In Which Pregnancy and Car Wrecks Don’t Mix

A little less than two days ago, I had what was probably the scariest experience of my life: At 36 weeks pregnant, I was involved in a car accident.

My car. Click to biggify and behold.

I won’t say much about the details, because I’m not certain of what legalities I need to be aware of in discussing this in public (before all insurance claims are settled, that is). But the bare bones of it is that I was driving on a city street and another driver pulled out of a parking lot in front of me. My car collided with the other driver’s.

As far as I know, the other driver was not injured. Both vehicles sustained damage. The other driver received a citation.

Me, I went on my first ride as a patient* in an ambulance. By the time the EMTs were loading me up, the husband had arrived. I asked if he could ride in the ambulance with me, but the EMT said, “No, the police need him to stay right here and take possession of your car. He can come to the hospital afterward.”

Having witnessed the understandably reckless manner in which the husband had arrived at the scene in his pickup, I asked, “Is he okay to drive?”

The EMT shrugged and grinned. “Well, he drove here.”

And that was that. In the ambulance, the EMT checked my vitals and stuck an IV and some saline in the back of my hand. Over the next 15 hours, I would come to hate that IV. But in the meantime, I lay there on the gurney, watching the highway recede between my outstretched feet, wondering what would happen if one of the cars following close behind us plowed into the back of the ambulance.

The EMT talked to me in a soothing voice, especially as he explained (after I asked) that hearing a fetal heartbeat through a stethoscope in a moving ambulance was practically impossible. I took the opportunity to practice my yogic breathing.

When we reached the emergency room, the EMTs took me straight up to labor & delivery triage. On the way there, we passed through multiple winding corridors and rode two different elevators. The EMT who had driven the ambulance looked at me said said, “After this elevator, there’s a set of stairs.”

I looked at him, looked down at myself strapped to the gurney, and looked back up. “You guys have fun with that.”

He grinned. “Oh, no. We’re riding. You’re carrying.”

I motioned at my belly. “I’m already carrying!” And I was even able to chuckle through my tears as I said it.

Once I was in a room, a nurse came in and started doing things. A fetal monitor was involved, strapped to my belly. When I said something about Braxton-Hicks contractions, the nurse said, “Oh no, these aren’t Braxton-Hicks. These are the real thing.”

I managed an askance look and a shaky, “Oh.”

The most beautiful sound in the world was our baby’s steady, strong heartbeat, loud and clear over the fetal monitor. The most beautiful sight was her snub nose and plump cheeks on the ultrasound. (This was when I finally truly stopped crying.) The best feeling was her regular, healthy movement inside of me.

From triage, they moved me up one floor to labor & delivery, where the husband and I spent the (restless but as restful as could be expected) night. Tuesday morning, my doctor came in, pronounced the baby’s condition “excellent” and my lessening contractions “normal for anyone who’s 36 weeks pregnant,” and sent me home to relax for the remainder of the week.

I see the providential hand of God in every moment of this entire, terrifying experience. I see his protection of the baby and of me. I see his kindness and gentleness in the ministrations and the humor of the EMTs. I see his knowledgeability, his efficiency, and his loving care in my nurses and in my doctor.

In the story of my life, God is always present — but in this particular chapter, he’s obvious.

Have a good day, dearies. And tell someone you love them. : )

___________

*When I was 7, my grandparents came to visit us in Germany. Parents, grandparents, and I took a trip to Berlin. On the way there, we were involved in a 10-car pile-up on the Autobahn (which word, by the way, is nothing more than the German version of “interstate”). My dad had to stay with the car and talk with the Polizei. As the only other German-speaker among us, I had to ride in the ambulance with my grandma. At age 7. But that’s another story and shall be told another time.

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13 thoughts on “In Which Pregnancy and Car Wrecks Don’t Mix

  1. Traci Brown says:

    Courtney,
    I am so glad that you are ok. I will continue to pray that the sweet baby stays right where she is for a few more weeks. Enjoy these last few weeks with your husband. Your life is about to change forever! It is the most wonderfully, scary, fun, crazy, insane change that will ever happen to you. In your crazed state, don’t forget to write everything down. I promise you won’t remember it all. (That’s good and bad by the way)
    Blessing to you all!
    Traci

    • Traci, thanks so much for your encouraging thoughts and for the bit of humor. Now that the baby is finally here — and 3 months old! — I can definitely relate to everything you’re saying! What a crazy, fun, and exhausting time this is. And here I thought pregnancy brain was bad — it’s got nuthin’ on sleep-deprived, newborn baby brain! ; )

  2. Amanda says:

    whoa so glad you and baby girl are okay. sorry for the scare!

    btw i can’t wait to hear the story about you riding in an ambulance at 7 at interpreter : )

  3. Anna Gilliland says:

    I’m really glad that you and the baby are both okay! I hope that these last few weeks go by without anymore difficulty.

  4. I too am glad you are ok Courtney, there is nothing scarier than those last few weeks of pregnancy and any sort of trauma. this blog is going to take a great turn in a few weeks, I can’t wait to read it.

    • Thanks so much, Justin. Unfortunately, the only turn this blog has really taken is to suffer from neglect. Any spare writing time I’ve had has gone into noveling! Hopefully that will change soon. Poor blog. ; )

  5. My gosh! Thank goodness you’ve blogged your preggy stories because that little peanut is gonna need to hear them. Thank goodness you’re both okay.

    • Laurie, there is so much writing I have been wanting to do for her…and yet I’ve had no time to do it. I keep having to remind myself (like once an hour) that I’m not designed to be “Supermom.”

  6. Pamela Davis says:

    I’m so thankful you and the little one are okay after such a scary event. Take it easy these last weeks before the big moment.

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