Video rental stores and record shops have been a monthly if not weekly part of my life since I was a kid. I remember going to rent movies with my parents when I was a kid. When I was 17 I worked in a Blockbuster. I remember Blockbuster’s heyday, when every person I knew frequented the store on Friday nights to look for the latest movie release. I remember kids hitting the local record shop for the latest music album. I also remember when Blockbuster closed its doors.
The digital age has been reinventing how we are entertained. Instant gratification is now in demand. Everything is online, at our fingertips, and ready to be downloaded to our handheld devices and TVs. Over the years I have seen writing with pen and paper go out of style, no more letters in the mail, photographs not being printed, and film being replaced with digital media. I do love a lot about this new digital era, but I also am a bit old fashioned I guess, and I love the smell of books, I like the sound of pencil gliding over paper, the nostalgic sound of music recorded onto vinyl, and the look of movies when they were made on actual film. I remember working at the local movie theatre as a teen too. My favorite part of the job was working upstairs in the projection room, threading the filmstrip through a projector. I liked the clicking sound of it as it started up. One time I threaded a movie incorrectly and the movie looked like it was melting on the screen, and I had to run upstairs to stop the projector and splice the filmstrip to save what I could.
When people around the country were losing their Blockbusters and movie/music stores Boise, ID had Hastings. For the last 13 years that I have lived here I have been able to go to Hastings and rent movies, look for books and music. My 12 year old son has loved frequenting the store as a Friday night ritual, looking for movies, perusing books, video games, and music. When we heard that Hastings is closing, we decided to do a short, casual photo session. He is so excited to have these photos, memories of one his favorite stores.
Did I shoot them digitally, you bet I did, but I won’t let them just sit on my computer either. I am printing the photos for him to put in an album, so he can look back whenever he feels the desire to reminisce in the future.
The days of “be kind, please rewind” have long been over and soon DVDs will not be for sale as well. The excited feeling of standing in line waiting to check out with the new releases, if you were lucky enough to grab one before another shopper did, or going to the video wall only to discover they were all checked out and then asking the clerk if he had any copies in his retuned discs stash behind the counter, hoping to get lucky. The days of rummaging through old movies, or the special interest section, looking for something to watch, those days are gone too. Of course everything is online, and we can watch many things instantly now, no lines, we don’t even have to get dressed and leave the house, and if you can’t find something instantly, you can still find it for purchase and wait for it to be delivered through the mail.
Modern conveniences are awesome, but I will always love the smell of a book, the sound of a record playing, and miss the excitement of hitting up the rental store for a flick to watch. I will remember when I was dating my husband, and even after getting married, walking through the store, holding his hand, and talking about what to rent, or standing there with a movie in my hand and a perfect stranger comments on the movie, or looking over to see the person standing next to me mulling over whether or not to check out the movie in their hand, and they turn to ask if I have seen it, and we chat for a minute. There’s that too, holding the actual movie in my hand, looking at the actual covers for the movie. I loved picking up a movie, looking at the cover and photos, and reading the description on the back. It’s just not the same on Netflix, or Redbox, or any other online service. I will remember, even as present as my pregnancy this year, walking through the store, my hand rubbing my belly, not really feeling like taking my swollen, tired self to a movie theatre, so I would go check out a movie with my son and husband. Then of course there is always chatting with the cashier about whatever movie we decided on. It’s going to be different, gone, the human interaction, those little, sweet moments; replaced with instant gratification and less conversation.
It was fun to take one last stroll through Hastings with my son. It was quiet and I enjoyed snapping a few photos to capture memories for both of us. As we walked through the store, William stopped, put his hand on Clara’s head, I was wearing her in a wrap, and he said, “Clara won’t know what it’s like coming to a store like this. This is first and last time for her in a video shop mom, and she won’t even know it or remember it. Things will be so different for her when she is growing up.”
That’s just life, things change, and we all adapt, and move on to the next latest, greatest thing, but for some of us we will have memories of an era gone by. Video stores will become as nostalgic as drive -ins, and roller-skating rinks, and many other things that have become a part of the past.
Today we hiked around the Foothills Learning Center in Boise. Well, more like strolled along. It was great to get out of the house at 8 weeks post c-section. We did a little over a half mile, and I got to take some photos of my boys and baby girl as well as some macro shots, which is always peaceful to do. It was really hot out too, so we didn't want Clara in the heat for too long. It lifted our spirits. There was so much joy in being able to get up on my feet and move around after months of rarely being able to stand, let alone get one foot in front of the other.
*Click any pic to make larger or scroll through*
Some of the macro, close-up photos I got of Clara over the first couple weeks. I LOVE close ups. Babies are just so precious, and these details of Clara make my heart melt. Her first midwife home visit, and grandma and grandpa visiting the evening we came home.
Our Little GloWorm
Clara fought off jaundice for the first couple weeks. Her levels got up to a 17.8, which we discovered during a trip to the ER because she hadn't had ANY soiled diapers in a days, yes days. We first took her to the pediatrician to check her weight, and discuss her not eliminating and being so lethargic, but also crying and fussiness. After looking her over the doctor suggested we go to the ER. She finally had a bm while there, but also were told she was close to needing to be admitted to NICU for jaundice.I had a meltdown at the hospital. I forgot my pain meds, not knowing we would end up in ER, and ended up in tears from immense pain and swelling, and then the tears kept coming from worry and no sleep. We were sent home with a biliblanket. It was not easy having to go up and down the stairs in my house and drive so soon after having a cesarean. We kept that blanket on her 24 hours a day. I sat there all day and all night, and Jack would step in and give me breaks when I needed them. He stayed up with me at night, and we rocked her and held that blanket on her for a week straight. Her levels started coming down. She ended up with multiple heel prick blood tests, which is photographed below to show some of them, but this was an exhausting time, and although jaundice is common in new babies, it is still concerning, and we won't soon forget the time spent running her back and forth for blood tests and staying up with her, holding the biliblanket on her. I remember one night I looked at the clock, it was nearly 10pm, and I thought how nice it'd be to sleep. ..and in my bed. I know it would be another long night, nursing every hour, holding the bili blanket on Clara's back, watching over her to keep an eye on her choking, to clean her goopy clogged tear duct, to console her when she's crying and distressed, all while sitting up in a recliner, maybe dozing off a few minutes here or there. But you know what makes all the exhaustion barely a thought? The love. I'm just so in love with her, so in awe of her, and whether there wasn't anything to worry about I would still be awake, because I didn't want to miss a moment. These precious, fleeting moments, while she is so small. My eyes can't stop from looking at her, my arms miss her when she is out of them, I want to coo over her and kiss her chubby cheeks a thousand times. Everything else is background, it's all the love that keeps me up at night, and pulls me through the day.
We attempted a home family shoot on our own July 14th, when Clara was 12 days old. Of course this was far from easy. I was swollen very badly and could barely walk, Jack, Clara, and I hadn't been sleeping, but we set the camera on a tripod with a timer and took a few shots. Most of the ones we did on our own didn't come out so well,but the ones that did, and even a couple of the ones that didn't turn out"perfect" we still love. My friend Sunny came over a few days later on the 19th and helped get a couple more family shots for us too. I think I appreciated her visit and conversation even more than her time taking some pictures. But I love the shots she got too. ;) I typically would spend time editing each photo, but a good handful of these are not even edited. I just kept them as is. Some are even out of focus, but we love them anyways.
We held off on Clara's first bath until July 14th. Se was twelve days old. I declined a bath at the hospital for two reasons. I wanted to keep the vernix on her skin, and I wanted to give her her first bath when I felt well enough to at home. So we waited. I was not feeling my best yet. I was very swollen, and had a hard time being on my feet, but it was so much fun and so very precious to giver her the first bath. It was a whole family affair. We all took turns washing her and cooing over her.
July 16: 2 weeks old
Two weeks old today. Played around with the sunset and lace.
Below are photos from the first few days of Clara's life. This was our hospital stay for three days. We had wonderful nurses. They really made the stay a good experience. I can't say enough good things about the nursing staff, which I did cover some of in the blog, Clara's Birth Story. I wish I could say the same about the pediatricians though. We found that the pediatricians were either lacking in knowledge when it came to answering questions for us, responding with "I don't know's" and "I will have to Google that," which is ok, I mean no one knows everything, but some of our concerns were not uncommon concerns. One pediatrician in particular was very pushy, rude, and threatening.
We faced some scares while at the hospital with Clara. She had troubles breathing, choked a lot, and had become jaundiced after we left the hospital. The pediatricians became concerned that she had dropped weight after birth. Which is quite normal for babies and especially with cesarean babies. I refused formula, knowing that my milk would come in within a couple days and that she would be receiving healthy colostrum that is so beneficial to newborns. Thank goodness for the lactation consultants that supported my decision to breastfeed and advocated for me and for Clara when this particular ped dr wouldn't stop hounding me about supplementing Clara with formula. Babies are typically given two weeks to meet their birth weight, because it is a normal occurrence for babies to lose a little weight after birth, and they need time to gain it back.
This same ped dr went on to threaten my husband and I with mediation and social services if we did not have a pediatrician appointment lined up for that upcoming friday! She told us that we would not leave the hospital with our baby! Here it is, Clara was born on a saturday, three, almost four weeks earlier than her due date, which is yes, only an estimate, but still, earlier than expected. I had not chosen a pediatrician yet. I was actually that week planning on making phone calls to a couple peds I thought would be a good fit for our family. So, there it was Sunday, July 3, and this doctor is hounding us about not having a doctor ready for her, and that we had 24 hours to find a doctor and have an appointment made. She came in the next day, again, now Monday, but it's the 4th of July, a holiday, no offices are open, and she is hounding us yet again about getting an appointment made. Tuesday morning she came into our room promptly at 8am to actually ask us if we had an appointment made yet! I mean, give me a break, right? We just had our baby, it was a holiday weekend, and it's 8am. Within an hour I had an appointment made with a doctor, but the fact that she treated us the way she did was uncalled for. She wasn't done there though, no she still had more grief for us.
Clara's right eye was goopy. Her tear duct was clogged. This made this pediatrician very unsettled. She was not happy that I declined the eye ointment after birth. She asked why I declined it. I explained that I didn't find it necessary for a baby born by cesarean to a mother without STD's to need an antibacterial eye ointment used as a protective measure to newborns born vaginally to mom with STDs' or a mom that is unsure of having STDs. This was not the case for Clara. She did not need an antibacterial eye ointment as cesarean birth and I don't have any STD's. She had a clogged tear duct. Totally common in new babies. This was not anything to worry about. All I needed to do was massage her tear duct and eventually it would clear up, which it absolutely did about a week later. Yet this doctor looked me in the face and said if I didn't give my daughter the eye ointment that I would probably cause my daughter to go blind! This is insane! I could not believe this woman. I told her no, again, and she left the room, only to come back and tell me again that she wanted to do the eye ointment. I told her okay to get her off my back, she left the room to retrieve the ointment, and then I took Clara for a walk, and she never came back. I guess she got the not so subtle hint, and Clara never got the eye ointment, and guess what? She isn't blind! Amazing, right. Some people need to learn that no means no, not yes, and not maybe. No means no.
There was another pediatrician, that although was friendly, immediately assumed there may be a genetic mutation with Clara after assessing her for less than a minute. Less than a minute, yeah. He stated her ears did not look like our ears and sort of sat low, which they do not, and said that we must do a blood test for DNA mutations. So aside from the heel pricks she was getting for her PKU test and blood sugar tests they now wanted to draw blood from her tiny little arm to test for mutations?! I mean she looked totally fine to us,and in my gut I knew this was some sort of way to either pad the bill and/or be a scare tactic of some sort. My poor husband though was not prepared for the outpouring of harassment from the pediatricians about vaccines, cps threats, genetic mutations and so on. I totally expected it, and although expecting certain things that are "hospital policy" to take place, it still pissed me off how the doctors so easily scare new parents. We had the blood draw, and that did not go well. A young kid began to draw her blood and nearly collapsed her vein, and luckily a NICU nurse noticed his inexperienced draw, and stopped him, and then she drew from Clara's hand. The test came back negative...of course.
There was then a test they said she needed next for her thyroid. They stated that because I have Hashimoto's, she had probably lost weight because I might have passed my thyroid disease to her. Again, let me reiterate, babies lose weight after birth, it is okay, it is normal to a certain point, and she was within that range that was okay. Which again, that test came back negative. Oh and at around 3am, only about 6 hours after the time of Clara's birth during surgery, the pediatricians thought that would be a great time to come into our room and matter of factly tell us that Clara's shaking was an indication she might have bleeding on the brain because we declined the vitamin k shot.
She didn't shake, it wasn't like that. Clara was sound asleep and the doctor came over and pulled her hands out of her blanket to test her grip, and it startled Clara, so she immediately made it sound like it was life or death if we did not do the vitamin k shot. We were told we were possibly going to kill our daughter if we did not do the shot. So I won't use this blog to go into the research and details of the vitamin k shot, but we declined, and every 10 minutes this doctor was coming back in to tell us that this was necessary, that she strongly urges us to give her the shot. We eventually broke down an hour later and gave Clara the shot. Seriously though, this was not a life or death thing, yet another scare tactic, another hospital policy that they are used to, and we were declining. It makes people uncomfortable. I get it. Still, accusing us of possibly killing our daughter, that is over the top.
Anyways, aside from some of the bs and scares we faced in the hospital, I'll say it again, we had great nurses, and we are so thankful for their kindness and care. We didn't sleep a wink, and were absolutely over the moon having Clara finally in our arms. So with all this said here are some of the hospital pics from her first few days of life. (Including post surgery/post partum body pics, because for those of you that know me, and don't know me, I am all for normalizing body image for women.)
*Click pics to make larger.*