Yesterday was the first anniversary of the collapse of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis, MN. I had planned to write something of my own to mark the occasion until I read a story written by a young coworker who asked me if I would publish it on my column.
Just another Day - by Darius Hubbard Sr.
It was the morning of August 1, 2007; we woke up from a very warm night, which was warmer than normal. At the apartment where we lived at the time there was no air conditioner this made it even worse for my wife, and she was already overly hot from the pregnancy. We woke up to a cell phone alarm so that we could make our appointment at our soon to be house. This appointment was the final walk through before the signing of the papers of our first home. When we were taking our final look through the house, I had noticed that my wife was looking overly tired so I asked her to sit down. By this point, she was at the full term of her pregnancy. Once the appointment was over we left in the van and headed for the DMV because my wife had been nagging in my ear for the last six months of our marriage to have her name changed on her license before the baby was born. Once we were settled in the car she had mentioned that she felt some pains which the contractions were starting.
When we arrived at the DMV we got her picture taken and name changed and then we were off to drop me off at work. Before I arrived at the job, she was nagging again in my ear about the slight pains she was having. When I asked her how bad it was she said the pain was just irritating. So why are you nagging just call me and we will go up to the hospital; I told her if it gets worse.
When I arrived at the job, I knew it was going to be just another boring old day at the work with a whole bunch of people that I can't stand asking the same questions. So, I was prepping some checks and about an hour and a half after I've been at work, Patty, one of my co-workers tells me Jen, my wife, is on the phone, and it sounds serious. So, I go and get the phone and Jen tells me that the pains are getting worse and she wants to go to the hospital. Little did I know that I was getting into a car full of slow mo's or popularly known as my mother in law, sometimes she can be so freaking irritating every little thing that happens she blows it out of proportion.
The hospital is about a five minute ride away from my job, so we get there and parked the car, checked in, and were on our way up to the maternity ward. So, when we are sitting in the room the midwife finally comes in and she checks Jen out, and takes a couple of looks at her and asks are you sure you are in labor? You look to happy to be in labor. Then they tell us she's too happy and they sent us home.
On the way home, we stopped by subway to eat because she said she was hungry. Once there she swallowed a whole sub. While in Subway we see a police officer getting some food but then he gets a call over his walkie-talkie and he runs out to his car to find out what went wrong and then he would go into the back of Subway to see on the TV what just had happened. Little did we know that our paths would later intertwine? We make it to the apartment and turned on the TV, to find out the news of the 35W Bridge collapsing. Just then, her pains worsened to the point of her screaming. We call the hospital they tell her to sit in a warm bath to see if the contractions would slow down; they didn't. After they didn't we went back to the hospital because the pain was too intense for her to take anymore. As we make our way to the hospital doors, we encounter many news reporters and police officers to monitor the amount of people coming in who were not in the bridge collapse. One officer had asked my wife what she was there for and she gave him a look that stated I will eat you if you don't move out the way. Another officer yelled to the other one saying I think you should move out of her way.
So we slowly made our way through the sea of people, some crying, others just lost in their own thoughts and fears, just when I thought it was going to be a boring day at work. We check in and are shown to the room. Six hours later of screams and pain it was time to push. Everything seemed normal until the baby's heart rate dropped too low so the midwives jumped into action. While they are at work I'm trying to keep her in order, but who's keeping me. Everything is okay now they say, lets continue to push so she starts again. Just then his heart beat drops again. This time they can't get it back her mom is panicking as her screams get louder. What's wrong? she asks. It's okay just breath and push, I tell her. I go into prayer next thing I know there is a sea of nurses, doctors, and midwives. Someone states we need to get him out now they turn her this way and that trying to get him out. Finally it's almost over I forgot I was recording I hand her the camera as his head comes out. Man you look like your mom! I tell him. He is okay I hear my boy's cry and I cry tears of joy myself. I think of the sea of tears earlier I wonder if someone is crying now because they can't hear their little boys cry I thank God. A joyous day for us, but a sad day for others, but one no one will ever forget and I thought it was going to be just another boring day.