What the hell happened? Well, I only have one side of the story, mine. Minivan
Lady didn’t fully share her side. But I’ll tell you what I know as objectively as possible.
It was a dark and stormy night… It actually really was. It was raining like it couldn’t
really make up its mind, that icky Manhattan rain that is like walking through soup.
It was 7pm, October 9th and it was dark. In fact, the whole day had been dark as the
upside down bowl of soup hovered over the city. (I always think when I fly out of the city
that that’s what it looks like- someone’s grey upside down bowl).
Anyway- that’s the scene. There weren’t a lot of cars and there weren’t a lot of pedestrians.
I wasn’t on my phone and I wasn’t texting. I had the green light and was walking down
Lexington Ave crossing 97th st. Minivan Lady had the green light, too. But she was turning.
Generally when people turn they watch for pedestrians and try NOT to hit them. Perhaps
for many reasons, one of which is certainly that it would be a hassle to hurt a human in this
society by running them over with your car. Lots of paperwork.
In any case, this woman did not stop. I was dead on in front of her car and she just kept
going. Honestly, I think she did it on purpose (obviously wasn’t thinking about all the
paperwork…). Why do I think this? Because my instinct (stupidly or intelligently, who knows)
was to turn and look directly at her. So I know she saw me and she just kept on driving. Once
she actually hit me and I fell over the hood of her minivan she did finally stop. If I had kept walking
she would have clipped me sideways and I probably would’ve fallen over. So maybe it’s good she hit
me dead on in my huge belly. At least I didn’t fall.
My initial reaction was to be rip roaring MAD!!! I felt totally fine, and I took my fine-ness to her
window and who knows what the hell I said, but it wasn’t nice. She was yelling right back at me.
Saying she had ‘right of way’ and I was in her way and all of this. But she wouldn’t get out of the car.
Or even roll down her window. Can’t say I blame her.
In the middle of her yelling at me, I realized “Oh Shit- I’m 8 months pregnant!!” I may be totally
fine, or feel totally fine in that moment, but I have NO idea how hard this woman hit me or what
it did to my baby. All I know is that I got hit by a freaking minivan directly in my belly and I am
35 weeks pregnant! So I forgot about the woman completely. I went back to the front of her van
and stood in front of it while I called 911. A few other people came to stand with me. I guess the
idea was that she wouldn’t run over all of us. I read off her license plate to the dispatcher and
then focused on baby. Someone pulled me off to the side of the road, and I was sobbing now.
Thinking to myself “I killed my baby!” Not a nice thought.
I called Ron, and there was some calm part of my mind that was processing all of this. I was
sobbing, but through all that I managed to communicate “Hi- Sorry I’m sobbing. I’m fine. But.
I got hit by a car and I’m going to the hospital.” And he very calmly said “ok. Meet you there.”
I also somehow asked him to call work to let them know I would not be showing up to teach my
class. And I also got a witness’ name and number. Have no idea how I had the presence of mind
to get all this done. All while full body sobbing.
The Minivan Lady pulled off to the side of the road. I guess she was resigned to the paperwork
at this point. Maybe she was rational enough to realize that if she drove off at this point, that there
would be a LOT more paperwork…
The ambulance came right away- while I was still on the phone with Ron. They were super nice to me
and we sat in the vehicle for a while and waited for the police, since it seemed like I was ok. Maybe we
sat there for 5 minutes and then we went to the hospital. They admitted me faster than what I expected
and I got into a room and a groovy backless gown. Hooked me up to monitors and when I heard the
baby’s heartbeat I started to calm down. You just have no idea what is going on in there! They did
a sonogram and told me that they were going to keep me under observation for 24 hours.
I felt a little bit like I had overreacted. If I hadn’t been pregnant I would’ve just taken myself off to go
teach my class like usual. I also know that when I’ve done stuff like that before, there are often
repercussions. I did not want to take ANY chances. So I dealt with my feelings of over reacting.
My Dr said I did the right thing. And I got the early tour! I met all the nurses and got the lay of the
land, so when I go back in 5 weeks I will be ready.
It occurred to me that I could be leaving with a baby if anything had gotten dislodged. There was
some pain but it settled down once I got into the bed. That freaked me out, too- I am SO not ready!
I need those 5 weeks. I don’t even have the famous ‘hospital bag’ packed. I had just ordered my
nursing pj’s earlier that day- haha. I spent most of the night communicating on my iphone trying
to get my classes covered for the next day.
I took the 24 hours as ‘enforced rest’, although I have to admit I was so freaked out I had a really
hard time sleeping. I used the time to catch up on a few calls, read actual fiction, and take lots
of naps. Didn’t turn the tv on.
The final verdict by the doc was that the baby looks good, but I still have to watch for certain oddness.
A placental abruption could have begun and they wouldn’t be able to tell for a few days. But there
are definite signs of that to look for, and I personally am sticking with the belief that all is well.
As for the Minivan Lady- I don’t know what happened to her. It is a strange thing, I think, to hit
a pregnant woman on purpose with your car, which I do believe she did. I was inconveniently in
her way and she was in a mood and so she made a point. That is what I think. However, I am not
jaded. I am not even mad at her. I feel that most people are NOT out to hurt each other. Many
people rallied to protect me that night. Most people are good. I do believe that. And who knows about
Minivan Lady. I doubt she is all bad. She maybe just had a bad day. In any case, I don’t care about her.
All I care about as far as this incident goes is that the baby is fine. And right now I’m getting kicked
in the gut as proof that that is indeed true.
My message to you is simple- just watch out for other people. Don’t assume they don’t want to hurt
you or that they are paying attention to what they are doing. I have a friend who was hit by
a car the week before (she is ok, too).
Walk defensively, drive defensively and take responsibility for your place in the world.
I’m not saying be paranoid. I’m just saying be aware.
And, in this instance, I was ‘right’, but it really doesn’t matter does it. Better to be alive.
It’s been a few days since this happened and I am walking around the city again. But I am looking
around with different eyes. Not paranoid. Just aware.
Your Fitness Coach,