What an exhausting and wonderful 7 days it has been. Having Sam home is a total dream. Don’t get me wrong, I am so exhausted I am not sure I know my own name. I think the combination of lack of sleep, moving Irene from her current room to her new princess pink room, having Irene out of school for break and Christmas was like a perfect storm of too much. Not that I would trade any of it for another week in the NICU.
Having Sam at home has been a blast. He is such a calm little man. I think we have heard maybe 4 cries since he came home. His biggest issues are the all night grunting, need to be held all the time, and night wakefulness. He is giving me a run for my money at night and it is kicking my ass! However, he is eating like a champ and seems to have adjusted really well to his new environment.
Irene has had a much harder time. She vacillates between overly excited that Sam is home and annoyed that he is taking all of our attention. She either wants her hands on him at all times or wants him “put away”. Mostly, she is a big help. She loves to hold Sam and has been helping to give him one of this three bottles. She also has helped give him baths and change his diaper. On the flip side, she is a little aggressive with him. She can’t be left alone with Sam- as she is either putting her hands on his head or pulling on his legs. It is going to take a little time for her to be fully adjusted.
As for Sam, he has had three conflicting weigh-ins since we left the NICU, so hard to know how much he has gained. At least all the scales have shown a gain and not a loss. He also had a follow up with the eye surgeon, and things are really looking good. The doctor was extremely pleased with what he saw, and made it sound like the ROP is gone and we can relax. Sam will still need to have eye exams as he gets older to check for nearsightedness… but blindness is off the table. THANK GOD!
So, we have started to get a pretty good routine established at home:
7:30 am: Wake and get Sam’s 1st bottle ready. This involves warming some breast milk, adding some Neosure formula to increase the calories and then adding potassium drops. Mom pumps while daddy and Irene give Sam his bottle
8:30-10:30 am: Shower, make and eat breakfast, clean the house, do some laundry
10:30 am (ish): Breastfeed Sam
11-1:30: Clean more, do more laundry, play, make and eat lunch
1:30 pm: Get the second bottle ready: breastmilk + neosure + multivitamin + calcium
2-4:30 pm: Clean, play, entertain Irene, etc.
4:30 pm: Breastfeed + iron
5-10 pm: Breastfeed, play, make and eat dinner, clean, give 2nd calcium, put Irene to bed, stare at ceiling, play with cats, etc
10 pm: Last bottle of the day: breastmilk + neosure + iron + potassium
10-1:30 (ish): Melissa sleeps and Peter is on baby duty
1:30 am-7:30 am: Melissa breastfeeds and snoozes and Peter sleeps
You will notice there is not a lot of down time but such is the life of a family with a newborn and a 5 year old!
Some highlights of the past few days:
- Introducing Sam to my brother who flew all the way back from Lesotho to meet his nephew
- Getting Irene’s new room set up for her- including pink walls, pink canopy over her bed, carpet, etc
- Christmas at home with everyone
- Curling up in Irene’s bed with Sam on my shoulder while Irene read Green Eggs and Ham to us. This was the first book she has ever read on her own, and it just came out of nowhere
- Getting the card from the wonderful staff at the NICU. It made me cry and I will cherish that note for years to come and will make sure to read it to Sam often
- Getting the clean bill of health from the eye doctor
- Seeing Irene hold Sam
- Waking up, looking in the bassinet and seeing Sam
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday- I know I did!
Here are some pictures courtesy of my dad from the last few days (click on any picture to see a larger image):