Successfully Adulting

There are some weekends around here that pass in a haze of laziness – whole afternoons spent watching Netflix or playing a computer game. Weekends where the most we have to show for ourselves is that we fed the cat (which isn’t saying much, considering she has an automatic feeder). And then there are other weekends, like this past weekend, when I am downright proud of us. Look at us! Adulting all of the place! Like we have our shit together!

First on this weekend’s agenda: it was time for my class to be monitored. In the past, this involved a reviewer actually attending class, taking notes, and providing immediate feedback on my teaching. Now though, we’ve gone to a more digital system where we record our classes, upload the video, and review it with our development trainer. Which is all fine and dandy except have you ever tried to take an hour long video? I tried a couple of different test runs earlier last week and had cobbled together first string and second string devices. My camera would be my primary, except that the five year old battery had just enough capacity to last 60 minutes, maybe 62, if I was lucky. With no way to power the camera through an adapter, I also set up my (plugged in) cell phone to capture video.  It ended up working fine. My camera captured the full class. In another shining moment of adulthood, I sat down immediately after my class to upload the video and did not procrastinate until a day before the due date. Kudos to me!

Next up: maternity ward tours. Two of them, to be precise. In all honesty, judging by the “doneness” of the other women on the tours, I think we were a tad on the early side for this. However, my doctor has already inquired as to where I’ve decided to labor, so maybe all those other ladies don’t really have a choice of hospital? Either that or they’re just really good at putting off their doctor’s inquiries. Regardless, we got two done this weekend and I’ve pretty much decided on a hospital. (Yay!) I’m exceedingly proud that I actually did the tours in the first place because I mostly just wanted to pick a hospital off my doctor’s list and be done with it. I mean, it’s a hospital right? How different can they be?

VASTLY different, as I found out this weekend. Beyond minor cosmetic things like updated rooms or the birthing suites having tubs, there were other glaring differences between the hospital I decided against (we’ll call it hospital B) and the hospital we’ll be delivering at (we’ll call it hospital A). At hospital A, the women’s center is in a separate wing from the rest of the hospital. Visitors (and me!) have a direct entrance that bypasses the emergency room or any other potential disease-ridden area. Which wasn’t a huge deal to me, but I do have to say that it’s nice. Plus, when giving directions to any visitors, it’s much easier to guide them. Hospital B wasn’t like this at all. The women’s center is located on the second floor which, again, isn’t a deal-breaker. The problem was that there were absolutely no signs guiding visitors there. You just had to know which elevator provided access or hope there was someone manning the information desk who could help you. No bueno.

Hospital B had smaller, darker rooms (and we saw their “larger” room). There was little space for Luffy to sleep. The whole place just seemed a little dark. Hospital A had recently been renovated (a huge boon for them I’m sure), but they also had better policies regarding skin-to-skin and post-birth recovery. However, the single biggest deciding factor to me (other than a general feeling of I-don’t-want-to-give-birth-here) was the NICU arrangement. At hospital A, the NICU is literally at the end of the mother/baby room hallway, mere steps away. Hospital B, unfortunately, is not set up to handle NICU babies, so a NICU baby is transferred to a larger sister hospital. Which is fine. The part I got hung up on was that mom is not transferred along with baby. …… Yes, you read that correctly. In the event that Little Dumpling arrives very early or needs extra care, he would be transferred to a different hospital and I would remain at hospital B. Which means that Luffy would have to decide between checking in on his wife or his newborn. Which means that I would be separated from my newborn for at least two days until I was discharged. This seems preposterous to me. How on earth is it an acceptable scenario to separate a family like that? Let’s take a stressful situation and just make it a bit worse, shall we?

Anyway, I’ve chosen hospital A which makes me feel like we had a super successful weekend and I can take a break on this whole preparing-for-baby thing because this was a huge step forward and clearly I have tons of time, right?

And last on the agenda of adulting (though it wasn’t actually on the agenda): feeling competent AF when I called the fire department Sunday evening. Ahhh, home-ownership, you are a glorious thing.

It all started about 7:15 on Sunday evening. I was watching TV, Luffy was playing a game, Jas was chilling in the kitchen. All was peaceful and serene until a blaring alarm pierced the air. It lasted long enough for us to look around and stare at each other – for Jas to scamper for cover – and for us to realize that it was our smoke detectors. Weird. They quieted down in about 20 seconds or so. All were glowing green except the one in our bedroom, which was blinking red at us. I climbed up on a step stool to reach the nearest one to find the model number (so I could look up the user manual online because I am a crazy person who reads user manuals) and found out that our smoke alarms are actually combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Huh, I thought to myself, that’s pretty awesome. I’ve been meaning to look into getting a few around the house and now I don’t have to! [crickets chirping crickets chirping crickets chirping] Wait, crap. 

You see, I realized that since these were no longer just smoke alarms, we couldn’t discount the red blinking light of doom simply due to the lack of smoke. Carbon monoxide, if you’ll remember, is odorless and colorless – undetectable as it slowly smothers you. Lovely.

A quick perusal through the manual confirmed that red blinking light of doom did indeed mean alarm conditions were present. Plus, with the alarm placed high out of reach (the very top of a 16 foot pitched ceiling), we couldn’t even begin to test the battery. Thus, Luffy and I faced the eternal dilemma of mankind: look like an idiot in exchange for peace of mind or meet an ill demise and look like an even bigger idiot. And that’s how I ended up calling the non-emergency dispatch number for our local fire department.

To their credit, they were exceedingly polite and kind. They rolled up to our house (lights on but no siren, thank goodness) and proceeded into our house to check things out. They determined that carbon monoxide levels were normal and that none of the other alarms indicated a problem. Most likely a dead battery, was their prognosis. Which whew! And also yay!

I happened to have a couple of spare batteries on hand, so they hopped up to change the dead one and then offered to go ahead and put the other fresh battery into an alarm we hadn’t changed yet. They assured me it was no problem and that I should call back when or if I ever needed anything. All joking aside, I am so grateful that our fire department was more than happy to check things out for us. Especially once my pregnant brain latched on to the fact that the alarms could technically be indicating dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, I knew I wouldn’t be able to let it rest until we knew for sure that our home was safe. So while I was a tad embarrassed (plus being pregnant meant my hormones and adrenaline were through the roof for a while), it was worth it to be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

All in all – a super successful weekend of adulting, if I do say so myself!