Things can happen so fast. When they do, I am always bewildered at how little control I really do have of my children's lives. I have to put my faith in my Heavenly Father, and trust him to pick up the slack where I leave off. I have to trust that he knows how hard I am trying to give them a full, happy, safe life, and that he will help me. Sometimes I have to prepare myself for the worst, and listen to my instincts, and know that I am prepared as I can be should something happen. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.....
For those of you that don't know, my mom has 4 kids under 3 (twin 2 1/2 year olds, a 2-year old, and a newborn). Life keeps you busy with that many kids. We do a lot of hanging out together to help each other out. The kids love each other and really enjoy each other. Anyway, yesterday I was walking the dog with the kids, and I got a voicemail from my mom inviting us to swim. We weren't really prepared for that, but we decided to go say hi. (My mom lives really close by.) Of course when we got there, Kolton wanted to swim so bad! Cute Jesse jumped on his scooter and grabbed my swimming bag at my house. I am always nervous to swim with so many little ones, but I figure most people have to, and there were 3 big people there in a gradual entry pool.
We had a blast. We didn't take baby Abby in the pool, of course. Micah didn't decide he wanted to get in until the last 20 minutes or so. About the same time, Nathan decided he wanted to get out because he was cold. He looked so cute sitting there on a chair, wrapped in a fuzzy warm towel. The other kiddies continued playing and we decided we should be getting out soon. Right about that time, Nate decided he wanted back in. Up until that point he'd been wearing a little suit with an inner tube in it. Nate and Josh were all over the place once they figured out they were floating. They especially liked jumping off the side and floating back up (I know, weird that a 2-year-old is that fearless of the water!). By now, Kolton had one of the tubes on, and Nate didn't want it back on. We let him in without it because we were in 2 feet of water and we were all right there huddled together.
Suddenly, Jesse yelled, "Nathan's under the water!" He was across the pool and started swimming over. My mom grabbed him and she and I jumped out while Jesse pulled the rest of the kids out. He was still alive and conscious, but he couldn't breathe. He was arching his back, trying hard to suck in a breath, but there was too much water. We were patting him hard on his back, leaning him over, hoping and praying that he would start coughing or something. I called 911. Right after I told the dispatcher what was going on, he started coughing up a lot of water, and crying. Almost right after, the sheriff arrived, and he helped us with him until the paramedics arrived. They got there and got right to work, taking his vitals and everything. It seemed like for awhile he would be fine one minute, and really scary not fine the next. Shortly after the paramedics arrived, Nate got really lethargic and it was a struggle for my mom to keep him awake. Jesse and I worked on getting the other babies strapped in their stroller, and I called my dad, Wes, and Melinda. My poor mom was trying so hard to keep him awake. They were giving him oxygen, but I don't think his levels were at what they wanted them. Combine that with him struggling so hard to stay awake, the crowds of people gathering around, and the paramedics decided to call Life Flight and get him to Primary's. So I called my dad back and told him to turn around and head that way. The cute neighbors were all over the place helping out. One of them, Karen White, heard we were trying to get Nate a blessing before he left (they said they wouldn't wait after the helicopter arrived) ran and grabbed her husband and another neighbor and they gave him a blessing with oil. Wes got there right after, and so did the helicopter. They had to wait a few minutes to stabilize him before they could move him. Then they were off. I drove my mom home so she could quickly throw some clothes on (we were in swimsuits) and get her car. She told me that she felt that everything would be all right. That was really comforting to me, because I have never, ever met anyone more spiritually in tune than my mom. She always listens, always obeys, and is always right.
The paramedics and police were amazing also. I want to thank them for helping save my brother, and for their knowledge and sensitivity, and expertise. They are rockstars!
Also, I thought I would point out that Jesse probably saved his life. He saw Nate and alerted everyone to the situation. I don't think he understands the magnitude of what he did for him.
Anyway, my mom took off, and Wes, Jesse, and Karen helped me get all the babies to our house. Melinda arrived shortly after and we got to work feeding them, changing them, and getting them ready for bed. Melinda took them home and put them down. What a champ! She took baby Abby last night, and was up with her every 3 hours last night.
My mom called and gave everyone a good update. He was in the PICU. At 1AM I got a text from my dad saying they moved him into pediatrics. Yeah! This morning he's one 1/2 unit of oxygen - he was on 10 units yesterday. I won't go into all the medical details, but he's doing well considering, and we all feel very blessed. Our prayers are being answered.
It's amazing to me that when something like this happens, how everyone rallies together. My phone keeps ringing with people offering to help babysit, bring meals, and do whatever else they can do to help. I think it's incredible how you can actually feel people's prayers. It is amazing.
Anyway, I checked on my boys a few extra times last night when I got home. (They look like little angels when they are asleep.) I silently thanked the Lord for blessing us so much. Our boys are safe, our whole family is safe, Nathan is doing well, and we have countless people praying and helping in every way imaginable. My heart is just so full of relief and gratitude, and I am just so overwhelmed with the fact that it happened so fast, while we were right there, and that it could have been so much worse. I want to thank my Heavenly Father for watching over Nate, and watching over the rest of us, and guiding us with the spirit. I am so grateful for his grace and presence in my life every single day.
I will post updates as soon as I can, but I will be heading over to my parents' soon and they have no internet connection yet. At this point it's looking like he'll at least be there a good part of today, and probably into tomorrow. We will see.
So give your kids a squeeze and give thanks for them today. Say a prayer in your heart for Nathan, because they are working a miracle right now.