for all you midwives out there).
Toti, as per usual, was fantastic. After spending a few minutes with me at the hospital, he went up the road to investigate the accident and check in with the traffic officers. What a blessing to know that he was taking care of that for me and that I could just focus on my family. When Toti returned to the hospital, he had the driver of the SUV with him. They volunteered to pay for all of our hospital bill. I have no idea how Toti got them to come, but he did. What a relief to know that all this was taken care of. The driver waited until all our business at the hospital was done and then paid our bill. Toti waited right there with them the whole time. In fact, he sent us out the door and stayed behind to take care of it all. What a blessing, and what a dear friend.
The hospital that we were in happened to be the same hospital that employ's Toti's wife, Connie, as a nurse. He must have contacted her because it wasn't long before she was in the emergency room. It is so reassuring to see a familiar face there when they are working on your kid. Connie and Béa helped Bethany hold Promise down on the table as the doctor sutured her scalp. Poor kid was so brave the whole day, but she was clearly in pain while getting stitched up. Hearing your kid scream in pain is the worst feeling in the world.
Darrell and Shannon were awesome. They were quick to get to the hospital, and Promise perked right up when she saw them. Shannon even brought one of Promise's favorite stuffed animals. They stood with me outside the hospital when I finally broke down and had a bit of a cry. Shannon gave me a big hug and they prayed for me before I went back in to check on the ladies. They gave us a ride home and then went out and grabbed dinner and brought it back to the house. It was nice to finish the day eating KFC with friends.
Promise and Bethany are okay, and it looks like everything is okay with the baby too. We would appreciate your prayers in the coming days. Needless to say, we are a little shaken up. Promise has lots of scratches and bruises, but she is still pretty cheerful. The left side of Bethany's body is quite sore, but there doesn't seem to be any major damage. Aside from a banged up shin and a sore back, I am fine.
I thank God that we are okay. It could have been much worse. I'll wait a few days before I tell you how I feel about all this. If you've been following along at home, you may have noticed that we are having one hell of an April. But more about that later. For now, I think I will sleep.
Darrell just emailed me a couple of photos he snapped secretly with his iPhone in the emergency room: