Monique Whitfield started feeling pain in her lower back and stomach sometime Tuesday morning.
Could this be the onset of labor, she wondered, or was it kidney stones acting up again?
“I didn’t know,” Whitfield admitted.
Regardless, she needed to get it checked out. So she got in her car and headed toward Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle.
But she decided to take a quick detour first.
Whitfield owns a beauty salon in Columbus, and the power bill was due.
She took the Main Street exit onto Highway 82 eastbound, and at around 12:15 p.m., she lost control of her car.
“It didn’t go as planned,” Whitfield said.
As Whitfield was driving along the exit ramp, her car ran off the right side of the road. The dark blue Dodge Ram Charger knocked down a light post and highway signage, traveled down a slope and ended entrenched in the trees alongside the highway.
“It was already slippery because it had been raining,” Whitfield said. “When I got to the curb, I hit the brakes, and I lost control of the car.”
She was nine months pregnant.
Derek Whitfield, Monique’s husband, was the first one to receive a phone call from his wife after the crash.
“I was scared,” he said. “I didn’t know. Anything could have happened (to the pregnancy).”
Monique Whitfield was unable to open her door due to trees and bushes surrounding the wrecked vehicle.
“It was awful,” Monique Whitfield said.
However, two passersby saw the accident and called for help.
“Thank God for the two people who did see the accident,” Diane Moore, Monique’s mother, said. “I thank God for the two angels he sent.”
Emergency response units rushed to the scene, removed shrubs and branches to get a stretcher near the driver’s side door and carried Monique from the vehicle to a nearby ambulance. She was transported to BMH-GT.
The waiting game
With the baby due on Oct. 12, an automobile accident is the last thing Monique Whitfield needed.
“Oh, I was scared,” she remembered of waiting for an update — good news, bad news, any news.
At around 3 p.m. Robert Moore, Monique’s father, still hadn’t heard anything definitive.
“They’re still doing tests,” he said at the time.
They waited all afternoon and into the evening before they learned the baby was OK.
When the doctor came in later Tuesday night, he had an explanation for Monique Whitfield’s pains: She was in labor.
“He said she was in labor and we would go ahead and do it,” Derek Whitfield said. “He said everything was fine right now and he didn’t see a reason not to have the baby tonight.”
At around 8:30 p.m., Monique and Derek Whitfield’s baby boy was born.
He weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. A nurse at BMH-GT said Wednesday morning that he was doing fine.
The couple was relieved.
According to Derek Whitfield, instead of hurting the pregnancy, the wreck might have quickened the pace.
And Monique and Derek Whitfield, both 34, will have quite a story to tell Dylan Lesean Whitfield about the day he was born.
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