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.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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8 Responses

  1. The Rooster sees the wife making an IPOD application and getting rich off it…the contraction program. See…The Rooster has all the good ideas. Since The Rooster has just made the family a lot of money via this application, Dos should be named: Joaquin.

  2. Application for Iphone of course…maybe can be used in IPOD some way via like 15 songs all 5 minutes long…something like that.

  3. StB says:

    That is the running joke at the bar. Any time someone asks a question, I hold up my iPhone and announce there is an app for that. Like measuring blood alchohol level. They didn’t believe it but yes, I showed them the app for it. (Last Call)

  4. After the first dozen times of seeing the iPhone commercial, I had a vision of an SNL parody…

    Man sitting in stall in public restroom reading the paper.
    Belatedly realizes there is no toilet paper.
    Pulls out iPhone.
    “There’s an app for that.”

  5. KenP says:

    Why would they name their child after a valley, Rooster?

    Oh, I get it. The only Joaquin that made it as a saint. And, there’s no competition around to break that record unless the real long shot might be Dos.

  6. change100 says:

    I think we should just start the slow clap and an accompanying chant until he makes his appearance:

    “DOS! DOS! DOS! DOS! DOS!”

    Best of luck, Fetus Siegers.

  7. Labour time for dads is hard, I’ve just been through it myself!

    As for silly apps, I used to have one on my PC at work that timed when you wnet for a shit, gave you how uch you’d earned, tax paid etc. Surely it won’t be long until there is an iPhone app for that?

  8. Da Goddess says:

    I’m so very glad I’m doing with birthing children. You, Otis, are a breath of fresh air compared to the ex, who would roll his eyes and grumble each time my pre-term labor kicked into high gear (meds were mildly effective, but not entirely). Yes, it was a pain in the ass for him to have leave work and take me to the hospital or to roll out of bed, get the almost 4 yr old bundled up and take me to the hospital, or to stay awake as the doctors and nurses rushed around, trying desperately to stop contractions. But that was all nothing compared to his behavior during labor and deliver, and after delivery.

    If you stay awake during L&D without complaining that your feet hurt from standing or your back hurts from sitting, you will be a hero. If you don’t race home to take a 10 HOUR NAP after your wife delivers and your newborn is rushed off to NICU, leaving your exhausted wife worried about whether or not the baby is okay, you will be a hero.

    Tell Mrs. Otis I’m praying for a quick and easy labor.

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