Our lives are seriously ruled by the whims of the weather. Everything we do depends on the current and upcoming weather forecast. We check it, compare it, analyze it and re-check way too many times a day. When we had our first baby, along with obsessively checking for signs of impending labor we were even more obsessively checking the weather forecasts. That September we REALLY NEEDED to be able to go out and earn some money. It was the very start of our Swordfish Season (historically a good time of year for us, fishing wise). Back then, we had not yet participated in a White Sea Bass season. So we had been experiencing a typical slowing of Halibut numbers (which means basically we were broke) & were waiting rather impatiently for Swords to start. We happened to also be several days overdue for that first precious little baby.
Poor Chris. He so needed to go out fishing. But, Sword season takes him WAYYYY off shore. Meaning if I did go into labor – and let’s state the obvious – that huge baby was not going to keep baking much longer, he would be about a 30 hour boat ride/tie up/truck drive away from home. FIrst labors are usually long ~ but 30 hours? Let’s not even go there. If he stayed home ‘patiently’ waiting for Mr. Max to emerge… our financial ship might begin taking on water, or even sink. Even missing a few nights of Sword season really messes with our bottom line. There are only a certain number of days in the season, some being taken up with traveling to and from fishing grounds, some are taken up delivering fish, re-icing & re-fueling. But NOT going fishing, for anything other reason, is simply not an option.
We made the hard decision that year to send Chris off, hoping against hope that he’d have time to make a quick trip (um, make some quick money) and be back in time to catch his first son’s entrance. We relunctantly packed the sea bag & set the alarm for 2 am. (Fisherman’s office hours = So. Dang. Crazy.) A few hours of fitful half sleep mixed in with constant clock checking and the fear of having my sweet baby without his Daddy there was apparently what it takes to put me into labor. About 30 minutes before his alarm was set to go off, there was finally no doubt that ‘real labor’ was happening.
There are some things that you just have no control over. The weather, when babies will come, or if you fish for a living whether you will be ‘home’ or ‘out’ on any certain day.
Max came at the perfectly appointed time. I will never forget being able to spend the next few months basking in new motherhood, while Chris was out at sea making it possible for me to be home. It all worked out just fine. We desperately wanted to be in control of this situation – but as mere humans, it’s really not our job.
There are 5 of us Williams now, often still wishing we could control things we aren’t meant to. Chris has been able to witness the birth of each baby. A near miss for one and a very quick departure right after another… but he has been there for the births of each of them.
I hope you are enjoying this beautiful rainy day.