Black Ice

How many times in life have you lost your footing, lost control and had no idea what comes next?

I had this experience last Friday morning in the most literal sense. I was walking to my car, thinking about the day ahead, when I found myself in a painful heap in my driveway. I had walked right into a patch of black ice and could only watch in horror as the ground raced up to meet me. I hadn’t fallen down in years, maybe decades, so I was in shock – made worse by the fact that I’m heavily pregnant.

I sat in that patch of black ice and tried to figure out what to do next. My jeans were getting wetter by the second. Could that be baby coming early? Or just the ice, which still surrounded me? I called for my husband to bring my snow boots, knowing I dare not try to stand again without them. He brought the boots, helped me up and collected my bags, a horrified look in his eyes. I noticed my hands, scraped and full of gravel. I felt aches everywhere, but baby kicked: a brief reassurance that I had weathered the fall.

For any fall in the third trimester, extended monitoring is needed so I spent the rest of the day in the hospital connected to a machine broadcasting baby’s heart rate while waiting for other test results. I have strained muscles and bruises here and there, but that is A-OK because baby is healthy. We made it through the black ice! And I will now wear snow boots every day until flowers are in bloom. (I wasn’t wearing them during the fall because there was no snow – it had rained and frozen over night)
As I was resting over the weekend, Sienna made me get well cards, a valentine from a “secret pal” and generally fussed over me and her brother. She is going to be the best big sister!
Before the fall:
Working on her sweet get well cards:
This fall also got me thinking about how many other experiences in life are like hitting a patch of black ice. Sienna’s F.O.P. diagnosis was definitely one of those times for us. We were going about our life, the future all planned out, when the diagnosis knocked us clean over. We had to enlist the help of family, friends and medical professionals to figure out how to get up again. We’re not quite out of that patch of black ice yet, but today I feel like medical research progress and our support system have enabled us to at least have the proper footwear on for our journey through the rest of the ice patch.

And it’s very fitting that today begins the 2018 in-person IFOPA board meeting, where we develop and refine our annual plans to best help other families navigate their own black ice patches. I will be video chatting in from the safety of my house!

What about you? Have any of you hit any patches of ‘black ice’ in life?

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