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Mum likes reading, decorating, shopping with the girls, and Starbucks. She also feels funny writing in the 3rd person. Papa (also known as Sparky) is currently looking at me with a blank stare having asked him to add something about himself to the blog. (Now he wants to say something) The only thing he loves more in life than music and Coke is his wife and kids. (Awww...) :) Little Lotte is a genius on the computer and makes me fall over laughing every day with her quick wit. She loves computers and animals. Sweet Pea abandoned her family and moved to Phoenix for work and is now married as of 2/28/06. She is beautiful and smart and the most nurturing person I know. She gave me the greatest gift ever when she made me a grandmother. I am the proud Mum Mum to Andrew Christopher. There are no words to describe the joy of having a grandson!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Adventures with Infant Car Seats

SO I've not been blogging because I've been... living?

I thought I would tell the story of Sweet Pea's post birth gallbladder surgery. Because you've all been sitting around thinking I wonder when she is going to write a post about Sweet Pea's post gallbladder surgery? Right?

Well, it was a dark and stormy night. Actually it was dark, not stormy. And I am not sure you can call it "night" because it was techinically early morning. But anyway... it was 3:30 am.

I had been at Sweet Pea's for just under a week straight. I enjoyed every single minute. I got to hold Andrew early in the morning and let Sweet Pea take a nap. I helped with cooking, cleaning, dishes, shopping, etc. But the best, hands down, was having Andrew curl up like a little lima bean right under my chin and sleep for hours at a time.

One Thursday evening, I made dinner and we did our normal stay awake till past midnight and attempt to go to bed. I was having a hard time falling asleep each night without Sparky. This was the longest we had ever been away from each other. I was restless but finally managed to fall asleep just after 1 am. Around 3:30, I heard Sweet Pea crying softly. I heard some little gurgles from Andrew but I felt something was wrong. As I was coming out of my sleep, my first thought was wondering if Sharon was overwhelmed from lack of sleep and maybe Andrew had not settled down yet. Perhaps she just needed her mama to reassure her that all is well. I planned to rock the baby and soothe her and give her a little break. But as I sat up in bed, trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes, I saw her shadow in the hall, headed towards my guest room.

She came and sat on the edge of the bed, her breathing hard and gasping for air. She tried to speak between gasps...

"I'm..... having.... pain.....

I sat up straighter.

"where is it?"

I was alarmed. I am horrible in emergencies. At school we were given an inventory and asked to list all of the things we could do in case there was an emergency such as cook, perform CPR, call parents, etc. I wrote down that I could panic. I am really good at panicking.

But moms don't panic.

When Sharon called me a week earlier to ask if she might be in labor, I could tell from the minute she told her Daddy to put me on the phone that she was in labor. But I remained calm. As I hurried around to dress and gather our suitcases at 12:30 am, I was calm and collected. I talked to her and gently suggested she go ahead and go to the hospital to be checked. She couldn't see me with my bug eyed self running after my grandma bag and looking for my jeans and sweater in the closet. I spoke soothingly, reassuring her that the hospital would simply send her home if she were not in labor - all the while motioning with my hands like a mad woman at Bob to grab the sock! with rice! to heat! when Sweet Pea is in labor!

"It back.... and goes... to... the ... front...."

Classic gallbladder pain.

Or a gas bubble.

One of the other.

Except that she was really hurting. I grabbed the baby and asked her what she thought it was.

She knew. When she had taken a small fall in front of the house 2 weeks earlier, she had an ultrasound that revealed, for the first time, shadows of stones in her gallbladder.

"I... think it's... my gallbladder."

My mind raced. Mr. Sweet Pea was at work. I could call and ambulance or... I could try to load her and the baby in the car. We decided to not call an ambulance. The hospital wasn't that far. But Andrew was NOT going into the ER. That germ - infested place is NOT the ideal setting for a baby who was just in the hospital fighting some kind of unidentified infection already.

I grabbed the car seat. After trying for about 3 minutes to jiggle and click the 18 point harness system on these new fangled car seats, I moved aside and let Sweet Pea finish the job. I instantly thought he would be stuck in there for the next 5 days as I would have no idea how to release him once we got back home.

We got in the car and headed to the hospital. It was as if Sweet Pea was in labor all over again. Breathing hard, she managed to spit out directions... turn here... right... left... merge... pull in here.

I dropped her off out front, as if she were headed to a big sale at the mall and I would find a good parking space.

I sat there for a few minutes, unable to pull away. I just had such a hard time dropping her off, knowing how much pain she was in. But.. it was the ER. It also happened to be the ER she works in so I knew they would take good care of her.

I reluctantly pulled away. Andrew never made a sound. He was so sweet and wide eyed. Just enjoying a little middle of the night joy ride with his mum mum.

We arrived back home. Thankfully, I remembered the garage door opener. I pulled into the garage. I closed the garage behind me. I slipped out of the front seat, closed the door and pulled on the handle of the back door. It wouldn't open. I tried to use the button to open it. No luck. I opened the front door and tried to jiggle the handle of the back door to open it. No deal.

There was no way that car was winning. If I had to crawl into the back seat and figure out how to release Andrew from his harness, I would have. As I was doing that, something clicked in my brain and I managed to open the car door. Sigh.

I reached in. I didn't know how to unlock the car seat from the base. I spent another 5 minutes pushing and pulling on various parts until I finally found the magic red bar at the top of the seat. Big sigh.

We get inside the house. It is now just after 4 am. He's ready to eat. Just one problem. I cannot figure out how to unlock the seatbelts that are holding him IN the carseat. Bigger sigh. Again, after clicking more than Dorothy every clicked her ruby red heels, I found the magic code and got him out! Free, free, free at last! Thank God Almighty, he was free at last!

In the meantime, poor Sweet Pea is admitted to the hospital, tests are run, and surgery is scheduled. My poor baby had to have surgery 12 hours after coming into me to say she was having pain. She was so tired, so run down. I left the baby with his Uncle at the house and came to soothe her. She is so strong! I just cannot get over how hard she fought to keep her spirits up. She knew it would be hard to breastfeed. She knew it would impossible to lift the baby. She knew she was going to need some more help and asked me to stay another week. I was MORE than happy to do that! I enjoyed a bonus week with her and it was perfect timing as I had time off of work (2 weeks) for our spring break!

She was discharged that night at 10:30 pm. Here's a photo of my baby girl and my baby grandson... resting and recovering from their ordeals.


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