Monday, May 8, 2017

Home Sweet Home

We arrived home as a family of three on April 20th, 2017 and that's when the true adventure began.  After such a long time in the hospital, all I wanted to do was get out of the hospital and go home. I wanted to get into our routine, sleep in my own bed, and eat my own food. Plus, I was so tired of spending the nights away from Mike. So, when we got the okay to go home on Thursday, I felt like I was being set free!

Little did I know how tough the days ahead would be. Don't get me wrong, it was really nice to sleep in my own bed, not eat hospital food and not have to say goodbye to Mike at the end of the day, but being home brought a whole new set of challenges, from exhaustion to raging hormones. I think I had talked to so many people who had described those first few days at home as pure bliss because they were finally with their baby that I negated to remember that babies don't sleep for long intervals, so their parents don't either.  On top of that, my hormones were still trying to balance out and my body was recovering from hard work.  Therefore, I'd hardly describe those first few days as "pure bliss," but luckily we persevered and are all feeling better.

The first night was rough. We quickly learned Finn doesn't like to sleep in his bassinet. Now that I look back at the hospital stay, it was an issue there too, but we all chalked it up to his jaundice and not feeling great.  Instead, he'd much prefer to sleep while being held.  After every feeding, I'd try and put him in his bassinet, only to have him scream.  I finally gave in and put him in his swing, which he accepted and fell asleep, but by that point, precious sleep had been lost by all.  I'm pretty sure when Mike's alarm went off the next morning for his 8am class, he muttered something along the lines of "You have GOT to be kidding me," but a much less kid-friendly version.
From the first night at home when the only place he would sleep is in the swing...or in my arms.

Michelle our midwife came on Friday to check on us and see how the first night went and reassured us that we were all doing great and that the bassinet struggle was pretty normal and we'd just have to keep trying.  I'm pretty sure she dropped a few notches on my list of favorite people after telling us that! :) Over the next few days, Finn learned to sleep in his bassinet, but seemed to only like to do it after midnight, so we were playing musical beds between the swing and the bassinet.  We also broke down and gave him a pacifier at two weeks old, despite Michelle's recommendation that we wait until a month, but man was it a lifesaver.  He finally fell asleep in his bassinet and we were able to all enjoy the peace and quiet! Insert all the praise hand emojis!

 I also had some major hormone swings, which coupled with sheer exhaustion, had me crying saying "I just want to feel normal."  I had been told that the hormone swings were normal, but I had never experienced anything like that.  It was emotional, to say the least. Fortunately, Mike is incredible and just put me in bed to take a nap while he hung out with Finn.

Luckily, there were lots of good moments to help balance out the tough times. Slowly but surely, we figured out what worked when it came to sleep.  I'm still waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse, but Finn is sleeping in his bassinet now and seems to kind of figured out nights and days, which helps immensely. His feedings have also shortened, which Michelle assured us was normal, so I'm getting more sleep in between feedings now, which has helped me feel more like a human being.  Oh and the hormone swings seemed to have subsided.  All of the praise hands!

Sleeping in the bassinet.  You can't see the smiling parents behind the camera.

We gave Finn his first bath, which was met with mixed reviews.  He seemed to like the warm water, until we put a wash cloth on his head and face, and man did he look cute all wrapped up in a froggy towel.  Is it just me or are naked babies the cutest thing?

Michelle has come a few more times to check up on us and make sure we're all recovering well.  Luckily, Finn is gaining weight at a rapid rate and I seem to be making a wonderful recovery.  While having a midwife is totally unnecessary, it's been so nice to have Michelle come and reassure us that everything is normal and we're all doing well.

He's going to hate me later on for posting this double chin picture, but I couldn't help it.
He's just so cute...double chin and all!

Sleeping in his bassinet with some crazy hat hair!

We're figuring out our routine here as our little guy seems to be spending more and more time awake.  Mike and I can't help but laugh because all of his facial expressions are so serious.  He always looks very suspicious, like he's not sure what's going on and needs to check everything out. His chest snuggles are the best and neither Mike nor I ever want to give them up. Mike and I are still pretty exhausted, but Finn seems to be figuring out his nights and days and has decided that sleeping in his bassinet is okay. 

I think it's so important for me to document both the highs and the lows on this blog.  It's so easy to paint this pretty picture of baby snuggles and fun memories, but there are always two sides to every story.  We're so in love with our little guy and wouldn't have it any other way, but man, is it hard sometimes.  He truly is our biggest adventure.