Newborn + Road Trip

What not to do


This is a long and cruel
story on how NOT to take
care of a newborn
along with really bad timing.
Here’s the backstory-
My husband had received a job
offer in Tennessee.
I was happy, we would be
living closer to family
and my parents were
patiently ecstatic.
We were going to be
just a few hours away
and bringing their first grandchild.
Also because
“where the hell is Oregon
and who lives there?
Let’s start with the moment
I realized I was starting
to lose my mind.
It was eight in the morning
and we had made it to Nebraska.
We found the only
civilization off the highway
was a forsaken gas station.
He needed to shut eyes
for at least an hour.
My husband had been
driving for too many
hours on zero sleep.
We pulled into the gas station
and parked alongside
overnight freight.
He made himself as
comfortable as possible
in the front seat and
I tried to keep her asleep,
blocking the window from the
emerging September sun.
We chanced a hotel last night
somewhere in Wyoming,
there was no way we could make it
through that state in the dark.
But we never slept!
Why didn’t she sleep!?
Gambling, could we make it
across the country
alive or at-most intact?
I couldn’t crash,
I kept thinking
we had to keep driving
for as long and as far as possible.
we had to survive,
we needed help!
There was a dog
in the semi next to us
a pastime for my
painfully dry and heavy eyes.

The hour came and went…
And the dashes
on the road continued
as we tortuously moved
at a snails pace towards succor.
We had energy drinks,
music, and conversation.
I googled answers
for distressing conundrums.
And I searched through
history and blogs for a kindred crux
to see if chap survives.
You technically can’t die
from sleep deprivation.
We did everything to keep us from
running off the road.
Delirious on a blend of
sleep deprivation and colic,
we were hauling ass from
Portland Oregon
to Knoxville Tennessee…

Attached to our SUV
was a small U-Haul
heavy with our livelihood.
And tetrised comfortably
at hands-reach were all essentials
needed to nurture
my fragile needy look-alike.
Deranged,
never-failing her next bottle or cry,
circumscribed I was incoherent.
Assimilation of a flight,
with a newborn,
Alone For five hours…
All while my husband
hauled our belongings
across the United States of America
– I could NOT process-!
Everything could have
been shipped.
We could have trashed it all
and taken a flight.
The timing was stupefying,
a road trip seemed like the only way
to keep our new life
a wee bit predictable.
Was I Unreasonable?
I was working with very
little mental capacity,
I felt safe with all our things.
And given our haphazard,
temperamental situation
a flight could have been
just as harsh.

So don’t judge.
I’m just getting started!

We were a couple of weeks
into our new roles as parents and…
“the struggle was real”.
Our hardest decisions were
to either eat, sleep, or shower,
we barely did any
and it was catching up to us.
I started hearing and seeing things.
With eyes glazed over,
scenarios crept in
and chewed on reason.
The newborn was coming
around the corner speaking?
Insane, I’m hallucinating.
Or was she scheming against us?
She knew I would be watching
in the dark only to lock eyes
and scare me half to death.
Those boxes I packed earlier
just shifted slightly!
Where her eyes even open?
She was sleeping
and I was paranoid.
I was afraid she would wake
and need so much
I could barely give.
As a sprouting schizo
and still having the wherewithal,
I scheduled an appointment
with a psychiatrist
as soon as I could.
The horrow to keep a newborn alive
and make arrangements for a move.
She came a bit earlier
than expected,
Negligible if even an inconvenience.
Sarcastic much?
Nay.

Ode to the night hours
The noises coming out of
this little body would make
me tense.
I would be semi- asleep
and the sound of a small animal
would jolt me, it hurt my soul.
Even when she was sound asleep
I was on edge that at the moment
I fell asleep she would wake up.
This went on for months.
A rouge restless sleep
that made you nauseous.
One night my husband
being all chivalrous
promised me a few hours of sleep.
My anxiety wouldn’t let me rest
so I popped in a sleeping pill,
long story short I didn’t get to sleep.
I started to doze off
while holding the baby
and I almost dropped her,
luckily I startled myself
and favorably without waking her!
The struggle to stay awake
was turning my stomach.
I felt the depth and fade
of that capricious pill.
I didn’t remember
the the last time I had slept.
I saw every hour on the clock.
Endless bouncing, swaddling,
Unswadding, Feeding, Changing.
We didn’t have swings and such
because we were moving.
My husband rocked her
in the heavy car seat for hours,
pacing back-and-forth
throughout the apartment
at all hours
and went to work each morning
to wrap up projects
before transitioning jobs.
How long would this last?!
S.O.S

Before embarking on this odyssey
we faced a road block. (HA!)
She wouldn’t take
to me or formula
so we were exclusively pumping.
We made it to Knoxville in 3 days.
Disordered into a hotel at 4am.
The only reason we got a room
was because we couldn’t get our
key till 9 and it wouldn’t
have made a difference.
I was basically in and out of
consciousness that month.
I recall sitting on the bed
getting ready to change her diaper,
I put her in front of me,
and my eyes glazed over.
If we had made it to Knoxville
before she was born
and had everything set…
We could have nested…
We would have had an easier time..
If I knew all of this would
have happened I could have…
Snap out of it!
Am I sleeping?
Not too much time had passed
because nothing
significant happened.
The baby was sleeping
in front of me
and I realize I had
not yet changed her diaper.

He made the started
for our apartments office.
Ultra-precise he receives a call,
the furniture people
were at the gate to set up!
Jonathan I want to thank you
for making us a priority that day.
I was his first caller on Tuesday.
I was vigilant on operating hours.
I was traveling time zones,
making phone calls and provisions.
He did mention having kids
so either I spoke English or he
understood my in and out jargon.
And because we could do
without his deals
we must have seemed eager.
Looking back I wonder What
I must have sounded like
on the phone.

I organized my pumping equipment
and washed my pieces.
Made sure we didn’t leave anything
behind in the room
and the baby and I
made our way to
continental breakfast.
The apartment was ready for us
It was 2 minutes away.
My husband picked us up
and We were now alone
in our new nicely furnished home,
such a beautiful little family.
We snapped.
Manic, I would describe
my husband
and without hesitation
started unloading the uhaul
bringing boxes up
three flights of stairs.
I was hiding in the closet
sobbing, admittedly hitting my head
against the wall,
albeit bouncing idol.
I had just enough foresight
to defend her term,
the incessant crying!
It was ours to have,
but we couldn’t wake up
or escape the demented sequence,
our anguish.
I seemed preoccupied
so he continued.
I didn’t want him to see
I was hopeless.
Propriety was left at the hospital
and destitution wrecked our psyche.
My husband had gone mad
and the last strand
of strength I had
broke.
I lost control.

We stayed the night.
And my husband soaked
in our jacouzi bath.
We arranged everything
to get to Atlanta
as soon as possible.
We left the next morning.
I called my parents
before heading down
I told them how happy
and in need we were.
I don’t remember if I had cried
but I had no dignity
to hold either way.
We reached Atlanta
that afternoon
and sat in traffic for 6 hours.
we were filled with
so much anticipation
that it didn’t bother us
we were just so close.
What difference
would a little detour
make at this point right.
When we got into town
We stopped my father’s job
to surprise him.
My father was so happy to see us
and so very proud
that he presented us
and his granddaughter
to coworkers and supervisors.
I’m glad I made the effort
to change my clothes
and look alive because
I was soiled with milk
and who knows what else.

I will add to this as I get more
time to write.
Thanks for tuning in!

3 thoughts on “Newborn + Road Trip”

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