Monday, June 5, 2006

The Day Before

My mind climbed out of the deep sleep fog to my wife shouting my name. Her water had broken she said as she rushed into the bathroom. Are you sure was all that I could think of asking. I scrambled out of bed trying to get my mind together. It was 11:30 on Wednesday, May 31st, the same day we had our prenatal checkup and had been told that we still had a ways to go. My wife had gone to work and finished her paper, which meant that she was going to be free to start her maternity leave anytime. We had eaten a late supper and had watched a little television before going to bed. Now my wife was in the bathroom leaking fluids and my mind was a mess.

I checked on her and then raced downstairs to call the hospital. They had said that if the water breaks that we were supposed to call them and then drive to the hospital right away. I let them know what was happening and then started formulating a plan. My stomach was tied in knots as I headed back upstairs and upon passing the hallway bathroom, I changed plans. I prayed to the porcelain god, clearing my stomach of butterflies and immediately feeling a whole lot better. While I was praying, my wife had gone downstairs to call her mother and let her know what was happening.

Stomach feeling better, I got dressed, grabbed our already packed suitcase and through in the few things that I had been meaning to do but never did always thinking I still had time. I got the camera, baby seat and the bunch of bananas sitting on the dining room table. The latter I have no recollection of why I grabbed them but later as my wife and I were being ushered down the hall to our birthing suite, I realized that I had them. Fortunately, my wife was pretty calm because I’m sure everyone was questioning my mental state.

The drive over went quickly. The thirty minute drive took me twenty and I kept waiting for flashing lights to shop up behind me but at a quarter until midnight on a Wednesday night and driving four lane roads, I could eat up a lot of ground and do so safely. Halfway to the hospital the labor contractions began about five minutes apart and strong. What happened to the hours of twenty minute spacing? I dialed up another ten miles per hour on the speedometer and wheeled into the emergency room entrance. I helped my wife out of the car, parked it first in the cancer chemo reserved spot and then parked it again in another unreserved spot. I grabbed our bag, the bunch of bananas and went inside to sign in with my wife.

As we settled down into our birthing suite and I had safely stored the bananas on the table, I looked at the clock. It was five minutes after midnight, now June 1, 2006. We were beginning what was to be a very long process.

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