Caleb’s Story: Pre-Labor

My son is three weeks old now, so I figured it was about time to slow down the manic media machine and reflect, if only for a little while. Gather ’round, ye babyphobes, and drink of the deep wisdom twenty-one full days has imparted to me.

In reality, I just wanna write this all down. I hope it’s fun to read, too. I’ll just give part of the story now, and hopefully over the next few days I’ll post the rest of it in other entries.


Most of you don’t know this, but labor didn’t begin naturally for us. Steph’s water didn’t break while she was grocery shopping. She didn’t start having contractions while watching Judge Judy. She actually went in for a regular checkup with her doctor and they noticed a few things, did some tests, and then said, “You’ve got mild pre-eclampsia, please head over to Labor & Delivery right away.” When I showed up at the hospital, Steph and I met briefly with her doctor as her doctor was on the phone with Labor & Delivery, negotiating the probabilities revealed by her test results. (We used that temporary distraction to sneak a pamphlet entitled “Preguntas y respuestas sobre el Herpes.” Useful if you want to know ¿Como puedo contraer el herpes? The doctor heard us snickering as Steph slipped the pamphlet into my bag, and she turned and mock-scolded us, “Behave, you two!”)

We headed over to Labor & Delivery, had some more tests done, and they confirmed they were going to induce Steph that evening. There was no time for Steph to go home or take a nap or eat anything. (She didn’t know it then, but she wouldn’t even leave that wing of the hospital for five days.) We were going to do this now. Both of us were pretty excited to meet Caleb, so we were mostly OK with this, although Steph was already quite tired. I went home for about an hour, grabbed our suitcase and sundry supplies, and drove back to the hospital, where I found Stephanie in a new room (Room 5, for posterity), hooked up to some IVs and monitors.

Sometime in the next week I’ll post about the Labor itself, our time in the hospital afterwards (including my super-joy freakout in the rocking chair!), and the first few days of fatherhood.

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