Because of complications, Dorea had to be induced at 38 weeks, and we had been hoping to take the bus to the hospital for the induction. We were all set with that plan until we left the house with our luggage in tow and realized that it was raining. After a few minutes, the rain slacked off a bit and we were set to go out in the drizzle. Just then, our neighbor stepped out onto her porch.
“How are you getting to the hospital?”
“We’re going to take the bus,” Dorea said.
“Do you want a ride?”
Dorea and I exchanged a meaningful look and then responded with a somewhat sheepish, “Yes.”
Our neighbor ran back into her house, hollering to her husband that we needed a ride now, and then her daughter joined us for a very non-exciting ride to the hospital (it had even stopped raining).
Less than 24 hours later and we were headed back home, still without a baby. We’d had a round of induction attempts and wanted to get a good night’s sleep before starting another. This time our wonderful doula drove us home. As we were getting out of the car, our neighbor’s son spotted us and shouted out, “Dorea and Angela are back with the baby.” Kids and grownups came pouring out of houses and alleyways to have a look, and we had to tell everyone it was a false alarm — no baby yet.
The next morning a friend who lives a few blocks away drove us to the hospital for a second round. A few eventful days later we were ready to come home, this time with our beautiful new baby boy. Dorea was under doctor’s orders to rest for a couple weeks and a bus was out of the question. We called yet another friend who came to the hospital and hauled us, all of our junk, and our new baby, back home.
So, how did we do on our carfree birth? It wasn’t particularly car free, but we are grateful to be connected to our friends and neighbors and to be able to depend on them when we need help. And that’s really what being carfree means to us.