Sunday, August 26, 2012

The False Alarm

Everyone in my house is on pins and needles.

It has nothing to do with who is going to win America’s Got Talent.

It has to do with when the newest member of our family is going to arrive.

You see my 43-year-old wife just reached her 38th week of pregnancy.

And to put it medically....
...she is ready to burst.


Oh she loves kids.

And she loveD being pregnant.

But the novelty has certainly worn off.

As it did at this same point with our three others.

Like Cliff Clavin, she is ready to deliver.

And I mean... NOW!

Saturday night we thought it was showtime.

Since she had spent the majority of the day curled up in a fetal position.


With contractions coming every 5-10 minutes.

The doctors told us when that happens.

It’s time to get your butt to a hospital.

And the rest of you too.

So we did.

My wife wasn’t so convinced that this would be the night.

And neither was I.

Sure she had all those contractions.

But these weren’t the double over in pain.

Tears rolling out of your eyes.


These were the little ones.

Easy for me to say.

Little, schmittle.

They still fell under the painful Jeopardy category of contractions for $200.

So we felt it was better to be safe than sorry.

And we headed to the local hospital.

But within a few minutes in the ER.

And a few more strapped into a hospital bed.

We knew that this was nothing more than a false alarm.

I think they call them Toni Braxton Taylor Hicks contractions.

I didn’t even know they were married.

According to wikipedia, Braxton Hicks contractions are “practice contractions”.

Or “false labor”.

Created by the insurance companies to force you into an extra hospital visit.

And an extra co-pay.

But it works.


And this wasn’t the first time for us.

(Cue the harps for the sappy flashback music)

The year was 1999.

One child into this magical mystery tour, my wife was nine months preggers with baby #2.

On the night of February 16, the pains in her belly were so strong, I took her to the hospital.

The same hospital where she delivered our baby girl 21 months earlier.

The same hospital where my Korean wife was wished a Happy Chinese New Year by a security guard.

But I digress.

After spending what felt like nine months in the ER that night.

We were informed that they didn’t have any available beds for my wife to suffer in.

Especially since they weren’t sure she was in “real” labor.

So instead of making us wait, for something that might not come.

They decided to give my wife some old fashioned treatment.


Big-time drugs.

To help her sleep.

They said when she woke up, she would either be in full blown labor.

Or just one of them CIGNA sponsored “false labor” situations.

And that’s when they loaded her up on...  Morphine.



Not Motrin.

Not Mylanta.

Or Maalox.

Or Milk of Magnesia.

They gave her... MORPHINE.

You know, the stuff they used on M*A*S*H* when somebody got their legs blown off.

Well this stuff hit the spot.

When we got home, she went right to sleep.

A deep sleep.

Just one problem.

Minutes into Snoozefest 1999, her water broke.

Broke everywhere.

All over the bed.

The carpet.

The walls.

For a moment, I thought she was just happy to see me.

Then I quickly realized we had a big problem on our hands.

Not only was she nine months pregnant.

With her water broken.

And hopped up on the Morphine.

But I had to somehow get her back to the hospital to try and deliver a baby.

Thirteen years later, I can still remember it as clear as day.

The site of her stumbling out of bed.

Wobbling to the car.

Looking like Molly Ringwold’s big sister walking down the aisle in Sixteen Candles.

I know that's a random 80s movie reference.

Not my first.

Certainly not my last.

But if you saw that classic movie, I guarantee you are cracking up right now.

But the bottom line is I got my wife back into the hospital.


And a bed in the hospital had opened up.


And within, what felt like minutes, she was pushing.

And within, what felt like seconds, our son had arrived.

No time for screaming.


Hell, there wasn’t even time for an epidural.

But thanks to some Morphine, a broken water pipe and John Hughes.

The birth of my son was anything but ordinary.

We can only hope the birth of this son goes just as smooth.

Whenever that is.

About 90 minutes after arriving at the hospital on Saturday night, they sent us home.

Home to watch some TV and wait for the next series of contractions.

The real ones.

I wonder if The Breakfast Club is on.

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