Bob Dylan's classic 1989 track "Everything is Broken" is a powerful meditation on the seemingly futile case for hope in a world increasingly yielding to chaos. With deft timing and pitch-perfect characterization, "Everything" draws the listener into a journey of the spirit, as the forces of entropy unreel against -- or only amidst? -- its protagonists. Juxtaposed against the approaching birth of their first child, the casual decay of the environment around them is revealed first in a sick dog, a dead ceiling fan, then the failure of a lovingly and meticulously stocked refrigerator/freezer, the appearance of a defective nursery furniture part, the odor of a dead mouse in their Toyota Yaris.
Oh, dear. As it turns out, this is not, in fact, Bob Dylan's classic 1989 track "Everything is Broken," but actually Annie and my life over week 39 of this pregnancy. In truth, I don't believe I've ever heard it, and have absolutely no knowledge of the lyrics or tune -- all due apologies to Bob -- I've just felt inspired by his choice of title these past few days, as all of the above actually did happen to us. Fear not -- Hank's back to his old tricks, replacement parts are winging their way to us as we speak, some already installed, and a feast of salvaged pork chops and fried chicken is a challenge to which we gladly acquiesce.
Throughout all of this, though, one thing has remained resilient -- Annie's cervix.
There is a terribly sad and terribly named condition called "Incompetent Cervix" -- I learned this in my reading -- in which the cervix "ripens," or becomes yielding, early in the pregnancy and the child is delivered too soon. As it turns out, in pregnancy, as in all things, Annie has proven to be hyper-competent, her cervix unflagging in its duty to guard passage to the womb. You can imagine that what was a comfort and a blessing throughout most of the pregnancy has become a bit frustrating to Annie in these later weeks, when we want things to begin moving along. And, given enough time, this too could become medically dangerous. Well, I'm happy to report that today, on Walter's official due date, Dr. M announced the first indications that Annie's cervix was open to negotiations. So, while induction is still on the table, particularly if the cervix remains reticent, this was a bit of happy news.
Thermodynamics informs us that with the passage of time comes the introduction of chaos. We've been passing time long enough -- we're ready for our introduction.