Oh (baby) boy! What a crazy couple weeks it has been for the Pilvers. On the sixth of this month I woke up early and headed to work at the coffee shop. Contractions started mid-morning and when I got off at noon I drove home and told Mr. Pilver it was hospital time. He then asked if he could plant another row of potatoes in the garden before we left. He actually would have had time, but I put my foot down and we headed to the hospital, nearly an hour away. My labor was slow and not painful for hours. But the contractions kept coming every 2-5 minutes and I did not want to chance going back home to wait for active labor. So we slept overnight in the delivery room and bright and early the doctor came and broke my water. Finally things began to pick up and my beautiful little boy, Henry, came weighing eight pounds and four ounces. Good size for any baby but this little fella was two weeks early.
Baby Henry just after birth.
The next day we headed home to begin our cozy time off. My husband was able to use sick time and vacation leave to stay with us for the week and I don’t plan on returning to work full time until Henry is about a month old. Nothing to do but relax, recover, and enjoy not just our new baby, but also the two crazy and fun kids that came before him.
Like my first two children, I chose to breastfeed Henry. He took to it well, or so I thought. There’s a period of pain that comes with nursing a newborn. It seemed worse this time around, but I knew from experience it went away, so I charged forward. We’d been home two days and Henry had almost been in the world three days when he started spitting up blood. First a tiny bit and then a creepy horror movie amount. Of course, we ran to the ER as fast as we could to figure out what was causing this. Turns out he was latching on terribly and I was bleeding (which was causing the abnormally large amount of pain) and he would then spit up my blood. Ew. Poor thing. The doctors advised me to pump for a few days until I healed and continue feeding as normal. Relieved and exhausted, we headed back home.
Our house is a good fifty or sixty minutes from the hospital and just about halfway home the car’s engine died and we slowly rolled to the side of the road where no matter what was attempted, the engine would simply not start again. Feeling defeated we called a tow truck to come and rescue us and our sick car. Unfortunately tow trucks seat two, maybe three people at best. They do not accommodate entire families in addition to the driver. Fair enough. We phoned every cab company in the book and none of them wanted to travel out to the boonies to take us further into the boonies at 11:30pm. Finally one dispatcher phone us back and said if we were willing to wait forty-five minutes to an hour, they would save us from sleeping in our car.
Having a car break down is always a bummer, but our other dependable vehicle’s engine blew the week prior. We also have the Honda; a 1994 Accord, with extensive hail damage, almost 400,000 miles on it, none of the features work properly but the engine won’t die. It boasts a broken radio, the heater is stuck on high, the speedometer crapped out long ago, the muffler was hanging by a metal thread which has allowed us the privilege of being pulled over for noise pollution. We sometimes argue over who has to drive it, But the car just.won’t.die.)
Sometime around midnight, a dear sweet lady in her sixties rolled up to drive us home. She had brought a friend and a yellow lab with her. So after securing the car seats in two of the remaining three seats, the rest of us smashed together in what space remained. This was especially delightful as I was recovering from childbirth. We were off. Somehow the driver missed seeing the highway’s sixty mile per hour speed limit sign and kept the vehicle under forty-five at all times. She also must have missed the lesson where one avoids the center line dividing the lanes of traffic. My sweet lady cab diver was either the worst driver ever or high as a kite.
I don’t do well if I am not the driver of any vehicle I am riding in. I have control issues, I get that. But put me in the back seat of a cab with a terrible driver and my babies and the anxiety attack that is sure to ensue is off the charts. Mr. Pilver knows this about me and was doing his best to make me laugh and distract me from whatever doom can come from traveling really, really slowly. Softly he whispered into my ear, “And the Honda rolls on…”
We made it home in the most expensive cab ride I will likely ever take. We put the kids to bed and depressed ourselves talking about the state of our vehicles until we too fell asleep. The next day we had the car towed to a shop for an estimate. Ouch. Two hundred dollars less than blue book value was what it would take to revive the thing. We talked and weighed our options, but buying a car seemed to be the only one.
Buying a new car has been on our agenda for some time, but we had wanted to take our time and find a steal and be happy with our decision. Being as I am out of work for maternity leave we are surviving currently on one income, a decent down payment had not yet been set aside. We talked and thought about it and the only thing that made sense was to buy another Honda. At least then we would feel secure that we were getting a car that would likely last longer than we had ever hoped it would. So we began searching online for older models similar to the one in the driveway. We found one. Same model, same year, same everything except…next to new?! Of course it was a four hour drive away and I still had yet to sleep more than a couple hours a night because I had a five day old baby. And I’d developed a nasty case of laryngitis. But we called on the car and it was still available and we packed up the old noisy car and headed to the Big City to buy a new old car the same model as the one we always fought over who had to drive.
The car was for sale at a towing company run by Niccoli and Vladimir. A Russian duo. Uh oh. I immediately became worried it had a salvaged title and would fall apart when driving it. Thankfully, I was wrong. It had rear ended another car and had the hood replaced as well as a snazzy new paint job. The low miles were a result of the crash and the fact that it had been sitting a long time. After a quick test drive we made the easy choice of buying the car. Niccoli was happy. Vladimir never cracked a smile. The both of them spoke terrible English, and the transaction took far longer because of the language barrier. However, by the end of the sale I think Niccoli had successfully invited himself to our home for a fishing trip on the nearby lake this summer. Looking forward to that.
So now, we have two running cars. The worn down Honda is nicknamed Golf Ball because of it’s white color and the visible hail damage covering the body. The New Honda which is the same age as Golf Ball has no name other than New Honda.
My first week “recovering” from child birth was insane. It was filled with an ER visit, broken down cars, a cab ride from hell, losing my voice, and Russian tow truck drivers. But now I am feeling good and rested and in love with my little teeny boy who is healthy and doing wonderful. I now have THREE kids! I also have a few weeks left of maternity leave to kiss my kids all day and not worry about getting up early and lie on the couch. And when I do leave the house, I have a car to drive that runs well. And in five short years I can order classic car plates for it. 😉