My wife and I are expecting our second child — and unlike many parents, who have a good idea when they can expect their child, we are in a sort of state of it could happen any time — our first child was born at thirty-five weeks and two days due to pre-eclampsia, and so Elizabeth has been far more carefully watched this time around. She has been going in for regular appointments and so-called non-stress tests.
Yesterday was such a test, and it showed that her blood pressure was 140/90 — immediate cause for concern. Our OB set certain guidelines for when to take her to the Labor and Delivery area, and she had hit it — and there I had been in my office, getting ready to meet up with her for what I thought would be just a routine checkup on the still developing baby. “Meet me at L&D” she texted me, and after telling my coworkers that I might not be coming back for awhile (about a week thanks to the United States not having any notion of required paternity leave) and ran over the several blocks to the hospital. This was a much better way to go than when I worked in Brooklyn and had to take over an hour long train ride to get to the hospital, with one transfer!
I got to L&D and Elizabeth was taken in for tests. It was a long and stressful hour until I found out any information — for example, that I would not be having a baby that day after all. Elizabeth’s blood pressure went down and they took blood for analysis. The blood-work showed that all was right and the baby was still (thank G-d) developing well. Throughout the whole time I was waiting for information, meanwhile, our son had been running around the waiting area yelling because he wasn’t getting any data connection on the iPod touch he uses to watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and had zero patience to sit down and wait to find out if he was getting a sibling that day or not.
Eventually Elizabeth’s OB went in and checked in on her. When he came back out he sat down with me and explained that everything was okay, and that we were not having a baby that day. He told me a funny story about when his second daughter was born and his first daughter wanting to go to the park.
The bottom line being that we are now even more alert and aware that it could be any time now — and what a perfect time for my colleagues with more than one child to tell me how much everything changes when you have your second child!
One day at a time.