Thursday, October 24, 2013

A (Figurative) Calm Before the (Literal?) Storm

So now we wait. Like I told you, the freezer is pretty stocked with healthy meals, I'm slowly but surely washing and putting away all of the goodies from my "sprinkle" this past weekend, the hospital bag is packed for me and Hubs and Cuatro, Halloween candy is purchased for the like 3 trick-or-treaters we get a year, bills are paid in advance for the beginning of the month, and all is well in the universe. I'm as prepared as I'm getting, I think. As much as I'm enjoying this time with just Stenni, Hubs and I (and I'm using the term loosely; I'm enjoying it as much as a giant, uncomfortable 9-month pregnant woman can enjoy anything), I'm also dreading the time when it all hits the fan. Which, truth be told, could be any day now.
And while I'm kind of talking about labor and delivery and the aftermath, here's the thing that's really in the back of my mind: 2 years ago, we in Northwest NJ (and elsewhere across the Northeast) enjoyed a little something known as "Snowmageddon," which was basically a mammoth, freak snowstorm that took down huge tree limbs (because they were really heavy, you know, as there were still leaves on them, since it was fall and all that, so with the ice...they didn't stand a chance), iced up roadways for public works departments who were basically not at all prepared (they usually get their snow work departments together around November 1st), and altogether ruined Halloween for everyone. Last year? We had another lovely surprise known as Hurricane Sandy, and wasn't she just a peach. We couldn't get out of town because of all the tree limbs down, we lost power for about 2 weeks, there were gas lines that stretched for miles, the supermarkets in the area all shut down because the food went bad for lack of refrigeration (how do these places not have generators???), and all in all it was super-fun. Since we couldn't get out of town because most of the roads in the area were closed, damaged, flooded, had bridges out, etc., we couldn't get up to NY state to get our camping supplies, which were in the cabin up there (on the plus side, in a real-life emergency bug-out scenario, we now know that we wouldn't be able to get to the cabin if we tried, but it's still an ok option because it's in the middle of nowhere). So we had some candles, some charcoal, a bunch of blankets, and thankfully the woodstove to keep us warm and toasty. Honestly, if we had city water instead of well water (again, without a back-up...we should know better), it would have been pretty nice for me.I liked the complete lack of background noise, but I would also have liked to take a shower (not in a public park) and flush the toilet and wash the dishes and all that.
But I keep thinking that I'm glad that that was last year, because if I was having a kid this year we wouldn't have even made it out of town to get to the hospital. I would have had a baby at home on the floor without clean water. And that would have been that. I know that people did it that way for centuries, but I would have been totally unprepared for a thing like that. A friend's neighbor went into labor during the blackout, but was able to get to the hospital because of where she lived (out further towards the edge of town, closer to the highways). We probably wouldn't be able to do that. Hubs tells me not to worry about it, but I have to admit that it is there, in the back of my mind.
Now, as of this moment, there are no real storms predicted for the next week or so. But even the past few years when there were, people didn't really take them seriously. I wonder if everyone is bracing themselves for the inevitable this year, or it's just business as usual.
I'm just hoping my kid gets her first real Halloween and can go trick-or-treating. She's 3. Think I'm kidding? Then take a look at this. Yeah, she was exactly 2 months old on her first Halloween, so while I got to enjoy all of her candy because babies can't have butterfingers, everyone know that, it was a hollow victory considering that Halloween would be cancelled the next few years. All I can do is hold out hope for this year, and pray that I don't go into labor before then!

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