We have successfully returned for our trip to Grandma's house and no one was run over by a reindeer!
I found out a few things about my baby while I was there and some of these may prove to either be helpful tips for you or sheer entertainment at the amazement of simple things to a new mom.
First of all I have gotten a lot of questions about the car seat I spoke about so much in this blog, pre-baby. We got it in the car and it is very secure. There is even a strap that goes under the actual seat in the car and hooks into something in the back of my car. It is so secure in fact that the person in the passenger seat cannot recline in anyway seeing how the seat fits perfectly behind it in the rear facing position. It will remain that way until Parker is about a year or so old.
Now when we took him from the NICU I was curious as to how I was going to get to take him.
Was I going to be allowed to carry him?
Was someone going to have to cart him out in a bassinet?
Is there a team of doctors and nurses who form some sort of conveyor belt and pass him from one to the next until he reaches the front door?
When I asked one of his nurses this question she said that I would have to get the car seat and bring it into the NICU so they can a) see that I have a car seat and b) that Parker fits in it properly. Now, I do not have one of those all popular carrier things that hook into the base in the car and also into the stroller. I'm sorry if you have one, I thought that seemed a bit useless. (However, after this, who's laughing now?!) I tried to explain all of this to the nurse and tell her I went to great lengths to get the car seat in the car correctly (clearly she does not read the blog) and it is rather big. I asked if one of the nurse's could just come to car with me and check all that stuff out. They went around and around with me about this. Suggesting I take the car seat out of my car, put it on a wheelchair, wheel it up to the NICU, let them check it, put Parker in it, put the car seat back in the wheelchair-with Parker- and roll out.
Does that make sense to anyone?
Take a perfectly secure car seat out and then go careening down the halls of Hopkins with my 2 week old-recovering from surgery son?
In the end a nurse who throws caution to the wind along with dumb rules, wheeled him to the car in a bassinet, barely looked at the car seat and rolled herself back into the hospital.
Anyway- things I learned while at G-ma and G-pa's house.
1. At one of the baby classes Josh and I went to they told us not to give our baby water. They said, "Babies don't get thirsty. There is plenty of water in breast milk." Well.
What I learned was they were wrong. Water in a bottle not only helps quiet a crying-screaming baby, but it also teaches them how to use a bottle. He does not drink a lot of water, maybe a ounce and hour, but he likes to have a little something to suck on pre-meal. An aqua-tizer if you will.
2. Formula is not the devil. I breastfeed Parker. I am not particularly a fan of breastfeeding as I have mentioned. However, I want him to be as healthy as possible, so I do it. However, he is a slow eater. It takes him about 40 to 60 minutes to nurse and I am suppose to nurse him every 3 hours. That means I live my day in two hour increments of when I am not breastfeeding. I did not want to spend 1/3 of my visit at my mom's in a room by myself with Parker, nursing. So I rented a pump before we left (*I will come back to this pump rental). I can pump out all my milk in 10 minutes, while someone else is feeding my monkey. When we are out and I cannot pump and I do not want to take breast milk for fear it may spoil, I bring formula. He likes it and gets one or two formula bottles a day and I am happier. It is a personal choice, but it really works for me.
Yes I rented a pump and no it is not gross. My milk does not touch anything that anyone else's milk touched, it is basically the size of a car battery and just provides the motor for the pump action.
3. Finally and most important- My mom is the most incredible resource I never knew I had. When I was pregnant with Parker I always said that I wanted to come home from the hospital and have it just be Parker, Josh and me for a week or two before we had any visitor, including grandparents. I know I had a rocky start and that threw off my idea, but I couldn't be happier about my messed up plan. Ladies- mostly new moms and pending new moms- know that your own mother, or if she is not in the picture, your mother-in-law is the best resource. They love you and that baby more than anything and they will do whatever you need them to. They will smile and tell you that you are doing a great job even while you are crying because you feel guilty about introducing formula. Your mom will take the baby to make sure you go have fun with your sister so that you can remember what it is like to be Nikki er yourself for a little bit. She will take the baby on the last night of the visit so that you can get a full night's sleep so you are able to drive the next day.
Don't get me wrong husband's are great, but no one knows what you are thinking and feeling like a mother.
When you feel like everything is floating above you, she will help you pin it down.