Monday, February 21, 2011

Gingersnap, the Overture...

I know this is a long time coming. I just feel like every time I sit down to think about my little Gingersnap's birth story, someone needs me, someone climbs on me, someone wants to nurse, someone needs a referee...but that's just life in a big family.

So it happens that I am curled up on the couch with some Norah Jones soothing me with her sultry voice, Gingersnap snuggled in and sleeping deeply, and the house is sweetly quiet. I'm tired, but I need to get this written...


The week before Gingersnap was born was eventful. That Thursday, the 27th, I spent much of the day laboring quietly. While the little ones napped, I paced in the bedroom, rocked, danced, swayed, lunged, and just generally moved in whichever way felt the most natural with each wave that came. I didn't really think it would progress much that day, which is unusual for me. My more common response to obvious signs of early labor is, "YES!!! Come on home, Baby, we're gonna meet the next one!"

For some reason, that just didn't even occur to me on Thursday. Friday wasn't exactly the same--a bit of labor here and there through the day, but nothing remarkable. My Darling was, of course, going to work in the evening, which is the way of it on Fridays. He almost always calls me on his way home to see how the night has gone, and to let me know that he's on his way. The only time he doesn't call is when he's coming home earlier than either of us expected....then he just likes to walk in early and surprise me. I don't mind a bit.

But on Friday the 28th when he called me, and I said, "So how was your night?" he answered with, " rolled the truck."


The scoop was that we had just received a couple of feet of new snow, and on that night it was snowing/sleeting/freezing raining/crapping from the sky. Well ok, it's February--we expect that. The county in which he was, where the restaurant is, uses a different mix of concrete and blacktop for their road surfaces than the county in which we live. They also treat their roads differently, and tend to use a lot more salt in crud weather like we were having. That's a good thing, for Pete's sake. So as he drove into our county of residence, My Darling did what he always does on cruddy roads: he waited until there weren't other cars on the road, and he checked to see how much traction he had, by way of letting the truck slow way down and then giving a light tap to the breaks.

It was a good thing he was going so slowly. The truck began to slide, and then to turn--he ended up facing the opposite direction in the opposite lane--almost a slow-motion half-donut-U-turn. The truck slid all the way over to the shoulder, where it stopped....but as it came to a stop, the wheels on the passenger side came up against the berm of snow left behind by the plow, and it was just enough to top the truck onto its side. My Darling said it all happened in such slow motion that he had time to hang on--he didn't end up with a single bruise, cut, or scratch--nothing, thanks be to God!! No windows were even so much as cracked. The bumper was dented, and the passenger mirror snapped off. I suppose that's to be expected, for having landed on its side in the ditch.

Well of course I completely freaked out. There was no way I would believe that he was fine, as he kept insisting. I could not see him with my eyes, so I could not believe that he was unscathed. A county sheriff had come to process the accident, and My Darling waited in the back of the cruiser for the wrecker to come haul the truck out of the snow. Even as he spoke with me from the warm shelter of the police car, I could not make myself believe that he was ok.

To make things worse--after the wrecker came to My Darling's rescue, they were only able to get about 5 miles down the road before the dispatcher contacted the driver of the wrecker to let him know he was needed urgently on the Interstate. He had to drop My Darling off at a gas station on the highway--which was, of course, closed--and I had to venture out to pick My Darling up. The wrecker driver was needed for a 5-car accident...apparently, another car had slid off of the road (terribly common that night, sadly), and he was ok...until he got out of his car. And then he got hit by a car. And then other drivers smashed all around. I don't know how that man fared...but we definitely prayed for him.

The drive to the gas station to rescue My Darling takes, on a normal trip with clear, ice-free roads, takes about 5 minutes. But on that evening, it took about 15 minutes. It was horribly slick out there, and I was so incredibly happy to see My Darling that I practically vaulted out of the van to hug that boy's neck when I got to the gas station. He drove us home, and I was glad he did...I was shaking.

All the while, I had asked people for prayer for My Darling, and of course, got the comments saying, "Now don't you let him scare you into labor!" Being nearly 4 weeks ahead of my due date, I knew that some labor was normal for me, and I actually did expect to go early--but not that early!

Saturday was quiet. No labor to speak of...perhaps a few contractions here and there, but nothing significant. My Darling worked on the laundry room that day, and I stuck around the bedroom, napping, puttering, and just being near him in general.

Saturday night, I had a few stronger contractions, but again, nothing that made me think that true labor was imminent.

Aaaaaaaaaand then Sunday came.

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