There’s an app for that
When the wife went into labor with the boy nearly five years ago, we sat looking at a clock. We held a pen and paper in our hands and recorded each contraction like the times were nuclear sub codes. The wife was in labor for for 17 hours.
We are rapidly approaching Dos’ due date. Any parent knows how the run-up to such an occasion goes. There’s the false labor, the real labor, and all the witchcraft in between. I am characteristically relaxed about the whole thing. There’s not much more we can do in way of preparation for the second son’s arrival.
Last night, the wife and I sat in bed. She had reported earlier she was contracting about every seven minutes. The docs had told us to chill until we were at five minutes apart for two hours. So, we chilled. I turned on a TV edit of 8-mile, relaxed, and daydreamed about the day I finally record my demo (if you haven’t heard my fresh rhymes, you’re missing out, y’all). Every five to seven minutes, my wife would curl up into a pained ball and through clenched teeth say, “Time?” I would look over at the clock and say, “12:41” or “1:07” or whatever. She would write it down on a little notebook, compare it to the last time, and do the math. Eventually I got lazy. Turning my head to look at the clock was getting tiresome. Being a dad during labor is tough with a capital T, folks.
Finally, during a commercial break from Slim Shady, I decided it was time to be a little more efficient. We’d already used Google and the Safari browser on my iPhone to refresh ourselves on how to time contractions (beginning to beginning, if you’re wondering). So, I said, “Listen, I’ve got this little stopwatch here. Let’s stop with the whole head turning and writing and stuff.”
Out came the iPhone again. I laid it on my stomach. Every five to seven minutes, the wife would just say “Yep,” I would check the time on my iPhone stopwatch, and we’d move on. We went from five minutes back to seven minutes. An hour or so later, it was clear Dos wasn’t going to be named Marshall Mathers. We went to sleep.
The real death knell for newspapers will not be when circulation numbers drop another few percent. It will be when people like me stop delivering babies at home with boiled water and newspaper and start using boiled water and the iPhone.
Update: After the Rooster humbly suggested an iPhone app dedicated to timing contractions, I thought I’d take a look at the app store. Turns out there are no fewer than three apps that help you time contractions and give you handy read-outs to pass on to your doctor. Not that I’m being frugal (trust me on this one…), at .99-$9.99 for an app I will use for likely one night, I think I’m fine sticking with the stop watch.