Monday, August 1, 2011

A Trip to Grandma and Grandpa Stover cont.

My organized husband hadn't factored in all the additional time it would take for baby care. OMG! We hit San Jose on Highway 101 just at Friday rush hour. And there we were at a crawl. I anxiously watched my peacefully sleeping baby snuggled in his car seat.

Meanwhile I replayed in my head the scene at the drive through window in Greenfield; my sleeping angel turning into a wailing banshee the moment the car tires stopped at the speaker box. As my son's wails moved from low rumble to full throttle screams my husband tried valiantly to yell his order into the dumb box and of course they couldn't understand him over the commotion. Finally after several attempts we made the connection and pulled forward and stopped in front of the window. As my husband reached out for his coffee I knew no beverage even if it was the sweet elixir of life could ever be worth this. "Hurry up! Hurry up!" I exhorted snatching the bag from his hand and almost spilling the boiling hot liquid in my haste to get those blessed wheels turning again. We were completely unnerved. It felt like my skin was on fire and my hair standing on end.

"Should we stop?" my husband gasped.

"No! No! Are you crazy? Drive! Drive!" I exclaimed. After perhaps 3 minutes, which seemed like an eternity, silence. He was safely back in dream land. We looked at each other but had no real words to express the awfulness of the experience.

And now this. It felt like being in a scary movie. You can see the ax murder hiding out of sight just around the corner but the innocent actors can't see what waits for them. So you watch them walking ever closer, step by step, toward the corner and their doom. Now we were both the actors and the watchers. Our car creeping slowly forward but thankfully still moving. Then the first brief stop followed by a gentle forward movement as I watched and waited. And then horror of horrors we came to a complete stand still. Mike and I held our breath. I watched as Joe began to register that the movement was gone; little squirmy expressions passing over his sweet face and tiny body. And then it started. He moved from a what's going on here protest to a how dare you wake the king roar.

One minute, two minutes, three minutes. I didn't know how long I could take this. I knew if I could only take him out of his seat and put him to my breast everything would be fine in moments. You have to understand my son was NOT a pacifier man. Only my boob would do. The only way to nurse him in his car seat was for me to get completely unbuckled and do some pretty amazing gymnastics in the back seat. This was our first trip and being newbie parents we hadn't thought to pack a bottle. Why would we need a bottle when I was there?

"I think I need to take him out of his seat," I said to my husband as he sat behind the steering wheel fixedly staring at the road.

"No. It isn't safe," was his stony faced answer.

"No. You don't understand," I replied. "I need to take  him out of his seat."

"I do understand but it isn't safe." So we sat in traffic on the freeway while my son screamed for FOREVER! We were between exits, trapped in a house of torture for all of us.

It is a trip Mike and I have never forgotten.We were so emotionally and physically exhausted by the time we arrived we barely said two words to Mike's folks before excusing ourselves for bed. Today I read this article, "No Nursing While the Car is Moving", posted on an ER nurses' wall. I'm so thankful my husband had the fortitude to be a good parent in a bad situation. Please read this article and think twice before you make your life easier by nursing your child in his car seat or unbuckling her to nurse. I can't tell  you how many moms have told me they do this. Sometimes being a good parent means putting ourselves and even our kids through hell to keep them safe. 

Want to read more about how a dad fits into parenting? Check out: "Where Does a Dad Fit into the Picture?"