Twenty five years ago yesterday morning (in a world before cell-phones and computers) a young man flew from his home in New Jersey to Cleveland, Ohio for a two day business trip – his last business trip for awhile, since his wife was 8 months pregnant, and that was just asking for trouble. His wife worked at her job at the medical clinic, and was very excited about her baby shower the next day.
But nature had, it seems, other plans. At 2am, she went into labor.
The young man’s brother called him at his hotel in Cleveland at 2:30am:
… rrmg hello?
Hey, it’s your brother. Your wife is in labor.
Yeah right. <hangs up the phone>
No really. I’m not kidding. She’s at St. Peter’s Hospital, my wife just drove her over there.
So the young man – now very, very awake – tries to figure out how he’s going to get from Cleveland, Ohio to New Brunswick, NJ in time to attend the birth of his first child. He calls the airline – there’s a flight from Pittsburgh, PA to Newark, NJ. It leaves at 5:30am. He books the flight from his hotel, rents a car, gets directions, and drives (like a bat out of hell) from Cleveland to the Pittsburgh airport.
He arrives at the gate at 5:25am, the last person to board the plane – which they have been holding for him. Upon entering the plane, he’s asked what seat he wants.
“I want the one closest to the door”
The plane lands in Newark – about an hour away from St. Peter’s Hospital – at 7am, by 7:30 he’s in another rental car, driving (like a bat out of hell) down the interstate. Time, it seems, is on his side. (As is his wife and her doctor, who are not encouraging speed, knowing that the young man is somewhere between Cleveland and the hospital). At 8:50am, he finally makes it – gets admitted, and is dressed in scrubs for a “high risk” early birth. He is told she’s been “ready to have this baby for 20 minutes now!”
9:16am, Friday March 2, little squirmy, perpetually-early me makes it into the world, with BOTH my parents in attendance.