Well, a good night’s sleep works wonders every time! Dave and I overslept, did battle with a stroller base (supposed to be idiot proof. At least we’ll be mobile eventually. Lol!), saw Tess, then went to pick up a mobile for her new bed. Let the parenting begin!
After all of the excitement of the last few days, we’re kind of enjoying the quiet of routine. Tess is as calm as always, only hollering for food, a wet diaper or because of gas. Because preemies grow differently from full-term babies, their nutritional needs aren’t completely covered by breast milk – hence the vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, protein shake, etc. that they’re supplementing with. Her pumped breast milk is so reinforced by now it’s taking it’s toll on her ability to digest – they’re telling us it’s almost time to abandon ship (at least partially) and switch to the special preemie formula. We’re just thrilled she got some antibodies and the digestive jump-start! Otherwise, she’s sleeping her way to giant size – at least from our perspective.
Our nurse Aly surprised us today with some sweet preemie clothes. Just adorable! We’re going with a hybrid of hospital and our clothes. They launder the hospital clothes and we launder the ones we have, which is only problematic because we can’t do laundry at night when we get home. So she’ll wear all the cute stuff we’ve got until she runs out and we need a laundry day. Then it’s institutional garb for Tess until I can sit at home for a day and catch up! It’s totally worth it to see her in something cuter than a diaper. 🙂 she looked confused for the first day of clothes and swaddling, but now ‘talks’ when we peel off all of her layers. She’s adjusting quite well to the societal norms of being dressed!
It’s weird to us that she’s growing into a baby. You know how dramatically kids change from baby to toddler? If you think about it, Tess started farther back than that. Dave loved calling her the fetus (awful), but in some ways it was true. She just looked different – beautiful all the same but no extra fat, light as a feather to move, her skin tone was different, her eyes were so dark for a long time we couldn’t see the color, and sooooo tiny. She didn’t make many sounds, and the faint mewling sounded more like a kitten than an infant.
Now we’re seeing the rolls start on her legs, her arms and feet are getting chubby, her hair is silky and growing, those eyes are crazy dark blue and tracking, and there’s a solidity to her when we pick her up that just wasn’t there before. And those cheeks! I just want to kiss them and tickle them all day. When she’s upset or hungry, she can even make an audible noise. 🙂 Don’t worry – she doesn’t abuse the privilege! But she’s communicating. I’m starting to believe we’ll actually get to put her in a stroller someday and take her out into the world.
Every moment we get with her is so precious, it’s hard to even communicate to others. When you have a baby and immediately dive into sleepless nights, spit up, innumerable diapers, crying, strollers that won’t open, mountains of laundry, etc., the adorableness and love is balanced with reality. You can also spend every single second of every day with your child, at least for a few weeks.
We get to visit our daughter with her keepers. We have to keep working so we have some time with her at home. We don’t have sleepless nights or any of the other stuff. We each get a few hours a day with her, always with other people around us. The people are great! But it does prevent us from really feeling like a family unit.
We had great plans in the beginning: we’d come pick her up and get 10 or so days of just the three of us before taking her home. Now we’ll at some point go from sharing with the birth family, visitors, nurses, doctors, volunteers, hospital staff – to sharing her (no touching! Lol) with our friends and family, who have been so supportive and patient.
I know in the grand scheme of things this won’t make an ounce of difference, but sometimes knowing she’ll be 3 months old before we’re alone with her makes me a tiny bit sad. Don’t worry! I always follow that feeling up with a visit, and in her presence any of that nonsense fades away in the background. This doesn’t mean we love any of you less – it’s just an expression of how fierce mommy love is from the other side of the glass. Speaking of visits, I’m off to hold Tess! Hugs to everyone – you may now picture me with a beatific smile on my face. 🙂