So, last Sat. night, Husband and I were in a fender-bender. We were on our way to a tapas restaurant in a nearby town, on unfamiliar streets, after dark, in the rain. Husband was driving. Well, we approached an intersection, and the left turn signal was red. We were not turning left, but Husband was stressed out about driving in unfamiliar territory, in the dark, in the pouring rain and he started slowing down to stop. Just as I was about to say, “What are you doing, the light is green!” we were hit from behind. It was surprisingly loud. Fortunately, were weren’t at a complete stop so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Airbags were not deployed.
However, I did not handle it well.
See, for the last week, my thoughts have run something like this:
Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, “What? Sure, let’s have chicken tonight, “ baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, “Huh? Ummm…no, I haven’t seen your phone,” baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.
If Husband had said to me, “Honey, I think we should raise chickens on our back patio.” I probably would have responded something like, “Hmmm? Oh. Yes, fresh eggs would be nice,” and go on thinking baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.
Which is why, when Husband came back to the car looking for a pen after talking with the other driver, and looked at me and said, “Honey, it’s okay,” I shrieked, “IT IS NOT OKAY, WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?!?!?!”
Well. This was not the best possible response. Unfortunately, I’ve been pretty stressed out for awhile now, and the last week had been the worst. First and foremost, I’m desperately worried about a miscarriage. Yes, great, I got pregnant, but now I have to stay pregnant which is not as easy as it sounds and at this stage in the game, I really have no control over it. Then, there are all of these things that are related to the baby. For instance, we recently got a cat who is less than a year old and he has a tendency to bite and I really need that issue resolved before there’s a baby in the apt. And, the other day, I suddenly realized that if I wanted to knit Christmas presents I should do that now because there will be very little chance to do that after the baby comes (who would be due to arrive mid- to late Nov.). Then, I chastised myself for thinking about Christmas which is months and months away, let’s stick to getting through the next two months, okay? And, I’ve been reading up on nutritional requirements during pregnancy (and I have a lot to say about that) and wondering how I could possibly fulfill all of them. Additionally, I volunteered to cook a meal for a friend who just had twins (!) and I had to find a ride to get the food there because Husband had a car and then I visited her and she’s having trouble breastfeeding but not looking into all available resources about it, which threw me into a tizzy about women and not asking for help and being socially conditioned to suck it up and deal. Which led me into a tizzy about women’s health. And what about cloth diapers? They’re better for the environment and there’s a diaper service nearby, but Husband looks at me like I’m whacked every time I mention it. Wait, no, that’s months away, too, focus on the present! Also, I’ve been taking this class that required me to spend time volunteering in an elementary school classroom which was in a Title I school and, my friends, the situation there is absolutely appalling and it is a poster child for everything that is bad and evil about standardized testing (more on that at another date).
Frankly, I was so scatterbrained from everything that was going on (and really tired on top of it) that it could very easily have been me who got the lights confused. Just the other day, I was at the grocery store before picking up Husband at work. I unloaded the groceries, got in the car, started it, put it in reverse, and then noticed a shopping cart directly behind the car. And I thought, “Dammit, what idiot left a shopping cart directly behind my car? People really inconsiderate jerks these days!” And then I realized that I was the one who had left the cart back there.
So, with one thing and another, I was A Woman On the Edge. And despite normally being perfectly level-headed and calm in small emergencies like a fender-bender (at least until I get home and then I fall apart) I completely lost my shit and sobbed after handing my purse to Husband (“Here, you look for the pen!”) and while husband was talking to the other driver. Fortunately, I was able to pull myself together right before Husband got back into the car, at least enough to stop crying and say, “I want to go home.”
Unfortunately, Husband did not handle the situation well, either. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, he hadn’t thought about the baby and when I brought it up it rattled him. Therefore, he got the phone number of the guy who hit us and that is all. No name, no insurance information. It was all his fault, Husband thought, why get the other guy’s info? Never mind that we were rear-ended after slowing down and therefore, the driver behind us either wasn’t paying attention or following too closely. I assured him did not think it was his fault, even if he was confused about the lights and I didn’t blame him at all, but the damage had already been done.
So. We got home, ordered take-out, called the insurance, and I had a glass of wine. Oh yes I did. One glass of wine was not going to hurt the baby and I needed something to settle my nerves. When Husband left to pick up the food, I called my friend, A, who I teach Sunday school with, told her what had happened, told her I was having a glass of wine (“Good,” she said*), and informed her I wouldn’t be coming to teach in the morning or to church, but I might be up for some light knitting in the afternoon if she wanted to do that. But, I would likely need a ride.
The car appears to be fine, but appearances can be deceiving. I was once in an accident while driving my friend’s, R’s, car and in that case, I rear-ended the person in front of me. The was no apparent damage to the car I hit, and there was only a small crack in the bumper cover of R’s car. However, when R took the car in for a new bumper cover, it turned out that the bumper underneath was totaled and had to be replaced. So, despite the fact that the car looks fine, I want to take it in to a mechanic to make sure before we drive it very much, if at all.
In terms of the pregnancy, everything seems to be okay so far. But, I realized last night that I am simply doing way too much right now and I need to cut down my activities considerably, sit back, take a deep breath, and relax.
It’s going to be a very long 9 months.
*A is is, well, kind of an ubermom as I like to call them. There are several in my knitting group, which is where I met A. She is also a Le Leche League leader and has been for the last five years.