as maternity leave ends…
I’m three months old!
Month three signaled the swan song for my maternity leave, and suddenly everything felt rushed.
I dug out all my pre-Baby D research and notes on the day cares, Montessori schools, and other schools promising to both care and educate my child while I worked to pay for it. I schedule walk through after walk through, and deliberate on the the facilities. I finally choose one, and my husband joins me on an additional tour to shrug and say, “I guess.”
I waffle on returning to work. We do the math… it’s an impossibility. We exist in that sweet spot where our living expenses (including daycare) are still too much (and simultaneously not enough) for me to quit. I think this is called “golden handcuffs” or my job, like it or not, is too good to quit. In desperation, I do the math on part-time…but no, now the cost of part-time daycare plus our expenses makes working no longer worthwhile. I would be working for the amusement of employment alone at that point.
If I quit my job, baby D would get a full time parent. Someone who knows all his buttons and is expressly interested in his personal well being above most any other human on the planet.
But…if I quit my job, baby D also no longer has parents with the financial availability to travel to the rest of his family located in the pacific northwest and of Tamil Nadu, India. He’d exist in a bubble of pictures and Skype. Sure, family could come to us…but if my grandfather in Florida is any indication, that is a one-sided effort and once every four years was never enough.
Baby D’s parents waited until everyone was quite old before asking him to join the family, and now 24-hours of plane travel takes its toll on grandparents in their 60’s.
The selfishness of wanting to quit comes to light, and sadly I sign the forms at the school we’ve chosen. “They teach baby sign language and he’ll learn to be more social.” I say with a smile, adding, “Oh and Mandarin and Spanish too, when he’s older.”
- Baby D’s first ER trip
- Baby D’s first family vacation
Top Items: Month 3
- Sleepers with a zipper!
Baby D’s ER Visit, or Why I Won’t Call the Advice Nurses Again
So, we return from our vacation, and after sitting in the car seat for a long period of time, Baby D is hot. So hot that he starts crying. We pull over and strip him down. Walking him around until he feels better, then place him back in the car seat and finish the trip home.
He’s still pretty warm when we arrive home, and as I own roughly 3,023 + 1 baby sickness items (I’m an obsessive researcher) I decide this is my opportunity to try out my baby thermometers (yes, plural).
He registers 101.4 with the mouth thermometer, and 100.4 with the rectal (sorry, bubbies). We decide to call the pediatrician’s office to see if this warrants Tylenol or if I should just let it be. It’s 10 PM at night so I’m not surprised when the advice nurse line picks up.
I explain the situation, and I get an answer I did not expect.
“GO TO THE ER. No, do not wait for your pediatrician. He is under three months old, he should NEVER have a fever. You need to go to the ER.”
I hang up and talk with my husband. He’s alert and smiling at us… We take his temp with the rectal thermometer again, it holds at 100.4. So, I call back. I’m not eager to go to the ER, and decide it’s a call center and I’ll get a second opinion. The second opinion is a little more neutral: “100.4 is not technically our cut off, but if you’re at 101.4 or higher we want you to go to the ER.”
So we wait it out, I check for any signs of dehydration, and feed him extra. Around 4 am, I check his temp during a diaper change. It’s 101.6. The advice is, of course, go to the ER.
So we go to the ER.
They take his tempt, and he is in fact 101.6. They prepare a room, slowly, and it’s 6AM by the time they get us in
At 7AM, they do a really shitty job at extracting blood, and his shirt is ruined. I’m traumitized.
At 8:30 AM I’m super annoyed. This is my FIRST day back to work from Maternity leave. “It’ll only be a little longer. His tests could reveal some serious infection.”
So, I text my boss, “I’m at the ER with my son, but they say it should be soon. I need to start work around 9:30 instead.”
I don’t trust it’ll be a few minutes and walk out to call my pediatrician’s office.
“Ohhh, so sad. No, there aren’t any openings today, we’re booked! Maybe try urgent care? Do you want to talk with an advice nurse?”
What…really? It’s ER-serious, but not get-you-in-to-a-single-pediatrician serious?
I return to the room and some lady walks in and hands us a plastic tube with a cotton ball in it. “I’m the aromatherapist. This will keep him calm.” and walks out.
I realize I’m going to be charged for her visit.
Does he look like he needs to be calm? Does he even look like he needs to be at the ER? Grr!!!
I take a whiff of the calming thing and gag. I throw it in my purse. I’m angry. I tell my husband we should leave. But oh, the stupid test results and it’ll only be a few more minutes they said.
At 10 AM someone rolls in. Ok, time for a chest x-ray? Wait…what? Why?
I get a “You came to the ER for a reason didn’t you?” look. My husband nods, and I carry baby D to get a f*cking chest x-ray. It’s a low-grade fever…a chest x-ray!!!
Baby D smiles at the technician. “He doesn’t even look sick!” she says happily. “I know!” I lament, and once again explain the advice nurse story. “Oh yes, he is too young for a fever. Better safe than sorry!”
We put on lead aprons, and they lay one over baby D’s mini manhood and I feel sick. They lead us back to the room. To wait.
Around 11 AM they come in. Congrats the blood work doesn’t show anything! Ok… and the x-ray? That’s not done yet. It’ll be a few more minutes. He can have Tylenol now.
At almost noon my husband goes out because I’m getting really annoyed, and they come in with the x-ray results. Congrats the x-ray shows nothing!
What a fun mystery. Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? I ask for his temperature to be read again. 98.6. I tell the ER doctor how annoyed I am that we came in, and he says…and I quote.
“Yeah those advice nurses get hyper. If they are alert like he is, I wouldn’t’ve even recommended coming in. But you know, better safe than sorry.” He chuckles and leaves. I feel like a stone is in my stomach. My husband reassures me I’m a good mother, and given the advice and the information provided we “did the right thing.”
8 hours later, I’m irrevocably late to my first day back, I made my son get a chest x-ray, and a traumatizing blood draw…for nothing.
On to lighter news… first family trip!
On LivingSocial I got a great deal for a hotel that accepts dogs in a very touristy CA coastal city. It included a bottle of wine, and I was pretty thrilled to secure the weekend before I returned from maternity leave. It was a four-hour drive from our place, but we gave ourselves lots of time, and we had a pleasant journey.
The first night we went and watched the sunset on the beach. Baby D fell asleep, but woke up when I was squealing over seeing some dolphins.
We go back to our hotel, order some EXCELLENT greek food to go. Gorge on the food and fall asleep.
The next day we go to the San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission, one of the more popular in the string of 21 Spanish missions built in California. I love going to religious centers, and made a point to go when I visited Ireland and India. They always showcase the most impressive examples of human art, and I love it. They were also practicing for Easter services when we went, and it was nice to sit in and watch. I liked it the most because you got to see the priest cracking jokes and making some mistakes as they rehearsed.
After the basilica we went to nearby Point Lobos State Park, and got to see some otters and sea lions. I was mostly impressed with the giant whale skulls. It was an excellent place to go with Baby D because so many of the trails were handicap accessible. However, we found out dogs were not allowed… but don’t tell Ambu that. Well… we had to put him in the car once we were told, oh well.
My Friend visits!
My friend flew out from my home state, and was the third person from my home state to officially meet baby D. She also got a taste test of how incredibly boring and slow parenting makes life. But also that baby D is cute, so …kinda evens out.
The first day we went for a walk on the creek trail behind our house, and then met up with another friend of ours. The second day we attempted to go for a hike, but baby D was have NO part in the carrier I brought, and I forgot the stroller so we ended up having a picnic at a nearby state park. Her final day we wandered around old town and ate some fishy bits at Joe’s Crab Shack, and then off she was on the train to the next leg of her journey.