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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Baby Arrival Day story! Part 1: Getting to the Hospital

On Thursday I went off to a worksite just like it was any other day in the week. Knowing that we were passed the due date (Tuesday) meant that that the baby could come at any second... and I knew that because we had tempted fate (by cancelling the induction and deciding to go natural) that the baby would come at the most inopportune moment - like when I was on the treadmill at the gym sweating gumdrops, or something like that... something drama filled, of course.

10:30 a.m.: My wife calls me at work and says, I'm not feeling well. I'm going to go the doctor's office to get checked out. I asked, should I go with you or meet you there? She says, no, its probably just false labor and that they would probably just send her home.

So this is where my logical brain was right and my obeying the command to wait it out was wrong; logic and common sense got crossed up. I remembered from reading the pregnancy books that false labor was common. And so I bought into the whole false labor theory, and disregarded my better judgement which would have been to get moving toward West Hartford at about warp factor 5.

11:00 a.m.: I doddle in the office, checking email and reviewing audit documents for accuracy. Steady focus is lost on any task, as most seem irrelevant at this point (in my life), and my adrenaline level is beginning to rise.

11:15 a.m:. She calls again saying that she really is having contractions and that she thought that I should stay near the phone just in case. I really sensed that this could be it, so I decided that I would just get my stuff together and get ready to go.

I wandered into my bosses office and said, this could be it or false labor, but who knows, I'm going to start heading in that direction - and I may not be back. So I got into the car and began driving on Route 9 toward 84. The traffic was ridiculous and as it seemed - two dump trucks had decided to ride side by side in front of me on the highway at 40 mph. It was worse than annoying and slowed my pace considerably. And this was one of those times when you wanted people to just get the heck out of the way.

11:30 a.m.: The cell phone rings... Where are you? I'm about to go in and get checked. I respond - I'm on the highway behind two stupid dump trucks. On the way. Frustrational level rises because I cannot transport to her location like they do in Star Trek.

11:40 a.m.: Cell phone rings, and at this point I'm pissed and find a way to pass the two dump trucks serving as pace cars. I hate dump trucks! She yells, where the *BLEEP* are you? I need to get to the hospital now. I'm six and half centermeters dialated! I respond - at the New Britain exit, where are you... which doctor's office?

Ughh! I'm sure the question came across as probably one of the dumbest I've ever asked. But honestly, I had a brain freeze and simply couldn't remember which office she was at or where the hell it was. I just new it was in West Hartford, somewhere. She begins to tell me and clearly frustrated turned the phone over to the nurse, who started to give me directions. I somehow was confusing my daughter's pediatric care office with her OB office. Oh, God!

Finally, I must have frustrated both of them as I heard.... O.K., what exit are you at? I respond - near New Britain (and at this point I must have been driving 90 mph), to which I heard... O.K., we can't wait for you, she'll never make it on time. I'm driving her in to the hospital, just go to the hospital!

So, I switch gears thinking O.K. can I now get to the damn hospital or will I get lost on the way there too? But traffice was heavy from the I-84/Route 9 connector all the way to Hartford. But I used my NASCAR driving skills to navigate all of the lunatics on the road taking their time and deciding that they were the world's pace car. I really put my Subaru through hell, but it served me well. (Hey, don't most West Hartfordites drive Subi's anyway?).

I manage to get to the hospital and head for Hartford Hospital's valet parking. I wait, and wait, and wait. Finally, I hear this horn blaring over and over and I look out to see an SUV pull up in the emergency room area. It's my wife. Security gathers with a wheelchair and I run over and my wife yells for me to get my bags. I look over at the valet area, and my car is still running unattended. I get to the valet guy and say look take the keys, my wife is having a baby. He smiles and nods and I get my bags and bolt.

I haul back to my wife who is still yelling at me. Grab her bags and we are on the way up to the maternity floor. At that point, it was game on! The nurse brought us up to the admission area (I call it the paperwork area), but they said to her - oh, you're the lady that's six and half cm dialated right? Yes, we both responded. She said, we'll get to the paperwork later, come right in!

We were in!

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