Chuck was on his way to the east coast to pick up his oldest son, who had decided to come and live with us. I had a busy week at work ahead of me and although I was nearly 8 months pregnant we weren’t all that worried about me being alone for a few days. A busy week turned into an absolutely indescribably horrible Thursday. I had a VP in town (which are a collection of stories better told in a dark bar, fully inebriated) and a handful of employee issues..which all exploded within (what seemed like) an hour of each other. At our last stop of the day I got three frantic phone calls (all from different employees regarding the same situation). I had to leave our meeting and go play psychologist which meant I had to pawn off a tired VP to the first person who agreed to do a drop off at the airport. I spent 3 hours counseling two hysterical women that would rather beat each other to death than listen to me say “we can work anything out with proper communication” one more time. What a ridiculous nightmare. I was trying everything I could think of to soothe the situation but neither of the (by this time) borderline psychos was willing to shut up and listen (in retrospect I suppose I should have suspended them both and gone home on time!). So, finally (very worried about my dogs who had been in their kennels for about 12 hours at that point) I left them to what I seriously thought would be a double murder, and went home. I arrived home at about 7:45pm, let the dogs out and ate. I was starving! I was also completely exhausted…physically, emotionally, mentally and whatever other “ill-ees” fit the situation. I went to bed. At around 9:00pm I started feeling yucky. My back was hurting (not necessarily a cause for alarm), my legs were aching (again not necessarily a cause for alarm) and I was definitely having contractions. Crap! I started timing them. Damn those crazy women…they drove me into early labor. Chuck called at about 9:30pm or so and I told him I wasn’t feeling too good. He lost his mind. Tried changing his flight to come home immediately, called and put a good friend on stand by in case I needed help and called me every 15 minutes. Whew. I don’t know what was more stressful, dealing with a husband who is 3000 miles away and freaking out or contractions that I’m not supposed to be having. Finally at about 10:30pm Chuck was so insistent that I go to the hospital, I finally gave in and got ready. Oh heck, I don’t know who I am kidding. He didn’t “ask” me if I wanted to go or if I thought I needed to go…he simply called his friend and told him to go pick me up and take me to the hospital..and then informed me of the plan. Crazy men. So I succumbed to the insanity of a father to be (again) and went quietly. I got checked in, stuck and wired up and then just laid in this horrible bed for hours…as the contractions got increasingly stronger and more frequent. Crap again. I was not at all prepared to have a baby right then..daddy wasn’t home, the baby’s room wasn’t done, I didn’t even have diapers. After administering a completely horrible medication designed for high blood pressure, my contractions finally stopped and I was allowed to go home with the understanding that I would return early the next morning. So home I went. My body felt like it was made of lead. This medication was making me retain water to the point I should have popped like a balloon…it was the worst. And I was extremely lethargic. Anyway, I digress. With baby successfully reigned in I had to deal with work. I couldn’t keep working and dealing with crazy stressful situations and expect to be able to hold this baby in for the full cooking time. So, I called my boss and started my maternity leave about a month ahead of schedule. Baby boy arrived, via cesarean section three weeks later. And despite my complete fears of giving birth to a Thanksgiving turkey (I had gestational diabetes and all I heard for 9 months from my doctors was how much we had to watch babies weight) he was born weighing just 6 pounds. My tiniest baby and my final contribution to the world’s population. What a blessing he is!