Well, we’ve been home for a full week now. Yay! Somehow it’s turned into November and fall. I’ve spent most of that time keeping up with follow up phone calls and doctors visits, with one final one today then we’re done for the rest of this week. When you have a NICU baby they do a lot more follow up than just the regular maternity discharge and follow up… at least at our hospital.
So far, things have been going pretty well. Zachary has pretty much no sleep schedule, and likes to eat every hour or so if he’s awake, which he seems to spend considerable time being. Don’t get me wrong, he does sleep, it’s just not predictable at this point. And he does pretty well at night. I can usually get at least one three hour stretch of sleep in…. sometimes two. And there have been the occasional mornings where I wake up (and stay up) just a little too early (like today… 4:00 AM anyone? no? ok. I’ll just have my mocha and clear out my email inbox by myself).
The kids LOVE him. Absolutely LOVE him. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know exactly how they would respond to him. I figured Katherine would be fine, probably treat him like a pet (or dolly), which she does. She’s great with getting him to take a binky. Basically she just sticks her finger in the back side of it and leaves it in his mouth until he takes it, and he most of the time obliges. The first night he was home, he was going back to sleep and was crying a little (or maybe a lot, I don’t remember), anyways, crying. She heard him, woke up, called me nervously a few times (I thought she was just uncovered or having a nose bleed – her usual reasons for waking up at night), and told me “mommy, baby Zachary’s crying!”. I love seeing her concern for him.
John too has warmed up to him. He was pretty much against holding him or interacting with him at all while in the hospital. He’ll hold him and hold him, and even if he starts crying, he’ll just keep holding him and looking at him and not even be bothered by the fact that he’s making noise (unlike Katherine or Karl who get unsettled when he starts to cry). It’s so sweet.
Karl goes back and forth between noticing the baby is here and getting completely engrossed in whatever activity he currently has going on. When he does notice the baby he’ll be very involved in that. He’ll come running up to me asking “where’s Baby Zachary?”. He came in one morning when I had fallen back to sleep after all the kids had woken up and told me “It’s morning mom. Wake up.” I like to think he’s just concerned about us :).
Other stuff we’ve done includes a pediatrician visit, a home nurse visit, and like I mentioned, numerous phone calls with people from the hospital just following up with us to make sure we’re doing alright. I do honestly appreciate the concern from them, but at the same time it means I have spent quite a bit of time telling multiple people the same things over and over.
I’ve had a couple of solo days already. They went just fine. It’s so much easier to have Zachary home than at the hospital that it really doesn’t feel much different than the old “normal”. I mean it’s different because he’s finally here and I’m not waddling around hugely pregnant (so I can actually DO stuff – like clean the bathroom without difficulty), but he just fits so well into the family that I haven’t felt there to be a lot of transition to the new “normal”. Of course we haven’t attempt much other than one trip to the library, one trip to the grocery store and one trip to Mass, but that’s fine with me. We’ll work other stuff back in as we’re able. (I’m also trying to not think about the fact that there are some pretty major holidays and seasons coming up that I love to celebrate.)
Other family news: Jared’s foot is acting up again. We’re trying to figure out what to do in terms of trying to find a new doctor, aka one who will actually try to address the issues. But that takes time and phone calls (which I’m about maxed out on at the moment). I’m hoping that gets resolved soon though.
Anyways, upcoming for us:
* one more appointment this week (then done!)
* a little trip to see some horse this weekend (weather permitting)
* a trip for the bigger kids with one of their uncles to a play place, also this weekend
* two books that I need to finish reading for reviews (one’s done, just needs to be blogged, maybe tomorrow?)