July 1, 2024 at 1:47 p.m.

Daughter’s first trip was an adventure


By Chris Schanz

We were weary as to how the weekend was going to play out.

Back in January, we were informed one of our Ohio friends was expecting her first child. A few months later, not long after our child was born, the baby shower invitation came in the mail.

We were looking forward to the occasion; not only were we going to have the opportunity to shower some of our friends, but we’d be able to show off our own baby to the friend group we left two and a half years ago.

Baby Schanz is no stranger to vehicles. Three days a week she goes to day care (more on that in an upcoming column). Car rides almost soothe her. She may be fussy at times when we first get in the car, but she soon calms down and before we know it she’s zonked out. It doesn’t matter how long the drive, either. She’ll — dare I say it? — sleep like a baby.

Friday afternoon, I loaded up our Ford Escape with everything we thought we needed, which included our baby’s stroller, bouncer and a suitcase filled with her clothes, medicine, diapers, etc.

Because the shower was for the ladies only, Chrissy and I made sure we had enough breast milk to get me by should our 3-month-old baby need to be fed. (Chrissy chose not to take our daughter with her to the shower so as to not overshadow the expecting mother.)

It’s roughly a four-hour drive from our house in Saginaw to our friends’ place in Spencerville, Ohio. We got on the road shortly after 5 p.m. — an hour after we were anticipating — and, like clockwork, once we hit the expressway, Baby Schanz fell asleep.

She did great. She slept like a rock, only waking on occasions when we’d adjust her to ensure she could still breathe.

Dundee, Michigan, is often our pit stop when we head to Ohio as it’s roughly the midway point. It allows us to stop for snacks, to use the restroom and refuel if necessary.

On this trip, we didn’t need to refuel but we were in need of dinner. As we were in the drive-thru of a fast food joint, Chrissy came to a stunning revelation.

We left the milk — our biggest stressor going into the weekend was making sure we had it — in the fridge at home.

Immediate panic, and then a quick audible.

Thankfully, Chrissy had brought her pump and accessories. So, before we hit the road again, she set up the machine so she could pump on the road. She was also diligent throughout the rest of the day to pump as often as she could to make sure I had what I needed to get Baby Schanz through the shower with Mom away.

Saturday afternoon came and, with Chrissy away at the shower, Baby Schanz did exactly what Dad was doing — napped. Turns out, the extent to which Chrissy ensured there would be enough milk for me to feed in her absence was for naught. Baby Schanz slept the afternoon away.

The rest of the trip went by smoothly. Dinner on Saturday night with even more friends who got to meet Baby Schanz was delightful. The following morning, breakfast with one of Chrissy’s former coworkers allowed her to meet our child and for us to meet her new son, who is eight days younger than our daughter.

The weekend was also our maiden voyage with our pack-and-play, and it might as well have been her bassinet or crib since she slept so well in it each night.

On our way home, Baby Schanz again slept like a log, and again only needed some adjusting to confirm she was still alive and breathing. We stopped at the 225,000-square-foot Cabela’s in Dundee to provide her first interaction with fish (there’s an aquarium inside).

She was not impressed. But she did pick out her own toy for the first time — a plush dog that rattles — by immediately putting it in her mouth and not wanting to let it out of her grasp.

To say Baby Schanz was a champ on her first time out of state wouldn’t be giving her enough credit. She handled the long car ride and the hours in her carrier extremely well.

Her first trip was an adventure. We hope it was the first of many.

PORTLAND WEATHER

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