Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Learning to be a parent requires hands on training

15 days old
Today was a milestone day. Today I took BG out by myself to her pediatrician appointment.

Knowing getting a baby ready and myself ready would add to my time, I projected getting ready an hour before and an hour of driving and searching for parking.

The tricky part, I thought, would be coordinating the meal times. Like clockwork, she needs food every 3 2.5 to 3 hours or she is one cranky baby. That morning, after her first breakfast, I calculated an 10:30 feed would give me enough time to settle her, get her dressed and to the pediatrician but I’d need to bring milk for a lunchtime feed in the car.

I packed my formula just in case and 2 ounces of my breastmilk which I pumped immediately after our first breakfast meal.

I then promptly packed the snap and go. I wanted to go light but be prepared. I put extra diapers and wipes in the car and in the snap and go I packed the portable diaper changing mat.

By 11am I had second breakfast completed and I put BG down for a quick nap. Originally I thought of putting her in the car seat to sleep to make life easier but I had yet to do her morning freshen up, dress change and diaper change.

I ran to the bathroom and tried to get ready. BG wasn’t having it. Plan B: I placed her on the bouncy seat and placed her near my vanity as I tried to cover the dark circles under my eyes. She wasn’t having it. I brushed my teeth, grabbed the first dress I found in my closet and proceeded to change her and do her morning wash up. The night before was so hectic I couldn’t give her a bath. I’ve been a bit hesitant to do it alone and wanted my husband to be present for a bath. Unfortunately, his work schedule has left me alone until 10pm or later. By the time he gets home, he needs to take care of the dogs and grab dinner before he can relieve me for a nap. So a bath didn’t make it on the agenda nor did filing her nails which are now starting to claw at me when breastfeeding.

I hadn’t showered yet and barely got to brush my teeth but I figured if I could get the kid semi-presentable, I should be ok. I strapped her into her car seat and she proceeded to cry again. I rocked the stroller back and forth while stripping down and throwing the dress on. BG settled in and I grabbed my keys and ran out the door.

After forgetting where the car was parked, I made it to the car. I was able to get her in the car without waking her. I threw everything in the trunk and began driving downtown.

The ride to the pediatricians was nice and smooth, thankfully. She slept through the entire ride and I was fortunate to find a parking meter to save money. We made it to the pediatricians on time. I felt like Queen mommy.

The pediatrician weighed her and she’s back to her delivery weight! Hallelujah! My face beamed. We then spoke about the short fernulum the lactation physician spoke to me about. I told the doctor I didn’t want to pursue anything for breastfeeding purposes but would like to know if it would affect speech or anything else in the future. She said she couldn’t predict yes or no but so far it’s so slight that she believes it should not be a problem but we can monitor.

We graduated from weekly weight checks and are ready for a 1 month follow up. Gold star for BG!

The doctor then examined her and then made a comment that I should start bathing her. I turned beet red. I knew I should have bathed her. Then to end the session, BG made a bowel movement so juicy, even the Pediatrician could hear it from the other side of the exam room.

I cleaned her up and headed outside to schedule the appointments. That’s when the fun started. By now it was past 1pm, BG hadn’t eaten since 11. She was hungry. Of course it took forever for the receptionist to schedule our 1 month and 2 month follow up appointments. Ok, maybe not forever but it felt like everyone in the office was staring at me at my banshee baby.

We went outside and she continued to scream bloody murder. I knew it was food that she wanted.

I got into the car, strapped her in and started the engine and locked the doors. I pulled out my feed tube and thought finger feeding would be easier for my first outing. I started feeding her. She was so grouchy though she kept unlatching.

Then the traffic cops came to start writing me a ticket. I unrolled the window and explained the situation. The traffic cop looked at my baby and let me stay outside of the expired meter.

That’s when I heard a scream I’ve never heard before come out of BG. I couldn’t figure out what it was until I took a whiff. She exploded. She didn’t just explode, she wet the car seat and the diaper barely held her wet mushy poop.

I cleared out the trunk of her stroller, put the changing mat down and unbuckled her and brought her to the trunk and changed her. Thank goodness I packed extra storage bags to wrap up the dirty diaper and wipes. I was afraid I’d run out of wipes at one point.

I cleaned her up and put a disposable leak proof mat on the wet spot in the car seat and strapped her back in. I fed her a little more to try to settle her but she wasn’t having it.

I resigned myself to driving her home and praying the vibration of the car would soothe her a bit.

The 25 minute ride home was spent calling to BG to quiet down. Of course, you can’t rationalize with a 15 day old newborn but I didn’t know what else to do. She settled for ten minutes but woke up again and hollered even louder.

I made it home with her and shuttled her to our apartment. I unstrapped her and felt she wouldn’t be able to truly eat well in her current state. I did what I thought I needed to do, I bathed her to try to clean her and soothe her.

I bathed her by myself. She hollered but it wasn’t the same cry. Afterwards, I warmed her in her towel which settled her. I gave her a massage and dressed her in clean clothes. I then breastfed her for 45 minutes and then let her settle into a much needed nap.

I should have napped too or taken a much needed shower but I needed to clean up the car seat and stroller. As I cleared and cleaned everything I thought about how I think I’m slowly learning her cries. I’m not sure if they are distinct yet or if I’m just getting queues but I swear there is a difference between “I’m hungry”, “I need a diaper change”, “I’m tired and need comforting” and “I just want to snuggle and hear your voice.”

I keep telling myself, every day I am learning more about being a mom. Then again, tomorrow my theory may fly right out the window.

First full trip mommy and baby
To the pediatrician’s office. It took me an hour and a half to get out of the house but we made it to the appointment on time and even found parking!
First bath with just mommy
First poop change outside by mommy
Completed in the trunk of the car after a major explosion while in your car seat.