I still get headaches. I still have flashbacks. I still hear the sounds associated with the accident, all of them. I still feel nauseated when I see an accident on a television show or movie. It's hard for me to talk about what happened without getting emotional, and I never know if I'm going to get angry or cry about it, or both.
Last Friday we had to take Zoe for a CT of her head. We've known since November that we needed to do it, but the doc said we'd could hold off for a bit because we knew it was going to be traumatic for all of us. And then it was like we were sick for 3 months straight because, all four us... we pretty much were sick November til oh, right now. So anyway, we'd been told they would use conscious sedation before they gave her the IV for the contrast, but when we got there they said that they only gave the sedation thru the IV. I'm not going to write about what it was like to have to see Zoe go thru that because I don't want to remember it, but what I will say is that all I could think while we were there was that we wouldn't be going thru this if that man had been paying attention and had stopped for the red light. I was angry all over again.
But I'm trying to find the positive where I can and believe it or not, I am able to.
Zoe has learned from our experience that bad things happen but that there are great people out there who will be there to help us. She points out police officers, ambulances and fire trucks and tells us they are on their way to help people. She also points out when other drivers are not being safe and need to slow down. We talk about "being safe" every time we drive and I plan to keep that up. I hope that she will always respect the men and women out there protecting us and keeping us safe. I hope that she will never forget how important it is to be a responsible driver.
I've become more aware of my surroundings and an even more defensive driver than I used to be. I've also become passionate about telling our little story to whomever asks because I hope it will spill into their consciousness when they consider taking a phone call or text, speeding, drunk driving, or running a red light. More than anything though, I've become a little bit obsessed with keeping my family safe and educating others about car seat safety. There's a certification that I'd like to get someday, when the wreck is not so fresh with me... but in the meantime, I do what I can to educate myself online.
This evening we ordered a new car seat for Finnegan. He's outgrown his Peg Perego infant seat, so we're upgrading to one just like Zoe's: the Britax Advocate CS. We were kind of excited about him getting to be front facing now that he's over a year old and over 20 pounds, but I'd remembered reading somewhere that it was best to keep your child rear facing for as long as the convertible seat will allow. In our case, this means Finn could be rear facing until he's 35 pounds providing he doesn't sprout even taller than the limitations.
As Daniel and I were discussing this, I couldn't help but try to remember what Zoe had weighed on September 27th. Was she under 35 pounds? Should she have been rear facing? Would being rear facing have saved her from getting glass in her forehead? Would we have been worse off if she'd been rear facing? I had to remind myself what everyone has told us repeatedly: Her car seat and that we were using it correctly is what saved her from more serious injury or worse. We did everything we knew to do. We turned her front facing because we had read that we could after 1 year/20 pounds. There's no point second guessing now, especially since our outcome was so favorable.
I look forward to the day where I stop second guessing what happened. I'm tired of imagining all the horrible things that could have been, but I'm determined to do everything I can to help ensure my family's safety... and get people to become as passionate about car seat and drivers safety as I have.