When my daughter was born, she came out as a butt-first breech, not feet first. As a result of her ass-end entry into the world, I had to have an emergency C-section performed due to my preeclampsia. Nonetheless, we were so excited to finally meet her.
The same year we had her (1984) was the same year car seat laws became mandatory in our area. Car seats were already being used but I don’t believe they became statewide requirements until 1986. Even though it was still 1984, the nurses at the hospital told us: “If you do not have a car seat, we cannot let the baby leave with you.”
My husband went to Walmart and bought a new one that doubled as an infant carrier and brought it to the hospital. A week after our daughter was born we came home. We were so excited! We were parents, we had a baby girl and we thought no one could tell us a thing!
We stopped at his parent’s house so they could hold their new granddaughter without hospital supervision and guidelines. They were so excited, too. When we left, my husband set the baby on top of the car and helped me get into the front seat. Then he ran around to his side and jumped in behind the wheel.
My father & mother-in-law stood at the door waving to us. They were so proud. I noticed they kept waving even as we started to back up. Then we noticed my father-in-law jumped off the front porch and run toward us.
“What’s he doing,” I asked quite alarmed that we were being chased down.
My husband stopped the car, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know.”
He came to my side of the car and it looked like he was hugging it until he stepped away. He was holding the baby. Boy did he tell us a thing. In his excitement, my husband had left her on top of the car. I thought then, yeah, we’re off to a good start as parents.
A week after being home, my friend Marybeth, took me to Walmart to do some Christmas shopping. I was still sore and slightly hunched over from the surgery so I had placed the baby and carrier into the bottom of the cart. Some woman came up and said, “Oh that’s such a cute little doll baby.”
I said, “What doll baby?” She pointed into the cart at my baby and I said, “That’s not a doll baby, that’s a real baby!”
She said, “Are you sure?”
We had one more unusual incident: About two months later, I was leaving (the same) Walmart. The doctors had released me from care and I was allowed to drive again. We had a black two-door Trans Am back then: a low rider. I handled it well, though.
opened the back door, slid the baby’s car seat onto the seat and looked around for the seatbelt. “Where did those seat belts go,” I asked out loud. I glanced up and saw a man sitting in the driver’s seat looking back at me and I said,
“What are you doing in my car?”
He said, “Excuse me?”
Then I realized, I was in his car and he had a light brown four-door station wagon. My black two-door Trans-Am was next to his. “Sorry,” I said and then explained, “I left my glasses at home.”
As I was buckling the baby into the passenger seat I heard him say, “Then are you sure that’s even your baby?”