Despite the protestations that a snow day would end up being a terrible day for my wife to go into labor, more things than not ended up aligning in our favor. On Tuesday night we called the in-laws, who are standing by to come stay with the kids when the time to deliver the baby arrives, and asked if they might consider trekking up to our house that very night so as to already be in place on Wednesday if circumstances demanded it. My wife and I were willing to contend with a slow-and-steady drive to the hospital on unplowed highways which might stretch out a normally 20-minute trip to an hour or so, but the thought of compounding that with waiting on the grandparents, normally 90 minutes away, for three-four-who-knows hours was a bit much. So my wife’s father obliged us, spent the night Tuesday, was there Wednesday all day as we shoveled the driveway and managed the kids’ cabin fever and continued chipping away at our never-ending baby-readiness list. My wife assisted with the snow shoveling, figuring that a little physical labor might nudge her body in the baby-expelling direction; I supported the attempt in theory while wondering whether the neighbors would think I was incompetently clueless for needing my nine-months pregnant wife to help me shovel, or just some kind of monstrous and merciless brute. In any case, right about the time when the little guy and little girl needed to begin making their way towards bed, my wife started feeling some contractions and it appeared that the timing could not be better. The kids would be tucked in and none the wiser if my wife and I left, her father was still there to mind the house, all the snow on the streets had long since been plowed and melted by rain, but not yet had a chance to freeze. It might mean we would be in for a long, long night but at least we were starting out wide awake and alert for the bag-packing and driving, rather than stumbling out of bed from a dead sleep. So after a couple of hours, and a greenlight from the midwife over the phone, we headed out.
Unfortunately it turned out to be yet another false alarm in the form of hours of closely spaced, moderately intense contractions that suddenly stopped of their own accord. Except that last time, it happened in the middle of the night and we laid in bed talking about what to do and when to commit, right up to the point where the moment had passed. This time, when it became clear that the uterus was crying wolf, we were already at the hospital. We checked in anyway just for the chance to have a professional look my wife over and assess the situation, and the nurse could not have been more sympathetic and kind while also breaking it to us in no uncertain terms that there was no way the baby was coming any time soon. So we bought some ice cream bars from the vending machine in the lobby and headed home, a little crushed and crestfallen but still counting a few blessings: it least it hadn’t been snowing when we tried to drive to the hospital (or as we were reversing the trip, at that); at least we hadn’t had to call anyone to drop everything and come over to be with the kids, &c.
So apologies if any of you (understandably) interpreted the unplanned two-day hiatus on posts around here as a clear sign that the baby had in fact made an appearance and thrown everything into disarray. To be honest at this point I can’t even remember why I didn’t blog on Tuesday, since I came in to work for a full day and everything; I suppose I had the impending weather uncertainties and complications weighing on my mind, wondering how much snow we would get, when it would start, whether my office would be closed on Wednesday, and if so when I would be told, or if the snow would start after I had showed up at the office and we would be sent home early, which does someone tied to a fixed train schedule (like me) very little good. Yesterday was off-model and slipped by fast. Today things are more or less back to normal, or what passes for it these days. And tomorrow, who knows?