8 weeks ago, at this time, I was in the shower, getting ready to go to work. Elena would be getting up shortly to take her shower, by which time I would be dressed and preparing my breakfast. All normal for a Friday morning.
It was about 7:20, when I was about to step out the door, when Elena cautiously alerted me, "Seth, something's happening." The nurse at the doctor's office was calm and clear. Had Elena's water broken? The answer was no, at first, until with a gush, the balloon popped. The nurse greeted this news placidly and routinely and recommended we go to the hospital. It's all so clear to a nurse - her clarity gave us a spike of energy and nervousness.
Athletes know how difficult it is to keep their energy level up for an entire game. Still, much of their performance depends on maintaining energy and attitude. When energy is low, more injuries occur and it is more difficult to rally. When energy is high, athletes see more opportunities, feel more in control, and work better in teams.
Elena gave birth fifteen and a half hours after her phone call to the doctor's office. They were a tough 15 and a half hours. There was waiting, driving and waiting, parking and waiting, sitting and waiting, walking and waiting, lying down and waiting. There were brief moments of action - getting an IV, getting an epidural, getting poked and prodded, and pushing. I tried to entertain Elena; Elena tried to laugh at my jokes (no comment on which is more difficult). At two points we napped - difficult but worthwhile. I think we did well: we stuck together; we enjoyed what we could; we performed our tasks individually where necessary; and we collaborated to help each other when we could.
In the end, Elena gave birth, Max was healthy, and each new day's memories supplant the trials of Max's birth day. Keeping control of our energy is just as important with an infant as it was 8 weeks ago with a baby on the way. Holding a happy baby - particularly Max with his big cheeks and giant smile - is a rally in itself.