The week of Miranda Lucia Ospina & my driving madness

Born on November 12, 2008 at 4:55 AM EST at NYU Medical Center.

Weight: 7lbs 6 oz

Height: 20″

The most important thing that happened, was obviously the birth of my daughter.  We had a planned c-section for Wednesday morning, so following tradition, Crystal went into labor the night before.  We left the house at 1:15 AM EST.  Made it to Manhattan at 1:42 AM EST.  Not bad at all.

You get to learn a lot about doctors and their procedures after being through 4 cesarian operations.

With Christopher, I got to watch the whole thing, even video tape the operation.  I remember commenting how nice my wife’s stomach was and how she really had no fat.  I sincerely enjoy watching operations and don’t get sick. Maybe in another life I’ll be a surgeon.  Crystal doesn’t like comments during operations, by the way.

With Liliana, Dr. Martes, an amazing Doctor, played spanish music through the procedure.  She was really cool.  We talked about the artists playing while she operated.  Very good doctor, but she retired :(

The next two operations were more and more strict.  With this last one, Dr. Cheon, which delivered Johnny, came late, so her partner, Dr. Bendetto started the procedure.  She is a very strict Italian lady.   I got yelled at by her every time I took a peek at the procedure.   “Sit Down!”.   “You cannot look over the sheet!”.   I guess someone must have fainted before.

The funny thing is that I was really relaxed.  I had a great conversation with the anesthesiologist.  Me, being the king of useless information, wanted a Doctor’s opinion about one of the many mysteries in life.   I’ll admit that I had some background on the topic, but wanted to see his point of view.  We even took a survey in the O.R. about what people thought.  My wife didn’t like it.

The topic: Why do men have nipples?

Miranda was born at 4:55 AM, 1 minute after Johnathan 18 months earlier.  I stayed with Crystal and Miranda until I had to leave, which was 11pm.   At this point, I was very happy, but very tired.   This is when my driving madness started.

Falling asleep on the wheel is no joke.   I hate it when I have to drive tired, but in this case, I have to do it.   I live on the west end of Nassau County, Long Island.   I usually drive through the midtown tunnel out of Manhattan, take the Long Island Expressway and either take the Van Wick to the Belt Parkway or take the LIE to the Cross Island.  Both of these routes end up at the same spot, which is the Southern State Parkway.

1st Night’s choice: Van Wick to Belt.  Bad Choice.

While getting almost at the end of the Belt, where it splits into the Cross Island North Bound and the Southern State East bound I was starting to lose it.   If only something would wake me up.

At the Francis Lewis exit, two cop cars speeded though and PARKED perpendicular to the parkway.  I had to slam on my brakes along with everyone around me.   A third cop car came and blocked the whole parkway, east bound.  WTF? I thought.  I wasn’t thinking at this point.  It didn’t dawn on me how peculiar this was, only annoyed that I couldn’t get home to sleep.   The cops get out, one hand making the universal sign to stop, the other PULLING THEIR GUNS OUT.  “Holy Shit, High School all over again” I thought.   The cops seemed to be flanking my car.   Another cop car, out of the exit, gets on the grass median to my right.  I’m frozen at this point.  Then, a cop looks at me and stands next to my door, which I’m assuming he is going to open and throw me out.  I’m thinking I must have hit someone and slept though it.   Unlikely, but possible.  I must have done something wrong here..  The cop on my right side is doing his impression of a short stop just after a pitch is thrown..back and forth on his heals, side to side.  They are all looking behind me.   A madmen has a gun and is running on the parkway behind me, I figure.   I’m getting shot from behind.  Way to DIE on the day your daughter is born, I thought.  I look at my rear view mirror and see a black SUV speeding through the left side of the parkway, on the side of the parked cars, sparks coming from the left side while hitting the divider.   That’s what this is about.  A road block and I’m on front.  I wish I had a camera, I think.  I have an HD camera next to me, but I’m still too frozen to move and too tired to remember.   As the SUV goes by, I see three people inside.   One cop SHOOTS THE TIRES OUT!  RIGHT NEXT TO ME!.  Car keeps on going.  All the cops run back inside their cars.  About 30 troopers and a helicopter are chasing this guy.   Unmarked cars with cop lights are all over the place.   Not sure how they got around all the traffic, but they did.    At this point, I notice that the Parkway is still blocked, but the exit next to me isn’t.  I throw the car in reverse, and get off the exit, following a cop car.  I gotta get the hell out of here, I figure.   Brookville is the street parallel to the Belt.  While I try to plan how to get home from here (Merrick Road), I wait for the green light.  I look to my right, empty..I look to my left…looks like a LOT of cop cars coming towards me.   I stay put, don’t cross the light.   As I look closer, A FUQN SUV with sparks coming from it is COMING RIGHT AT ME! The guy must have gotten off, doubled back via Brookville and is going back to Queens.  The SUV goes right in front of me.  No tires on the rear, just rims.  Sparks flying like when someone is welding iron.  Troopers next to me, on both sides..troopers on the other side of the street.   My car is litup completely by the helicopter.  SUV keeps on going..100s of cops right behind it.  Holy SHIT! Why didn’t I grab my camera?   

After about 5 minutes, I finally have the nerve to be the first car to go…one right, next left, on my way home.   I tried calling 1010wins.   I have my iPhone and I’m trying to look it up.   Have to tell them what I saw! couldn’t find their number.    I get home, completely wired, which made it easier to fall asleep.
I get up early, turn the news on, look at the internet, looking for news on this event.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!.   WTF?  is this not news in NYC? I guess not. 

Next day, stay with my wife and daughter at the hospital.

2st Night’s choice home: Cross Island to Southern State.  Bad Choice.

Droggy as hell..rainy.  Nothing too bad until I get to the loop to Southern State.  I’m drowsy, closing my eyes.   Open my eyes. 3 Car pile up!  I slam my brakes, hydroplane towards the barrier.  I’m honking my horn so the people behind me brake and won’t hit me.  Just barely hit the barrier.   In a blind curve between two Highways.  Just great.   Two cars on the right lane are stopped, looks like a fender bender.  3 car pile up on my lane, the left lane.   Little civic comes in handy, after 13 years, still holding strong.  Go around the cars, get on the Southern State…make it home.

3rd day.  Rainy as hell..this is the day I’m taking my older kids to see their new sister.  

Belt to VanWick.  Bad Choice.

As Im driving, we are on the Odyssey at this point (wouldn’t risk the Civic with the kids and my previous two nights).  The van is getting splashed on like a carwash.  The kids are loving it…I’m, of course, sick to death of driving.  I’m telling my kids what to look for when they get older and start to drive.  I tell them the dangers of speeding, of old tires, of skidding, of wet brakes, etc..  Sure enough, as we are getting on the VanWick, we hear brakes.  I look as far as I can, which is like 20 feet of visibility due to the rain and I see a cab upside down, blocking the entrance to the Van Wick.  3 cars in front of us.   I’m getting the point now.   I have to stop speeding.  I have to be more careful when I drive.  Got it.  Point made.   I have kids..Got it.

The rest of this trip was uneventful, which is good.  We get to the hospital, the kids get to see their sister and mom, I get them lunch, get them gifts and go home.   I’m driving real careful at this point.

3rd Day choice: Doesn’t matter.  Bad Choice

As I’m getting on the Midtown Tunnel, I get highlighted and sirens behind me.   I move over to the barely possible side right outside the midtown tunnel.  19 COP CARS! This time: I took pictures:

   

Very weird three days.   The next two were uneventful.  I got honked at for driving slow a couple of times, and had no problem driving at night, as I was to high on adrenaline to fall asleep.

 

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