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False alarm

Started: 2015-03-10 21:15:00

Submitted: 2015-03-10 21:47:16

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator does not yet have a baby

On Friday afternoon, Kiesa started to feel a little ... different. She was 37 weeks pregnant, so while she could have a few more weeks to go, Version 2.1 is more-or-less full-term and fully-baked and could arrive at any moment. She didn't want to cook, so she sent me to pick up takeout at our local Indian/Nepali restaurant. By the time I got home with supper, she was feeling semi-regular contractions, though they still didn't feel sufficiently different to be proper labor contractions. After supper, she took a shower to relax and I carried her go bags down from our room to the family room, next to the door to the garage. On my way down the stairs I slipped on the hard wood on the top stair. Imbalanced from the suitcases I was carrying, and feeling a bit hasty, my feet went out from under me and banged I the back of my head on the top stair, ending up sprawled across the five stairs leading down to the lower level. (I also bruised my tailbone in the process.)

Kiesa heard the crash and called out to see if Calvin was ok, but didn't hear me report that I was the one who had fallen down the stairs. I put the bags where I'd intended to put them next to the door, carefully checked the tender lump on the back of my head for bleeding, then rummaged around the freezers until I found an ice pack. I sat on the couch, pressed the ice pack onto the lump on the back of my head. Kiesa sat next to me, and I helped time her contractions. As long as Version 2.1 wasn't pushing out at the exact place I was trying to push in, I could tell whether her uterus was contracting at any given moment. Kiesa could observe the beginning of her contractions because they gave her more room to breathe (and I could tell the differences in her breathing patterns), but she had a hard time telling when the contractions ended. I timed her contractions as roughly five minutes apart, lasting about a minute each.

Since it looked like something was happening, I took Calvin over to my mothers' apartment for the night in case we needed to make a late-night trip to the hospital. When I got back home it was after 21:00. I tried to figure out what Kiesa was feeling, but mostly I tried to trust her to know what was happening. I resurrected the Baby Alert Threat System from Calvin's birth and elevated the treat condition to Ernie: we were at heightened alert but not yet ready to run to the hospital.

We eventually got bored and went to bed, on the theory that we'd rather have more sleep rather than less if baby did decide to be born. (Kiesa is spending most of the night propped up in the recliner, where Version 2.1 has less leverage on her lungs.) We awoke as normal on Saturday morning and I had no choice but to lower the threat condition to Bert, though the overnight experience scuttled my plans to go skiing that day. (I was fairly confident I could leave the mountain at a moment's notice by cell phone and be home in two hours, should conditions merit.)

We had a leisurely breakfast and went walking around Sawhill Ponds, the gravel pits-turned-open-space in the Boulder Creek floodplain just south of Gunbarrel. The walk failed to induce labor, so we dropped by the Erie library, then returned to Boulder to eat lunch and buy ski poles (the last piece of ski gear I needed to acquire to complete my collection, which I probably should talk about at some point). We picked up Calvin at my mother's apartment at supper, then headed home, still without a baby.

Kiesa's account of our adventure is Pregnancy Update and False Labor.

At the OB visit on Monday, we learned that Kiesa has dilated another centimeter to five centimeters, and has probably effaced a bit more, to 70%. These stats suggest the baby is probably going to come sooner rather than later, but it's anyone's guess when. I want very badly to do a 538-style prediction, with detailed probability breakdowns on Kiesa's chances for going into labor at any given hour on any given day, but even if I had the data I'd still have to make judgement calls like whether to go on my employer's annual ski trip on Friday. So we settle back into waiting anxiously for the next chapter, even as we run out of things to do to occupy us waiting for baby to arrive.

i'll go sacrifice ken, oops, i mean great spiritual monkeys to the gods,
and keep my fingers crossed.
- Scott Galvin, 01 May 1999