I have the same wake up routine everyday.
3am, wide awake for some ungodly reason.
4:15-4:50 am Write.
4:50 am make lunches for 5 others.
5:15 back to writing.
6 am get breakfast ready
6:30 loudly wake the kids up by bursting into their room like the Kool-Aid man on steroids.
From there, the day is drop off kids, hang with Finn/parks, build stuff, fold laundry, clean, write, get dinner started, pick up kids, homework, wife comes home, dinner, kids to bed, watch some tv, In bed.
Only last Monday, this normal routine was interrupted. Rewind to Sunday.
Jordan our 15 year old teen, moved in, and switched high school. An odd move mid year, but being honest, his grades are shit, I’m home all day every day, and he needs the guidance. A move that has long needed to happen.
So Finally, the 7 of us under one roof all the time. Was a joyous occasion.
Monday, I wake up get to my routine. I was feeling it. Like today is going to be just great. Little pep in my step. I mean 3am and I’m practically highsteppin as I get ready for the gym.
Great workout. Come home, retrieve the baby monitor. I always close the master bedroom door so that my wife can sleep while I amble about. Keep the girls door open because the cat likes to come in and go as she pleases.
I wrote some good pages.
Made lunches, and their lunches were supersized, because I’m that parent who feels it’s better to send more stuff then they will eat.
So, I decided to make popcorn. 4:52.
We have a cat, named Cora. An inside/outside cat. Comes in to sleep and eat and then disappears, off doing whatever. This time of the morning is her occasional “vomit leave me a present to clean up time.”
So, the noise I heard, I thought it was Cora. Leaving me a present. Nope. Not the cat. She strolled by my as I stood At the bottom of the stairs.
I go upstairs cause it’s getting louder. A constant retching sound. It’s cold and flu season, so perhaps one of the kids is vomiting. It’s happened a few times before, so I expected to be prepared to clean up vomit.
I flip on the light, Nora the six year old, is sleep, and turn to Addison, who’s head is arched back, eyes rolled back in the back of her head.
For half a second, I panicked. I had recently watched videos on the following:
Why you ask? I stay home with the children all day, every day. I knew cpr but felt in other emergencies I was woefully under-prepared.
So, in that half second, I ran over to her. Turned her over on her side as foam oozed from her mouth. It was just before 5am. My first instinct was to yell out. But, I knew we have a toddler and if he wakes up at this moment, it would be good for no one. So I called out to Nora, who was sleep and woke up disoriented. To her credit, she woke up quick. I calmly told her she needed to wake her mom up. Don’t knock on the door just go in (she knocked).
By then, as she left. Addison stopped moving. I check for a heartbeat. Nothing.
So I start CPR. Recently we watched that Episode of the office where Michael Scott does CPR to staying alive. I swear to Thor, that played in my head as I was doing it. A brief funny moment in the chaos, now that I look back on it. Natasha comes running in, and runs back out to get her phone. She dials 911. And rejoins us. I’m still doing CPR. Then Addison comes back, and the seizure is still happening. Foam still protruding from her mouth. The area around her eyes turning blue.
Then she stops seizing as Natasha ends the 911 call. She can’t talk. She can barely move. Thankfully they are here within about 1 minute after that.
They take her, and my wife to the hospital. Addison wakes up in the hospital which, rightfully so, makes her panic cry. Natasha explains what happens. She had a tonic clonic seizure. Long story short, she has a form of epilepsy.
For all involved, I kept calm. I had to guide the ship. Rightfully so, my Wife was a mess. The other kids were stunned, all except Finn who had no idea as he slept. After the ambulance left, Jordan came into the kitchen to see if I was good. I was. I had to hold it together as Sophie (9) and Nora (6) looked to me to be strong for them. I did my best. They were certainly scared that morning.
When the ambulance left, I had 4 other kids at the house. Our teen, Jordan, started high school at the school .4 miles from our house that morning. So he went to school, the other two girls, Sophie and Nora, stayed with me all day, along with Finn. We visited the hospital, and Addison was alert. And awake. And back to her normal self.
It wasn’t until we left the hospital that I took a second to finally breathe half a sigh of relief, and even shed a tear or 8.
I put on a brave face for the kids throughout the entire time as all of the kids minus Finn, was awake at that point of 4:56 am, but inside I was terrified. I may not have been there for the birth, but I’ve been there for the girls as much as any father could be.
My wife, the strongest person I know, was by her side the entire time. She stayed strong though all of it.
I am thankful she’s good now. She’s on medication. We are keeping her close and changing how we do things around the house to make sure we have an eye on her at all times. Addison has always been our bravest daughter, and she will get through this. We are both proud of how the family came together and got through this.
Our family is a little tighter than we were before, and that’s perfectly fine by me.