and here's "the rest of the story."
The ambulance ride was a bit hair-raising as well (but not quite to the level of the crash!) The ambulance crew was so focused on Yvonne & Emily that they forgot to strap me to the stretcher I was on. I had to hang on for fear of falling off!
Yvonne ended up spending the night at the hospital for observation, and the contractions eventually stopped, so they turned her loose the next day (Bryce was born almost on schedule the following November, and suffered no ill efects.) Emily & I went home that night... I didn't get much sleep because the doctor told me I needed to keep a close eye on her to see if any symptoms of a concussion came up. She slept fine, but wasn't herself the next day so she went to the doctor for some tests, which confirmed the concussion. There wasn't much they could do for her, and she was back to normal in the next couple of days. Guess what my Dad used to say about Thornton heads was true; good thing she hit her head, otherwise she would've been hurt! About the only thing that bothered Yvonne & me was the spot in the middle of our chests where the shoulder belts hit us on that first impact. The belt did it's job -- we stayed in the car -- but man oh man did the breastbone hurt! Couldn't take a deep breath for a couple weeks.
The scary thing is that we were tempted just before the accident to pull Emily out of her car seat; she was tired & had been crying, but we decided that we'd be home shortly. If Yvonne had been holding Emily in her lap when we hit that cow.... I am so thankful that we always used the car seat. That incedent made us fanatical about using them for the other three kids!
The car was towed to Lennox after the accident, so the day after I borrowed my brother Greg's truck & drove down there to retrieve some things. I about kicked myself when I realized my camera bag was in the back of the car, and I hadn't thought of snapping some pictures at the scene of the accident! At least I did get some of the car as it sat in the wrecking yard.
At that time Yvonne & I were working at Sioux Falls College as Head Residents of one of the dorms. A week or so later the college was having a safety awareness week, so before the car was hauled off for salvage we had it towed to the college & put on display. Everyone was amazed that the car could be so banged up & we just walked away from the accident.
The lesson learned from that ride is to depend on seatbelts & guardian angels. Without them... well, let's just say Honda's are expendable; family members are not.