Part 1 – Riding an empty bus with an empty car seat in my hands

(Posted @ 1:09 am) Sitting on the DASH bus carrying an empty baby car seat is not exactly how I imagined the rush to the hospital to go down. The plan was to wait until contractions were 4 minutes apart before I drove her to the hospital. Enter from the main entrance, or from 6th street through the ER if it was after 6:30pm. Leave the car at the door on the way up to the eighth floor. None of that happened.

This morning as we got up, Ann assured me that I wouldn’t need to come with her to her weekly doctor’s appointment. It was only going to take five minutes. I should go running instead. And so I went out for a five mile run, while she went by herself to the doctor. As I was cooling down from my run, my phone rang. Ann told me that due to some minor complications her doctor decided it would be best for her to go directly to labor and delivery. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

Ann did have the car where we kept the hospital bag but she still needed me to collect some things. She sent me a list. I threw everything into my backpack and grabbed the car seat and hopped on the bus. I was the only passenger. As we crossed downtown, picking up the usual government workers and others along the way I thought people would ask why I was carrying an empty baby seat. I was excited to get the chance to reply, “I’m on the way to the hospital to become a dad!”

But nobody asked.

I thought about how fortunate it was that yesterday we were able to eat at our favorite restaurant and spend some time enjoying each other’s company walking around during our first visit to the Broad museum. A perfect date.

And now we wait. We wait for the medications to do their job. As the contractions grow in intensity, so do my feelings of impotence. Incompetence. She struggles more and more and there seems to be less and less I can do or say to help. Despite all the best laid plans, the illusions of control, I’ve really just been wonderfully, deliciously helpless. Just along for the ride this whole time. All I can do is sit by her side and hold her hand and smile and pray. And wait for our daughter to arrive.

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