(alternate title - The Commute From Hell)
Let me tell you why I LOVE my pediatrician's office. Seriously, they saved me today - in more ways than one!
This is the story of how Pediatric Partners and this bottle were my angels!
Wednesday (19th) our area was hit with a pissed off snowstorm! It started as tiny little flurries around 1:30. The kids started to notice those flurries around 2pm when they got bigger and started sticking. By 3pm dismissal, there was at least an inch on the ground and it was VERY slick.
We knew it was coming, not a surprise. The weatherpeople had been talking about it for days. I packed up all my things during my plan time (2 - 3) and had already told my daycare lady I would be there ASAP after school to get the kids. I was in my car and driving at 3:30.
My 10 minute drive to daycare took about 25 minutes. She had the kids 99% ready to go - bless her soul!! I used her restroom (uh, so glad I stopped to pee....you'll understand soon!!) and loaded up the kiddos. Hannah had just eaten about an hour before and Ethan had a full cup of water and a baggie of ritz crackers. I called my girlfriend and my husband to tell them I was leaving daycare and would be going down Quivira instead of taking the highway. I had seen I-35 at an absolute standstill on my way to daycare and figured Quivira was a main-enough road to be a good alternative. Plus, in my head, if you get hit on a major highway - you'll probably get hit at 60 - 70mph. If you get hit on Quivira, it'll be more like 35mph. I'm not a fan of winter driving, so the slower speed of Quivira eased my nerves a LOT.
Off we go! Left daycare's driveway at 4:06. Daycare to home - 13 miles - 25 minutes on a "normal" traffic day.
Quivira was a good choice. It was quite messy already, but we were moving about 20 - 25mph and we were MOVING which was key! I made it from daycare (55th) to the mall (95th) in about 20 minutes. I thought i was doing great. From the time I pased the mall at 95th until I got to Overland Park Regional Hospital (106th) was 45 minutes. It should have taken less than 5 minutes. Hannah went into meltdown - she was starving. Ethan had eaten all of his crackers and had been pinned in his carseat way too long. He was miserable. My girlfriend called to check on me because I should have been home. I just started crying. "Hannah is starving and she's screaming. Ethan is crying too. I'm stuck on Quivira and I'm not going anywhere."
You know, when you're not the one sitting in the middle of a mess - you often have a little clearer perspective on things! LOL. I am certainly grateful that she had that clear mind. She asked where I was sitting and reminded me that our doctor's office was right there in the hospital building. She told me to call and ask for help. So I did. I got over into the right lane (no small feat!) and called our pediatrician. I held it together pretty good, telling them I was stuck on Quivira, right outside of the hospital and moving VERY VERY slow. I had my 2 kids with me and (I started crying) my baby was starving.
Dr. Blum was the one who answered the phone. He very calmly told me to pull into the circle drive in front of their office and they would help me. As I pulled in front of the medical building, there was already a nurse waiting downstairs at the door. Ashley was my 2nd angel yesterday!! She came running over and said "Are you the Mom who just called?", "Yes" I cried. She climbed into my passenger seat and said, "I'm going to sit right here in the warm car with your kids. You go inside to the office and get what you need and I'll be right here."
Thank goodness I had some milk with me. Hannah can't nurse, has never been able to. She lost a lot of weight (way more then normal or safe) after she was born and we switched her to bottle-feedings. But I still pump milk exclusively for her. My pump bag was in the back of the car. I grabbed one of the bottles of milk and headed up to the office. Dr. Blum and 2 other nurses were waiting right there for me. I tried to stay composed as I explained that I had a bottle of milk for her, but no nipple. It was only the bottle that fits on my pump with a cap on top. They had a disposable nipple that fit right one there. Dr. Blum put it on the bottle and stood at the small office sink running hot water on her bottle to warm it up. The other 2 nurses (whose names I cannot recall right now) went and found some milk-free crackers for Ethan and brought me some tissues. I just put my head on the counter and cried. I felt like such a HORRIBLE Mom. I know better now, but man - when it's your job to feed your baby and she's screaming/crying in your car because she's so hungry - you feel horrible.
I got back downstairs to my car a few minutes later and Ashley was already holding Hannah, bouncing and talking to calm her down. She told me to sit there and feed Hannah and she would be back in a few minutes to check on me. So that's what we did. We sat in the parking circle at the doctor's office and Hannah had a bottle, Ethan had a bag of crackers.
Ashley came back in about 15 minutes. Hannah had just finished her bottle. She got her all buckled back in her seat for me and gave me a hug. I called Charlie to tell him I was headed out again and we were off........again!
It was almost 5:45 and the snow had REALLY picked up. I heard later on the news that it was falling at about 1.5 - 2" per hour. I believe it. The accident that had caused the traffic nightmare was clear and the cars were moving again. It took us about 30 minutes to get from the hospital to our house. Not bad at all. It was VERY slow going but surprisingly, everyone was very well behaved - in the car and on the streets!
We left daycare at 4:06. We pulled into our garageat 6:20. 13 miles, 2 hours and 15 minutes. Not a stellar day - but we are all safe and warm and fed. And we are hanging out in our jammies/slippers today since it's a snow day.
I say that's a happy ending to a crappy drive. And if I had it to do all over, I can't say I would have done anything differently. Despite being stuck on Quivira because of an accident, I still think it was the best choice for us. It's a slower pace than the major highway but still well travelled enough to be OK in the snow. I was less nervous as a driver, and that's MUCH safer than an anxious driver!!
Plus, there are plenty of places to stop along the way if I should need to (like yesterday!!) If I had been stuck on the highway because of an accident, I would have been in BIG TROUBLE. I do have a few small nipples that fit on my pump bottles. I have put 1 in my purse so that I always have it with me for emergencies. I'm probably guaranteed to never need it now that I have it. That's how it works, right?
Another huge thanks to our pediatrician's office, Dr. Blum, Ashley, and the other few nurses that were still there. You were our snow angels!!