By: Heather Somaini
“Heather, I’m ok but there’s been a car accident. I’m at a hospital in Bakersfield…”
Did I hear that right? What in the world just happened? I remained calm and tried to listen. She explained that she was at the San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield – ok stop right there. I know I’m a little bit of a snob but it can’t be ok that she’s in some very small hospital in Bakersfield! Who knows what they would do to her there? Would they even know we were having twins? Would they know what twins looked like? And what in the world was wrong with her anyway?
My head started spinning. Tere explained that although she felt fine, they were monitoring the babies to be on the safe side. I told her I was getting in the car to come up there but she reassured me that she was fine, that this was just a precaution and she was sure she would be back on the road in no time.
Wait, what in the world even happened? How big of a car accident? Where was she hit? How was my car? She explained that the paramedics – wait what? – PARAMEDICS!!!!!! An ambulance and paramedics were involved? It just kept getting worse.
Tere finally told me that soon after getting on the 5 South in Bakersfield, she was rear-ended and the force pushed her into the car ahead of her. Classic accordion move. Both drivers got out and asked her if she was ok. When she explained that she was pregnant, both men immediately called 911. Although a little shaken up, Tere felt fine. The paramedics recommended that she be checked thoroughly at the hospital and advised that leaving my car on the freeway would be problematic. So they suggested she follow the ambulance in her car to the nearby hospital. And that’s what she did.
After being on the monitors for an hour or so, it was clear that Tere was having what they call “uterine irritability”, which can be a pre-cursor to pre-term labor. It’s basically mini-contractions that you almost can’t feel. They wanted to give her a drug called Terbutaline . I was officially freaked out. They wanted to give her what??? In Bakersfield???
I told Tere to NOT allow them to do anything before we spoke with our doctors. I paged Dr. C and she called me back within a few minutes. She started asking me questions to which I didn’t have the answers. I immediately connected us on a conference call with Tere. Dr. C asked if the accident had caused her to hit her stomach or torso on the steering wheel. Tere replied that she hadn’t. Phew – that was good news!!
Tere explained to Dr. C that the doctors in Bakersfield wanted to give her this Terbutaline drug for the uterine irritability. I was highly suspect of anything they wanted to do up there and I felt completely useless down here in LA. Luckily, Dr. C was fine with them giving Tere the Terbutaline and said it wouldn’t hurt and could easily help. She felt like the shock of the car accident probably upset her system and this drug, along with some fluids and a little time in bed, would do her a world of good.
And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. A couple of hours later, they released Tere and she drove my very smashed car home. She was fine. She was home and fine. I held her tight that night realizing how fragile life can be and how fast things can happen to change our lives. I really had no idea how quickly things would change and looking back now, I’m glad I didn’t. It would have been too much to take in all at once. But that night she was mine, in my arms, safe. Nothing could be better.
My car on the other hand…
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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