What do rational people do when they know labor is imminent?
I woke up around 4:00 AM onÂ 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 hadnâ€™t broke and it might be more prudent to wait things out at home. So we headed back home and packedÂ 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.Â 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 â€œon the day you were bornâ€ stories do you share? Tell me about them in the comments.