Monday, June 20, 2011

Two months: letter #1

In honor of Heather Armstrong at I'm writing letters to my son. I've adored her for years for her letters to her daughter, Leta. Now, I finally get to do it, too.

Dear TK,

It's been two months since you arrived, oh so small and early. You looked like a cross between a beet and a miniature old man. At first, all I wanted in life was to put you back in - I missed having you close to me so badly. You kicked every day for 9 weeks before you were born, starting on Super Bowl Sunday. I'd like to think the game inspired you. It was more than 12 hours between the time we were separated and the time I saw you again, and I felt like a body part had been ripped off. They say that the birth of your child is the best day of your life, but yours was not. I've never seen your Daddy cry like that - he could have lost us both. The first time I got to hold you, three days later - that was the best day of my life (so far). For the first time in days, I felt peaceful again.

It's true what they say, you know - every mother thinks her child is the most beautiful. I do, too, but I think you really must be the most beautiful baby on Earth. You have such perfect little lips, and gorgeous big eyes, and a perfect little button nose.

Leaving you in hospital was really hard. It had it's good points - we got to get used to how you ate, and how to change you, etc, before you came home, and we got to sleep while doing so. We got to meet you just a little earlier, which means we get to have you as a baby just a little longer than everyone else.

However. Leaving you every day was heartbreaking. It hurt me so much to let the nurses give you the care that I should have been giving you. I went home and cried the first time I saw a nurse change your diaper, because that was my job, and I couldn't do it. I felt like I wasn't Mommy, I was just some lady who visited you. After that, I took over. I made certain I was the one who gave you your first bottle, and no one changed you or bathed you but me when I could be there to do so.

You are sleeping in a bassinet next to me and your Daddy right now, on his first Father's Day. You are our Sleepy Bean. You give Daddy trouble feeding you at night. I think it's because you're tired and not as hungry. Sometimes to sputter on your bottles, and then cry, but you do not cry much at all. It's amazing - I always thought you'd be really high strung, like me, but you are like me in that you don't stay angry for long. You cried loudly all the way home from your first pediatrician's appointment, but it only took ten seconds to calm you. Then you curled up on my chest and made me the happiest Mommy.

The doctor is amazed at how few problems you have, and I'm so proud of you. You are stronger than anyone in the NICU thought you'd ever be, and you've proven that you're no "Wimpy White boy", although both the second adjective and noun do apply.

I get to be home with you for a month. I wish it were longer, but one takes what one can. I love curling up on the couch with you in my arms, and I wish I had an amazing camera to take pictures of your face.

Even the dog, Popcorn, loves you. (I know, he loves everyone, but he REALLY loves you.) Every time I let him get close enough, he has to give you a lick. It's fun to watch him jump up beside your bassinet to look at you. He always has to check if you cry.

Best of all, all of our best friends have babies just about your age. You are the smallest, but you were supposed to be the youngest, so that's alright. I can't wait to watch you run around and play with them. I hope you love them as much as we love their parents.

I know I've never been so happy. I've wanted you for so very long, but you were worth the wait. Although I'm going to be sad to see this beautiful baby go, I know watching you grow up will be amazing.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Home at last!

After 62 days in the hospital NICU, my baby is home.

I can't express my feelings. The drive home was a nightmare, because the nurses realized as we were putting him in the car seat that the belts weren't nearly tight enough. doesn't that mean the car seat test that he supposedly passed (to make sure he could withstand the pressure of the belts) doesn't count?

Naturally, I watched TK like a hawk all the way home. We live all of eight miles from the hospital, but I swear, it was like we were driving a horse and buggy for all the time it took. Naturally, we had to stop and get food (because we RUSHED to the hospital - he got discharged early! Yay!!) and that, of course, took 4 million years.

He hated it - all the fussing over the belts and such made for a frustrated baby, and he shook his teeny fists at us and screamed.

We made it home alive, finally. We even managed to make it before TK grew up. It took hours to calm him down, but once he did, he's been relatively happy.

...I know I ought to be in Heaven, but I'm just tired, and pretty emotional. He's so beautiful, though, and he's actually mine. It crossed my mind this morning to wonder when they expect me to bring him back. Surely they won't be letting me keep him!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ha! No tubes! For a minute.

I got into the hospital today, and TK had his feeding tube out! WOAH - he gets that out and has 48 hours of not needing it (meaning taking bottles) he can COME HOME. After 8 LOOOOONG weeks.

But no. Right away the nurse (whom I have nicknamed Nurse Bug Eyes, for self explanatory reasons) says, "Oh, he hasn't been doing well, I'm going to be putting it back in." Humph. Then she insisted that she was going to tube feed him his next feed, when I was right there to feed him. Um, no. I know my son, and he's wide awake, I at least want to try. If he doesn't do well, I won't push him too hard - that might cause him to backslide into his old non-eating ways - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

So, she put the tube in. I'm not going to argue, because TK would get seriously upset if he had eaten half a bottle or so and then gets tubed, too. I've upset him after he's eaten, and very little is less fun than having milk spit up and coming out your baby's nose. He doesn't much care for it, either.

Then I fed him. He ate the whole bottle in less than 10 minutes, with no problems. WHO'S THE MOMMA?! I must gloat.

Fortunately, his primary nurse, who is a goddess, is working tonight. I know I can count on her to listen.

Seven weeks old, and already a ham: