As part of a recent project, I wrote the following short story... Hope you enjoy!
The chilly December air nipped her nose as Anna peeped out from under her quilt. The steady buzz of her cellphone continued. She reached over to check the text. “Ctrx stronger. Excited 4 bby. Will call ltr.” A glance at her clock showed it was quarter till 4. “Its gonna be a long day” she thought sleepily as she pulled the quilt back over her head.
At 5:30 a beeping awoke Anna. She crawled out from under her quilt and checked her blackberry. No missed calls or messages. Pulling on a pair of knitted wool socks, she braced herself for another crisp day. She wished she could crawl back into bed, but not today! Would baby come today? She hoped baby would be coming. Maggie was pregnant with her 1st baby. Anna knew how excited Tom and Maggie were, but also knew that she had been called multiple times in the past week with “false alarms”. Maybe today it would be real labor... “one way to tell”... Anna thought to herself... “patience.”
Anna stumbled to the kitchen and stoked the wood stove. She then placed a kettle on to boil. Beau, her border collie, danced around her feet, anxious to start the day. She opened the door and he bolted out for his morning sprint. “If only I had all that energy when I first woke up.” Anna gazed out at the frozen field, barren of snow... the radio had said a storm was on its way... Anna wondered if babies always decided to come at the most inconvenient times for midwives on purpose... She laughed to herself...At least it made life a constant adventure.
The kettle whistled. Anna returned to the stove and poured herself a cup of hot tea, then settled down for her devotions. While reading in Hebrews she looked closely at chapter 12 verse 1. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” She smiled... how often this verse came to mind when she was up all night laboring with a mother. Patience was never her strong suit, but she was learning. God was growing her. As she meditated on this Scripture her phone buzzed again. “R U up?” Anna smiled as she dialed the number... sounded like Maggie needed some encouragement through this marathon she was running.
About 30 minutes later, a satisfied Anna placed her phone on the table as she pulled on her running shoes. “Better get that run in before I get called again” she said out loud. She pulled on her wool sweater, threw on a scarf and bolted out the door, then dashed back... “some days I wish we weren't attached at the hip” she thought as she grabbed her phone and shoved it in her pocket. Beau came up beside her and they headed down the lane as the sun started to peak out above the frosty tree tops.
After her run, Anna went about completing the rest of her morning routine. Feeding Beau and Tara, her cuddly Maine Coon cat, showering, breakfast all interrupted with frequent checks of her blackberry. Anna decided that if a storm was coming, she had better bring in some more wood to fill her little stove. She bundled up again and headed to the wood pile. When that task was completed, Anna decided to recheck her supplies. She looked through her birth bag and decided to throw in an extra pair of socks and thermal under ware... just in case!
Anna checked her truck and made sure the extra gas can was in the back. All prepared... just waiting... Her mind returned to her passage in devotions... Patience... She was patient... ish... she knew that babies came in God's timing... but she often wished she knew when that time would be...
Anna's phone rang. Was this it? False alarm... it was her sister... No, she couldn't babysit tonight... yes, she could come for lunch... a few minutes later she placed her birth supplies in the truck and called for Beau who readily hopped into the passenger's seat. Anna drove the short ride to Margie's house. She loved spending time with her little nieces and nephews! And boy, did they love her dog Beau.
During a delicious lunch of creamy potato stew and fresh biscuits, Anna's phone buzzed. No, not yet Maggie. It was her friend Christy wanting to know if she would be coming to the Ladies Bible study tomorrow night. Anna replied “will try”. Anna was thankful for her friends and family. They understood that what she did was a special calling. They understood if she couldn't make it to events or make commitments in advance. This was the life she chose and she loved it... but it was hard to be patient at times.
Anna decided to text Maggie and see how she was doing. A few minutes later Tom texted back that Maggie was laboring well. Contractions were still regular but they would call when they wanted Anna to come. She was proud of this couple. If they decided they were all right, she would trust their instincts.
Anna and Margie spent the afternoon chatting away. They enjoyed piecing together a new quilt for Margie's little one who was due in the spring. The children went outside to play with Beau... good. He would sleep well tonight, Anna thought.
Her phone buzzed. She set down the square of fabric she was holding... Maybe, she silently hoped... “Ctrx more frequent.” As she composed a reply, her phone rang. She heard a frantic Tom on the other end “gush... fluid... need you”. Anna sprang to her feet and tried to find better reception... “Okay Tom, heading over... On my way.” As she pulled on her boots she asked Margie... “can Beau stay?” “of course sis! Be safe!” Anna headed out and opened the door to her truck... She looked up at the sky as a few flakes started to fall. Right on time... she thought... right on time.