I WAS still hours away from being a dad when I learned my first (and a very valuable) lesson: Don’t leave anything on your to-do list when your wife could go into labor at any moment.
First, here’s a little background info:
My wife and I were taking on a big chunk of life all at once this month. We were, of course, having our first child (herein to be referred to as Little Swiz) in addition to moving across the country (which also came with the side tasks of renting out our condo and finding a place to live after the 3,000-mile relocation) and I was starting a new job (that represented a very different direction in my career). And we were trying to get all that done in a few weeks.
My wife was full term, and we were actually one day past our due date. However, her OB was already talking like the labor might have to be induced. She was trying to feel us out about whether we wanted to wait one week or two weeks after the due date for induction. In quick summation, we were thinking we had “plenty” more time to get a few things done before heading to the hospital. So, we went to bed the night of July 4 thinking we were going to be able to knock off a few items from that aforementioned to-do list the next day. Most important were a few little things. Our property management company had scheduled a few showings for our condo on the 5th. We had to do a few things to get the place ready. Things like take out the trash, move a few boxes out of the living room and into the shed out back and just some general tidy-up business. All-in-all, about 15 minutes of work. It could have easily been knocked out before bed. But it wasn’t. We crashed out, leaving these few minor things for the morning.
But before I awoke that morning, my wife stirred me at 5:05 a.m. with the words “my water broke.”
Time to go to the hospital.
Luckily, we had packed our hospital bags a few days before. But with our condo being looked at by potential renters later that day, we couldn’t just leave the tidying up undone. So, while my wife was preparing herself for labor, I’m running around taking out the trash, moving boxes and frantically cleaning up what I can.
Sure, it wasn’t a harrowing experience. But it did add an element of stress to a situation that didn’t need any more than it already came with.
So, my first fatherly advice to any dads-to-be: When it gets close to game time, go to bed each night ready to take off for the hospital at a moment’s notice because that may be all you get.