Not too long ago, we were strolling down the beach (she was doing some belabored form of hiking) and musing about our baby's activity level, while the waves haphazardly tossed their contents up on the shore and crept toward our feet.
"He hasn't been moving near as much in the last couple of days."
"Really?" I was concerned. "Since two days ago when we had the last non-stress test, or since a while ago when he had more room to move?"
"Since two days ago."
Decreased levels of movement with babies are not good. Apparently.
This led us through a whirlwind decision-making circuit that started with me deciding to go surfing with my brother.
It ended with me not going surfing with my brother.
In the meantime, driving home, calling the doctor, heading out the door, and texting Angela, now at breakfast with her family, the equivalent of hello and how do you like your omelets served at the hospital?
We pulled into the emergency room parking lot fifteen minutes later.
This was not the first time. Actually, it was our third this week. It was to the point that the resident homeless contingent out front was offering smokes and chatting me up about the weather. Hobart would be thinking of us.
The pink lady who welcomed us at the desk had a winning smile and a generous attitude. And was decidedly a man. But he wore a smart pink polo that was really quite impressive. I considered it an improvement.
But what mattered was what waited for us down the end of the long, winding hall. "Hallway Wheelie Races" or "Pink Lady Ramming Speed" or whatever you choose to call the wheel chair lap car trip to labor and delivery, I could do with my eyes closed. Like a rat in a maze.
On two wheels if necessary.
When we arrived, the writing was on the wall. No, quite literally it was on the wall. Instead of some dimly lit room on the outskirts of the ward, marked by an obscure title like "The Kornikee Lounge" or something meaningless enough to be friendly or at least non-threatening, we were ushered into the "Birthing Room."
And in the corner it had a rocker. Spooky.
When Angela had been properly outfitted with the new hospital line of halter top and velcro belts (with a very gaudy beeping buckle to tie it in nicely), we began the long process of waiting for the combination of a 1960's Etch-a-Sketch and the world's slowest baby lie detector to tell us our fate.
He lied. He was fine.
And so would we, after another round of Red Onion and movies. This time, we'd go to the one we wanted to all along, The Avengers. It had all the thrill and drama, minus the accountability or sense of reality, that a day like today should.
And at the end, just as it should, peace was restored. The good guys won. The world was secure. It could cuddle up in a nice snoogle and drift off in an afternoon nap to the dripping of rain on the window sill.
All is quiet on this front again for now.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll go surfing.