2.02.2012

Things are different: Part 2

So where was I?  Oh yeah, I had just landed in Chicago and was trying desperately to get home.  Steph was in the hospital and she was only 32 weeks along.

I should mention, I'm writing this 3 years later.  I fully intended on writing part two, but for some reason or another, never got around to it.

Back to the story:  I locate the Budget Rent a Car facility and drive out of the airport, not really knowing where the fuck I'm going, because I've never driven from Ohare to home.  I usually fly from Chicago to Peoria (hey, I'm cheap.  I know ...it's like a 25 min flight).  So I'm driving ... and getting lost quickly.  I make what seems like 54 U-turns and find the interstate that goes south.  I don't recall which one, probably I-90?  By this time, it's easily midnight if not later.  Do you know what toll-roads are?  They're the way that IL robs people by way of annoying toll booths for each interstate.  I should mention, I don't carry case, let alone change when I travel. The reason?  It's one more thing to manage through the X-ray machines; don't bother with change.  Fuck change.  So I come across the toll booth, with no change and I'm in a hurry to get to Peoria.  The toll booth lady let's me pass!  Feeling pretty good, I drive on....

So at around 1:45am, the exhilaration of a free pass from the toll booth has long worn off and I'm chugging coffee from random gas stations, while driving.  I didn't hit any deer or racoons (racoons is another business trip to Chicago, lol.  There was literally blood on the rental car, lol!).  So I make it to the hospital at around 2:30am in Peoria.  Steph is pretty much sleepy or sleeping and I crash on the couch-thing they have there.

Around 8 or 9 the next morning, I get up and we get briefed on the status.  If I recall, Steph water hadn't exactly broke, but it was leaky.  Not sure how that works, but whatever.  So we wait.  No labor pains, no pain at all (that I recall Steph having). I, on the other hand, was pretty ragged from the adventure of getting home.  Not a lot happened for a few hours.  We ate breakfast, lounged around, watched tv (coincidentally, President Obama was in Peoria on that day) and we generally did a lot of waiting.  So after lunch, it was 'decided' that it was safe for me to go home, shower and let the dog out and feed him.  And that's what I did.  I drove the 30 minutes back to Metamora and let the dog out, fed him and took a much needed shower.  I remember not being the slightest bit worried about Steph going into labor.  Not a care in the world.  No labor yet.  And labor is something that takes hours and hours, I'd have plenty of time.  Plenty.  I get dressed and sort of look around the house and notice how quiet it is.  Afterall, this could be the last moments of peace around the house with kids coming.soon.  I drive the 30 minutes back to the hospital.  I hear the news report of possible traffic being backed up on I74 due to the President leaving town.  So I take an alternate route to the hospital.  I get there and park, go up to the 4th or 5th floor and walk into our room.

Both Steph and her mom say, "WHERE WERE YOU?"

For a split second, there's the reaction to be sarcastic.  I could say, " Oh, I stopped and decided to build a barn on the side of the road. You know, for the poor".  But I don't.  Instead I mutter out the obvious answer.

"I went home and fed the dog and took a shower.  What's going on?"

I look down and walk over to the chair to sit, not expecting what came next.

"You missed it, I had them." said Steph.

"What are y... WHEN?"  I say.

"About 20 minutes ago, it was real fast..."  said Steph.


You'll have to ask Steph for the actual events as I wasn't there.  Needless to say, I was in complete shock and I couldn't believe that I'd missed it.  I missed it, despite the accomplishment of making it home under cancelled flights and a 3 hour drive in the middle of the night.  Unbelievable.  That is the story of the birth of the twins, the race to get home and how I missed their birth.