True stories about being married to a TV Meteorologist

Category Archives: baby

My baby went viral when he was 8-days old. Not many people can say that. It’s a blessing and a curse. Obviously I wanted everyone to see how amazingly cute and perfect he was, so the perfect platform was to debut him on his daddy’s on air broadcast; but the anxiety behind the scenes that lead up to him going viral was out of this world.

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It was stressful enough going through 9-months of pregnancy and going through birth; but after all that is done our entire life had been changed forever. When we brought that little person home, nothing was ever going to be the same, and our family of two had to morph into a family of three and find our new ‘norm’. It was a crazy whirlwind of “now what do we do?” and “is that normal?” or “am I doing this right?” We were amazed that we could actually keep baby alive hour to hour because we had no idea what we were doing. Google became my  best friend. All the prep work and research I did during pregnancy went out the window and I suddenly acted like I had a frontal lobotomy. My brain was mush. I had no idea what I was doing. I was in survival mode.  IMG_1512

When Caden was 5-days old we had to do the Pinterest thing and get his newborn photos taken. Seems easy enough, right? Just feed baby, give him a bath, change him, pack him up, drive to the photographer; take an hour’s worth of photos, call it a day, wait a few weeks and get adorable family portraits and baby photos back, post photos on Facebook to show off your perfect new family of three and no one will know all the chaos, anxiety, and crying that lead up to it! I call bullshit on any newborn photoshoot. The perfect images you see are equivalent to wearing a blood diamond. It’s a nice end product, but you don’t want to know what went into getting there. I will tell you what goes into it. New parents have a 5-day old baby that is on no schedule. Baby does what they want, when they want, and the parents just have to go with it and run around like a bunch of lunatics to get baby ready. Stepping out of the door and getting into the car is a whole new ballgame when a baby is involved.

The car ride over, Caden cried the entire time & Aaron and I were arguing about how late we were, and how we were going to be late to everything the rest of our lives and how we need to plan better in the future and blah, blah, blah. The poor photographer had to put up with us being overly tired, exhausted, and mad. I literally told her to just take the baby and do what she needed. I didn’t care at that point. I told her to take the naked photos of baby, use her props, work her magic, so I could sit down and take a breather. Could I even sit down for 5-minutes? NO! Baby needed fed! At this point I just whipped out my boob for all to see, let baby nurse, gave him back to her, started crying, and stepped outside to pout. Yes, I took a mommy time-out. Yay hormones. So, why I dive into all of this is to set a precedence to what was needed to get Caden on-air ready.

We decided last minute to put Caden on-air. HAHA, I know, what the heck were we thinking? My mom had come into town at that point, so we had a 3rd adult with us, a real adult, who wasn’t sleep deprived and had her wits about her, so I felt confident with her help we could do it. We were able to feed and bathe baby, get him in the car, and drive him to the station.

(Side note: on our way there, the truck in front of me on the highway lost the couch on the truck-bed. A huge couch fell in front of my car, on the highway, with a newborn in the backseat. If that doesn’t give you a minor heart attack, I don’t know what does. Don’t worry, I came to a stop and swerved out of the way, but you can imagine the adrenaline I had pumping through me by the time we got to the station, I believe that adrenaline push is what allowed the on-air appearance to happen).

Aaron and I carefully planned the song and dance that was about to happen. He’d step on screen, I’d have baby off to the side, he’d motion to me to hand baby to him, he’d easily accept baby, do an entire weathercast, and hand baby to me if needed. Sounds simple enough right? Well what you see in the video below makes it all look like that, but what you don’t know is Aaron had never held a baby before, and was still VERY uncomfortable with Caden. So the very thought of me just handing an 8-day old baby over to him was a lot more difficult than one would think. I had to place baby in his arms so that he didn’t have to adjust him all while he seamlessly continued the weathercast without pause or any ‘um’s, ah’s or em’s’. I gave baby to him, (in my mind I was praying he didn’t drop him), when baby started to fuss, I took him back, and Aaron finished his weathercast. To the viewers it was great! To me, I was sweating bullets wondering how my boys were going to pull it off.

Thankfully next to the weather center there are soundproof editing booths that I ran into with the now screaming baby during the newscast. I don’t think the viewers heard, but I have no idea. I was just hoping it was all done successfully. I stayed in the soundproof booth for the rest of the show, lights off, boob out, nursing baby, and one-step away from wearing a strait jacket in a real padded booth.

By the next day, my baby went viral. The weather segment was featured as the ‘feel-good’ story in over 15 cities and was all over Facebook.

Baby went viral at 8-days old

The “what the heck did I get myself into” face

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We did it! We had our baby! Please welcome Mr. Caden Brackett into the world!!! He’s the IMG_1648best thing that has ever happened and we are blessed to have him with us. It was an incredible journey to go on for 40 weeks, but it was worth it. Coming up with a name was challenge No. 1. Apparently, when you’re a weatherman meteorologist you know a lot of ‘guys’ and because you ‘know a guy’ who did xyz in college that takes the name off the table for our baby. The name Bill Paxton Brackett was on the docket, but we decided against it at the last moment. Phew, dodged a bullet there! I like the movie Twister and all, but I need to draw the line somewhere! 40 weeks came and went and Mr. Caden decided to take his sweet time coming out. We were anxious for his arrival, but ready. The nursery was all set up, car seats were installed, overnight hospital bags were packed, and neighbors were set up to watch our two dogs. Caden was due on October 23rd, 2015. That day came and went with no indication of going into labor. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. As any mom knows, when that due date comes, baby needs to come out ASAP! But, being his mother, I knew he was going to be stubborn about the whole thing and take his sweet time. Thank goodness he didn’t learn to be totally stubborn like me right off the bat, because labor started at 4:15 am the next morning.

4:15 am on October 24th, 2015 was a pivotal moment in the Brackett household. First, I had no idea what I was experiencing. I thought it was all in my head because I wanted it to happen, so naturally, I ignored my body and was in denial for a few hours before the pain got to be unbearable and I decided to wake up my husband. 6:30 am I wake Aaron up and verbatim say, “So, I think I might be having contractions.” I then bent over in agony and stated, “…but I’m not sure.” Haha! silly me. But when it’s your first kid, you really have no idea what is going on. The hospital doesn’t want to see you until the contractions are 5 min apart and last for 1 min long each. I was having contractions every 2-3 min at 40 seconds long each, therefore, I was not following the pattern the hospital required, so I didn’t see a need to go in just yet. This is where labor and delivery begins to mimic a storm chaser.

Storm chasers get into what I call “Go Mode”. They are very educated, they look at tons of maps, do a lot of math, and follow the severe weather at a safe distance. Their “Go Mode” is frantically looking at their phones and computers, freaking out a little bit (who am I kidding, a lot a bit) and putting the pedal-to-the-metal to get to where the storm is. They don’t always use full sentences, and often times are incoherent with the facts as their brains are moving a million miles a minute. There is an excitement in the air and a frantic-ness that something big is about to happen and if they take one extra second to tell you what is going on, all will be lost. Screeching tires on side-dirt roads in the middle of nowhere kick up dirt, there is a ton of yelling and ‘nerd-talk’. If you are unfortunate enough to be taking a bathroom break at the time, you may find yourself running out of said bathroom while pulling up your pants (again, who am I kidding, a bathroom? Ha! I mean peeing on the side of the road). Once they  make it into the chase car they are in they blast their ‘chasing music’ and begin arguing with each other on what route to take. Once they finally agree, it’s every-chaser for himself. Everyone eventually winds up around the same areas and either sees something or they don’t, but nonetheless its very exciting. To get a glimpse at the action, see the video below.

In a sense, labor and delivery is the same way. Go-mode happens and all the preparation a couple has taken the past 40-weeks to be ready goes out the window and all hell breaks loose. Once the couple accepts the fact that the baby is coming, there’s no stopping the storm that’s brewing (damn, I’m good at writing). Our personal story was Aaron packed the car as quickly as possible, I slumped over in pain, and we found ourselves in the car driving the speed limit to the hospital. The manageable cramping pain I had a few hours ago turned into my body turning against me and my organs wanting to tear themselves out of my body, twisting and stabbing me along the way. Yes, I was exactly what you see in the movies. I was that pregnant woman going through labor, closing my eyes, trying the Lamaze breathing (that is a joke) screaming at my husband to get to the hospital as fast as he can.

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Luckily Aaron is a trained storm chasing, meteorologist, that always remains calm, cool, and collected under pressure.

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HAHA, just kidding. We were frantic. We couldn’t get to the hospital quick enough. He put the pedal-to-the-metal and cranked that music up (no, he didn’t, I was very particular about not wanting to listen to anything or be touched), his sentences, and mine, were incoherent, we were screeching tires, passing traffic, there was arguing on which road to take, but we eventually got to the hospital. Then, as every storm chase that I’ve been on has ended with nothing happening. The hospital made us wait an hour to prove labor was moving along. This was the most excruciating hour of my life. Let me repeat, OF MY LIFE!!!! They said “walk around, it will help…” my reaction was something along the lines of:

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But, long story short, I was admitted into the labor room and quickly given an epidural and became a little less crazy at that point:

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13 hours later (might I mention, this is less time than any storm chase I’ve been on), our little miracle entered this world. Sure there were times where I was drugged out and when the nurses were talking to Aaron about storms and tornadoes I interjected with off the wall giphy1comments about football having them react like, “um, what?” And there were times that Aaron was white as a ghost in shock, disbelief, and utter disgust. But the day was beautiful, we had a healthy boy, and our lives were forever changed for the sleep-deprived better. I honestly couldn’t think about a better analogy for labor and delivery other than it mimics the total chaos of a storm chaser finding their tornado of the day.

 



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