Until I neared the end. I was due October 22 (also my oldest son's birthday!), and we had moved to a town that is usually very quiet and relaxed, except one weekend a year, the Pumpkin Festival, when something on the order of 200,000 people flock over the hill on the one-lane, one road to the coast to...look at big pumpkins and explore the street fair (at least, that was my impression of it). The traffic makes it nearly impossible to take the most direct route to the other side of the hills, where the hospital is. We could still get out if we needed to, but it could take a while (possibly over an hour). This year, the Pumpkin Festival was October 19 and 20, and there was a very good chance, based on my history, that I could go into labor that weekend and that my labor would be short enough to be a nail-biter on that long way around.
We had also arranged for my mother-in-law to fly in from Israel a few days before my due date, hoping she would arrive before the baby so she could stay with the other kids when we went to the hospital and then to help out after the birth.
At my 38-week visit with my OB, we both felt it was reasonably likely that I would have the baby quite soon. I was 3cm dilated already (not terribly unusual in someone who's been pregnant before) and experiencing strong (but not painful) contractions. Panicked, I spent the evening arranging with the neighbors to help with backup childcare in case baby decided to make his appearance.
But labor did not start. We got through another week, Pumpkin Festival weekend loomed, but at least it looked like my mother-in-law would be there in time after all. At my 39-week appointment that Wednesday, October 16, my OB and I decided to play it safe and try not to stir anything up. Thursday, my mother-in-law indeed arrived, and still I remained pregnant. Saturday, Pumkpin Festival day one, came, bright and sunny, and we went for a walk down to the main road to see the traffic, which was about as spectacular as promised. The walk turned into a leisurely day near the harbor, where we went to a pumpkin patch, had a panini, and enjoyed a sunny day without labor.