i had no desire to travel to minnesota for my first baby shower.
i very much appreciated the thought and gesture
but the idea of having to be gone on easter sunday upset me.
however, when you marry into a large catholic family
holidays are about the only time you can get (almost) everyone together at the same time.
and, in all honesty, it was pure selfishness on my part that would have kept us home.
no prior commitments.
no big plans.
no easter egg hunts.
it was just the last day of my spring break
and i just didn't want to go.
we had spent the last week staging the house and prepping it for show
my sciatic nerve was paying the price
and i walked with a limp, throwing my leg out when i walked
trying to shift charlie within me and experience some level of comfort.
she was already demonstrating her daddy's irish stubbornness
and her mother's inability to change
and stayed squarely planted on that large nerve that lies directly above your right ass cheek.
i could almost envision her, arms folded saying, 'nope. you wanted to paint the damn bedroom at 33 weeks gestation. i'm staying right here to make sure you don't do it again.'
so it was in a great deal of pain and discomfort that i rose easter morning and prepared for the journey north.
i remember what i wore.
brown dress (maternity) pants, a yellow floral printed (maternity) top my mother had just bought me, my beloved jean jacket (the only 'coat' i could still wear) and my trusty brown sketchers.
when i heaved myself into the green blazer, bill smiled at me and said, 'you look nice.'
and i felt 'nice'. i hadn't felt 'nice' a good majority of my pregnancy, but the walking i'd been doing made me feel better about myself and i was finally at a point in the pregnancy where i actually enjoyed being pregnant. charlie was in constant motion and always reminding me she was there. life was hectic, but a new day was on our horizon and we were excited for what the future had to hold: a new house, a new baby. we were thrilled and giddy with what lay ahead.
the weather man hadn't mentioned snow.
it was just a skiffling - a thin layer of white blanketed I380 north.
it was easter and no one else was traveling at 7:30 in the morning.
traffic was thin, the sun was on the rise and we were out of windshield wiper fluid.
the semis were kicking up moisture, and so we decided to pull over at a podunk gas station to top of the blue liquid.
it was at this point in our journey that fate first stepped in.
as we pulled out of the gas station, fluids replenished (including my one and only starbucks of the day), a state trooper pulled in.
bill buckled his seat belt.
20 minutes or so down the road, we were nearing our first exit.
it had only been a few years before we had traveled the same route on our way to brainerd, mn for another family gathering. it had been on that trip we had decided on a name for a girl, should that time ever come.
there were no other options after that.
now, cruising along at 85 mph
("honey, do you know how fast you're going?"
"oh...sorry." decelerate. 78. 74.)
i was frowning at my pda, trying to figure out how to access mapquest via text messaging.
("i knew we should have just printed them.")
i think i heard bill before i saw or felt anything.
i have never heard my husband's voice like that before
and typing it does it now justice.
it is something i will never forget.
i looked up.
i felt the rear of the vehicle swing to the left.
subconsciously i think i thought the tires would catch.
bill twisting the wheel.
the back end veering right.
the front end in the ditch.
the grass will slow us down.
starbucks in the air.
save the coffee.
it's my only one today.
we went through it
as if it weren't even there.
i saw the windshield shatter.
but it wasn't until we were through the wall that heard the glass breaking.
the vehicle turned itself
and we slid down an embankment.
i could see the wall above.
coffee still in the air.
bill: "honey...honey...are you okay...amy, oh god, are you okay? stay there."
me: "i'm fine...i think...i'm okay..."
he was already out of the car.
at my window.
bill: "i'm going to get you out. hold on." pulling. yanking. straining.
me: "wait. that hurts. i think my leg is stuck."
bill (crying): "i can't get open...i can't get it open..." pulling. yanking.
me: "no, stop...wait. that hurts."
bill: "sit back." raising his hand.
me: "NO...wait. stop. wait for someone else."
head in his hands.
he didn't know what to do.
me: "bill...there's a lot of blood." i could see it beginning to pool on the floor. where is it coming from?
bill: "blood? from where? oh god. the baby. is it the baby? sit back..."
me: "no, she's fine. she's moving. it's not the baby..." what's bleeding? why am i bleeding?
where's my coffee?
it never occurred to us to call 911...