What do rational people do when they know labor is imminent?
I woke up around 4:00 AM on August 31, 2008, and I just knew I was going to have a baby that day. Contractions indicated labor was imminent, but not quite immediate. So what does a rational person do in that moment? Of course, go to Panera to enjoy a cup of coffee and a light meal.
So there Joel and I sat, in the far-corner booth, enjoying one last meal as a family of two. Every now and then the contractions intensified, resulting in some grimacing and shifting in my seat … along with a few stares and raised eyebrows from fellow Panera patrons. The whole experience was thrilling, really. We were excited yet anxious, prepared yet clueless.
It always takes a few cups of coffee to get my wits about me. After sipping on the requisite amount that morning, reality set in. My water hadn’t broke and it might be more prudent to wait things out at home. So we headed back home and packed our bags for the hospital. Sure enough, just a few hours later, the contractions progressed and labor was now immediate. It all went rather smoothly and a little after 2:00 in the morning, I labored our first-born into this world. It was September 1, 2009 — Labor Day. I didn’t make my prediction for having an August 31st-baby, but I’m okay with how the story ended. It’s a little sweeter to say I labored on Labor Day.
Now every time I step inside Panera, I remember that day 4+ years ago when Joel and I sat there and chatted — filled with so much hope and anticipation. Our marriage and family has changed for good because of our daughter and now our son. I look forward to the day when I might take Lucy to Panera, fill out college applications, and tell her about the morning some 17 years ago when her father and I sat in the corner, drank coffee, and enjoyed one last meal together before welcoming her into the world.
And the moral of the story? Enjoy a date at Panera before giving labor, of course!
What “on the day you were born” stories do you share? Tell me about them in the comments.