A crash and a birth
Hello there! My name is Heather Nelson. I am going to tell you about the crash that changed my life and brought my son into this world.
Where do I begin? Well let’s see…
I was approaching 34 weeks pregnant, huge like a hippo and incredibly uncomfortable. For about a week I had been breaking out in hives ALL over my body due to the fact I was having an allergic reaction to my pregnancy. You read that right…I was allergic to my son! Something called PUPPP. Who knew this was even possible? I was not surprised that this would of course happen to me, I’m convinced my body hates me.
Matthew (my husband) had gone out of town that day and had just gotten back into town that night and we decided to go out to dinner and feed my big belly. After stuffing our faces at the good old Olive Garden we got in the car and headed home. Most of the time Matt drives when we are together, but that night I got in the drivers seat of my car. Driving home we talked about how I was absolutely determined that Dodger would arrive early and not go 40 weeks. I was hoping at least…because the only way my hives would go away was to give birth. So needless to say, I was incredibly excited to have Dodger pop on out. 🙂 Matthew on the other hand thought I was going to go over 40 weeks. So as we joked around in the car about our little Dodger we came to a stop at a light less than 2 miles away from our house. I was waiting to turn left as the arrow blinked yellow…it then changed to a yellow light. The highway was pretty empty as I waited for a car to turn and then I pressed slightly on the gas to make the left turn and clear the intersection as the light turned red. I heard Matthew yell and saw him out of the corner of my eye lean toward me. BAM. A car had sped up to make the light and ended up running the red light going about 65 mph. He hit us on the front passenger side. As we both became slowly conscious all we could do was moan in pain. At first I didn’t think the accident was going to be that bad. I thought we would walk away from it. I then realized my door was open and people were trying to talk to me. Matthew and I looked at each other, he grabbed my hand and I believe I made some sort of joke (for some reason I’m that type of person who makes jokes in serious situations…I’m an odd one) . Then the pain and reality of the situation really hit us.
I heard “Where are you hurt?” and turned to see a firefighter at my side. His words made me think. “Where am I hurt?” I wasn’t sure at first. I hadn’t really thought about it. All I knew was that I was in incredible pain. Then it hit me hard….my baby.
My stomach was on fire and there was blood everywhere. My baby that had just minutes before been kicking me and squirming inside me now made no movements. Fear crushed me instantly. Men started to get me out of the car and tell Matthew they were going to get me to the hospital and they were going to try and get him out soon. His door was crushed in and wouldn’t open. All we could say to one another was that we loved each other and then before I knew it I was strapped on a board and in an ambulance. I tried with everything I had to listen to every word so I knew what was wrong and if my Dodge was OK. I was loosing consciousness, opening my eyes was so hard but I was determined to stay awake. We were at the hospital soon enough and they were performing an ultra sound on my growing belly. “There’s no heartbeat.” These words were being repeated by the many people standing around me. I thought to myself “these people don’t know how to do an ultrasound obviously because I knew my little guy was in there.” So I lifted my arm and pointed to the bottom of my belly where I knew my little boy was. I told everyone he was right there and that is where they could find his tiny heartbeat (yes, I thought I knew more than doctors and nurses about ultrasounds). I felt excruciating pain as they pressed down on my belly trying to find our baby. It then became clear that he had no heartbeat. I began to sob. I looked at all the faces around me and felt completely alone. To my relief I heard the voice of my Doctor. He came beside me and leaned down. He grabbed my hand tight and I was overcome with relief that I had someone who I trusted by my side. I proceeded to point to my belly and tell my doctor where I knew my little boy was. He assured me everything would be OK. He then returned to the other doctors to discuss what should be done. I heard them arguing on whether or not I should first get a scan to see if I was OK or to have an emergency C section. One of the nurses interrupted them and told my doctor he needed to get my baby out. Dr Rogers agreed and off I went. I laid there naked, shaking, scared for my baby and alone.
I woke up empty. I was being pushed down a hall and felt as if my stomach had been lit on fire. I begged for the pain to go away. The nurses around me told me that they weren’t able to give me an epidural or any pain medication before surgery so I would have to wait for a morphine shot. I was put in a room and the first faces I saw were my sister in laws, sister and brother in law (I know, its a bit confusing). Jessica and Coby let me know that Dodger was on his way to a different hospital and Matthew was in surgery. I was filled with relief knowing my boy was alive and ok. All I wanted to do was to be with him. I had so many questions and it was so comforting to have family there with me. I can’t thank Jessica and Coby enough. I later found out that my placenta had abrupted and was pumping blood out of Dodger and not pumping it back in. He was suffocating inside me and had died. My doctor told me he was white, limp and they immediately started trying to revive him when they where able to get him out. It was a miracle that we had a specialist for babies there to revive him and that they got him out when they did. He was born a beautiful 6 lbs 19.3 inches at exactly 12:00 am on March 24 2013.
It wasn’t until late afternoon I got the OK to leave the ICU and to finally be transported to the hospital where my little guy was. My sister Shanell and my twin sister were by my side as they strapped me to a gurney and the two men that were supposed to take me straight to the other hospital were kind enough to wheel me up to see my Matthew first. Just seeing him was such a relief and also incredibly scary. It still didn’t feel real that my baby was born and that we were all so beat up. Matthew’s leg had been crushed from his knee down. His knee cap was broken, his tibia bone split in half down his leg, and his foot (which had previously been hanging off with his bone sticking out through his ankle…ewww!) had a compound fracture. We got incredibly lucky that his surgeon was the best around and did an amazing job. We had a few minutes to see each other, Matthew showed me a picture that a nurse had taken with his phone. The picture showed how as they were transporting Dodger out of the hospital they passed Matthew in the hall as he was headed into surgery. Matt was able to touch Dodger’s little hand before they took him away. I tear up every time I look at that picture.
We lived in the “baby” hospital for a little over a week while Dodge was in the NICU. He was expected to stay there between 3-5 weeks but surprised everyone with how much of a fighter he truly is. Dodger was able to come home with us on oxygen machines and monitors. I was so happy to have him healthy enough to come home, and also terrified that at any moment he could stop breathing or any number of things could go wrong and with no nurses and doctors to come running to the rescue. He was so tiny and so fragile, that I was in a constant state of fear for my baby. The monitor tortured me with it’s beeping as it kept track of his heart beat and oxygen levels. Of course the monitor’s sensor was always falling off or not reading very well, so I stared at his heartbeat and oxygen levels all day and throughout the night. I was a mess as you can imagine.
I was blessed with a beautiful precious boy. There are no words for how truly wonderful he is. I was a wreck on the inside trying to stay strong for both my boys but barely holding on. Dodger made everything so easy on me, I couldn’t help but absolutely feel joy when I wanted to feel so lost and stressed out about what felt like a tornado our life had become. He has blessed me everyday with his pure soul and his contagious smile. He truly is my best friend and I couldn’t be more grateful for just being able to love him.
Matthew was unable to walk for 3 months after the accident. He never felt sorry for the situation he was in or the fact that he couldn’t carry his son or do the things he so badly wanted to do for his family. I never heard a complaint come out of his mouth about the pain he was in. He is a fighter in every sense of the word. He inspires me every day. Being around such an amazing man has made me strive to be a better person since the day I met him. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have him by my side, but I couldn’t be more thankful.
We’ve been blessed countless times since the night of the accident and I know that our family is stronger and better because of the things we’ve gone through together. I’m so thankful for everything that has come our way and I can’t wait to see what is in store for our future.