As many of you know, Thursdays have become our regular day at the doctor. We go see our specialist who does an ultrasound on the baby to see if anything has changed, he tells us that everything is just the same as it was last time, then we move on to see our regular doctor who measures Joy's baby-filled stomach and sends us on our way. Most weeks this happens rather quickly and we leave with a generally disappointed feeling. I'm learning to deal with it.
I left my office at 9:35 a.m. to meet Joy for our 10 o'clock appointment on Thursday morning and I arrived about 10 minutes early. I went to the front door and took a seat on a cement bench to wait for her. Then I got the call. It was Joy and she had been in a car accident about half of a mile from the hospital.
I ran to my truck and drove through the curvy back roads to the intersection she identified and saw a fire truck and two police cruisers at the end of the street. Flashing lights have a way of tying your stomach in knots. I parked and ran across six lanes of traffic to meet her where she was standing on the side of the road visibly shaken.
The left-hand turn had snuck up on her quickly. She was in the center lane of a three-lane road, looked around quickly and saw no other vehicles, and slowed as she moved over into the left lane to turn. The problem was that there was a Ford Explorer in her blind spot, and it was much larger than her Kia Spectra sport wagon. It smashed into the front-left quarter panel of the car and sent her little car spinning. The damage was pretty serious.
Joy's shoulder, elbow and head all hit her window pretty hard, but I am convinced God intervened. The air bag did not go off. The collision was at about 45 mph. It should have deployed. But that would have been really bad for the baby. Also, the majority of the damage was about two feet in front of her door. If she had slowed just a little more he would have driven his car right into her.
After the paper work was complete and the cars were towed away on flatbed trucks we prayed. We thanked God for safety and for yet another opportunity to show Christ to the many new people we met, even in a sour situation. Then we went to our appointments.
Both doctors agreed that things seemed normal, but it's standard practice to have four hours of fetal monitoring after a traumatic situation. So we went to the hospital and settled in for what we thought would be complete before dinner time. But after a little while things weren't looking so great. Joy was having regular contractions every two to eight minutes and Mabee wasn't tolerating them well. Her heart was decelerating at the end of some of the contractions, which the doctor said pointed to stress on the baby. So they decided to keep Joy overnight for extended observation.
Everything calmed down in the evening. The contractions were much less regular and Mabee's heartbeat was more steady. Other than one time in the middle of the night when Mabee's heart slowed for an extended period of time, the doctor said things looked okay. We came home Friday morning and spent the rest of the day trying to catch up on much needed rest.
Other than a headache that won't seem to go away, Joy is well. She was shaken up by the whole ordeal, but all in all she is doing well. I think she was most upset about the car. She just recently completed the task of making sure everything in our home, soap, toilet paper, coffee filters, tooth paste, shampoo and everything else you need from day to day was well stocked so we wouldn't have to think about it once we are home with a baby. Now we are going to have to deal with a bunch of car repairs or buying a new car. Neither a small task.
I'm grateful for the time Joy and I spent together in the hospital. It wasn't comfortable or romantic time, and the thoughts on our minds weren't very happy ones considering the situation and the possibilities. But it was filled with love for each other and our unborn baby girl. I had a lot of time to think about how long family lasts, and how quickly it can be taken away from you.
I went out looking at cars today, setting forth a plan of attack if the insurance company decided our car is a total loss. I explained briefly to one of the salesmen about the car wreck and the insurance situation, about the need for a larger car for safety and a car seat with the baby on the way soon. His eyes got big and he said, "Wow. When it rains it pours." He said this without even knowing about Mabee's situation. Then he said something amazing.
"Well, you can only do one thing at a time and you only get one day at a time. So pick out the most important thing and take care of it first."
So that's what I'm going to do. I can't control when Mabee shows up, or what condition she is in. I can't control what the insurance company says and how much money they give us for our battered vehicle. And I certainly can't do all of those things at once. It's a simple mantra but it means a lot, and Jesus poke to it in the gospels. Live one day at a time and don't worry.
Life is exciting right now. Not all of it is good excitement, but just going to work every day and coming home with no complexities can be a really easy way to forget why we are here on this earth. Despite the heartache, all of the complexities in my life right now remind me of who our God is, every day. That's a blessing I didn't ever think to ask for.