The very first day Ashley went back to work, and left Molly and I to take care of each other, I had to go to a lactation consultant appointment. (I went every day for a month – more on breastfeeding later.) I somehow managed to shower (Side note: can someone please tell me something; is there some type of beacon or high-pitch scream audible only to babies when you are about to do something, anything, like eating, showering, going to the bathroom?? I swear that Molly has such a device.) I honestly think for this shower I jumped in, the water touched me, and then I jumped back out. After my shower I, of course, had to get Molly ready (not too difficult) and then pack the diaper bag. You know, that bag that turns into a two-ton sack of everything and anything you could think of that you may need. It’s ridiculous how much ‘stuff’ a tiny person needs at the ready. Correction, it’s ridiculous how much a Mom brings along with her as ‘tools in her tickle trunk’ when leaving the safety of her home!
Now the big challenge: to actually leave the house. One would think this should be straight forward… not so much. I have the diaper bag, baby in the car seat, keys and water bottle (because you don’t really know thirst until you are breastfeeding) and carry all like a pack mule to the car. Baby is now in the car with all the gear – phew. I get in the car and put the key in the ignition, and look in the rear view mirror. Oh, my God! There is a baby in the backseat. I literally, at that moment, forget how to drive. I’ve been driving since the second I turned 16 and I honestly was frozen in fear. How is one supposed to drive with a baby in the backseat?!?! First of all, safety wise, I wanted to wrap her and the car in bubble wrap and put neon lights around the car that said, “Stay away! Baby in the back!”. Second, and most importantly, what do I do if she starts to cry while I’m in the front driving? Well, I would learn that the second concern is a very valid one.
I manage to get myself together and start the car. In the back of my mind I hear my Mom’s words of wisdom, “Every first you accomplish will be scary, but then you’ve done it!” Exactly – leaving the house solo when she was only 2 weeks old was scary, but I was going to do this! We manage to get within 10 minutes of my lactation consultant’s office and the unthinkable happens: Molly has a meltdown. I’m talking full screams… the kind that make a new Mom freeze in fear, panic and induce full-on anxiety. The irrational side of me wanted to swerve across all lanes, jump out of the car and pull her out of her car seat. The rational side could hear my Mom’s voice telling me, “Molly won’t die if she has to cry for a bit while you are driving.” Right! Ok, she won’t die from crying… but is it possible that I could?!
We manage to get to the parking lot. I take her out and cuddle like never before:) We made it. I go upstairs to my appointment literally beaming. I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs, “I just drove by myself!” But I realized that people may think that I had taken a trip down crazy lane, so I kept my excitement to myself.
Appointment over and Molly’s tummy full, I decide to push my luck (a new Mom’s version of Russian roulette). Why not head to the grocery store as well!? Off we go to Loblaws, park the car in the Young Families designated parking (love those) and head in, smiling ear to ear. I got this! Fast forward 10 minutes: basket full of groceries and Molly crying. I so don’t have this at all. Like a deer in head lights, I start walking as if I’m a power walker in the Olympics, drop the basket, and head for the car. Must get to the car.
Then, a little angel came out of nowhere. A lovely lady gently grabbed my arm. I turned, likely with tears of panic in my eyes. She said, “Love, we have all been there. Don’t worry. It’s ok. The crying doesn’t bother anyone. Go back and get your groceries.” I literally felt like someone had cuddled me and taken about 100 pounds off my shoulders. I walk back to my basket with her, now chatting about her five children and how she had been through this before. She made me laugh. I paid for my groceries while Molly continued to cry. The check-out lady checked me out at brake-neck speed, and I was done. I had bought groceries (with the little help of an angel.)
I loaded the groceries into the car, changed Molly in the front seat, fed her, and popped her into her car seat. We pulled into the driveway of our house and I looked into the rear-view mirror at Molly. Wow, I’m really a Mom… and I just drove and bought groceries. HELL YEAH!