Petty Officer Franklin is an op on my crew who works eight-hour nights because she’s pregnant, so on mids she’ll mosey over to my desk at about two in the morning to tell me she’s going home for the night. Last night, though, she came over about ten-thirty.

“Sgt O, if it’s all right with you, I’m going home at midnight,” she said. “I’m feeling pretty bad.”

I asked her if she was going to the hospital, by which I meant sick call.

“No, they just send you home if the contractions are more than five minutes apart, and mine are seven, but they’re starting to hurt pretty bad.”

I said something like, “You’re having CONTRACTIONS?” and I may have broken a sweat.

It somehow turned out that Petty Officer Moran, pregnant as well, was also experiencing labor pains about seven minutes apart. All this in the middle of the first snow flurries of the season, making roads to Security Hill slippery. I could just see ambulances sliding across icy roads into the ditch, and panicky airmen (that includes me) trying to deliver babies on the operations floor with a first-aid kit and my wits.

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