That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

happy anniversary

Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 4.04.21 PMWow.  Two years.  Where was I 2 years ago?  I think I was on the verge of, “omgomgomgomg” and “is this really happening?!”  Could it be possible?  Three years of disappointment.  One more missed period.  I peed on the thing and then, “omgomgomgomgomgomg.”  This time it was real.

I had no idea how awesome Bruce would be, or even that he would be Bruce.  Crazy.  Amazing.

Today, Bruce went downstairs around 1 for lunch.  I gave him a slice of bread.  Not interested.  I opened a banana.  He ate about half.  (I finished it, although I hate bananas.)  I baked him a frozen pizza.  No dice.  I made myself a microwave Evol All-Natural Vegetarian Truffle Parmesan Mac n’ Cheese and a spinach/pineapple/berry smoothie.  THAT’S what he wanted.  It makes me swell with pride to see him make those choices.  He’s not averse to chicken nuggets, but he’d rather eat the fruit cup in his Chickfila kids’ meal.  Tom and I are leaning away from animal products.  (We’re not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I can’t unlearn the things I’ve learned about how bad all that stuff is for you in the long run.)  It’s neat to see our sweet, healthy boy get excited about a spinach Nutriblast.

Bruce is getting so big!  And he’s so funny!  I wish he was talking, but I feel like he does understand most of what I say.  He has a huge bruise on his forehead.  When I went in his room to wake him up (about a week ago), I pointed to my own forehead and said, “what’s this? What happened to my baby?”  He put his hands on the railing of his crib and smashed his head into the bar.  Funny fella’.  Today, I put the sleep sack on him (because he cannot be trusted to stay in his crib at naptime) and put him in the crib and he fussed.  Then, I put a pillow (I know, Mother of the Year Award) in the crib and laid his head on the pillow.  He put his middle and ring fingers in his mouth, grabbed his blankie and DID NOT BLINK.  But shortly after I left the room (No crying! Woo hoo!) I imagine he did close his eyes.

Still closed now, just checked.

Such a good boy.

Big boy sleeping on a pillow.

Big boy sleeping on a pillow.

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omgomgomgomg

So close to being out of the 230s forever.  So close.  232.2.  The dress I wore to Erika’s wedding is big on me.  It’s not potato sack big, but it’s definitely, “hmm, this isn’t as flattering as I recall” big.  The dress that I wore to my parents’ wedding (MY PARENTS’ WEDDING!!!!) is also a little on the roomy side.  It fits, and I’m wearing it to a wedding this weekend.  It’s comfortable, not huge.  However, the dress that I wore to Will and Jamie’s wedding fits, and it didn’t always.  Woot!

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg… this is happening.

That’s just diet.  (Not dieting.  Not temporarily restricting my calories, but deciding to change what I habitually eat as a person, and what we eat as a family, to food instead of “food products.”)  Imagine if I had also been running all this week.

Tom is on day 3 of a 3 day juice fast.  We checked his blood pressure last night and it is alarmingly high.  I am hoping that if he can lose about 25 lbs. it will start to work itself out.  But I don’t know, his dad is in the ideal bodyweight range and he has high blood pressure.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
― Hippocrates

Did you know that while the weight limit of a bouncy castle is 800 lbs, it’s limited to 160 lbs per individual?  I’d like to be able to bounce in a bouncy castle someday.

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ermagherd! strerss!

I had a very happy birthday week.  When I left Charlotte and headed towards Charlottesville for Labor Day, my weight was at an all-time low of 232.8.  (Well, all-time so far in this new weight loss journey.  Obviously, I’ve been that weight before.)  I got on the scale at my Dad’s house at some point at it said 239.something.  I assumed it was wrong.  I was feeling like I must be 230 when I weighed in the last time at his house at 237.  When I got home, I was still around 236.  Today, I am 235.  Man.  Three pounds.  Do you know how hard it was to get to 232?  Tom brought up a valid point, that I’m forever out of the 240s.  I remember dancing between 238 and 241 and hating myself.  I tell you what, 232-235 doesn’t feel much better.

I read somewhere that when our ancestors felt the stress of famine, or winter, or a big sabertooth tiger, they would eat as part of their body’s reaction.  Nowadays, we have different stresses.  No famine.  (That’s for sure.)  Things like deadlines affect our bodies much like the sabertooth, and our subconscious is like, “Ah! Stress! We may not survive! Pack on calories! Survive! Survive! Survive!”

I’m sure you think it’s bullcrap.  I did.  Until today.  Today, I am stressing and I just want to eat.  I had a lot of cake over the past 3 days, but now the cake is gone.  So, hopefully we can get back on track.  I feel so stressed.  The house is a wreck.  I MUST finish some illustrations and I’m just not feeling motivated.  I’ve got to find time to jog at some point.  It’s Wednesday!  I haven’t jogged at all this week!  We bought a piece of furniture from World Market and the doors don’t close the way they’re supposed to.  I spent a whole day putting it together, all for the final piece, the door, to not fit properly.  I wasted a whole day that I should have spent illustrating!

There’s nothing to do about that now but sigh and move on.  I have to take the thing back to World Market, because I’m not keeping a messed up one, and probably put another one together.  I guess that doesn’t have to happen today, or even this week.  So, I need to let that go.

I also can’t find my very expensive Nikon.  I thought it was in the truck for a long time.  Then, I assumed I took it to Easter in Virginia, but I didn’t have it to take pictures.  I never had that “AH!” moment when I realized that I left it in a cab or something.  We had it when we went to get Bruce’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  That’s the last time I remember having it.  I hope beyond hope that it’s at my parents’ house, but no one has seen it.  I’m devastated.  The loss keeps me up at night and the sleep depravation = more stress.

My plan is to be 225 by Bruce’s party on 9/28.  215 by Halloween would be nice.  205 by Thanksgiving would feel spectacular.  And while we’re setting goals, lets see what we can do about being under 200 by Christmas, 195 to be specific.

I’m going to see if I can get the scale down to 229 by Sunday.  I just have to lose the pounds I accidentally put back on with cake and then 3 more.  I already feel things starting to settle back down.  I ate out for lunch today with my Great Aunt Sara Beth, so there’s no reason for me to go out and have a big sit-down meal.  A few smoothies should do the trick, fill me with healthy veggies, and motivate me to stay motivated.

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walk it out

We found the trick to getting Bruce to stop screaming his head off after one late night lap around the block.  My cousin Amy bought him a fleece poncho a long time ago.  I thought it was too big for him, but oh my gosh he’s so stinkin’ cute in it.  He wears it when we “wog” at night.  It keeps Bruce warm, he can snuggle it, and best of all he can’t kick it off.  Speaking of kicks, he’s wearing shoes routinely now.  (Socks on the walks.)  The jogging stroller has a plug for my iPod so that we can jog to music, and I think Bruce likes that, too.

Bruce’s 1st Birthday invitations are all printed out.  Lookin’ pretty sweet.  The theme of the party is going to be Storybook Circus at Magic Kingdom.  Kind of silly, I guess, because we could just take him to the actual Storybook Circus.  I’m having a hard time finding THE BEST First Birthday Circus tableware.  I bought a bunch of cheap prizes last night.  I’m pretty excited about awarding tickets for prizes.  Is that too carnival and not circus enough?  The idea is to use that in lieu of goodie bags.

This is another reason I second-guessed my whole circus idea: http://www.birthdaydirect.com/monsters-inc-1st-birthday-express-party-package-for-p-40622.html

Yesterday I had the aforementioned Simple and Fit Veggie Omelet, and homemade pizza, and actually I had a Snickers, too.  However, I also had a spinach salad, and one and a half kale smoothies.  Walked about 5 miles last night and woke up weighing 234.4.  That’s a whole pound in one day!  Aw yeeeeah.

And we’re going to Disney World in a matter of hours.  Aw yeeeeah!

It’s a good day to be a La!

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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

Image

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:

picture-25

 

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?”

expiration date

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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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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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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fiiiiiiiinally!

Guess who’s baby’s finally got a car seat?!  Woo hoo!

I hate posting twice in one day, but in my defense we are getting awfully close, I didn’t post at all over the weekend, and these are exciting new developments (if you consider shopping for the bare necessities exciting).

Here’s the thing… love this because it goes all the way.

No, we didn’t buy this one.

Look at it.  It’s like a throne for an astronaut.  Love the color.  One purchase lasts from birth to booster seat.  Love it.  But, it’s $185.  I’m also kind of confused about how to use it, because I remember when my cousin Amy would bring her baby, Kyle (“baby,” who just got his drivers license), to Gammy and Papa’s house she’d bring him inside the house in the infant carrier.  I just feel like that’s more convenient for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, restaurants and all that kind of stuff than taking him out of the car seat and carrying him in.  I got a stroller that’s super lightweight and reeks of awesomeness.  It is perfect for Walt Disney World – it folds up pretty tight but it doesn’t have the infant seat component.  It just reclines back enough for a newborn.

At some point, I am going to be rolled out of the hospital and they’re going to need to see a car seat before they’ll let me leave.  Even if I had the dough for the Alpha-Omega… I don’t know if I can pull the trigger on it while I’m still confused about the carrier situation.  I have also registered for a really cool Chicco Travel System, but it all comes back to the same thing – okay, it’s $300 and I HAVE a kick-ass stroller already.  Do I want to spend all that money on this thing when I really just need the carrier?  I love the stroller part, too, but I hate how big and bulky those things are even when they’re folded down.  It would take up the vast majority of the back of the 4Runner.  And while we could probably fit a few duffel bags back there with it, I don’t know whether or not we could fit a few duffel bags, a Pack ‘n’ Play, a baby tub, a diaper bag, and a dog.

Enter craigslist.  We bought a Graco Travel System for $75.  For $75, I don’t mind taking a risk on a travel system that includes a bulky stroller that we never use.  I was really hoping to spend $25-$40 for a used infant car seat/carrier that would carry us through the first few months while we decided what we liked, so I don’t mind dropping $50 on a stroller that it will click into.  That’s fine.  If we hate it, we can sell it on craigslist.  Maybe we’ll enjoy the travel system.  Who knows?

Our “new” stroller and car seat!

Now, Pack ‘n’ Plays… they are so advanced.  It used to just be a cloth/metal/plastic playpen.  Now it’s that, but with different heights, a bassinet, a changing table, side storage and a character mobile.  Forget it.  I don’t want all that.  Once I get all of that put together I’m never going to want to take it back down and go anywhere.  It’s not temporary enough.  I do, however, LOVE the super-pricey Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.

Only $279!

Stream-lined.  Simple.  Portable.  TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE DOLLARS.  And you’re probably going to want a crib sheet for that, and that’ll set you back an additional $43.  Yowza.

Enter craigslist.

I know Dragon Kid needs a place to sleep while we’re in VA.  I know I don’t like Pack ‘n’ Plays.  I know I don’t want to spend $200 on something I don’t like… but $40… I could go $40 on it.

Retail: $189.95
Because I’m so smart: $40. Boom baby!

Look at that.  Little happy can sleep right next to Papa Bear and Mama Bear… assuming he can sleep through the two of us sawing logs all night.  I don’t have to get up to feed him.  Just grab him and pull him into the bed.

All this talk about baby travel has made me really want that Puj tub.  Someone listed one on CL here in Charlotte, and I found a couple in DC.  If I could get my hands on it for $20-$25 I’d be one happy camper.  Cross your fingers for me.

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