Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Just Between Us

I am trying to submit this story to a parenting magazine, obviously after I have edited it though. I feel as though this is a great first edition to this blog, as it gives you an idea to what I set myself up for before I became pregnant with my son. This event took place in 2003, just for a little info there.

Just Between Us - By Megan P.

Just four and a half years ago I sat beside the ring at a horse show with a stroller containing a baby girl about four months old.
I was nervous because I'd never so much as held a baby or changed a diaper, and suddenly I was
thrown into the world of caring for someone else. The mother of this child was a very active
horsewoman that rode with my boss at the time. I was the only one able to drop what I was doing
and assist her in watching her baby while she competed. I thought well, the worst I can do is drop
her or not know what to do if she cries. Boy was I ever in for the ride. The mom told me if she were
to cry, to just mix a bottle for her. I never thought such easy mixing instructions would be so
difficult for an almost eighteen year old girl to figure out. Perhaps I was wrong though, because
suddenly I must have forgotten how to read. I poured in a bit of water from the jug she left me with.
It sloshed out all over my hands as I missed the opening to the bottle. The baby cried and wimperd
as I must have seemed to take a half an hour to figure out what I was supposed to do with this
white powdering stuff. I inspected the label closely on the can, and noticed that I had no clue how
much I was supposed to feed the child. Did she say four, six, eight?! I had no idea, and again I was
completely lost. I decided to make more instead of less just in case. The crying which had started off
soft to cue me, was now a scream urging me to hurry the $!#$ up. I got into panic mode and froze up. By this
time the entire area where I was standing half hovered over a stroller with a screaming infant, was now staring at
me shaking their heads and muttering what I should be doing amongst themselves. I looked around, wiping the
cold sweat off my brow. Finally I figured out how many sccoops I needed to add to the bottle, only forgetting that I probably
filled a twelve ounce bottle to the brim. I added in one scoop, the wind wisped away the power from the top. I added a
second scoop and it poured down on my hands mixing with the drops of water which remained on the bottle. Oh the
sticky mess I had on my hands... I attempted to pour off the excess water because this was obviously not working.
Out came the water and the power pouring onto the ground. Perfect, eight ounces of cloudy water remained in the bottle.
I added in four scoops, and scrounged for the top. I found a nipple.. okay there must be more to this get up here. I found a lid,
maybe I have time to save this one yet. I went to attempt to assemble the bottle. Oh crap, they don't match! How did I not
notice such a small bottle nipple wouldn't match with the larger ring top. I dug in the bag again and found the match to the
bottle nipple. I pulled the nipple together with the top, bingo it popped into place. Suddenly something didn't look so right
with the picture.. Oh no, I assembled it upside down. I smacked myself upside the head and quickly put it together. Was
I supposed to shake it? I dug for the can again, which I had lost amongst the items I'd made a clutter of. "Shake well",
the can of formula said. I started to shake the bottle, the lid wasn't tight.. milk went spewing everywhere all over me, the stroller
and baby. I tightened the lid and started to shake it again. By this time the baby was red in the face, tiny little tears forming in her
eyes, and spooking a small grey pony about fifteen feet away from us. I finished shaking, or so I thought, and popped the bottle
into her mouth. Baby immediately stopped crying, but only for a moment. Suddenly the wail became even louder, and I peered
over the stroller trying to figure what was wrong. Well, her head is still on her shoulders I thought to myself, I haven't got a clue
if maybe she wasn't even hungry at all. Perhaps she had a dirty diaper? I didn't know. I lifted the bottle from her mouth to
discover clumps of that powdery stuff jammed into the nipple. What the heck? I tried shaking the bottle again, it didn't dislodge the
clump. I flicked it, and a small amount fell loose. Finally I figured if I poked at it enough, it'd be okay. I squeezed, flicked, and pinched,
finally the clump came free. I began to shake the bottle again only to see out of the corner of my eye, the babys mom returning to the
barn. The baby wailed loudly and I saw the expression of her obvious triumph turn to horror as she heard her baby crying. Oh crap! I
shook the bottle madly and grinned my nervous grin while I hoped that magically my troubles would be solved. She was still by the ring
rounding the corner back to the barn when I popped the bottle into the baby's mouth. She attacked it as though she'd never seen
food in her life, I instantly felt horrible. I had my back turned to the rings and was starting to cry when I had a tap on my shoulder.
A cold shiver went up my spine as I braced for a scolding. It was the baby's mom who had returned from the ring. I apologized
immediately for my stupidity and suggested maybe one of the barn moms should watch the baby next time. She shook her head
and told me that I'd look back and be thankful for having experience with an infant. Someday I'd have one of my own, and I better learn
now before it was too late. I was terribly embarassed as I wiped my tears from my red face, and suddenly felt grateful to not have
my world come crashing down on me. I will NEVER forget my first real BABY sitting experience.. ever.

Now to present, it was December and cold. I'd flown out in November to greet the love of my life home from Iraq. He'd fought in a bitter
war against an enemy that was everywhere and could have been any of the locals he saw. My heart ached for him while he was gone,
so seeing him was not only filling the void spot in my heart but a relief that he was safe at home. Flash forward, I sat in the bathroom
holding a stick I was supposed to pee on. Great, I can only mess this up. I sat on the toilet and let'er rip, and shoved the stick under
the stream. Was I supposed to anhililate the stick with the pee I'd held for two hours? Was I supposed to just pee a little? I didn't know
but the two twenty ounce bottles I had consumed were urging me to empty my bladder. I took the stick and replaced the cap as the
directions instructed. I didn't notice at the time that I must have peed on the plastic, my hands and almost everything but the stick. The
plastic handle was slick and immediately slipped from my hands, hitting the bathroom tile floor. My heart jumped as I began to think I
had broken this vital piece of technology. I was relieved when it was intact as I picked it up and put it on the counter. I waited a couple
of minutes contemplating whether or not I should look at the test, or maybe get my friend to look first. I finally mustered up the courage
to look at it, and I stared at the screens for what seemed to be a century. Is that a positive symbol? It was so faint that I could barely
see it. I tossed it into the trash thinking it was negative. I'd bought a box containing two tests that afternoon, and figured I'd read
the pamphlet that came with so I'd be able to try one the following morning. The pamphlet explained things for people who panic,
which applies to me perfectly. I get flustered and mix things up easily it seems, to make it worse, the longer I am flustered the
worse I get and the worse things get messed up. Morning pee was supposed to be the best to use, since it'd been saved up and
become more potent I guessed. The pamphlet told me that even faint lines were considered a positive. GREAT. My other half had
been home a month, and I was already pregnant. WHAT is this going to say about us? My face flushed red as I giggle a bit, I put
the paper down and laid down for the night. I knew that I wasn't feeling quite right, but that damn flu was going around too. What
made it different was my adversion to foods I once loved, certain smells bothered me and that extra nauseated feeling I had when I'd
wake in the mornings. I slept well that night, and awoke early in the morning. My excitement must have disturbed my slumbers as I
heaved my legs over the side of the bed. I grabbed the test which was wrapped in some sort of plastic wrap and headed for the bathroom.
I wiped my eyes and yawned as I stumbled into the bathroom and closed the door behind me. I immediately sat down to take the test and
this time I triumped over the stick and only wetted the receiving area. I waited a minute or two as per the instructions, and peered over
it. POSITIVE. AHHHH I yelled and jumped for joy. I wasn't even at home to tell my love I was pregnant, but I was excited as heck! I ran to
open the door.. Oh my god, it was STUCK! Are you serious? This door was known to get stuck, but in my early morning stupor I must
have closed it. I yelled for someone to come free me, and eventually I was rescued. I ran into the room I shared with a close friend, and leapt
onto her bed waving my test around. It was capped people, calm yourselves! I must have exclaimed it was positive thirty times to her as she
blinked at me wondering why I'd disturbed her. My normal self would have immediately started to worry, but I didn't worry the entire time I was
pregnant. The day we scheduled my c-section I didn't worry a bit. In fact, I was relieved to not have laboring for hours to worry about. I went home
and was able to eat lunch, pack my hospital bag and relax for a few hours. This was going to be the last few moments I'd be without a baby
for a long time. I was anxious on the way to the hospital, and it seemed like they took forever taking me back to get me prepared for surgery.
I finally was able to get back and become prepared. By the time I was ready to head back to the operating room, I was becoming squirmy and
anxious. This was going to hurt really, really badly. I cried and realized the baby had to come out, and either way it came out it would hurt eventually.
I stifled my tears and laid back as the wheeled me down the hall to the operating room. The anesthesiologist came to administer my spinal, and
watch me as they conducted the surgery.. careful to monitor my vitals and assist me. The spinal didn't hurt any worse than a bee sting, which
was one thing I worried about for my entire life. It was quick to take effect as they told me to swing my legs up onto the bed quickly. GREAT! I felt the
numbness taking effect and I slammed what seemed to be two hundred pound anvil legs onto the cold and very hard metal table. Modesty quickly
went out the window as a nurse fumbled with my gown and legs to put a cathedar in. I was too nervous to blush though, and I'd rather have that then
pee all over myself (which happened later on anyway..). Soon enough the surgery began around 7:29 pm. Great, they hadn't even brought in my
better half in.. Uterine incision was announced, and suddenly the anesthesiologist was alarmed that they'd forgotten Tim, my soon to be husband.
They rushed to get him and dragged him in wearing something that looked eerily similar to a hazmat suit. He held my hand all the way through,
and at 7:57pm my son was born. A whopping nine pounds and six ounces, twenty and one half inches tall.Oh life was great in the hospital!
They brought my meals, helped with the baby, helped me do what I needed, took out the trash and even entertained me at times. Boy was going
home going to be an eye opener.

Three Days after my son was born we left for home. It seemed that we hit every pothole and bump on the road that afternoon. My pain medicine wore
off quickly as we drove, so I insisted we stop and pick up my prescriptions. When we returned home, our house was in shambles due to the surprise
of the quick delivery. I sent Tim out to get cleaning supplies because we had a bit to take care of, and I stayed home to take care of the new baby.
At first I just stared at him, unsure of if I should pick him up, or feed him.. maybe he had a dirty diaper. I was clueless! He was fine at first, he just
kind of stared into space. And then the screaming began. I cuddled and cooed, I sang and danced with him in my arms, I begged him to stop..
Nothing this first time mommy could do would stop the poor child. Thank god, the hospital sent me home with formula.. those fantastic nursette bottles.
I popped the already assembled top on, and popped it in his mouth. He happily took the bottle and guzzled it down quickly. When he finished I burped him
and placed him down beside me on the bed. I quickly lost what energy I had left after this ordeal and was ready for a nap. I closed my eyes and began to
drift off to dream land, when suddenly he began to wail. I hopped up and ran over to his crib area where he lay, and picked him up. This only seemed to make
it worse. Because not only was he crying, he was crying in my ear now. I rocked and swayed, soothed and cuddled.. again, nothing. I changed him which
enduced a harder more frantic cry. Nobody warned me that newborns hate being changed.. I felt so bad! He cried and cried, I finally tried all I could for near
an hour. At my wits end, I laid on the bed and put him near my legs so he could feel the warmth. It seemed almost instantaneously that he fell asleep, and
was making happy baby coo noises as he slept. This was my first sigh of relief, but I was in for such a shock at night. Our first two weeks were up and down until
we got into sync. The things I learned were amazing. There's a difference albeit slight, between a cry of hunger, for dirty diapers and for attention. As a mom
you live through these moments when panic sets in, and instincts take over. I didn't have any fancy classes tell me how to hold my baby, or how to bathe them.
I taught myself because I learn best that way. It's been about five months now, and we still have a few rough moments now and then. However, which mom doesn't
have those moments with a child of any age? I have learned to be humble in my existence, to accept what is given to me, to love above all, and to be giving instead
of being greedy. These among all other life lessons I have picked up and couldn't have possibly learned any other way. The bond a mother and child has astonishes
me. Though the pregnancy hormones pass, I sit here wanting to sob like a baby thinking of how much I love my son. The greatest gift of all, is the first smiles, the
first time solid food is tasted, crawling, walking, just simple things that we don't think twice about. It's those moments that I wish cherish above everything else
I have ever accomplished. This is far better than anything I have ever expected.. I will elaborate more as I have more to write about in the coming months!

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