I was literally hit from behind on Friday with this startling realization.
I was on my lunch-break, driving to get a sandwich and run to Target, when — at a STOP LIGHT where I was waiting for it to turn green — I got rear-ended by an impatient car behind me.
It wasn’t a hard impact, my air bag didn’t deploy, and there was no damage to me or my car … but it didn’t matter. I’m seven + months pregnant, and needed to take action just in case (I have a friend who went into preterm labor in this exact same scenario).
I called my husband, told him what had happened and that I was OK and everything, and proceeded to get my lunch at Subway. But then on the drive back (about 10 min. had passed in total since the accident) I realized I hadn’t been feeling any movement since before it had happened … and started to panic and have scary “what if” thoughts running through my head. Sure, I felt fine and my car was fine but how did I know with certainty that Maya was also fine?! I didn’t. 😦
Though throughout my pregnancy I’ve had her top of mind all the time, this was the first time I really realized, “Hey, it’s not just about me anymore.” Sure, I wasn’t hurt, the car wasn’t hurt … but I had to do what was best for my unborn baby. I couldn’t second-guess myself or feel like I was jumping to conclusions or thinking worst-case-scenario … I needed to do what was right for her. And that meant calling my doctor and taking proactive measures.
So I did.
I fully expected him to tell me to come in and check her heart beat and that would be it — but instead was surprised by this order, “You need to get to triage right away!” So instead of going back to the office and eating lunch and attending the two meetings I was supposed to be at that afternoon, I went straight to the hospital to triage in the Maternal/Fetal Medicine part of the hospital.
Once there, they immediately checked me in and informed me I’d be out of commission for the next four hours! hooked up to fetal monitors. I was not prepared for that (hello, I hadn’t eaten; had work waiting, etc.) and, to be honest, a little annoyed at first. Just being honest … !
So I shot my boss and our receptionist a quick email telling them what had happened (they were awesome about it, BTW) and then the nurse began asking me a ton of questions: what happened, how far along I was, when I’d last eaten, what I’d eaten, last weigh-in, meds I was taking, etc.
As soon as they hooked me up with two belts around my belly, she started to move more (I guess the pressure helped kick-start her movement?). They drew some blood to make sure that–though it was a minimal-impact incident–no blood had crossed the placenta (i.e., internal bleeding).
The nurse kept coming back, though, because they could see contractions on the monitors–contractions I wasn’t feeling … but that were certainly there, and more regular than they should have been. I started to get scared. After 10-15 min. of this, she said she was going to need to give me a shot of some medicine that would slow down uterine contractions. The shot made me feel jumpy and cold, as she said it would, and then about 20 minutes later, the contractions stopped.WHEW. My heart stopped jumping at that point, and my husband came and kept me company.
The best part about the experience was that, for four hours, I was able to listen to her little heart beat. 🙂 In fact, when my dad called, I put the phone up to the monitors so he could hear and I know he was tearing up 🙂
After I was given the OK to leave, we ended up getting an impromptu tour of the Labor & Delivery unit as well as Mother & Baby, which made us feel very comfortable with the hospital and surroundings. It was quite zen-like and felt more like a hotel than a hospital (I say that NOW!) and the nurses were great and answered all our questions (those we could think of off the top of our heads!). Other than going out to dinner Friday night (I wanted Carabba’s so that’s where we went–I know it’s a chain but it’s soooo good and there’s really not much good Italian around here!)
I guess the moral of the story is that this was a literal and figurative wake-up call that it’s not about me anymore … and it never will be again.
PS–Tomorrow morning we have a 32-week ultrasound which I’m soooo excited about! Last time we “saw” her was 20 weeks and she was still a peanut. Now, she should have fat on her body and toenails and hair… crazy!! Hoping everything is going OK and that she’s growing as she should be and healthy.