Sunday, June 06, 2010

A new mother cries

We've just returned from the Worst Vacation Ever.  Two stressful days in an unfamiliar house with three creatures who needed to be looked after constantly.  We're using this as a learning experience.

I had imagined another mellow, blissful weekend like we had a few years ago on the Olympic Peninsula.  Of course it would be different with a baby, but with both TJ and me around, we'd each get some time to ourselves to just relax.  And BabyT is pretty mellow, so she's usually happy to play by herself near us for relatively long stretches of time.

Seas the Day house at Seabrook WA
We rented a house at Seabrook, a totally manufactured "beach town" on the Washington coast.  The drive over there with puppies and baby was pretty uneventful. Thanks to the massive amounts of baby stuff we need to carry around with us (stroller, diapers, her own clothes and toys), we had to put both dogs in the back of the Nitro together, and stuff all of our luggage in the seat next to the baby's car seat (which itself takes up a huge amount of room). We stopped once to feed Miss Baby and get me a diet Coke, but otherwise she napped or entertained herself in the back seat.

The house was lovely, and the neighborhood very nice to walk around in (despite the massive amounts of construction). We bought a few groceries at the Extortion Market located onsite, and TJ made a larger grocery run the next day, to Ocean Shores, which was about 15 miles away.

The bed was king-sized which meant we didn't need to bring a place for BabyT to sleep, and they even had a high chair and Pack N Play, which was a welcome surprise. That all sounds good, right?

But it was surprisingly stressful. The yard wasn't beagle-proof so we had to take the dogs out on a leash every time. We worried about the dogs getting into something or having an accident in the house since it was new and they didn't know where "out" was. If BabyT was on the floor, we had to keep a hawk's eye on the dogs. (We've solved this problem at home by installing baby gates so we can separate dogs and baby when needed.) We had to change BabyT on the floor. Basically, one of us was always watching the baby, and the other one was watching the dogs.  The first night was wretched.  Either BabyT or Peanut was up EVERY hour, as if to say "hey guys, did you notice we're not at home?".

Add to that the fact that I also forgot some of the parts to my breast pump, which meant we'd have no "easy milk" in the bottle for T. Which also meant that *I* was tethered to the baby for feeding. On a side note, hooray for 8.5 months of breastfeeding!

So yeah, not relaxing. A friend told me that vacation with a baby just seemed like the "same stuff, different location". I totally agree. But we had the house for 4 days so I thought we should make the best of it.

Until the Spectacular Vomiting Incident.  BabyT has been doing GREAT with eating solids.  We introduced bread (at Tropea, our favorite Italian restaurant) and a few strands of spaghetti, as well as the usual fruits and vegetables and she was literally eating it all up. But not with a spoon.  BabyT likes to feed herself, yo.

So I figured we were in the clear to just start feeding her whatever we were eating (except for the still-forbidden things like nuts, honey, egg whites and dairy).  I had some tomato soup for lunch on Friday, and for thought it was just tomatoes and spices. (Bad Mama Mistake #1)  So I offered some to BabyT.  She LOVED it.  Even let me feed it to her from a spoon.  She ate less than a tablespoon total, and all was well.  We went out for a walk, and went to the beach to let the dogs run around.  All was still well.  She took a nap.  All continued to be well.

I fed her again in the evening just after her last nap of the day.  As I was getting ready to take her downstairs for a few hours of fun before bed, it happened.  It actually wasn't that *gross*, just alarming.  Whoever said that babies' stomachs are the volume of a closed fist is a dirty rotten liar.  She was drenched, I was soaked, and so were the lovely bed linens (thank god for mattress pads!).   I had never seen BabyT do this so I was freaked out.

And of course, it was after our pediatricians' office closed for the day so we had to leave a message and wait for the nurse on call to return it.  In the meantime there was more (small) vomitiness.  The nurse just said to stop giving her solids, keep an eye on her for fever and more vomiting and give her milk as usual.

At that point I was ready to take my ball and go home.  We were an hour round-trip from the nearest grocery store and at least that from the nearest medical facility, which may or may not have had a pediatrician.  We had a limited number of outfits and laundry detergent.  I wanted to be in MY house where everything is set up the way we need it. 

Fortunately, BabyT was fine for the rest of the night and slept and ate pretty well. I discovered there was cream in the soup, so either she had a bad reaction to the dairy or is allergic to/doesn't tolerate tomatoes.  We're going to hold off for another month or so before introducing yogurt and cheese, and will go back to our "whole foods" plan for solids.

We're all fine but SO happy to be home.  We'd like to try another trip later, without the dogs, will remember to bring all parts to the pump, and will not introduce new foods while traveling :)


  1. Sorry to hear about your failed vacation! That's how we felt about trips traveling with the boys before two... we had to man-to-man in places that were not twinproofed, which is pretty much the whole world. Not much relaxation. Now, travel is easy peasy!

  2. Ugh! I hate it when vacations and visits to family go like that. We've had a few ourselves, and my husband is the one who always points out that it's the same stuff, different location.

    Because it's so hard to beagle-proof places and deal with the pets in addition to the kids, we've stopped bringing them with us places. It's helped ease my stress a lot when away from home. Also, as the kids get older, it's getting easier.

    I hope your next vacation goes better! And I hope your girl was just out of sorts and not allergic or anything!


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