Friday, November 23, 2007

Reasons to be Thankful

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, perhaps one of the toughest days of the year for me and the New Yorker. Even more than Christmas, it is the day when I miss my family the most. This year I took a break from cooking and the New Yorker hosted dinner. She did a fantastic job and I was really happy not to have to clean up the mess. I also realized how much I have to be thankful for, given that my Manic Monday turned into a Worse Wednesday.

Wednesday morning I was driving to work at 8:50am. The community center that I was driving to is 45 minutes away from my home. I was only about 15 minutes away when I started to worry a bit about the time. There was an animal food transporter in front of me on the two lane road and it was only doing 70 km/h in the 100 km/h zone.

I know that Christina and J have complained about the aggressiveness of German drivers. I feel the same way myself and usually try to stay out of their way in my little Smart car. However, I did not want to be late for work and decided to pass the truck in front of me.

I peaked out from behind the truck and there was a lot of traffic coming from the opposite direction. I went back behind the truck. After a few minutes I peaked again and saw that it was free and clear for several kilometer, so I decided to pass. Unfortunately, the station wagon behind me decided to pass at the same time.

A few minutes later I was pulled off onto the right side of the road and a little dazed. My first thought was, "Holy crap! What have you done!!??" I then looked over and saw the other driver getting out of their car, apparently uninjured. Everything looked okay on me and then I burst into tears. There was witness who pulled over to make sure everything was okay. He opened my door and the first thing I said was, "I am thirty weeks pregnant."

I got out and stood up and everything seemed normal. There did not appear to be that much damage to either car and I apologized profusely to the other driver. I did not want an ambulance and went into my little trunk to get a flare or warning sign. At that moment I felt a cramp deep in my left side, which almost brought me to me knees. I looked at the witness and said, "Please call an ambulance." Now that I think about it, I don't think it was a contraction but rather a swift kick from Little Dude to my kidney as if to say, "What the hell are you doing, mom!?" It was enough to make me panic and for shock to set in. For an hour I seriously felt like I had to vomit.

An hour later I was sitting in a hospital room. Thank goodness for the extremely soothing and friendly ambulance driver, nurses and doctors. I got my wits back about me and the nausea went away. I was really pale when I came in, so they put me on an IV. The doctor explained to me that they would do an ultrasound to make sure the "Mutterkuchen" was intact. I was not sure what this meant. I thought it was the cervix and looked at him in confusion. Why did they need an ultrasound to check my cervix? The doctor notice my confusion and started to speak to me in English. Turns out, he used to work at a hospital in the U.S. "Mutterkuchen" means "placenta." Yeah, that was a word I never learned in my German classes.

Everything looked good. Little Dude was moving around. They hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor and there were no signs of contractions. However, they decided to keep me for 24 hours to make sure that contractions did not develop. This did not make me too happy. I just wanted to go home.

From the accident I managed to call and cancel my lessons for the day. I could not get hold of the German and did not want to go to the hospital alone. I called my in-laws. They were there immediately. At the hospital they took my papers and made sure that I got registered. My father-in-law picked up the car and drove it home. My mother-in-law went to the shop and got me a jogging suit so that I could change my clothes. Seriously good in-laws.

The German did not get to the hospital until 8pm. Unfortunately, he had left his cell phone at home and had a really long day at work. Thankfully, he came and was also a calming influence.

I got hold of the New Yorker, who cancelled all of my lessons through Monday. She wanted to cancel Thanksgiving dinner as well. I would not let her. "The one thing this day has shown me is that there are many things to be thankful for. This could have been a whole lot worse."

The German picked me up yesterday morning and I was in very good spirits. We ran some errands and then went and hung out with the New Yorker and had our lovely meal. By the time I got home last night, I was pretty tired. Today I feel like a sack and am spending most of the day in front of the TV.

Last night I thought a lot about all of the things that I am thankful for in life. Of course my parents, the German, and my friends and business partner are always at the top of my list. This year I have to add two more important things.

First, Little Dude appears to be a really strong, determined baby and only when I was confronted with the thought of losing him did I realize how very much I love him, even now.

Second, my in-laws came to my rescue twice this week. They never questioned and they never complained. They gave me warm hugs and made me feel like their own daughter. Sure we don't agree on the color of the wall paper, and they don't understand why they should call before coming over, but they are the most important family I have here. I am very grateful to have them in my life. It makes Thanksgiving a little easier knowing that perhaps family is just around the corner.

17 comments:

Bek said...

I am really glad that you didn't get injured and that everything is fine with your baby too!
I am also really happy to have my in-laws around and that we get along pretty well. Life could be miserable if that wasn't the case.

hezamarie said...

I'm studying for my German license as I type and I'm so nervous about the entire system. It is all so daunting. I'm so glad you and your bambino are okay.

C N Heidelberg said...

Scary! I am so glad you are both okay!!

Christina G said...

Thank goodness you guys are fine. How scary! I'm always worried now on the Autobahn with Oliver in the car. I think I need a big, giant "Baby on Board" sign!

J said...

Glad you're both okay. You're a lucky lady to have in-laws like that.

Rositta said...

I too am glad you and babe are okay. I found the Germany highways to be somewhat scary as well but nothing, and I mean nothing beats the Greek. There I was really terrified. Maybe it's old age, who knows but I'm much more nervous than when I was in my twenties...ciao, hug those in-laws.

hexe said...

So sorry that you had an accident and I am glad you and the baby are fine. Try and take it easy for a bit.

Carol said...

I'm so glad you're OK! How scary! (What happened? You went from two cars passing at once to after the accident. Did you and the other passing car collide?)

Carol

Dr. J said...

golly gosh. I'm glad you're both ok!

Gardner said...

Wow, you are blessed. Many thanks indeed.

Juanita said...

I am so glad you and the little dude are OK. Driving in Germany scares me too, although I grew up there.

Dixie said...

I'm glad you and the baby are fine. And aren't good in-laws worth their weight in gold? I know I wouldn't trade my MIL for anything.

christina said...

Oh my god, Claire, I'm so glad you're all right!

Haddock said...

Really, really glad that you and the little dude are both ok. German drivers are aggresive, but become very passive when face to face :)

Can you tell the German I have a couple of spare tickets for the Werder v Leverkusen game at the Weser Stadium on 15th Dec (couple of friends couldn't make). Seats are in block 20 next to me, Mrs H and the Juniorette. Mail me if he is interested (greenhaddock at gmail.com)

Haddock said...

Mrs H has already sold the Werder tickets - She was quick! :)

Mike B said...

Glad to hear you're both ok ... I always tell the Partnerin to drive carefully because they are crazy out there. Especially the guys in their combis (station wagons), which are slowly being replaced by SUVs in ever increasing numbers.

fruchtzwerg said...

just came across your blog...
so glad that you're ok after the accident!
as german, used and not at all scared by german traffic, i'm just so angry, that this stupid driver in the station wagon tried to overtake when you were trying the same in front of him! i hope he/she apologised because really, that was his/her fault!
it's something one can see so often especially on "landstrassen" and it's just so dangerous! argh!