Yesterday, the temperature was slated to reach a whopping 105 degrees. That is very hot for our area of NKY. We had plans to hang out with the baby in our wonderful AC.
Around 1pm, my husband ran out for drinks and some chips and salsa. About 2 minutes after he left our driveway, our power went out. I grabbed my phone and called the electric company. (I was the FIRST in our area to report the outage! New mom/preemie mom prowess.) The status message said problem with their equipment estimated restoration 5PM. Yuck.
We decided to head to Applebee’s for lunch because we know they are non smoking. Normally, we would avoid having Drake out in that kind of heat at all. It tends to get very smoggy here in this kind of weather. Not good for preemie lungs.
After a bottle for Drake and an appetizer sampler for Mommy & Daddy, we decided to pack up and go check on the house.
It was now about 3pm, and the estimate was still being given as 5PM. We weren’t ready to admit defeat and head to Grandma’s (whose power was actually out for 8 hours compared to our 4!). The house still felt moderately cool compared to the outside, so we decided to hit the bookstore for some more books for Drake and try again after 5PM.
We called from the bookstore about 4:45PM, and the restoration estimate had been pushed back to midnight! Sigh. Time to pack up. We were overjoyed when we pulled in the driveway and saw the porch lights on. Yay!
Two incidents other than trying to keep Drake and ourselves cool, cast a shadow on the day for me. This is the typical conversation when people notice Drake:
Random Stranger: “You have a beautiful baby!”
Me: Thank you!
Random Stranger: “How old is he?”
Me: Four months
Random Stranger: “Really? He’s so small.” (because I totally don’t know how old my kid is, right?)
Me: Really. He was 10 weeks early.
Followed by them acting awkward and me feeling both like I should apologize for my small baby and for failing to carry him for 9 months. It brings back every insecurity, every feeling of dread from sitting beside his isolette in the NICU.
The worst and most painful memory it brings into full focus is the day I was discharged from the hospital. My doctor conspired to keep me admitted for 5 days, but that’s the limit of my insurance for a c-section. After a day of the L&D floor nurses & staff trying their best to get me to “check out,” I was exhausted and I was trying desperately to hold myself together and not become an emotional wreck in the middle of one of the largest hospitals in Cincinnati.
Another mother was leaving at the same time. She had her husband holding the car seat. She had her baby cradled in her arms. I had my parents, my husband had to work, and the memory that I had just held my child for the first time for 15 minutes and now I had to abandon him there to the care of strangers. I will never forget that moment. That was the worst moment of my life.
Every time I hear, “he’s so small,” I’m taken to that place 4.5 months ago when I left the hospital without a baby in my arms.