As if we don’t have enough drama in our lives, on Wednesday evening we got into a car accident. Fortunately I am writing this post from the safety and comfort of home, so you can be reassured that I am okay, so is the baby, and so is Chris. But I did have to spend Tuesday night in the hospital, our car has been written off/need to buy a new one, and we’ve got a lot of financial hassles!
It all started yesterday when I picked Chris up after work. I was driving along in rush hour traffic, and suddenly another car pulled out from a side street. I could see the back of the woman’s head and she was not looking in my direction, so I squeezed on the breaks, and she plowed into the front left hand passenger side of the car. Our car was pushed sideways, but did not swing around. The next few moments were a bit of a blur, but the other driver and Chris drove our cars into a nearby parking lot, by which stage the police and ambulance had arrived. I was feeling very shaken up, but thought that I was perfectly fine. But I felt a lot of tightness in my low abdomen, and was worried about the baby. Because the obstetrician had told me about the head being down, I was worried that the seat belt might have hurt her after we got pushed sideways.
The ambulance got to the emergency ward and told me their protocol is to treat the mother first, then the baby. They took blood, ran some tests, got me into a hospital gown, and were fortunately able to say that they baby appeared to be doing well and that I was fine. They got out the ultrasound machine to check the baby, but the emergency room doctor was pretty inept. He kept saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing here” and couldn’t find the heart beat. I was actually relieved that he told me he didn’t know what he was doing, otherwise I would’ve been freaked out! The most disturbing thing is that he thought the baby had moved around head up (i.e. into breech position), which would’ve meant the baby had been really traumatised.
They then transferred me to the Labour Ward where the midwife had a feel around and said, “That’s not a head, that’s a big squishy bottom!” The baby hadn’t moved around! What a huge relief! She also told me that the head was “way down in the pelvis”. They also performed more complete foetal monitoring: they used two external belts strapped around my middle, one to measure the baby’s moves, one to measure mine. They took more blood, and called my obstetrician about what she wanted them to do next (I might’ve been able to go home, or she might’ve asked to keep me there for more testing). My ob wanted me to stay overnight for further monitoring, so they moved me up to the antenatal ward.
Now I have to say that despite the fact that everyone in the hospital was incredibly reassuring and lovely and nice to me, it was a huge disappointment to have to stay there. Hospitals are alienating, scary places. I had a really nice room to myself, but I didn’t have anything with me other than the clothes I was wearing that day. The bed was hard, there were weird beeping noises all night, and there was a lot of light in my room from the lights on in the hallway. Chris found a nearby newsagent to buy me the newspaper and some trashy gossip magazines to take my mind off everything, and he left to deal with the car. By this stage is was 10.30pm or so anyway.
I didn’t sleep much. The baby moved around, but I also had these new, stronger, more painful braxton hicks contractions that I’d never felt before. It was scary: I didn’t know what to do, I was worried that I was going into labour by myself, and every time I closed my eyes I kept hearing the screech of tires and the thud of the impact. The midwife came to check on me in the morning and I told her about the contractions, and she was really lovely. She reassured me that if I was going into labour I’d be fine (I’m now over the 37 week mark, so full term, and as she put it, “I’d only be missing out on a few more stretch marks”.) From my limited experience, health professionals in hospitals are really wonderful, caring people who are really good at being reassuring, matter-of-fact, and down to earth. Chris arrived at 7.30am to find me having a cup of tea and eating the worst breakfast I’d had in a long time. Hey, I wasn’t expecting much, but then I got the microwaved english muffin.
More waiting around ensued, punctuated by more checking and monitoring. Finally the midwife said that they were waiting around for some final bloodtest results, which wouldn’t be getting there until 2pm. At that point, I’m unashamed to say that I begged to be allowed to go home. She called my obstetrician, who agreed to let me go, and the midwife explained that if the blood tests were irregular they’d re-admit me. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened, so it’s all good!
It was great to be home, but we had a lot of hassles in the afternoon. Chris spent all afternoon on the phone with the insurance company, the tow-truck drivers, the mechanics and the police. I’ll save writing a lengthy narrative about it but will explain where we’re at. Our car has been “written off’” by the mechanic (which means that it would cost more to fix than the cost of the car), but the insurance company will not pay out until they assess it themselves, which will happen next week. The car is outside our apartment building currently. We’ve had to pay the tow company about $500 for the tow charges, some of which we may be able to get back from the insurance. We’ll probably get a pittance for the car – probably less than $1000 because of its age (1985 subaru). So now we have no car, and needing to get a new one urgently, and with very little money to buy one. We’ve decided to borrow money off family (thanks family!) to get a new car, because it’s unimaginable trying to get by without a car with the new baby.
Anyway, it’s all bad timing, it’s stressful worrying about money, how I’m going to get around when so heavily pregnant, the logistics of getting to the hospital when I go into labour, but I’m fully aware that it could be a lot worse. I’m hugely relieved that we’re all safe.
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