This is our favorite baby picture of Zoe Bug. Partly it's because she didn't even start to look like a person until she was six months old. Now don't go getting all horrified that I would say such a thing about my own child, I'm just being honest.
Think about it, when you see someone else's newborn baby how often do you think, in your own private thoughts, that baby is so dang cute? In spite of how much we loved her, we did think Zoe looked like a baby alien--wrinkled, pink and scrawny for a long time.
Zoe did not come into this world the way I had it all mapped out. Like many expectant mothers, I had a stack of pregnancy books on my nightstand, and I was working my way through them week by week, keeping up with the chronological progression of my pregnancy. I didn't read ahead because I'm rigid like that.
Three months before Zoe was due, Peanut Head and I traveled out to Idaho to house hunt. He had just gotten a job here and we had three days to find a house. I was teaching sixth grade at the time and coaching track, and because I'm such a control freak and not excited about having a sub in my anally-run classroom, I figured two days was all I could handle doing damage control for. That and I had a track meet to pull off the day before the trip and I could not miss that. There were spread sheets to be created for all those stats and they had to be done right away. Just so you know, I have relaxed a little since those days. Kids kind of force you to stick to the moment and focus on priorities.
Because all you do all day is put out fires, but whatever, that's how it works now.
So we made it to Idaho and I had my 85-pound lap top full of all my precious spread sheets, circa 1998 and oh so high tech. We checked into our hotel, contacted our realtor, and then proceeded to look at 25 houses in a day and a half. All I can say about that is thank goodness we had no idea what we were looking for in a house, because if we had that to do over again it would have taken much longer. We made some mistakes, let's just leave it at that.
So we found the house and we had a day to just explore our new town and maybe buy some baby furniture. I was able to verify that I had access to a Michael's, Jo Ann Fabrics, Barnes & Noble, and Target, so I could totally live in this town.
It was all very exciting and a dream come true for me, because I didn't think I would ever have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. This move was going to give me that opportunity. Looking back, and because hind sight is so illuminating like that, I was already in the early stages of pre-term labor. I felt like crap all the time, and this is gross so you might want to skip a bit, but I always felt like I needed to take a ginormous dump and there was no dumping to be done.
And I'm not talking about constipation here. I thought that's what it was, but I just didn't recognize at the time what was going on. I had continuous pressure down in the girlie bits region, like bowling ball pressure people, and it was creepy. But weird things happen to your body when you're pregnant, so I wasn't too alarmed by much of anything. My body was a Fun House during that magical time. Or a Freak Show, you pick.
But time marches on and things need to be done, so we went home, happy in the knowledge that we now had a house to move into and we had just four weeks to get ready to move to another state. We had baby furniture to buy still, moving arrangements to make, a track season and school year to wrap up and a classroom to pack up. It was all very stressful, but seriously exciting all at the same time.
The day came for us to leave. Because we're crazy and impatient, we left on the last day of school, right after school. It was a roughly 16-hour drive which we did through the night in order to arrive by noon the following day to sign our closing papers. We were in our Subaru with one dog, two cats and two rabbits and it was a party, let me tell you.
I was still feeling that creepy pressure, I had no energy to speak of, and in general I just felt like crap. Everything was a chore and I needed to sit down all the time. Now mind you I was only seven months pregnant, so I wasn't even at that uncomfortable stage yet. I just had a cute little basketball in my belly and I should have been feeling great and energetic. But I wasn't.
There were things to be done though. We needed to buy a refrigerator and purchase all sorts of other things that you have to have when you first move into a house, so I trudged on. I didn't want to be a stick in the mud, and I really was excited to be doing these things, I just would have rather done them without my body in tow. It was bringing me down, man.
Anyway, that first day was hard and it was so nice to lay down that night and go to sleep in our new house. On an air mattress on the floor. Seven months pregnant. Good times.
The next day I woke up and, without getting gory, let's just say that I had additional signs. Immediately I called my insurance company to find out what I should do. I was out of town and I didn't need to be leaving my PPO network blah-de-da without pre-approval. So I got that and off I went to the hospital.
But, OH CRAP, where the heck is the hospital?
Peanut Head says "Um, I think I saw some signs. I think I can find it."
Thank Christopher Columbus that Peanut Head knows how to navigate and has a freakishly accurate sense of direction. Even after you put him on a Tilt-A-Whirl blindfolded and then ask him which direction is North-North-East minus a bearing of blah-blah-blah.
We arrived at the hospital and come to find out I'm in pre-term labor. Pre-what? Being the teacher that I am, I have an overwhelming urge to go buy a book to educate myself, but dang it, I'm hooked up to all these strange machines and somebody just gave me a shot in my butt. My butt! The indignity.
And the shot was a steroid shot, and frankly my butt needs no help in that department. Except that the steroids were to speed up development of Zoe Bug's lungs, not my butt. My butt was just the conduit. Great, huh? However, looking back, I thank my lucky stars for that shot, much as I did not enjoy it.
So I was in the hospital for three days, receiving all sorts of magical substances which I could not name if pressed, although I believe magnesium something or other was key, and I was able to come home, on bed rest.
Bed-what?!!! Do you people not know that I have a house to set up? The movers will be here in two days and there is unpacking to be done and situating to do. I AM NOT LETTING PEANUT HEAD SET UP MY KITCHEN!
I had no power. The best I could do was to get Peanut Head to set the air mattress up in the living room so I could direct traffic and boss everyone around. It was awful. I felt like a lump. I was a lump. It was hands-down the worst experience of my life, to sit there and watch what should have been the most exciting day of my life, an organizer's dream, and not be able to participate.
And then I had to watch Peanut Head unpack my kitchen. It could not get any worse than this.
Oh, but it could . . .
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