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Six-Month Vaccine Day – How Sweet Pea avoided the needle and got a ride in an ambulance.

sweetpea_paramedicsSome of you might have remembered this post about Sweet Pea’s two-month vaccine day, the truck driver hitting our car, the projectile bagel and the police ending up at my doorstep…

Well…

Just when I thought nothing could top two-month vaccine day, enter six-month vaccine day! We were in the car driving to our local clinic when BAM, an SUV speeding down the alleyway sideswiped our car. (Who drives that fast down an alley? – people in our neighborhood apparently!) The front passenger wheel well of our car was completely smashed in.

Thankfully both Sweet Pea and I were safe in the back. (He was sleeping in his car seat and didn’t even awaken when we were hit.) Adamant about not missing the vaccine appointment, I un-clicked Sweet Pea’s bucket seat from the car and took him around the corner into the clinic leaving my husband to deal with the insurance, police and our “speedy” neighbour.

Sweet Pea was fast asleep in his car seat when the firemen arrived. Next came the police, and then the paramedics. The people in the clinic’s waiting room must have been wondering what the hell was going on.

The Paramedics checked Sweet Pea’s vital signs and made sure all was fine. But per protocol they had to suggest we take him to the local children’s hospital to be checked and cleared by a doctor.

I’m not one to take any chances so we agreed to have them drive him there in the Ambulance. Sweet Pea was definitely going to miss his vaccine appointment!

To get Sweet Pea to the hospital as soon as possible, the paramedics had to first clear my husband and myself. They checked my husband; he signed a personal release and then went off with the police to deal with the tow truck driver and insurance people.

When it came time for them to check my vital signs, my blood pressure read very low. I’ve always had low blood pressure (I’m borderline anemic and had to be put on iron pills while I was pregnant) so I informed the paramedics that the low reading was “normal” for me.

Still the paramedics, who were clearly fresh out of school and looked more like a pair of teenagers than first responders, insisted on doing everything by the book. They called their boss to discuss my “case”.

This is where the situation started to get absurd…

“My Boss wants to know if you’re on your period?” the young paramedic asked me.

I informed him that I haven’t had my period since Sweet Pea was born 6 months ago.

He looked very perplexed and then returned to the phone call with his boss.

Sweet Pea lay on the clinic bed chewing the blood pressure monitor that was still wrapped around his leg and waiting for his ride in the ambulance.

Moments later the paramedic came bursting into the room again. “My boss says you need to go to the hospital right away and have your abdomen x-rayed!” he told me.

“What!?” I thought – these men are clearly not aware of the fact that most women (especially those who are breastfeeding) don’t get their periods for several months after giving birth. It’s a hormonal thing.

I had to call in the public health nurse who worked at the clinic to explain to the paramedics that me not having my period was completely normal.

After another half hour of discussing my monthly cycle with the two green paramedics and an old man on the phone, I was finally cleared to accompany my son to the children’s hospital.

Off we went. It was Sweet Pea and my first ride in an Ambulance. (Hopefully our last!)

A couple hours later, Sweet Pea was cleared by the doctor. He avoided the needle that day and, thanks to the insurance company, got a new car seat to boot.

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Two-Month Vaccine Day: From Polio to Police – my morning from hell.

photoToday was a day I’ve been dreading… 2-month vaccine day for Sweet Pea. Obviously I know vaccines are good for my little one. Firstly, all those Jenny McCarthy “vaccines-cause-autism” theories were mostly proven wrong and secondly do I really want to expose my child to and/or contribute to the return of deadly diseases like measles and polio? No I do not.

So vaccine day it is. Thankfully, the same local nurse who visited us shortly after Sweet Pea’s birth was the one administering the vaccine’s at the clinic so right away I felt more at ease. She answered all our questions and concerns about reactions to the vaccines. Then it was injection time and I had to hold my little one while he was pricked with two needles and fed a live gastro virus to build up his immune system. When I saw the look of complete horror/pain/shock on his face, I got all teary-eyed. It is really hard to see your little one in such pain! But the pain went away quick and he was fine.

If “Vaccine Day” wasn’t enough, I had also planned to take Sweet Pea to a mother and baby playdate-brunch at a friend’s home across town (thermometer and Tempra in tow should there be any fever).

My husband and I loaded our lethargic and somewhat grumpy Sweet Pea into the car and drove to the local bagel shop so I could pick up my contribution to the potluck brunch. He parked outside while I dashed in for a dozen white seed and cream cheese.

Outside the bagel shop things were a bit crazy. Two trucks were blocking both laneways and lots of through-traffic was driving by. Just as we were pulling out of our parking space, a car double parks in front of us as the driver runs into the bagel shop causing a major traffic jam on the street. My husband was livid having to essentially pull into oncoming traffic to make his way around the car. Three seconds later we hear a big CRUNCH. We were following the flow of traffic to get around a truck that was backing up into the land and the truck hits us!

At this point my normally good-humoured husband looses it. He pulls the car over, gets out and unleashes a sesame-seeded tirade against the truck driver and his useless traffic directing fly-guy for hitting our vehicle while Sweet Pea was in the car. For good measure my husband then saunters over to the double-parked car to chew-out the passenger as I sink down in the back seat of our car behind Sweet Pea’s car seat in utter shame. (Sweet Pea was still doped-up on the particles of major childhood diseases we injected him with – so he slept through the whole altercation)

Several profanities and a projectile bagel later, my husband and I inspect our dented front fender and conclude that it isn’t worth getting into any further altercations with the truckers by calling the police and claiming the accident so we pack it in and head home. (I obviously didn’t make it to the mom’s group brunch)

You would think our morning ended there – but no. About 30 minutes later my doorbell rings and it is the police asking for my husband. (By this time he had left the house to get groceries so neither he nor the car was around to give a witness statement.)

It turns out the truck driver got really nervous we were going to report him so he called the police himself…and as we went home, the accident was going to be a considered a “hit and run” until the cop could talk to my husband (even though we were the ones who got hit!)

When my husband got home, everything eventually got cleared up as the cop too agreed the dent wasn’t worth claiming with our insurance company.

The morning started with Polio and ended with the Police. What a disaster. I hope 4-month vaccine day is not nearly as eventful!

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4AM Feeding on Baby Island

Secluded, dim and calming – like the waves from my white noise machine, I’ve been adrift on Baby Island for 5 weeks now. It can be a lonely place, where the days float by but minutes also last an eternity.

Sleep, eat, poo, repeat. The rhythm of my day.

Blurred naps in between.

Trying to catch my breath before the next wave engulfs me.
The riptide both terrifying and overflowing with joy.

Diapers and spit-up the landscape of this withdrawn place.

From the outside it seems like a prison.
But one smile – and I know I’m home.

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Don’t bring two babies to the Mom & Tots Group!

photo 4In our area we have a local nurse who visits you soon after taking baby home. The nurse checks to make sure the baby is gaining weight, gives advice and helps to ease first-time parents’ jitters and concerns.

My husband, an admitted hypochondriac, was full-on into his “protective-sleep-deprived-nesting-father” phase and loved the nurse visits because he could ask her about every disease, infection, or affliction he was convinced our baby had somehow contracted. He could show her the baby feeding and pooing log we kept to make sure our baby was feeding properly and even saved soiled diapers for her to examine – “Is this the right colour poo?” Anyone who has been a first time parent can likely relate.

To be fair, my husband’s excessive hypochondrium was coming from a good place. At the time of Sweet Pea’s birth, he had a work contract three time zones away and would only be around for the first week before leaving on a 3-week work stint. So he was trying to cram-in as much fatherly love as possible into 7 short days.

Recognizing my husband as a very eager father, the nurse suggested he attend the first meeting of the local mom & tots group that was set to start when he came back to town.

Fast-forward three weeks and my husband is finally home for another week off. So off we go to the Mom & Tots Group – me thinking what a great opportunity for Dad to bond more with Sweet Pea and for me to meet other local mothers who understood the daily issues I would be facing.

This is the point where a “great idea” goes terribly wrong…

Just as the group was getting started Sweet Pea decides to throw a screaming and crying fit. We rocked and tried to calm him as our rather “new-agey” group animator demonstrated a series of baby exercises to the tune of lullaby music and talked about how the space was “non-judgemental” and we should all let our babies “be who they will be” (read: we hear your baby screaming…but will pretend that it doesn’t bother us and that we don’t think you are terrible parents)

Sweet Pea could not be calmed so we figured he must need a diaper change. We proceeded to get out our portable baby-changing mat as the group progressed to the “introduce yourself and your baby” phase. As each mom introduced their angelically silent and happy baby, Sweet Pea’s cries got increasingly intense while my husband spent what felt like hours rooting around our diaper bag for the ever-important Purell to clean his own hands for the imminent staph infection he would no doubt infect the little one with if, god-forbid, he change a dirty diaper with hands that had not first been sanitized of the potential germs he had contracted on the three-block walk over to the mom & tots group.

When it was our turn to make introductions I did so over my husbands no-so-hushed comments about how our little one would no doubt pee everywhere because we forgot to put the “pee-pee tee-pee” in our diaper bag.

The diaper change failed to console Sweet Pea so I proceeded to breast feed him and was finally able to lull him to sleep on the play mat. Phew crisis solved just as the group moved onto “sharing-time” where mothers would talk about their anxieties of getting babies to sleep or the importance of having supportive partners etc. It was at this opportune time that my husband also decided to fall asleep in the dimly lit room. So there I sat with one baby sleeping before me on the play mat and my other “big baby” snoring away on my shoulder as the moms continued to “non-judge” me in their sharing circle.

By the time the group animator moved onto the “recognizing baby facial expressions” part of the programming, hubby finally decided to awake from his slumber and proceeded to make not-so-silent comments about how the group meeting was too long/boring and how the topics being covered were irrelevant for such young babies. Had he actually been awake during the part where they passed around photos of the various facial expressions he might of recognized the look on my face as the “shut the f%$#k up” look.

Group time was finally over and off we went back home. The biggest take away I got from the whole experience being don’t bring two babies to the Mom & Tots Group!

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Two days and counting…

I’m 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant with my first child – Due to be induced on Saturday. By Monday I will be a mother for the first time and life will explode with joy, fear, fatigue, love and all the emotions in-between.

For the next 50 weeks of my maternity leave I’ll be embarking on a new life adventure on the homefront. I’ve started this blog to record the major milestones, mistakes and misgivings of life as a new mother. I promise not to become one of those self-obsessed new moms oversharing every bowel movement, feeding mishap and tedious detail of motherhood. Rather I hope to share the human moments, ideas and insights on this special, yet awkwardly challenging, time in life.  I also hope to pick-up many tips and guidance along the way from those who have gone through it all before.

I invite you to follow along as I make the transition from the working world to the domestic sphere…and hopefully live to tell the tale!