Preparing for the Unprepared

Reflecting on what matters to you most can be hard to do when life is good. I have always felt grateful for the gift of family, friends, a home, and good health but the second that any of those is threatened reality sets in. About 2 weeks ago as we were driving home from my parents house and our little Hipster was falling asleep in his carseat sipping on milk and clinging to his blanket and my husband and I were carrying on a conversation, the tranquility in the car changed in a split second. Upon entering an intersection we had been through numerous times before a car darted in front of us, having run a red light. With a brief second to react the next thing I remember is feeling our car collide and spin out, my head hitting the windshield. After impact and seeing smoke coming from our engine panic and adrenaline set in, "Oh my God oh my God Daniel get Simon out the car might catch fire!". Fear of your loved ones being hurt, including the unborn baby I was carrying is a nightmare that still makes me cry. After Daniel pulled Simon, carseat and all out of the vehicle we sat down away from the crash as I could hear onlookers shout "Are you okay is anyone hurt?" 

Hysterical crying, pain and stiffness in my neck, back, and legs while clutching my belly as my son sat still strapped in his carseat crying next to me are images and feelings that will never be erased. I've always said that being pregnant is a true testament of blind faith and our horrific car accident only made that belief more surreal. And knowing how long it took us to conceive our second made me even more scared I may never have another child. The most calming feeling came as a woman, a total stranger, came running from across the street towards us shouting that she heard the accident from her apartment a few yards away and since she is a trained paramedic came running to help. I will always think of her as our guardian angel meant to come help. While our worlds collided for only a brief time she served her purpose caring for us before the Fire/Police arrived on the scene. The rest of the night was spent in an ambulance ride and then hours of tests in the ER. Luckily that night our family was spared from what could have been a fatal car accident, including our unborn child. Seatbelts, a top rated carseat, and airbags from our Lexus SUV all did their job. And those total strangers that called 911 and the guardian angel of a woman along with the firefighter paramedics are people I will be forever grateful were there that night. 

While the accident caused us pain and angst it is something that I hope we can put behind us. My head CT, neck CT, Knee X-Ray, and Sonogram came back normal yet I still carry this unexplainable fear something unknown from the trauma during the accident could cause me to lose this baby. Our little guy spent the night with my parents after being checked out by the paramedics. He suffered a cut on his chin and strap burns but was otherwise physically okay. Mentally he was quite torn up trying to process seeing mom taken away on a stretcher. The nights following have included wetting the bed, something he never does, but something understandable for any 2 year old, almost 3 year old. He will never forget what happened that night, including seeing his beloved firefighters and firetruck and ambulance come help us that night. Mommy has always told him when we see or hear sirens that they are going to help people and seeing them in action was his first real life lesson. 

Hug your loved ones today as you never know what might happen. It only takes a split second for your life to change and preparing for the unprepared is something I hope none of you have to go through.

Mary Bowen
Mary Bowen