I had just found out I was pregnant as we jetted off on our first trip to Las Vegas. We tromped around the entire strip. I’d never seen this feather-clad city, and I loved every tacky moment of our stay. From the crazy shows to the lights of Fremont Street–this city has since come to represent the first few weeks of my life as a parent.
- You’ll Party Until You Fall Out
I saw a couple of hard-core gamblers napping in the corner of some Vegas casino at around twelve noon. They woke up after a bit and bellied right back up to the card table. During the first two weeks of my daughter’s life, I woke up when I hit my head on the side of the bathtub one morning. Apparently, I’m not graceful during toilet naps, but I was properly fueled for another 24 hours of feeding and diapering.
- Nursing Acrobatics
We saw Mystere at the Treasure Island Casino. I had no idea that bodies could contort in that manner until I tried to breastfeed. Ever try disrobing and nursing in a tiny bathroom at the grocery store because someone else’s kid howled and your milk let down? Better yet, have you ever had a baby wailing in his/her car seat during a long trip, climbed over the seat, and tried to maneuver around so you could nurse when there are no exits in sight? Creative breastfeeding turns your average Cirque Du Soleil show into a total yawnfest.
Like some other Vegas shows, nudity is par for the course during those first weeks, especially if you’re nursing. There really wasn’t enough time between feedings in my house to warrant putting clothes on. I pranced around this joint like a partially clothed Vegas show girl, only without the feathers and the flat tummy. Okay, so I didn’t exactly prance—it was more like a skulk. And I tripped a lot. My drawers were made of maternity net, though. And I did wear paper pasties when I went out in public.
- The Food
My fridge took a beating during my daughter’s infancy. I’ve never been so hungry in my life, and I dreamed of a Vegas buffet many times when I was too exhausted to get off the couch to cook. My husband cooked for me each night, but during the day, I sunk to cheese crackers and peanut butter off a spoon. Unfortunately, my binge choices gave my kid gas. I had to resort to Oreos and loaf bread once I figured out the problem.
- The Lights
I knew that my week old baby could have given three farts about all the blinking, singing, tacky toys I kept shaking in her face. I may as well have taken her to the movie on Fremont Street. Even so, Santa loaded our house with every light-up, blinking, singing toy Wal-Mart ever sold. Our living room did begin to resemble the Vegas strip after a while.
Even though the memories of those first two weeks of my baby’s life was a haze of drunk sleeplessness and strobing toys, those moments rearranged my psyche as did the first time I stepped into the desert at night and saw infinity in the stars or when I peeked over the side of the Grand Canyon and cried in the presence of Supreme Artistry. Here’s your postcard from the most magnificent experience of my life. The weather is beautiful, and I’m glad I’m here.