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Threat Condition

Started: 2009-02-27 21:29:37

Submitted: 2009-02-27 21:53:28

Visibility: World-readable

This morning, a brilliant idea came to me while I was preparing for work: color-coded Baby Watch Advisory levels, just like the Department of Homeland Security's color-coded threat conditions. These levels would indicate how ready I need to be to run to the hospital, and I could build an orderly transition between adjacent levels.

Then I decided I could do much better. People more creative than me have parodied the color-coded threat levels; I should be able to piggyback on them. Thus I came up with the Sesame Street Baby Watch Advisory System, borrowed from Geek and Proud:

Sesame Street
Threat Condition

I'll be announcing the current threat condition by name on my Twitter feed. Identifying my level of readiness using muppets might be confusing, so here's a primer:

Oscar is the lowest advisory level. This represents a non-pregnant woman. We haven't been at Oscar since the middle of last summer.

Cookie Monster is any non-complicated pregnancy. We coasted from July through the end of January on Cookie Monster alert.

Bert is elevated awareness; we're watching for signs of labor and I'm never more than a few hours from home. Assuming Calvin doesn't make his appearance over the weekend, we'll stand down to Bert.

Ernie is our current level of awareness. Currently, we're at Ernie because Kiesa stopped her calcium channel blocker twenty-four hours ago and went off bedrest. Normally, we'll transition to Ernie when Kiesa starts noticing regular contractions; this signals an intermediate stage where I begin to consider dropping everything and running home but I don't yet execute.

Elmo signals the full onset of first-stage labor. I'm on my way home, and we'll be heading to the hospital in the near future. Further communications may be limited to a stand-down to a lower alert level or a birth announcement. Voice communications will likely be ignored.