The funny thing about preemies (or maybe all babies--I only have experience with the preemie kind) is that they are born with all this hair. Not necessarily the hair on their head, although Little Mr. E was born with such a full head of hair at 34w that had he gone to term, he would have been a long-haired hippie freak when he came out.
No, I am talking about the hair that covers my little boy's shoulders and back. Not light wispy hair, like earlobe fuzz or anything like that. Long, full, dark hair. Like he should be on a beach in the South of France, sporting a Speedo and wearing a gold chain & medallion. This image frightens me to no end. When will this newborn Guido hair fall out? I hear my son's first words, "Foggetaboutit" and I cringe. I want to hear "mama", not, "How you doin?"
But Little Mr. E continues to amaze and astound. Aside from being impossibly gorgeous (biased? perhaps), he has the sweetest nature we could hope for. No, he doesn't sleep through the night or giggle while we change his diaper, but he only complains when something in his little world warrants complaining about. He lets mommy & daddy sleep at least a couple of hours at at time and seems to really like anything that vibrates, so the Pack N' Play and Aquarium Bouncy Seat are big hits in our house. At first I worried we were scrambling his little preemie brain, but the pediatrician laughed at me, and I guess he'd know. So buy stock in Duracell; we'll be single-handedly keeping them in business until this little man reaches 20lbs.
As for me, I have been slowly reacquainting myself with the world outside. I've been out to dinner with my best friend, taken money out of the ATM, and gone grocery shopping in the past week. Ah, the romance of all those things I left behind. They'd be a lot more fun if I wasn't in a constant state of achiness from my breasts and my gut. I got about as far as the cereal aisle this afternoon before I really REALLY wanted to just sit down and pay some shmoe to do the rest of my shopping for me. Seriously, I had a well detailed list; anyone could have followed it and met me at the checkout in a matter of minutes. But considering there aren't random volunteer shoppers roaming the aisles of Harris Teeter scoping out those too tired or sore to fill their own carts, I was pretty much on my own. I made it through, but was thrown by the remodelling of the frozen food section--I almost didn't go into that area of the store at all, but I needed frozen mixed veggies. You wouldn't think they'd go remodelling an entire section of the grocery store while I was sitting on my ass for the past five months, but they did. Just to mess with me, I imagine.
When I was first "grounded" by Dr. Dark Cloud, I read an article that said some women on bedrest for long stretches of their pregnancy have a tough time readjusting to life in the "real" world; the article specifically cited every day activities like grocery shopping as becoming overwhelming experiences for some women recovering from bedrest. I thought that was very silly--imagine being afraid of grocery shopping. But this afternoon, when I turned the corner and the frozen food section was different, I definitely had a moment. My cart stopped. I looked around to make sure I was in the right place. The person behind me kept going and bumped into me, making for that fabulously embarrassing "oops, sorry. My bad," moment. I had to actually make the decision to go into the "new and improved" chilly sector of the store. And I was so thrown by the experience I forgot several items on my list that came after the frozen food section. Good lord. I can't imagine what my first trip to the mall will be like.
Of course, part of the distraction is that Ethan is at home. Not with me. Until he gets his 2 month shots, we've been told not to take him to malls, grocery stores, etc. So while I am waiting for the lady in the paper hat to slice my deli meat for me (and this could take HOURS...) I am obsessing about what Ethan is doing. Is he sleeping? Is he gassy? Is it time for him to eat? When did I pump last? How much tummy time did we get in today?
Of course, this is not to say that I didn't thoroughly enjoy grocery shopping--I love driving my car again, I loved being around people and walking around (in spite of the aching) and actually DOING something for my family instead of depending on everyone else to do for me. And after the millionth dirty diaper (okay, I know we're nowhere near that yet--I like to exaggerate), it IS nice to have a moment or two in the day just for me (ugh--I feel guilty even typing that).
And now, it is time for a nap...normally one wouldn't nap at 7:15pm, what with it being so close to "bed time", but in this world I live in now, there is no such thing as bed time, just 2-3 hour increments of time when one isn't feeding or changing a baby. You sleep when you can get it...