That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

fun times

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I forgot to mention that my sweet fella is almost 9 months old! We’re high fiving, kissing and clapping. I’m just amazed by him every day and amazed at how quickly he’s growing. It’s kind if like when I lived in DC. I said out loud “I can’t believe I live here,” on a daily basis because I knew it was fleeting. I miss the tiny newborn that would fall asleep in my arms.

But this little dude is a whole lot of fun!

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Also
this.

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idiot

Hey, if you sell your 6 year old car seat, which is expired and does not conform to safety standards, to two innocent brand-spanking new parents who barely know which end the diaper goes on, YOU SUUUUUUUCK.

Likewise, if you decide you’re not going to pay retail anymore and you’re going to do this baby thing on the cheap and you think, “Wow, what a bargain! Those fools! How dumb of all the other noobs out there to be buying all new stuff!” YOU SUUUUUUUCK!

Yeah. Did you know car seats have expiration dates? Apparently, they do! So, special note to any moms to-be who may be reading this and wondering if they can save money by buying used: just buy a new stroller, for heaven’s sake.

We registered for this: http://www.target.com/p/chicco-cortina-keyfit-travel-system-vega/-/A-13206365#prodSlot=medium_1_24&term=chicco

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I remember seeing it in a store display once when I thought I was pregnant but just had a huge cyst. Love at first sight. It was so pretty. So cool. But you know what, it’s not sold in stores. I didn’t see it in a store after that. It’s expensive. We didn’t get it. So, we got this:

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It’s not bad, and it was $75 on craigslist. What a bargain! I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. It gets the job done. (I know what you’re thinking, and I couldn’t locate the expiration date on it, but it was manufactured in 2011. So worst case scenario, it shouldn’t expire until 2017. We actually bought it in 2012, so I still think we got a good deal.)

I continued the search for a used Chicco KeyFit in Vega because I love it. Found a Chicco KeyFit that was black and green. Not as cool as the Vega, but still pretty cool. AND it matches the diaper bag that Great Aunt Dee Dee gave us (which I LOVE). So, it looked like a win all around. They asked $100 for the stroller, car seat and two bases.

Everything was going fine. We even test-drove the new (OLD) Chicco stroller at Disney World. I loved it. Downside: it has one cup-holder. My old (newer!) Graco stroller had two. But it’s so pretty and in essence is the travel system that was on our registry. Then, for some reason this morning I woke up with a wild hair up my butt to check out what the dealio is with this whole expiration thing.

It makes me mad. The sellers told us that the people who looked at the car seat before us didn’t take it because the base was expired. If the previous people knew to check the base, surely they knew to also check the bottom of the seat. (Although, we didn’t. But, I mean, CLEARLY we are idiots because we knew the base was going to expire and bought it anyway. It expires in October, so I figured at that point he’d be a year old and we’d upgrade to a bigger seat.) So, the sellers had to be lying to our faces. Dangit. They seemed so nice. They said it was all a scam by the car seat companies to sell more car seats. And, “oh, back in my day we just rolled around in the back of the station wagon with no seat belts…”

Well, it’s not a scam by car seat manufacturers. It’s a plastic-becomes-dry-and-brittle-after-sitting-in-the-sun-in-you-car-for-6-years legit thing! I’m sure it’s a conservative estimate, but how can I put Bruce in it now that I’ve seen the label that says, “DO NOT USE AFTER 02 FEB 2013?”

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Other than this, I’ve had such positive experiences on craigslist! I hate that my constant quest for the best quality at the best price has cost me more money. Our family has spent $315 on strollers and car seats! I could have bought a brand new travel system for $300! To top it off, a new one might have lasted through several kids without expiring! Dangit!

I forget that you are not in my head, so as I write and re-read and re-write this, I am wondering what backstory I need to add or clarify. I love the Liteway. Maybe I shouldn’t count it in my tally of money wasted on strollers because that one is a keeper either way.

I also have a new liteway stroller, so maybe I should just buy a convertible car seat, new, like, from a store, and be done with it. Contrary to what Tom thinks, Bruce is getting too big and too heavy to be toted around in the car seat as a carrier. He’s starting to sit up on his own. (Oh yeah, that happened! Brand new this week!) Maybe he can sit up in shopping carts and high chairs from now on, and if he needs pushing, we do it in the Liteway.

So. I’m new at this. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Love to. I’m feeling very overwhelmed. Can I get by with just using the Liteway, which is a very glorified umbrella stroller? I guess it all depends on my lifestyle? My only issue with the Liteway is that it doesn’t have a huge basket underneath for the diaper bag. It has a cup holder for mom, but no tray or cup holder for Bruce. I don’t want to buy a new travel system if we’re on the cusp of not using it as a system anymore. How long did you use your big stroller? Did you have both a regular stroller and an umbrella stroller? Bruce is almost 8 months old. How long to babies ride backwards in car seats? When do we need to get a bigger seat? The car seat, it seems, goes to 22 lbs. I forget what he was at the last check-up. I want to say it was around 17. Okay, yeah I just checked. He was 17 lbs. at his 6 month check-up. So, he’s 5 lbs. away from growing out of the car seat anyway, which I am guesstimating will happen at about the one year mark?

I am thinking we switch back to ol’ reliable, the old newer one. Well, I mean, definitely we do that first because this new OLD one isn’t safe. But, I mean as a long-term plan, do I just go back to what I have or should I just buy a new Chicco car seat and continue to use the prettier Chicco stroller? Or should I buy a convertible seat and use the big Chicco travel system’s stroller and the Liteway depending on the situation? Or do I just sell the new OLD stroller to recoup my loss because I’m mad at it? Or do I sell the used crap for what I paid for it, buy the Chicco KeyFit in Vega, because that’s what I wanted all along, use that car seat for a couple of months, hoping I’ll have another kid in the next 5 years that can use it for real?

Sad thing is I have $100 in giftcards. Plus the $175 I spent on craigslist… Yeah. Absolutely could’ve had exactly what I wanted from day one with about the amount I’ve spent so far. In my defense, though, I had every intention of selling the $75 Graco when we bought the new OLDER $100 Chicco.

I feel bad, because when I bought the shiny new OLDER one, Tom said, “I like the one he has, but if you like this better…” *facepalm*

We were good! Why did I have to — whatever. Doesn’t matter. It’s really just a $100 mistake. $100 Stupid Tax. I keep thinking that it was a $315 minstake, but it wasn’t. If we can get rid of the new OLD stroller for $100, then it’s a $0 mistake. Even if I unload the new OLD stroller for $50 and throw away the car seat, I’ve only paid a $50 stupid tax.

AND it smelled funny! I should have known. The new OLD car seat that we bought always smelled weird. I immediately missed the smell of my old newer one.

Wish Ikea sold car seats.

***UPDATE 6/29/13***
We sold the stroller a week or two ago. The guy said “what can you do to help out a Mexican guy?”
To which Tom replied, “Make me an offer.”
“$80?”
“Sounds good.”
“Aw, man. You see, I should’ve said $50.” It worked out, because before the dude showed up we talked about going as low as $75.

We also bought a convertible car seat, brand-spanking-new, for about $90 and I have fallen back in love with the original Graco travel system that we bought. I have a new respect for the thing. The sellers were wonderful people and we got a great deal.

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some things

I keep meaning to update, and in the midst of it all I also keep writing posts about myself and not having the courage to post them – AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FO’ DAT!

Some things that I don’t want to forget:

  • Bruce has been shuffling across the floor, but he’s really gaining momentum this week especially.  I think I can can count a little maneuver he did last night as legit crawling.
  • Just after we got back from Virginia for Sunny’s graduation, Bruce would open his mouth on my cheek and say, “muh.”  They were sweet but short-lived kisses.  I’m not losing hope, though.  The dancing thing started out the same way.  He did it once, then forgot.  But now he does it all the time.  Particularly when Momma wants a kiss.
  • On April 20, about a week before Gran & Grandpa’s wedding, Gran found two little bottom front teeth.  I’m an idiot – didn’t know that was, like, a thing.  Apparently, your first tooth, or two together in Luong Jye’s (sp?) case, is a big deal.  No sign of the upper level dudes.
  • We went to Walt Disney World after the wedding.  It rained, and it rained, and it rained.  But we wrapped our precious infant in a plastic bag and carried on through the cold, damp night.  And the parent of the year award goes to….
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Seriously, how stinkin’ cute is he?!

We started with one adult poncho to cover the stroller.  Then, I decided that I was tired of being damp.  Then finally Tom got one when the rain just wouldn’t let up.  And eventually, we were like, “well, Bruce likes fireworks… we should take him out of the stroller for that… and keep him dry… and also keep the stroller dry…”

So, this family of 3 has 4 ponchos.

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Show ’em how it’s done!

We did all the normal stuff.  Just wetter.  And wrapped in plastic.  Oh, and we crashed Gran & Grandpa’s honeymoon.

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But look how happy Gran was to see Bruce!

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Playing with Gran & Grandpa’s cake toppers.

Grandpa didn’t even mind it all that much.

It was nice.  It was just a nice dynamic popping in to visit, and then going back to our ratty off-property “resort.”  Gran and Grandpa were so happy to see us.  We kind of felt like guests.  “You guys want some soda?”  “No, thank you.  We don’t want to drink all your Dr. Pepper.” “No big deal, help yourself.”  I washed my glass when I was done instead of just dropping it in the sink because, you know, I was a guest in their “home.”  We went to dinner Tuesday night, then left them alone until Sunday when they disembarked the Disney Dream.  (At least, I think it was the Dream this time.)

I told Bruce that he’s so fortunate to be on his third trip to Walt Disney World when so many other little boys haven’t been once.  Lucky boy!  He didn’t seem to care either way.

He was happy though.  I’m constantly surprised at how happy he is all the time.  I like it.  As soon as I got knocked up, I said we were replacing Mr. Nasty with Lil’ Happy.  (Thought it was going to be Miss Happy, but anyway…)  I don’t know where the name came from, why I thought Happy and not Healthy, Adorable, Cutie, Sweetie… but he is SO happy.

This last trip, I decided that Bruce’s first birthday party is going to be New Fantasyland, Storybook Circus. We had an “it’s a small world” shower, Storybook Circus first… we’ll just work out way through the parks until he’s 21 and we drink around Epcot.

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We got to visit Lindsay at her house, too.  It was our first time there.  (Although I’ve become very familiar with the living room since skype-guarding it.)  I didn’t want to make Lindsay about-face as soon as she got home and take us to Shutters, so we went to Jack somebody’s something Shack at Royal Palm Pointe, right on the water.  It was nice, I couldn’t stop geeking out over eating on the water, but the food was meh.  We all would’ve preferred Shutters, but at least now we know.  I assumed Riverside would’ve been crowded, but we didn’t even check.  Should have checked.  Well, I mean, I guess we didn’t know any better.

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Sarah let Tom, Bruce and me sleep in her bed.  That was awesome.  Awesome!

I almost forgot!  Bruce started riding around in his stroller like a big boy at Walt Disney World.  I don’t know what I will do not looking at his wittle face anymore.  Tom still likes to keep him in the seat, and it is taxing buckling and unbuckling him all the time, but I think his car-seat-stroller days are numbered.  Now that he’s getting used to the sitting thing, he’s also more inclined to let us push him in the red stroller, which is nice because it’s like a fancy umbrella stroller, so it’s lightweight and folds up much smaller than the travel system.

I think he enjoys the view.

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I’d like to know what this little boy has done with my little baby.

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love stinks.

Guess what I got for Valentine’s Day?!

So, Bruce and I were laying in bed watching e-cards from Gran when I noticed his jammies were wet.  Oh no, so is the blanket.  Dammit, so is the mattress.  So, I scoop him up and change his diaper and plop him in the car seat.  I put the comforter in the wash, take off the sheets… I guess I could have spot cleaned, but I told you guys a long time ago that I hate dirty, nasty, pee pee, poo poo stuff.  On that note…

I did what I could to blot out the pee from the mattress without rubbing it in a whole lot.  I sprayed it with Resolve and just tried to work it out without working it in.  I’m content with my efforts, but will probably have Tom give it a go later anyway.

I grab Bruce.  Because the poor baby is just in a diaper, I head towards his room for clothes– is that poop?!  Did you poop in the diaper that I JUST put on you 5 seconds ago?!  You suck.

I don’t really stand at the changing table and wipe incessantly when he poops.  They’re squishy and slimy, so I dunk him in the sink.  Usually Bruce sits under the running water of the faucet.  Tom thinks it’s weird.  But a little soap and water, BOOM, we’re done.

So, we’re in the sink, loving our mini-bath/bidet.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of poop– AHHH!  What is that?!  Pooping.  In the sink.  Great.  Okay.  Swell.

I’ve got no problem with it until I realize that unlike it’s Bruce-butt-smashed counterpart, diaper poop, sink poop does not go down the sink.  No.  It clogs that sucker right up.

So, now the water is running, Bruce is sitting in a bath of his own yellow poop, and I’m up to my elbows in it, frantically trying to wipe the poop out of the drain with a wipe — because EW, poop! — and geez, I guess it would help if I turn the water off.

FINALLY, I get the drain cleared, and wipe the sink clean and resume soaping Bruce up under the faucet.  What a nightmare that was!  Wait until everyone hears!  Wait until I tell Tom!  Tom is going to think this is so funny!

Man… I don’t think I have ever had this much residue on me.  It’s still all over his butt despite all that rinsing– oh.  That would be because HE IS POOPING AGAIN. 

Filled the sink.  Twice.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!  Enjoy your chocolates!

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a day that sucked

We walked away from that whole thing looking like the idiots… but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Maybe this should be a “you suuuck” post.

I didn’t sleep at all last night.  Thirty minutes, maybe.  Bruce literally kept me up all night.

Bruce had a follow-up appointment scheduled today about his butt.  You know, that whole thing at Levine?  They made an appointment to make sure everything healed up alright.  We didn’t schedule the appointment, they made it for us at the hospital.  We just did what we were told.  (And in hindsight, this whole Obamacare thing scares me even more.)  We already had an appointment scheduled for his 2 month check-up, happens to be tomorrow, at Providence Pediatrics, Bruce’s regular doctors.  They made this appointment in addition.  Okay, we thought, the doctor wants to follow-up.  Makes sense.  Dr. Wolanski was the same way with my c-section.  Bruce’s very first pediatrician in Virginia wanted to see him a couple of days after we left the hospital to check his weight and jaundice.  ANYWAY… we did what we were told, and what we assumed was the right thing, the best thing, for Bruce.

So, we get there and parking is ri-goll-darned-diculous.  There’s a garage, but not a lot of spaces and it’s just complicated.  Our appointment note said to arrive 20 minutes early, but we got there right on time.  As soon as we walked in I felt weird.  Why do so many people in here speak spanish?  ::Shrug::  Didn’t think much of it.  Tom went to registration, I took Bruce in his car seat and sat down with my back to the majority of the huge waiting room.  They asked for his parking pass and insurance card.

Tom came and sat down and the lady at the desk called him back after a minute or so.  Tom came back and had me lean in so he could whisper.  I forget his exact words, but he said that the lady said Bruce was kind of a special case, and most of the people there didn’t have healthcare.

GEE.  YA’ DON’T SAY.

Tom was like, “how did you know?”  I said, “well, look around.”  I’m not saying anything about anybody – just that it was just a rough crowd.  We sat in the waiting room for about an hour and a half, then in a patient room for another 30 minutes or so.  They asked if we had a recent height and weight.  Uh… you’re the nurse.  Aren’t you supposed to get that?

We saw the doctors and they were asking lots of leading questions.  Kind of coming at us with a, “so, what are you doing here?” attitude.  To which we responded with a kind of, “you asked us to come,” attitude.  It was kind of awkward.  At some point Tom said that we were just following up after the surgery, and they said that everything looks great.  Something like 10-30% of these things reoccur.  It was 30 seconds, “Hi, how are you? Let’s get a look.  Looks fine. Any questions?  You’re free to go.”  The doctor didn’t even shut the door behind him when he left.  Typically they let us know when we should come back and tell us to take our time if we need to feed or change Bruce.  There was none of that.  Just, “we’re done. Get out.”  Really awkward, really weird.

It’s stupid.  We were already scheduled to see his regular doctor the next day.  We thought we were seeing the surgeon, not just some random guy.  Bruce’s regular M.D. could have looked at his butt crack and said, “Everything looks fine.”  And we wouldn’t have had to wait 2 hours – on top of having to visit another doctor the very next day.

It’s all coming together.  We had to twist some arms to get them to send a hospital billing rep to our room when we were trying to check out of the hospital.  I guess they just assumed we had no insurance when they made the appointment because we hadn’t filed it yet.

We just looked so dumb.  And it was dumb.  We were taking valuable time away from poor people when we have a perfectly good doctor that we are scheduled to see in our fancy-schmancy Ballantyne area tomorrow anyway.  We trekked all the way to Uptown, struggled with parking, waited 2 hours, and then got WTF looks from everyone JUST for a lesson on sociology and economics.

Stupid.

They called Tom this afternoon, reiterated that CSC was a clinic, and didn’t know how to process his insurance.  LISTEN.  YOU GUYS told US to come there.  WORK IT OUT.

What was the point in asking us to get there early?  We really should have gotten there at 7:15 for our 8:45 appointment.  Who makes that big of a mistake?  How do you book someone an appointment at a free clinic without even asking them?  Why the heck wouldn’t we do a post-surgery follow-up with THE SURGEON?  I guess that’s a tough question to ask.  I guess they don’t want to call it the clinic because of the associated stigma.  Guess what, we didn’t have time to spend TWO HOURS in a free-clinic waiting room because Tom’s insurance-paying-self had A JOB to get to!  Got to get to work so he can pay those premiums, so we can sit in our South Charlotte waiting room for 15 minutes instead.

Ridiculous.

They had nothing to do with the surgery.  It’s just a regular pediatrics office.  What we did there we could have done anywhere!  We could have done that TOMORROW at our nice, cushy, local, regular pediatric office!  We are going there anyway!

http://www.snogglenews.com/shows/sunny/s01e02 Go to 05:10 and watch until about 06:30.

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levine children’s hospital

I wrote Tom a note recounting our brief stay at Levine Children’s Hospital earlier this month.  I wrote it almost as soon as we got home because I didn’t want to risk forgetting things like I did when Bruce was born.  I’ve recounted his birth story with all the details more or less in tact, it just would have been nice to have the sheer emotion that we experienced in writing.

So, here are tidbits from a letter that I wrote Tom dated Friday, November 16.

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who, me? oh, i’m just one bad mofo.

Thanks to my ability to finally do something relatively sit-up-esque on my own and all the steri-strips from my c-section falling off in the middle of the night last night (all of them, every single one – on their own, I didn’t rip them off – but it was time, they were due off today), I finally got my first look at my scar.  I panicked a little bit before I saw it.  What am I doing to my body, slicing and dicing it left and right?  What would God say about me butchering this body that he made for me?

Well, my anxiety was ridiculous.  This scar is ridiculous… ly tiny.  I’m serious, it looks like a little red hair across my pelvis, just a thin red horizontal line.  I’m amazed by how short it is, too.  It’s maybe 7? 8 inches long?  (That’s what she said.)  I can’t believe Dr. Wolanski pulled a person out of there.  The scar from Mr. Nasty is maybe 10 inches or a foot long, and zig zags vertically down my stomach and around my belly button down to my pelvic area.  It’s no wonder that when any doctor sees the Mr. Nasty scar his eyes bug out of his head.  I’ve told doctors before about having a big cyst, then lifted up my shirt later, during the exam, and they’re all like, “and what was THIS from?” implying that I didn’t reveal my entire medical history.  I paused, like, are you serious, and said, “Um… the CYST.”  It’s really unbelievable.  It is.  People see it, and they do not believe it.  Tom’s friends said things like, “my wife had 3 kids, none of them were that big,” and “you are officially the baddest mofo I know.”  Yeah.  Well…  He’s right, and I AM.

I texted Mom about my scar comparison and she just responded [Mr. Nasty] “Seriously was serious!”  I told her that might be my favorite text of all time.

I took pictures, but no one needs to see all that.  Yes, the scar is small… my gut is not.  (Although it’s nice to be instantly skinnier again – very much like after having a certain 15 lb. cyst removed.  I can see my feet!)

So, I’m proud and excited.  I feel a lot like I did after Mr. Nasty was removed: I CAN TAKE ON THE WORLD and I WANT TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD.  It’s nice to be sitting up unassisted.  Weening off pain medicine.  I feel good.

In other news: Breastfeeding is tough!  I should have been tipped off when the nurses and lactation specialists at Martha Jefferson said, “don’t give up” and stuff like that.  Bruce is a good little sucker, but my supply is pretty measly.  It got up to about 2 ounces at one point the week that Mom was here, but it has declined ever since.  I’m lucky to get an ounce every 3 hours.  That’s not enough for this growing boy, so we’ve been supplementing with formula.  I am blaming it on lack of nutrition (I generally just eat dinner, maybe a snack or two in the afternoon… I know, right?  Awful.) and lack of my mommy here taking care of me and things around the house.  Gosh, that was nice.  I haven’t talked enough about how wonderful it was to have Mom here.  I keep meaning to devote a blog post to recapping our week together.  It was just nice to have someone make me a peanut butter sandwich and walk the dog.  Everyone in the house was content, and we never got back into the groove after she left.

Anyway, as far as the breastfeeding… I’ve got a plan.  Eat more.  Drink more.  We’ll see how that does.  I had a good sized lunch, fed Bruce, pumped a tiny bit, then had a bowl of oatmeal (gross!) and orange juice and a whole lot of water so we’ll see how we do.  Bruce lost a whole lot of weight because I have no clue what a growing boy needs… so, we’re working on beefing him up.  At two and a half weeks old, he’s a little over his birth weight today.  Yikes.  But… he is gaining at a steady rate.  Mommy and Daddy are new at this, but we’re figuring it out.

Just hope the little guy doesn’t starve to death in the process.

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enter the dragon

I feel bad.  I should be posting daily about each cute and perfect thing my new son, Bruce, does each day.  I’ve just had this daunting task of recounting his birth story looming over me, and I know it’s a long story and a lot to sit down and write, so I’ve been procrastinating.  It’s also really, really important so I feel guilty for not typing it up right away.  I did try in the hospital, I just could never get Tom to hand me the laptop.

I don’t know where to start.  Where did I leave off?  Oh, right… a terrified, anxious, scared little girl.  How can I have a kid?  I AM a kid.  I want my husband to myself… mehhhh.

On Sunday night, our last night of freedom, Tom and I went to see Finding Nemo in 3D.  It was really good.  I mean, it was well-done in 3D and it’s just a good movie, period.  It’s almost like we were supposed to see that movie that night.  It’s almost like it was destiny.  We spent 80 minutes watching a father love his son, you know?  It might be the most important movie I’ll ever see in my life.  I walked out of the theater and told Tom, “I think I can do this.”

I didn’t sleep at all on Sunday night.  We went to bed at around 12, and I woke up at about 3:30 tossing and turning.  Our plan was to be up at 5 and at the hospital by 6.  I kept trying to slide back into sleep mode and claim those precious few minutes, but I never did.

We got to the hospital around 6:05, or 6:10 or something.  They showed us to our room, 3048.  I changed into my hospital gown.  Someone came in and took blood samples and someone else hooked me up to an IV.  Mom, Dad and Lindsay came around 8 I think.

Surgery was supposed to be at 7:45, but I got pushed back because of an emergency that someone else was having.  I don’t remember waiting very long.  The wait time flew by.  I want to say they took me back around 8:45.

You know I was a wreck during the pregnancy.  That all culminated on Monday morning, right before surgery, with me not being very nice to Grandma.  No joke, it was so awful that she was about to leave 5 minutes before they took me into the operating room.  Leave.  Like, that’s it… and she’d go and I’d just go back into surgery and she wouldn’t be there.  Okay, honestly, I ruined it.  I took this beautiful moment, you know, all the excitement of getting ready to have a baby and basically made everyone in the room upset.  I’m, like, the best at being the WORST.  Everyone was worked up.

Then they came to collect me for surgery.

It was a complete disaster.

The doctors were fantastic.  It’s the patient that was a train wreck – all worked up.  Everything went by so fast.  I just kept crying and wishing I could take it all back.  I wasn’t at all focused on the fact that I was having a baby.  I was just thinking of that f-bomb that I dropped.  I was totally and completely out of it.  Depressed.  It was almost an out-of-body experience.  I kept looking at myself, and telling myself to get my head in the game.  It was like the halls and rooms were whizzing by and I couldn’t keep up.  Everyone was talking.  Everyone was telling me to do something.

I walked down to the OR with the nurse.  Tom was close behind us trying to put on his moon suit and walk at the same time, but they made him wait outside for the spinal block anyway.

I sat on the table and was surrounded by happy, friendly people, but I just cried like a little baby.  I was losing it.  I sat on the operating table leaning forward, hunched over so the anesthesiologist could get the needle in my spine.  I didn’t realize how distracted I was until the nurse said, “calm down, just take a deep breath and relax.”  I did.  I laid down on the table.  I couldn’t feel my legs.  Am I having a baby?  Is this happening?  I was crying like I couldn’t catch my breath.  I can’t do this.  I felt so bad… like… knives in my eyes.  What had I done?

They brought Tom in.  Oh, sweet, wonderful, familiar Tom.

He was cute as hell in his cap, space suit, mask and booties.  He sat on my right side, held my hand and stroked my hair.

I just remember that it hurt.  Not like, “you’ll feel some pressure,” but like, cutting.  It hurt.  I was wincing.  Honestly, it was like i could feel them pulling the baby down from under my ribs.  I was numb to a certain height, but above that I still felt feelings… and it didn’t feel good at all.

Someone said, “Dad, you can take pictures.”  It was all happening really fast, like an oncoming train that I couldn’t escape.  Take pictures?  Pictures of what?  Baby?  Already?!  I am not ready to be a mom…  We thought we could only take pictures on the non-surgery side of the sheet.  Tom asked if he was allowed to take pictures of the surgery side, and the doctors said they didn’t mind 1 or 2.

 

I heard, “Alright, 9:06.”  Before I knew it, they were saying, “There he is!  That’s your son!”  I saw him sitting on a table past Tom.  He looked like an old Chinese man.  Great.  An ugly baby.  I told Tom to take his picture.

 

I felt sick.

Tom told Dr. Mathis, who was monitoring things by my head.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  My stomach was in knots.  I asked Dr. Mathis what to do – he said if I was going to do it, turn to the left.  I did, and I did.  He put a pink bowl by my face.  I was crying, wincing and hurting as they moved higher up my body pulling and tugging at stuff.  Dr. Mathis said, “I’m going to ask you to stop for a second,” to Dr. Wolanski.  Oh my gosh I was so sick…  Crying and nervous and just physically ill… violently ill.

He gave me something for the nausea and some morphine and we waited a minute.  I thought it was a quick second, Tom said it was about 5 minutes.  They kept asking if it was better, and when I finally said okay, they let Dr. Wolanski continue.

Someone said, “look to your left.”  I looked to my right first, at Tom, then to my left.

 

I saw the most beautiful little pink face… teeny-tiny, sweet, soft, perfect little face.  It was the most amazing thing that I’ve ever laid eyes on.

 

NOT AN UGLY BABY!

Everything else melted away.  They took him away to go take care of all the stuff they do to newborns.  They told Tom to come with them, but he asked if it would be okay if he stayed with me.  No one minded.  I was so relieved.  He continued holding my hand and rubbing his hand on my head.  Everything was going to be okay.

They lifted me onto another bed and carted me down to recovery and brought the baby in.  We tried nursing, but mostly we just held our little boy and spent the first two hours or so of his life getting to know each other a little bit.

 

 

When we made it back to our room, all that tension had melted away, too.

Everything feels so perfect.  It’s been two weeks and it still feels perfect… like this is how it was supposed to be all along.

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