I posted a little bit of this that day, but it's been three weeks and I can actually fully talk about it now.
While driving my children to school tuesday feb 2, I rolled my van off of the interstate.  I had just merged onto the road, gotten into the right lane and was accelerating to get up to the flow of traffic and just accelerated at the exact wrong second because I hit a patch of black ice.  We flew off I-94 doing roughly 65 mph and rolled .... side, top, side and stop. I had all three kids with me, Olivia's 6 Megan's 4 and Calli's 2.  It was over in a split second, but it went in slow motion, I'm not sure how that makes sense but it's what happened.  I know exactly how many times we rolled, how we hit.  I can picture every detail, and I can remember every though that went through my head.  The one that had enough time to run through about four times was "Oh my god I just killed my babies"  I also wondered when the pain was coming.

We are all fine. I had a small scrape on my palm and my neck hurt but my kids don't even have a single scrape or bruise. NOTHING. They were all three harnessed into their 5 point harnesses and were not wearing their coats and I am so thankful that I chose to do that. When we stopped rolling, I turned around and had no idea what I was going to see. That split second between the van stopping and turning to see them was the most terrifying second of my life. What I saw, was my three girls scared and crying but wide awake, aware, and intact. Still buckled right where they belong.   Olivia was harnessed in a Graco Nautilus, Megan was harnessed in a Graco Nautilus, and Calli was harnessed in a Graco Comfortsport.

I got myself unbuckled, got Calli undone and while I was trying to figure out where to set her I heard voices yelling at me asking if we were ok, I was able to hand her out the top (which was the driver's side window I called it our sunroof) while I unbuckled the others. Five people in four different cars stopped to help me and my girls that morning. They took their coats off to put around my babies. One woman was at least a half an hour late for work because she stayed with us and let my girls sit in her backseat while we took care of the police and the tow truck and getting someone to come get us.
Now, three weeks later I can easily look back and think of the facts of what happened.  And some of it was pretty funny.  After we stopped rolling, I couldn't figure out how to get my seatbelt off because I was hanging on it, um DER you can't undo a seatbelt if there's pressure.  After I got out of my seatbelt, I turned on mommy mode and started calming the kids down, even though in my head I was like "lalolaoalalalluuuualalaahahahahaha" I kept calm on the outside and told the girls we were all ok, it was just scary and Megan yelled out "I'm not scared of anything!!"  and then proceeded to fold her hands in her lap and wait patiently (sideways of course) while I unbuckled the other two.  After Megan said that Olivia felt the need to yell back "Then get me out first!!'  Trying to figure out how to get myself out of the vehicle, I tried to climb out the top, until someone mentioned the back hatch might work :)  seriously what an idiot I am.  And when I took the girls to the Dr, they got princess stickers and Megan decided to put her Belle sticker on sideways and then told us it was because that's how we were.  When the ambulance came they told me they would take us to the hospital if I wanted, but as the kids were in the backseat singing he felt it might be unnecessary :) 

I could be dead or visiting my children in the hospital or planning my children's funeral right now and instead I am just dealing with the headache that is insurance claims and taking my kids to the dr just to check em out. We are alive and safe. They are going to live to torture me for years to come.

God was watching us that day, in the fact that he sent people to me that were car seat fanatics to helped me to do my own research and my girls were without coats secured in their five point harnesses. He sent angels to watch over that the spot we happened to roll into didn't have any signs or poles, it was just us and a ditch. He sent all of those angels who stopped and helped and held my girls and took their own coats off. He sent that woman Leah who took care of and talked to my babies while I dealt with the reality of being in a car accident. He sent an angel in the form of my neighbor and friend Lynn who gave my husband her suv so he could come get us, and then she drove me around town for new carseats and a rental car. He was truly watching out for us.

I am so thankful, I will take this backache and insurance headache, I will take it a million times and be grateful. Please hug your kids extra tight for me and if you get a chance please send a thank you for me skyward or whichever direction you pray that whoever was watching out for my family today knows how thankful we are.
I don't have any pictures of the accident or the van afterwards, but I am going to call geico and see if I can at least get a picture of the van.  I had a ton of people ask if I took pictures of the accident and it honestly didn't even cross my mind.  Especially people who have family members that think they are overboard about carseats, they wanted a picture of the accident to show what being in a good carseat can do.  So, if I get pictures of the van I'll add those
Any questions let me know!

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Feb. 23, 2010 at 8:26 PM


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Feb. 23, 2010 at 8:32 PM

wow scary! i'm glad y'all are ok

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Feb. 23, 2010 at 8:36 PM

wow thnk god everyone is okay.

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Feb. 23, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Wow, that is a scary and amazing story.  So glad you all are ok!

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Feb. 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM


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Feb. 23, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Thanks for posting this.  I'm so glad you guys are okay.  Because you do take carseat safety so seriously, you'll never had to wish you could go back and do better because your baby died or was injured.  You only get one chance!  Your girls are lucky you do what you do.

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Feb. 23, 2010 at 11:46 PM

I am so glad you posted this! It is sickening to think what might have happened if you didn't have your children restrained properly.

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Feb. 24, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Kudos for you to being diligent!  I see kids on TV that are never correctly buckled in to their seats and it infuriates me.  What good is a car seat if it won't even hold the kids in?  I tightened mine and my mom said, 'good grief.'  But it won't work if it's not tight.  So glad you're ok.

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Feb. 24, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Yikes! How terrifying. I've only been in one crash that I remember, and I know what you mean about it happening in slow motion. Two motorcycles slammed into the back of our car, we were getting ready to turn left (turn signal on and everything) and they weren't watching where they were going. They had been drinking anyway, so that didn't help. We all were fine, one of the people on the motorcycle was taken to the hospital but she was okay too. We were very lucky that day.

And according to my mom, we were tboned when I was an infant. Carseats weren't nearly as safe 20 years ago of course, but apparently she had me strapped in tight, because I'm still here to tell the tale lol.

It's not THAT difficult to put a kid in a carseat correctly. I don't get how anyone would do it wrong on purpose : /

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Feb. 24, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Get thee to a chiropractor!!! And your daughters!

My MIL was T-boned at 40mph by a woman on a cell phone and was in a lot of pain; the chriopractor helped a lot. Also, some pain may not show up for several weeks, so it's good to be proactive.

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