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January 16, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Snow and Braxton-Hicks

It was a rough morning commute.

There was a good six inches of fluffy, dry, powder snow everywhere when we woke up and the skies were dark grey and still filtering snow down in powder sugar waves. It was snowing much harder than was predicted. We got out of the house by 7:30, and John took me to the Conoco, as much to fill the Baby Buggy up as to get us fresh, early morning donuts. I managed to snag a chocolate covered chocolate donut along with a sugar coated one, and I'd made myself a mug of decaf coffee before we left. So I enjoyed the latter part of my breakfast in the car. I'd already eaten my grapefruit and some yogurt already, for protein.

John was very, very patient going in. Much of the streets had been plowed and sanded, but with the steady snow fall, there was fluffy brown everywhere on the roads. Some of it soft and loose, some of it packed, and some of it in between. There was a very long line of cars going to Boulder that were all going pretty cautiously. Some more cautious than others. We saw one guy all fishtailed and trunk up in a ditch with a truck on the other side of the road looking like it was going to try and help him out. The guy in front of us kept fishtailing around as he accelerated way too hard and then had to brake to not hit the folks in front of him. There were at least seven cars in front of him, closely packed, and at one point it almost looked like he was going to pull out and try to pass them all.

It's not my driving in the snow that worries me. It's all those 'other people'.

John got me there just in time for him to take off to his off-site. He dropped me off and I trundled my well-bundled way up the stairs into my cubicle.

We had a 9 o'clock meeting. One person called in from home, as she had eight inches of snow with another twelve coming. Smart woman. Various others had scattered to our Longmont facility, as it was closer to their homes. It was a pretty good meeting, though, for all that. At ten, I then had a two hour code review, which I'd read for last night and the day before, and that went pretty well, too.

Nearing noon, Bob and Bill had to order lunches for their lunch meeting and I mused, "I'm hungry. I seem to be hungry all the time. Funny that..." as I patted my tummy. I had put my feet up so that they wouldn't swell, and with the angle I was sitting at my tummy was showing well above the surface of the table. Bob had to laugh at the 'funny that...' on seeing my tummy that way. He also complained about not getting enough bathroom breaks with the 9-1 meeting schedule and I laughed and said, "Tell me about it."

Lunch was two packages of White Castle cheeseburgers and a bean and cheese burrito. Tom, when I entered the break room with my food said, "Ah... health food." He then went on to recount the fact that he'd grown up in the Mid-west with access to White Castle hamburgers and how, when they'd gone back for a visit, he'd awed his kids by eating ten at one sitting. I remember Dad amazing kid-me by eating six. That was a pretty fun memory to share.

I was glad I didn't have to go anywhere to get food. It was still snowing outside, but much more lightly. There was even a bit of sunshine, that was clearing the parking lot; but as the afternoon went on, it got a lot darker and then it started snowing again in earnest.

I messed around with the debugger and found the source of some memory leaks and other stuff. John didn't call me until after 6, as that was when his meeting finally broke up. He said that he'd be by in ten minutes, and showed up in seven, which was pretty keen. I miss seeing him all day, but it was nice to see him after not seeing him for a while. He was, as usual, in shorts and t-shirt and his heavy parka. Everyone that sees him in shorts in the snow gets kind of flabbergasted, but he doesn't mind. I think he enjoys baffling people.

We went to pick up a co-worker from San Jose who was in a hotel on the way to dinner. She had been in Tahoe the week before, skiing with her family, so she didn't mind the cold too much. She was, however, mildly unhappy about having to drive on the snow. She did survive the day, though and would survive another, she said. It was snowing pretty heavily all the way to the Oasis, and John dropped us off before going to find parking. She and I went in, and she laughed and said, "Oh! Now it's obvious your pregnant!" She was also very cool and made sure I didn't slip on the snow and ice with my strange balance.

Dinner was good. Two other co-workers from SJ showed up as well, and we had fun talking and thinking and working out some stuff. One was really, really, really into the Meyers-Briggs stuff, the other was really skeptical about the whole thing. The funny thing was that the first was blathering on about all this stuff that really didn't have anything to do with the preferences measurement. He was saying stuff like how it showed how good you might be at a job! When it really has nothing at all to do with it, it more shows what approaches someone might want to bring to a job, and nothing about capability. I know really excellent INTP HR folks, and excellent ESFP engineers. They just approach the job from a very different angle and with different concerns. I could see why the other guy was reacting badly.

The food, as usual, was excellent. The spinach and artichoke dip was really yummy with their beer bread, and I had the spinach, mushroom, and tomato Gorgonzola penne pasta in a cream sauce. The veggies felt very good to eat.

The chair, however, had me far more upright than I really wanted to be, in some ways. And near the end of the meal I felt the Fish really wiggling against the compression of my position. Yeah. When I sit up, now, he's getting compressed, and he's starting to fight it by wiggling intensely. Whee.

It was also so cold out that when we did go outside, by the time I got seated in the Baby Buggy most of my body was tense with cold. That's when I felt the whole muscle structure of my womb harden and contract all over. It wasn't painful. It was disconcerting. Most Braxton-Hicks 'contractions' are just practice contractions, the muscles getting ready to go. They, normally, only cover part of the womb at any particular time. So some part would go hard and the rest would still be soft. This one was hard all over, but as we headed home, it loosened up and softened.

The hardpack snow, though, made for some bumpy going and the Range Rover suspension doesn't soften it much. Off-road vehicles aren't supposed to make that mushy. Problem was that I could, with each bump, feel the Fish's head bumping up and down against my still mildly tender cervix. My. I now understand why people drive bumpy roads to induce labor. I think that if we'd hit more hardpacked, rutted snow than we did, it really would have started things off.

As it was when we got home, to a good foot of fluffy snow all over everything, I had another all-over contraction, and then half an hour later, had a partial coverage one. Another half an hour while relaxed in front of the TV with a hot mug of Bengal Spice tea, and I had one that only covered a quarter of the surface area. So the panic subsided. Liquids, relaxation, and/or walking are supposed to make the false contractions go away. They'll only stimulate real contractions, so this really wasn't the real thing, yet. I have to admit that it would have been edifying to have to tell Bill that I was in labor the next morning if they had been real. Yeesh.

The false alarm plus the fact that the temps outside were in the single digits plus the dryness of such cold air made sleep really, really hard tonight. I was up nearly every hour, either 'cause of the bladder, 'cause John poked me when I was snoring loud enough to wake him up, or 'cause the central heat turned on. I didn't dream much. I drank a lot of water to try and alleviate the snoring, and it seemed to help a little; but that did mean I was up a lot during the night.

Luckily, John was going to his off-site directly and I was going to drive myself when I could. Which meant that I could sleep in late, have a leisurely breakfast and pack my lunch. He was going to stay with the off-site folks to have a dinner with everyone, and since I had no desire to stay at work really late to wait for him, if I drove I could get whatever kind of dinner I wanted. A good thing, all in all.

I'm a little nervous about the drive tomorrow. It was snowing all evening and will likely snow during the night. But if I get started late, it's supposed to be clear and sunny tomorrow, and with all the cars from here that have to get to Boulder, the roads out there should be clear by the time I get up and out. And if I make it super late, then there shouldn't be any traffic for me to worry about. I'll like that. Amusingly, it's been quite a while since I've driven and even that's worrying me a little bit.

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