There we were, the two of us. Perfect. Off on an adventure. I looked at his unbelievably gorgeous face from the special mirror we have in the front of the car -- the kind that's supposed to promote safe driving.
I was smiling and happy. It was like a dream. Except this dream is real. I get to be with this little boy every day. And now that our days of "just the two of us" are dwindling down, I am trying desperately to capture every drop of beauty, before I'm too busy to notice the little things.
I cross the intersection and before I know it, there are cars stopped quite suddenly in front of me. I realize I won't be able to stop in time. I brace myself for the sound and impact I know will happen in a millisecond.
The sound of steel against steel is jarring, but the hit is much milder than it is in my mind. It passes so quickly. I don't even pay attention to the situation at hand. My whiplash occurs from the speed with which I snap my head back to check on my beautiful boy. I see his lip curl into a pout, face furrowed with worry.
"Natey, are you OK? Are you hurt?"
"Yeahhhh..." and the tears of fear and unawareness begin to run down his face.
"What's owie? Are you owie anywhere?" But he's crying and can't articulate. I realize that the car seat is the safest thing and he hasn't injured himself. "Did you bite your thumb when we crashed?" He nods.
"It's OK baby. Everything is OK. Mommy just crashed into the other car by accident.
We just have to pull over and then I'll get you out."
I step out of the car to ask the driver ahead what to do. The damage to his giant SUV is so minimal that I am thinking to ask him if we can just forget about it. But he notices how pregnant I am. So do two cops who happen to be driving by. They call 911. Frack.
I pull over and rush over to Nate. I am sore and shakey and mildly contracting, but my only thought is him. Must get to him. I pull him out, examine him and then put him on the trunk and hold him tight. We hang onto each other until the man approaches. I call the Dog with what little juice I have in my cell phone and ask him to meet us.
The guy I hit is nice. He says he saw me coming. In other words, he knew he had stopped suddenly, sharply enough to look back in his rearview. He was on his way home from the airport, having just dropped off his wife and two kids for a visit to Grandma's or something.
The cop arrives to take some notes and everyone's main concern is my well-being. We all agree that it's better to be safe than sorry. The Dog arrives, reassuring and incredible in his strength, and Nate and I are at once lighter, safer. He packs us into the car and heads back home before driving us to the hospital.
We sit in the driveway, while Daddy Dog runs in to grab my hospital bag and put his contacts in. I begin to weep. I had all our greatest possessions in the car with me. I could have hurt them. I could have killed them. I am the one who is supposed to protect them, to keep them safe. The thoughts are overwhelming. When I think I'm about to burst, a little voice comes from the back seat.
"It's OK Mommy. When we go home, I will be doctor and I'll make you better."
I cry harder. I should be comforting him, not the other way around. "Natey, Mommy loves you so much," I blather.
"It's OK Mommy. You will sit there," pointing to the driver's seat, "And it will be bad, because the truck will hit you. But then, Daddy will come and save you, and it won't be bad anymore, because the truck won't hit you by acci-acci, by accident." Oh those little stammers over tough words melt my heart.
We go to the hospital where we plan to have this baby, with the hospital bag half-packed, just in case. They monitor the baby's heartbeat for 3.5 hours. I am famished (I was on my way to eat croissants when it happened) and the boys sneak me some Dirty Ron's. Except I can't really move without setting off alarms, so the Dog has to feed me my Big Xtra by breaking off mayonnaisey morsels and stuffing them in my mouth like a child.
My men play in the waiting room, while I try to pass the time by pretending this is the real thing and attempting to achieve a state of serenity and zen. There are various stories happening along side me in the triage area of the L&D floor. Most of the women are sent home, either because they are not in labour yet, or not in labour ENOUGH yet. Then a woman comes in moaning and groaning. She's 6 days over and they'd given her the induction gel earlier that morning.
It's clearly her first time. I can tell because she's totally unaware of what's actually happening to her. I want to pull back the curtain and guide her through it, but I know that I cannot.
Nate and the Dog come into the triage area, just as I'm returning from the bathroom. "What happened to your shirt Mommy?" I explain my hospital attire to him. My future fashion designer is not pleased. "Take that off right now! That shirt is not good! Your bum is hanging out!" Heh.
The resident comes in and takes us to a room with an ultrasound machine. She's young and has no children, I can tell by her bedside manner. She asks if we know what we're having. I tell her no and she seems puzzled by this. "You don't want to find out?" Well, I got two weeks to go lady, so I may as well wait at this point, don't you think?
She checks to make sure the baby's water supply is good. She calls the baby a He and then catches herself and says, "Or She. They're all He." Uh-huh. (I would not be surprised by this fact, but that's another post altogether.)
We're sent home with the All OK. Phew. We drop Nate off with our neighbourhood friends, while we go to the collision reporting centre. We go back to get Nate, relieved we have survived the day and sit down to a BBQ. The new baby is passed around as therapy, her fresh milky scent and sweet warm breath heaving on my chest reassuring me that everything will be alright. That even the most awful of blows are received more softly now that I have a family.