Last Saturday afternoon my family and I were headed to dinner on a local highway we drive on frequently, when my worst nightmare came true. A rookie driver pulled onto oncoming traffic without regarding the fact that my family was traveling down the very same road at about 50 mph. My husband was driving and quickly hit the brakes, swerving to the right in an attempt to avoid the collision. As our beastly Toyota Hylander plummeted toward her red car, my thoughts were racing, “Holy shit, we are going to hit her. Oh my god, please protect my babies.”.
The impact was earth shattering.
The silence that followed the split second later was horrible.
I feared what I would find in the back seat.
Our tiny precious boys, strapped into their carseats, were not making a sound.
Bracing myself for the worst, I quickly whipped my entire body around to meet the eyes of my first born.
He was alive, breathing, and appearing to be unharmed. His big blue eyes wide-eyed with shock.
I just wanted to wrap my big mama arms around him and never let go.
Breathing a quick sigh of relief, I then propped myself up and over my seat to lay my eyes on my youngest baby boy, who is thankfully still rear facing.
When his little head moved I finally let out a big sigh of relief. His eyes were open and his expression was somber.
Relief flooded over me, but then dread followed.
The baby. My 20 week little baby with 20 more weeks left to grow inside of me. Was my body enough to protect my unborn child from harm?
People raced to our car, as I watched the scene unfold.
The rookie driver hysterical on the side of the road, the firetruck racing to the scene with their red lights flashing, the coldness of the night chilling my body.
My husband and I agreed that I needed to go to the ER for the baby to be evaluated. I turned to the boys and told them, “Mommy will be back, I promise.” with tears in my eyes. The question left unanswered, would I be returning without their unborn sibling?
The EMTs rolled me into the ambulance on that cold night. As soon as the doors closed, tears fell down my face.
I waited to feel the slightest movement of the baby, but felt nothing.
The sirens blared. I watched out the window as the world passed me by.
The 20 minute ride felt like eternity.
When we arrived at the ER I was wheeled right into a room. Shortly after the EMT’s left, a nurse greeted me. Her smile and demeanor a bright ray of hope. She left and returned about 10 minutes later with a fetal doppler.
Cold gel slathered on my bump.
Wand to stomach.
I held my breath and waited.
Thump, whoosh, thump, woosh. One happy heartbeat.
Tears of joy this time. Relief for now.
With the confirmation of a heartbeat I was soon wheeled up to the Labor and Delivery floor. When I stood up for the first time since getting into the ambulance I felt wet.
“Do not panic, do not panic.” my inner voice said, as I told the nurse. She soon checked me for amniotic fluid and thankfully it was not.
Another huge sigh of relief.
More gel on my baby bump.
The fetal doppler singing once again.
The nurse hooked me up to a machine that would measure any cotractions I may be having.
Holding my breath once again, I waited.
The minutes crawled by.
When the nurse returned to give me the news that the doctor felt I was ready to be discharged I was filled with joy.
As I walked down the empty hospital hallway toward the exit, my mind filled with thoughts of home, my family. the accident, and our car moving toward the out of place red car.
It all could have gone so differently.
Life as I know it completly changing.
I am thankful. My family is still standing as a unit.
My pregnancy continues.
Baby kicks being felt.
A nursery to decorate.
An adorable coming home outfit to choose.
Almost a week after our accident, my husband and I continue to struggle with unimaginable pain, yet we are thankful. We have so much life to live.
Birthdays to celebrate.
Hugs to give.
Tears to wipe away.
Graduations to attend.
Weddings to plan.
Their whole lives ahead of them.
We still have it all.