Tess did us a solid and slept 3.5 and 4 hours between her night feedings instead of the usual 3. She’s eating more too, so we’re not as worried about calories. She’s also getting better about hanging out and watching the world while we get ready in the morning or make dinner, for example – as opposed to screaming like we’re starving and beating her if we put her down for an instant! Maybe we’re all just adjusting to our new life as a family, but I feel like the chaos of the first 2 weeks has slowed down to a delicate simmer. We can handle a simmer. 🙂
I realized today that we’ll never have another Tess. People have more than one kid and it’s no biggie – they’re all a little different as babies, but the baby phase is something that parents share and commiserate about. Tess’ babydom has been so different from most of my friends’ and families’ experiences that it sometimes makes sharing baby stories feel more like being micro-preemie pedantic. I get sick of hearing myself lecture on how preemies get cold not fever when they’re sick, or that our greatest challenge is getting Tess to eat enough and what tricks we use to try to get her to take a little more. For example, we’d never use a wipe warmer because we use a diaper change to wake her up and get her to take another few sips! At the same time, she’s our first child, and we’ll never have this same experience again. These days and nights won’t feel the same with our second, and not just because of birth order. We won’t keep track of how many milliliters they eat, or go for weekly weigh-ins at the doctor, praying she’ll “pass”. This is not to say that having a preemie is something we’d seek out! It’s been a rough ride, and we’re looking forward to a more typical experience with our next child. Still, seeing Tess here at home gives us such a sense of fierce pride and accomplishment. I don’t know if I’m communicating this properly or not, but what I’m trying to say is the intensity of Tess’ entrance makes having her home all the sweeter, and I don’t know that this is comparable to anything else in the world.
When Dave and I set out to start a family, we were most worried about whether the birth parents would like us, and how we’d survive the pre-finalization period. To be honest, I don’t even think about it. Actual adoption of a person into a family happens in a second. It’s like walking through a door. Kat and Spencer entrusted her to us when she was a week old, and for us that was it. Tess is in our family, forever. We’ll celebrate the official sanction, but nothing in this world could make us love her more.
On a less dramatic scale, our working from home schedule is playing out nicely, although the search for a French-speaking nanny continues. I’m part-time until September if I need to be, and Dave’s working from home 2 days a week as long as he needs to be (all hail great employers!), so for the moment we’re just muddling along.
The house progress is so noticeable that I’m constantly entertaining myself with thoughts of claiming an entire floor of the house as finished! A month more until we can move back into our bedroom. Then, if this project has been any indication, they’ll simply seal off whatever part of the basement they’re working in until that’s ready, then do the same for the kitchen. Mom and the project contractor make quite the team. I have to admit, I think living through the construction won’t be too bad. (Famous last words.) Seeing the transformation is almost as inspiring as waking up to feed Tess! Dave and I looked at each other last night and said how much we love our life. We were pretty grateful pre-Utah, but now we’re oozing happiness all over the place. Make way for joy!