On a kind of funny note...Scott and I slipped off to town during our first Saturday with Mason to run a couple errands, sadly, while Timothy was gone to his first of four transition visits. We sat down to a burger at the Steak and Shake for lunch and, after our waitress oooh'd and ahhh'd over Mason a few times, she asked, "How old is he?", to which I replied, "Six days.". She looked my up and down aghast as she said, "My goodness, you look SO good for just having a baby six days ago!" I wish I could convey the look on Scott's face as he silently, but quizzically tried to read my mind wanting to know how I would handle this one! I'm sure he could see the wheels spinning in my head, because in five months as a mom, this is the first time I was faced with this dilemma...do I own it, do I explain the facts, how do I respond?? So, without missing a beat and with a gracious smile on my face, I said, "Well, thank you so much." Scott all but applauded me as she walked away!
While I maybe should have felt a little bad taking credit for "looking good just six days after having a baby", I was feeling all the 'joy' of sleepless nights that newborns often bring. Who knew people actually meant it when they said "We were up all night."?! We got to know, accept and love our sweet May May between the hours of 1-4:00 am, singing to him through his heartburn driven screams and relieving each other when we knew the other could take no more. Scott would often take him to the sun porch and light the fire place, bonding through flickering flames in the deep and quiet of the night. These are the sweet memories that stay with you forever.
My Gram, who was 84 at the time, offered to keep Mason during the day until he was at least six weeks old and able to go to the daycare, so I could go back to work. So grateful for her offer, I took a few days off work to try to establish a routine and get things set up at Gram's apartment over our garage for her to care for him while we worked. These days are still precious memories for Gram as she and Mason established their bond and love for each other through naps, feedings and diaper changes. When she would rock and sing to him, it brought back sweet memories of my childhood, rocking with Gram until I was too big for us both to fit in the chair. Unfortunately, this arrangement only lasted three weeks before an ulcer got her down and in enough pain to head to the hospital for about a week. Thankful for Ms. Callie at the daycare who said three weeks was close enough to six and to bring him on. While this was not our ideal choice, it was the best we could do under the circumstances.
We look back at this time and wonder how we made it. There's a reason for the 6 week maternity leave, and having gone through this time without that, I'd have to think part of it, while there is the physical healing I didn't have, is the mental adjustments and sleep deprivation to learn to live with which we had in force. One day, maybe a week into working while Gram kept Mason, (keeping in mind we rode to work together and passed our daycare halfway between home and school), we made the drive in a silent daze. Only after we parked at the school, turned the van off and reached to the back to get our bags did we realize Timothy was still with us! We could only laugh and poke fun at little man, and each other, for not speaking up as we drove past his stop! I went in to work as Scott turned back around to take him to daycare. Our coworkers laughed and entertained me with similar such stories, making me feel not so bad for our small oversight.