I’m the daughter of a hunter. When I was younger my father went out with my Godfather, his son, and my brother to hunt deer. I don’t think they were very good at it though because they rarely ever came back with anything. Though I will NEVER forget the time I walked in to the garage and came face to face with a dead, hanging upside down, gutted deer. That was unpleasant to say the very least.
Anyway, my dad would always spot deer as we were driving. Sometimes they were so far off in the distance you had to strain your eyes just to make them out. But they were always there when he said they were. I never realized what kind of lesson he was teaching me, because I always look for deer. And even now I can spot them far off in the distance just like he can.
The ones I apparently cannot see? THE ONES THAT JUMP OUT IN FRONT OF ME.
I have been driving for almost 15 years. I have never hit an animal. I’ve seen them (mostly deer, but once we did see a bear trying to cross the road). But never hit them.
Until the end of August. It was just before dawn (because I leave the house at 6-ish, this morning it was more on the “ish” side) and I was scanning the roads like I always do – especially come fall when it’s darker in the morning and the fawns are leaving their parents and those are the most stupid of all the deer.
And I got one. People say they come out of nowhere and I never believed how you couldn’t possibly see a deer coming at you. BUT YOU CAN’T. He was leaping across the road and by the time I saw him he was literally in front of me. I tried to stop (which is apparently not a good thing to do, in case you were wondering) but it was too late. I do think if I’d been going a little slower, or even seen him a few seconds before, I wouldn’t have hit him because I hit him on the very far side of my bumper on the passenger side (I was in the left lane). I did manage to throw this poor guy all the way across the road to the ditch on the right lane. It was definitely a fawn, which was probably lucky on my part because he was kind of small and didn’t do a ton of damage.
I quickly pulled off the road – that is after I like realized I was stopped in the middle of the left lane. I assessed the damage and cussed a lot and then I called Steve. Woke him up in the most fun way! He panicked – because of the baby and all – but I assured him that we were fine and that it was my car that was not. A very nice man (that worked at a body shop) came to my aide (thankfully I was still on the phone with Steve when he stopped cause I would have been a tad freaked out by that). He assessed my damage, asked if I was ok, and tied up my bumper and said that the damage wasn’t that bad so I could actually drive the car to the shop instead of waiting for a tow truck. Steve was on the phone the whole time so I asked a couple questions to make him (and me) feel better. The guy gave me his name and number in case the insurance people wanted to talk to him and we both went on our way. He followed me for a bit before I could make a turn around and it made me feel better that if anything should happen I knew he would stop again.
I headed home (which wasn’t very far because I had basically just left for work) to call the insurance company. I got made my claim and got to the claim department just as they were opening so the whole process was very quick. Our friend works at his father’s collision center so we had already told him we’d be in later with the car so after I got off the phone with the insurance company we headed over there. And then next door to pick up my rental. The rental people were really surprised that we had taken care of all of this in the 2-ish hours since the accident. That morning. Apparently some people are slower than I am. I don’t have time to waste so I don’t waste time. We were in our rental in no time (thank you, Enterprise!) and back on our merry way to get on with our day.
When I got home I did call the doctor because I wasn’t sure what to do in this situation – and I had received lots of advice to call just in case. So I called, figuring that since I didn’t hit the steering wheel with my belly and that I wasn’t having any bleeding or cramping or contractions I was fine and there would be no need to go in or anything.
I was not correct in my assumption.
Straight to Labor and Delivery for me! For some monitoring.
At this point, I had sent Steve on his way to an interview because I really figured I’d be maybe going in to the doctor’s office if anything at all. He asked if he should come back and go with me, but that seemed silly because I really didn’t want him canceling his interview only a few hours before it was set to start and I knew that I would be fine.
I headed to L&D and my doctor had already called ahead to let them know I would be arriving shortly so I didn’t have really any wait. I was hooked up to the machine by 10 and so began my 4 hours of monitoring. Since I wasn’t really sure how long I’d be there I made sure to bring my Kindle so I had something to do other than play on my phone (and then not drain my phone battery, just in case.)
For those of you that don’t know, monitoring is super boring. You lay on a bed, hooked up to machines that measure your contractions and the baby’s heartbeat and just wait for it to be over. It was really cool to hear the heartbeat (and some hiccups too) for a couple hours. I tried to record it but that didn’t really work out too well which was kind of disappointing.
I read for a little bit. I watched some TV. But mostly I napped. And falling asleep to the sound of my daughter’s beating heart was pretty amazing.
By the time I was waking up from my nap it had been nearly 4 hours since I’d been hooked up to the machines (but only about 2 since I had fallen asleep – which is still a pretty good nap). I got up to pee and barely had gotten settled back in the bed before the doctor and nurse were coming in to check out my readings (not a single contraction and a good strong heartbeat). All of that meant that I would be free to go!
It was definitely a long day and I was starving (because if anything had been wrong there would have been an emergency c-section in my future which meant I couldn’t eat). After I left the hospital I headed straight to Subway for the meatball sub I had been basically drooling over since I got there because I had seen it on TV. And then it was back home to catch up on my work for the day.
I certainly have learned to be a little extra careful when I’m driving in the morning because something about being in that accident just reinforced the knowledge that I have this tiny little girl that I need to protect. For now and forever. Just like my Mom does for me. And suddenly, I have the smallest idea of the love that my mom feels for me. And for her love I am forever grateful because she has been showing me all my life how to be a good mom and I hope that I’ll be half the mom she has been to me.