So there we were, on our way to see our new granddaughter, born the day before by C-Section. We had gotten our Google directions and followed them to the letter to this hospital on the other side of the state. We haven't gotten around to purchasing a GPS and now would have been a good time to own one. After an hour's drive, following the directions to a T, we landed in a back alley behind the hospital. We weren't even sure we had the correct hospital because the name was different. This was Midstate Medical Center. We were looking for General Hospital.
We parked our car in a free spot in front of a mental health counseling center down the street from two dumpsters. The brick building loomed before us, surrounded by tall chain link fences and dead-ends. But we spied a door on the loading dock which instinct told me would be open. I dragged my skeptical husband up the stairs and sure enough, the door swung open. I strode in, arms waving confidently, and followed the corridor past more grungy dumpsters and piled-up crates. We swept through the halls beyond the time clocks and encountered a man with what looked like a gurney covered with a sheet..
"We must be near the morgue," my husband said.
"Let's go," I said and we entered the first elevator we saw. The door closed, we pushed the button. Nothing happened. Pushed it again. Still nothing. I pushed the "door open" button but accidently pressed the alarm. A voice boomed over the loud speaker. "If you're going to Family Birthing come up the way you went out."
Okay, we said, and went searching for the route to Family birthing where our son and daughter-in-law and new baby would be. My husband found a stairwell and we bounded two stories up the stairs. We stopped at a door and on the other side of it, a sign which said "Family birthing Center." But, of course, the door was locked. I knocked and knocked until the door flew open. Two uniformed policemen with stern surprised looks on their faces opened the door.
"Where did you come from? How did you get in here?" The taller one asked.
"The loading dock. We're here to see our new granddaughter."
"You came in through the loading dock? How is that possible?" They eyed me suspiciously.
"It was open. And our Google maps directed us there. We couldn't find the front door."
They were not amused. "You can't be here," said the other officer as he shuttled us through the halls. "I'll have to take you downstairs so you can repark your car in the correct lot and come back up here."
"You can't be serious," I said. "She's right down the hall. Can't we have a peek?"
"Sorry ma'am. All the security systems have been down today and you've identified another breach. This is serious, I'll escort you down."
The first officer turned his back and talked into his walkie talkie. He frowned as we walked by, as though we were grandparent terrorists set on stealing babies from the maternity ward.
We finally reparked our car and found our way back upstairs to our children and new grandbaby. She was, of course, extraordinarily beautiful. The kids looked relaxed and happy, just like you'd want new parents to look. We told them of our adventure.
"Oh, that's why the door must have kept locking all day and nurses would rush to all the exits on a moments' notice," said our son. "It's been happening all day. At one point they came in and checked the tracking device on the baby's foot."
"People steal babies?!" I said naively.
"Evidently all the time," said our son. "But we're protected. She's in here with us."
And my mind flew back to my time with my newborns when they stayed in the maternity ward and were rolled back into my room from time to time. No talk of kidnappers then. It was a more innocent and safer time.
Some say they want to build a cell tower in our small town of 1800 people and for what? To someday place GPS systems and microchips in our brains? What is this brave new world we're facing? Having GPS that night wouldn't have been so bad but at what price? I wonder what perils this generation will face.
Looking into the face of that infant, I know danger is all around us, as it has always been. But we face new dangers now, the loss of freedom, the loss of security. There have always been treacherous acts of God which threatened lives. Now we have Man-Caused Disasters. May baby Quinn be protected from these and may she know the safety that comes form having two loving parents. That's the most any of us can hope for. She has what no electronic device can replace - a human brain, a human heart and a human soul.