Sunday, December 18, 2011

One week later

Well, really, a bit more than that but who is counting?

I'm still sitting in very much a state of shock. It's weird. I knew a baby was coming. And yet, I look at him and think, he's really here. And not only is he really here but he's a HE. There was always a 50% chance he would be but deep down I think I expected another girl. I keep slipping and referring to him as her sometimes. Good thing he's still too small to know the difference!

There is a common "phrase" among preemie parents. It has to do with this poem (that I'll have to post for you at some point.) that basically tells the story of someone setting out on a trip to Italy, but find themselves in Holland. "Italy" to preemie parents is that elusive term birth with the take home baby. Holland is the preemie birth.

So here I am in Italy. And, truly, it's with very mixed feelings. I feel so lost. This is my second child. I should be a "pro" at this right? And not only is this my second child but I got a crash course in childhood development thanks to Elisa. You would think I'd be well equipped to handle a newborn again.

But it dawns on me almost everyday. I've never HAD a newborn before. Elisa was always somewhere in between. I was handed this 6 week old infant who had a well formed eat, sleep, wake schedule. Who had already lost her umbilical cord. Who had been trained to eat in a certain "way.". And burped. I had been trained in the most efficient way to change a diaper.

So here I am, thrust this infant that not only doesn't require all the special "ways" of doing things but is also a BOY. And I don't know what to do with boys. Changing his diaper is, well, interesting. After seeing Elisa with all the wires, ivs, etc for so long, you would think something like a circumcision would be a walk in the park. Instead it freaks me out. And his poor umbilical cord. And what does a proper breastfed poopy diaper look like?! Elisa was always on a mix of breast milk and formula. And seeing a hint of jaundice the other day, normal, but still I went what do I do? (his numbers were borderline high but doc wanted to give it a week to see with the milk coming in if it resolved itself.)

Baby blues? Maybe. I'm sure it will all fall into place. It HAS only been a week.

On top of this, Elisa has been a little bit of a challenge. Not really bad, but up understandably shook up. She's not wanting to go to sleep at bedtime anymore. She's absolutely demanding attention. Like get up in your face you'd better pay attention to me now attention. She demands my iPad for Elmo and when she doesn't get it, we are met with a succession of "Elmo please! More Elmo please!"

On the other hand, she does love her baby brother. She's already referred to him as "her" baby. She doesn't like it when he cries and comes right over to pat his back and tell him "it's ok baby!". She brings him toys and sometimes covers him with blankets. She gets so excited when he's on the floor that she becomes a flailing mass of arms and legs bouncing around and giving her parents heart attacks as she comes within inches of stomping on his head. Please tell me spatial awareness develops soon and I don't have to worry for much longer about her inadvertently using Aidan as a dance mat?

Because I'm tired and don't feel like formatting, I'll just leave you with this glimpse of life as a family of four with an end to this post with a bunch of pictures. Enjoy.

Oh and the last photo is of the proud papa on delivery day, getting ready to accompany me to the delivery room and giving me that day I dreamed of since I first found out we were pregnant again. So glad I was finally able to have that moment.

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