Lucy, she’s home! (Part 1 of 2)

January 19, 2009

For most of the last nine months, my wife and I have been working on getting ready for a new arrival, and no, it was not my new computer.  We found out in April that she was pregnant with our second daughter.  We were thrilled, but we knew there was a lot of work to do ahead of time.  Budgets would have to be analyzed, rooms would have to be rearranged, and tubs of baby clothes would have to be cracked open.

Sigh.  If only we could bottle sleep.

Then TheProject came along.  Probably the single largest project I’ve been involved with.  Huh, it starts in November.  Double-huh, I’m the Lead Developer/Solutions Architect/Deployment Guru on it.  Oh look, it’s slated to be deployed on 1/19.  Ahem.  Can you see where this is leading?

  • Theoretical date of delivery for Baby Gilbert: 1/27
  • Realistic date of delivery for Baby Gilbert, which takes into consideration that our first daughter was two weeks early: 1/13

Yeah.  With my luck, my wife would go into labor the week that TheProject was slated to be deployed.  Needless to say, the Project Manager was a little, um, concerned.  So, more plans were laid – notes were kept up to date, backup developers were briefed, and gift bags of Valium were pre-ordered (it’s considered bad luck to have the PM wig out, right?).

About a week before the deployment, my PM happens to catch me in the hall.  Here’s how that fateful weekend went:

Friday 1/9, 4:30pm.  PM says, “I’m fully expecting to get an email from you this weekend saying that your wife delivered.”  I chuckle.  “I don’t think I want to take that bet.”

Saturday 1/10: No baby.

Sunday 1/11: No baby.

Monday 1/12, 6am: No baby.  I think to myself, “Woohoo!  PM’s bet was wrong after all.”

Monday 1/12, 6:05am:  Wife says, “I’ve had two contractions this morning.”  I reply, “Uh, were they the Braxton-Hicks type?”  Wife replies, “Uh, no, I’m pretty sure they weren’t.”  I think for a second, and say the most intelligent thing I could come up with at that moment, “Huh.”  I then run downstairs and craft email to PM and team explaining that I may be leaving early today to head to the hospital.

Monday 1/12, 8:40am:  I drop my first daughter off at school, then I call Wife.  “Hi honey, how are you doing?”  Wife replies, “Well, the contractions are coming about 7 minutes apart now.”  I use the same intelligent response as before, “Huh.”  I was then able to follow it up with something slightly more useful, “I guess I’m working from home today.”

Monday 1/12, 8:45am:  I arrive home, craft another email to team explaining that I’m working from home, and then scramble to get the last minute things ready for the trip to hospital.

Monday 1/12, 10:45am:  I’m still at home, and the contractions seem to have leveled off, so I decide that I can probably do an 11am conference call with PM and a partner after all.

Monday 1/12, 11:00am: “Hi everyone, this is Mark.  I may have to leave the call suddenly because my wife is having contractions.”  Collective “awwww!” ensues.

Monday 1/12, 11:30am: “Ok everyone, my wife just let me know that I have to wrap it up now.”  Everyone wishes me well and I hang up.

Monday 1/12, 11:50am: I call the hospital to give them a heads up that my wife has started labor, the contractions are close enough and strong enough that we don’t want to wait any longer, and we’ll be coming in soon.  Of course, as soon as the nurse answers the phone, that message gets condensed ever so slightly to “Hi, this is Mark Gilbert, my wife and I are coming in.”  It only took me three more tries to provide the nurse with enough information that she figured out what the h*** I was trying to say.

Monday 1/12, 12:30pm: Check into the hospital.

Monday 1/12, 3:37pm: Lucille “Lucy” Gilbert was born.  Hang on a second – did I just miss something here?  Like the whole labor thingy?  Oh wait.  Hang on.  I think I remember being mangled by my lovely wife during each and every contraction.  “Here’s an arm, do with it what you need.”  “Yes, dear, you can have both arms to squeeze.”  “Please dear, try to grab the side of my leg, not between the two.”

The payoff was definitely worth the effort, though:


Many thanks to the wonderful L&D staff at Borgess Health – they were awesome.

The rest of Monday was fairly quiet by comparison.  Lucy got cleaned up.  Mom got cleaned up.  Dad finally got to eat lunch about 5pm.

I sent around a quick email to everyone letting them know that Lucy had arrived.  Our eldest daughter was nice enough to call my brother and my sister-in-law to let them know the good news.  I found out later that the message to my brother was something to the effect of “Uncle James!  Lucy’s out – she escaped!”

On Wednesday the 13th, everyone got the green light to go home.  But of course, nothing is ever that easy.

(to be continued)


One comment

  1. […] sometimes coherent ramblings of a programmer becoming a writer. « Lucy, she’s home! (Part 1 of 2) Lucy, she’s home (Part 2 of 2) January 21, 2009 So, as you may recall from Part 1 […]

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