It’s been brought to my attention that I may not have been as forthcoming with some big news as I should have been…

Hello, Baby M!

Yes, a bit of a “are you serious?!?” shocker last spring. It started with not being able to look at raw chicken, evolved into ‘why can’t I keep my eyes open past 7:30 PM’, took a denial detour that included a glass of white wine, before ending with the not-so-surprising-but-are-you-KIDDING-ME pregnancy test confirmation. Ok three of them.  (What? How? When? Who? … Just kidding about the last one).

Shortly after Halloween, we’ll be welcoming our third baby into the world. Although we were completely taken aback by the news in the spring, we couldn’t be more excited to add to our family… albeit a bit terrified with everything else we have spinning in our world. But hey – I figure any parent who thinks they have it all figured out is delusional or lying. I know we’re in good ‘three’s’ company.

The Bug is especially over the moon about her new baby sister. My OB team is thrilled that everything seems to be indicating a perfectly normal pregnancy (of course, they’re being careful with our Little Lion Man’s history), and for the most part, things have been smooth.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday morning, I was in a minor (let me stress MINOR) car accident. Sitting at a stoplight, I was rear-ended by the car that 5 seconds before the accident, had been stopped behind me at the light as well. The only thing that deployed was the cup of coffee in my hand — all over the dash board.  {{Insert your swear words of choice}}. I did bang the back of my head on the headrest (ouch), but I’m not even sure I felt the seatbelt clinch. Nothing a tylenol couldn’t help.

I pulled over on the side of the road and the young girl who hit me pulled over as well. I walked around the car and there was no visible damage. Her front license plate was a little banged up, but my car appeared to be fine. I appeared to be fine. She appeared to be fine. No harm, no foul.

I went about my day. What an incredibly inconvenient way to kick off Monday. My language may have been more colorful than that, if we’re being honest.

At the urging of a friend, I switched my normal OB check-up from later in the week to yesterday afternoon. Just to be safe. I felt fine (little banged up, but hey — Tylenol and ice worked).

My OB wasn’t concerned, but he was cautious. After my exam, he said everything looked great and the baby’s heart rate was perfect; however, standard protocol is to monitor the baby in labor and delivery for 6-8 hours following a motor vehicle accident. It was now about 4:30 PM and all I could think of was I have a nanny with the Bug who has plans tonight, a nurse with the Little Lion Man who needs to get home, and shrimp defrosting in the fridge for pasta tonight. The last thing I have time for is to kick my heels up in labor and delivery for 6 hours — that’ll put me home around midnight after all the paperwork, etc.

Really — for a less than 5 mile an hour bump? With no blunt trauma to any part of my abdomen?

But I went (begrudgingly) and was admitted. Sported the not-so-cute-or practical-for-moving-around hospital gown and was assigned a private L&D room. The nurse practitioner who admitted me was a little shocked by the 6 hours and called the doctor to ask if I could get out of jail sooner. He was insistent. No. 6 hours at a minimum.

Pat left work to relieve our “child support team ” and make the kids dinner. My mom came to hang out and give me a midnight ride home.

It wasn’t so much of a kicking up my heels as a fairly uncomfortable ‘don’t move’ for hours experience, since every time I moved the baby would move and the monitor needed to be readjusted. The minutes slowly trickled by at first, with mild amusement provided by a Parks and Rec marathon, a few five-minute nod-offs, chit chatting with mom or the nurses, facetiming with the kids and explaining why I couldn’t read the last few chapters of James and the Giant Peach that bedtime…

Around 11 pm, my room started to get busier. Nurses kept asking me if I felt alright and to drink another glass of water. I had a mild cramp in my lower abdomen, but wasn’t really super concerned because I had been sitting in the SAME POSITION for five and a half hours. Everything seemed cramped at that point.

At 11:15 PM, all of the lights in the room went on. Three nurses came in with an IV bag and test tubes. I was informed that the monitored showed I was having contractions every two-to-three minutes.

We needed to stop that.

At just 25 weeks little Baby M was not quite ready to meet the world. Blood work and a sonogram was ordered. Indocin and fluids were administered.  The fabulous thing about the deluge of fluids was the uptick in restroom visits — (already high because hello, I’m pregnant) — which required calling a nurse, being detached from the monitor, rolling an IV pole, etc. What followed was a not-so-restful stay in the hospital as nurses came to adjust monitors every time I would finally doze. Mom of course stayed. That’s what moms do. Pat needed to be home in case anything went awry with our Little Guy.

I got my ‘all clear’ this morning around 7:30 AM, as the contractions had stopped and I had been stable for several hours. My only ‘medical order?’ 48 hours of take-it-easy. That’s it after all of that excitement (which, I’m grateful for).  Yes, that means I’m writing this from the comfort of my own bed instead of my work desk. And yes, Baby M seems to be cooperating today.

I’m not sharing this as a “can you believe what happened?” piece… I’m sharing it because I honestly felt fine. Even now, I’m not sure how yesterday’s seemingly innocuous incident snowballed. Luckily, my friend shared her experience and I changed by OB appointment. Luckily, my doctor insisted on 6 hours of monitoring. Luckily, I stayed for the full six hours and they caught the contractions early. Luckily, I responded to the fluids and meds.

Let’s not think about the what-ifs. Auto accidents and pregnancy simply don’t mesh, no matter how minor.

My Public Service Announcement of the day? If you’re in even the most minor of traffic incidents during pregnancy, see your doctor. Even if you feel fine. And by all means, listen to them. No matter how inconvenient.