Thursday, June 26, 2008

Looking Back

My son was born 11 months ago, just a day after the 35W bridge over the Mississippi river collapsed here in Minneapolis. He was about a week late, but he was kind enough to start the process until after I had arrived home from work. I was out watering the garden when, all of the sudden, the hose was not the only thing gushing water!

On August 1, 2007, at around 6 PM, as my husband and I began our drive to the hospital, it became pretty clear that something out of the ordinary (besides my labor) was going on. The bridge we were set to take across the Mississippi to get to the hospital was swarmed with ambulances and helicopters circled overhead. Stuck in the gridlock, me in labor, we even joked that we might have to hail an ambulance in order to get me to the hospital. Sadly, just as we crossed the river on 10th Avenue, we heard on the radio the tragic news that the 35W bridge had gone down not 10 minutes before. We looked out the window and we could see the smoke rising up, about a mile away. To say the least, we were sad and terrified and completely shocked.

We made it to the hospital and made all the necessary phone calls to let friends and family know that we were safe. At the hospital as I labored, we watched the story unfold on TV from our room, and talked to the doctors about how our hospital was being prepped to receive any patients affected by the event. Eventually, we turned off the TV so I could focus on the job at hand. It was a bit nuts, to say the least.

The next day, around two in the afternoon, our little pumpkin came into the world via c-section. What a whirlwind couple of days it had been! The ups! The downs! The waiting! The anticipation! My husband was a champ and held my hand during the surgery without so much as a quiver or comment about it (and I know it’s not pretty).

11 months have passed, and we’re already getting ready for the pumpkin’s first birthday. I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on 11 little things I’ve learned, some practical, some “philosophical”, since that day back in August when the adventure began.

1. A sense of humor and not taking things for granted goes a long way
2. Don't interview pediatricians before you have the kid; how will you know in an interview that they are nuts until they diagnose your kid with 17 different conditions and prescribe a bunch of unnecessary medications?
3. Swim diapers are used in place of (not in addition to) disposable diaper
4. Try, try, try again, but if you fail a third time, or if blood comes spurting out, give up (my breastfeeding lesson learned)
5. Remember to love your spouse
6. Sleep when the baby sleeps is a myth; face the fact that you’re going to be a zombie for a while and go to bed at a regular (if early) time at night
7. Take pictures; my favorites are: kid screaming, kid in bathtub, kid in car seat (great for doing a month-by-month growth comparison), kid sleeping
8. Toys are overrated with a few exceptions (excer-saucer, soft ball, chewies); get some wine corks, put them securely in a plastic container, instant rattle
9. Everyone's an expert except you; just accept the fact that you're going to get bossed around and that you are an idiot
10. Keep track of the milestones: first 3 hour stretch of sleep, back to taking daily showers, first day putting on "real" clothes, etc.
11. There are a million ways to do anything; do it your way and be happy about it


Laura said...

I really enjoyed this post! I love hearing the labor/delivery stories of other mothers...and this was a good one!

So the corks in a container rattle is brilliant. Had I known this, I could have had made 1,000,000,000 rattles and sold them on etsy!!!!! Then I would have had enough money to put myself in rehab!!!!!

happy 11 month bday!

naomi said...

EEK he is sooo cute. I can't wait to meet our little man.

xo Naomi

Jen said...

Thanks for the sharing the stuff you don't find in the parenting books.

Little Pumpkin is sooo cute.

Naomi S said...

Wow, I had no idea you went into labor on the same day as the bridge collapse. Thankfully you were not on it!