My babies are one week old today (Thurs, June 10th)! I really can't believe the week has passed by so quickly. I just keeping thinking back to their delivery and what an amazing, awesome, scary, surreal experience that was. The joy I have in my heart is unmatched by anything I have ever known. I feel privileged that I was able to carry these precious little ones, and I am humbled that God has entrusted Matt & I to be their parents.
Week one has been such a ride. My time in the hospital from Thursday to Monday evening was actually so pleasant. I didn't really want to leave for a number of reasons, main one being that I knew we couldn't see our little Quinn whenever we wanted. Now that we are home, we are a good 35-45 minutes away from her and the logistics of getting down there while caring for Ryan is a little hairy.
On Monday when we were discharged, I was filled with so many emotions...sadness, joy, nervousness, gratefulness, and overwhelming love. We got home and it was like, "ok, so what the hell do we do now??" :)
Gigi (my mother) was waiting at home to greet us and we immediately plopped Ryan down in her lap for some grandmother loving time. I think she seriously sat and just looked at him for a good 45 minutes. After ravaging some Chinese food and introducing Ry to our neighbors, it was time for Matt & I to face the night on our own.
We had big plans for the little guy --- in the hospital, we had a pretty good routine going and R was so easy going, I was NOT prepared for the night that was instore. We got him fed, dressed, and tucked him into the twin pack & play bassinet in our bedroom. Our optimism for the evening turned out to be short-lived to say the least. Ryan immediately had a breakdown in his bed so we did everything we could think of to soothe him. Skin to skin, another bottle, warm cuddles, diaper change -- nothing worked. And the kiddo just screamed. Something about nighttime and a wailing newborn just jangles your nerves. I never thought crying like that could bring me to my knees - but I was praying that God would send me the answer on how to soothe my poor little boy. After wading through what seemed like hours of consoling and more crying, he finally passed out at about 4:30am -- so mom and dad got about 2 hours of sleep before his 6am feeding.
We woke up that morning and just looked at each other in disbelief --- I mean, we knew it would be hard, everyone tries to prepare you, but until you are actually in it, you can't get it. Wow, I get it now :) We were questioning everything about our parenting skills and whether we were truly up for this task. This was just one -- what were we going to do when we had 2 of these wailers going?
However, on Tuesday, even in our bleary-eyed, exhausted state - Ry managed to have a great day...feeding every 3 hours and sleeping pretty much the rest of the time. We had a little bottle drama trying to figure out what he would like out of the 18 choices I had registered for. Thankfully, he settled on one (the least expensive of them all, I must add!) and we carried on.
Of course, nighttime inevitably rolled around and we had to face the situation again. After much discussion, it was concluded that I would do the 10:30 and 1:30am feedings and let Matt take the 4:30 and 7:30am while I slept. And it really worked out great. Ryan did wonderfully and by 2:30am, I had him all snuggled in his pack and play and I was able to crawl into a real bed and catch a few zzz's.
And Weds night was pretty much the same. I think this routine really works for us --- Matt gets up early for work anyway and he tends to hit a wall at 10pm, so this just makes sense. When he goes back to work, he'll be able to help with at least the 4:30 feeding before he leaves. What a blessing. We decided that Monday night was probably just a little overwhelming for Ry -- too much stimulation and nothing that he was used to like in the hospital. But now, I think he is pretty cozy and who wouldn't prefer a nice, comfy bassinet as opposed to a plastic bin that the nursery had for him in the hospital.
And of course, as soon as I type "plastic bin", I realize that I am the mom who lets her child sleep in a modified laundry basked during the day. Nice. The babies have oodles of fancy equipment to play/sleep in - bouncy seats, swings, vibrating chairs, the works. And my kid sleeps in a laundry basket. The main problem is since Ryan is only 5lbs, he is really too small for any of the "heavy equipment". He slips down into the swing and bouncy seat and his poor little head just can't stay upright. Not safe or cozy. So for now, he chills in a laundry basket and it works for us.
On Wednesday, we had our first little check up at the pediatrician. It wasn't the full newborn screen but the doctor just wanted to check him out since he was a preemie. The doctor was great with him and Ryan barely cried during the whole exam. We were given a clean bill of health and away we went. Whew.
Thursday was mostly a rest day for us. Ryan and I just stayed at home and hung out while Matt went to go see Quinn. I was even able to grab a shower in the morning and toss on a little makeup. The simple pleasures in life.
Friday was a big day for me - my first real day of driving and getting out of the house. I had planned to leave the house by 9am to get down to the med center to see Quinn, but wow - babies really slow down your getting ready routine! I wasn't ready to leave until almost 10am but it worked out fine. Made it down to the hospital and through the maze of the crazy parking garages down there by myself. I was so proud :) (If you knew what a poor sense of direction I have, then you would understand why I was patting myself on the back). I was able to hold Quinn for almost a good hour today which was wonderful. I just sat and stared at her and all of her perfect little features. Love that little girl. And miss her like crazy.
All in all, I would have to rate our first week home as A+. I feel more at peace with my life than I ever have before. I finally feel purpose. And seeing my husband become a father -- well, I just fell in love with him all over again. So cliche I know, but very true.
We have been so immeasurably blessed through this whole experience. So many people have offered assistance, brought food, sent emails, called - the outpouring of support has just warmed my heart. Many of these people prayed for these children before they were even a twinkle in our eyes, so to see those prayers answered just continues to reaffirm my faith and God's plans for our lives. I don't always understand God and the mysterious ways that He answers prayers. But I do understand that even when I think He's not listening, He hears all. And during this process, I could almost hear Him whisper, "my child, in due time I will answer your prayers -- and the blessings that flow from them will be far more amazing than you can even imagine." It could not have been more true.
**Quinn's first week post to follow soon, plus pics! I have to go feed a child now :) ***