Home, sweet home

Dear Silas,

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you.  Actually, I am making that up.  I have written letters to you, probably five or so, since around the time of your discharge up until now.  That was two weeks ago.  Since then, life has become pure chaos; it’s also been nothing but wonderful, with wonderful being a huge understatement.  I love my life now more than I ever have before.

The timing of leaving the hospital couldn’t have been better.  We would have loved to have you home sooner, but we did enjoy spending nights rocking you by the big window of the hospital, getting to look out on the city at Christmas time.  The majority of your nurses played Christmas music as well.  I am sure my singing had a little bit to do with them excusing themselves from the room every now and then; no shame here!  You will just have to get used to it, because I love to sing and I do a lot of it!

You’ve been doing so well since we’ve been home.  We couldn’t have hoped for things to go more smoothly with how you are coping to life outside the NICU.  With just a few episodes, a couple of phone calls to the hospital, and after adjusting to the alarms on your apnea monitor, we are slowly but steadily figuring you out.  And you— are just— perfect.

I am having a hard time adjusting myself to having two kiddos.  I feel brand new at this.  After all, you seem to be only two weeks old to me, not two months.  I spent a heck of a lot of time with you in the hospital, but not time like this.  Not “lying-awake-scared-to-death-of-why-you’re-breathing-that-way” time.  Never “what-the-heck-am-I-supposed-to-do” time.  Time with you there, and time with you here, is… different.  This rookie feels even more new to this than first time moms with a new born.  It has been over two years since I’ve cleaned up spit up, or awkwardly tried to clean poop off a tiny little butt and get a tiny little diaper on it at the speed of light.  And to make it even more confusing, I’m not burping you, or feeding you, or having tummy time, or able to walk with you around the house comfortably.  It has been a struggle for me just because I can’t care for you like I did with your brother.  Everything is going to take a little time to get accustomed to, but it will get there, I have no doubt about that.  We will all be pros in no time.

We have also had a little bit of a struggle getting out the door for appointments.  You have a lot of baggage, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, but you came in to this world requiring more than just a diaper and a paci.  With discharge, we were given some pieces of equipment that you are required to have with you either all of the time or the majority of the time.  You are on a feeding pump and that also comes with a pole to hang your feeding bag on.  This big, clanky pole barely fits in our trunk, so we are learning new ways of getting you out in public without having to haul it with us.  Your brother, our little engineer, would probably be more than happy to help us configure some way of rigging your feeding equipment to be more portable, but he is too busy being extremely obsessed with you and kissing on your cheeks constantly.  Can’t blame ’em.  Your cheeks are awfully kissable.

You are also on an apnea monitor, but this is more or less to keep us sane; sleep deprivation would be an even bigger issue for us without this monitor.  It has not gone off for sleep apnea at all, and the low heart rate alarm has only sounded a couple of times.

We were given suctioning equipment to handle your excessive secretions.  You have dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and also are still having reflux a couple of times every day or so.  We keep this with us at all times, because you get pretty choked up and this helps keep your complexion that nice shade of pink that we like to see you wearing.  You don’t seem to enjoy it so much, but you usually go right back to sleep without a problem as soon as we turn it off.

You left the hospital at 8 lbs 7 oz and after your doctor appointment this morning, we learned that you are now up to 9 lbs 2.5 oz.  Way to go, chunk!  You are getting big, so fast.  I am still a little emotional and cried a little holding your brother tonight at the thought of how big he is.  Is this really what moms do?  Cry and become emotional wrecks because of life’s natural cycle?  Do we really wish we could just keep our children small forever?  Probably not, but time sure does go faster than it did when I was younger.  And to say I wouldn’t like to relive certain moments of your lives would be a lie.  I still think about your brother as a baby and the moments I’d hold him and rock him to sleep every night, and those are moments I will never forget and something I’ll cherish with you as well.  He doesn’t let me do that much anymore.

With more and more appointments filling up our calendar this year, I still look forward to watching you grow and finding more out about you.  You have imperfections, yes.  There are quirks about you that I never thought my own child would be affected by.  But you are still my beautiful and perfect little guy.  You are over all a very healthy little boy, and that is really all that matters!

We await a repeated hearing test, genetic testing, ophthalmology and orthopedic check-ups as well as routine visits with your surgeon and pediatrician.  You have a lot of people looking out for you and taking care of you.

You have such a bright and cheerful way about you.  The happiest times of the day spent with you are the times you are awake, staring around at everything.  Your eyes are so big and so full of wonder and curiosity.  I can’t help but wonder what you are thinking.  Even the nurses noticed it about you and were intrigued by your sense of awareness.  Your smile is the sweetest thing.  I hope you are as happy as you seem to be, because you have already filled our lives with so much happiness.

We all love you so much (especially your brother)

He really thinks you’re great.  You’ll figure out pretty quick that he’s pretty cool himself.

Sweet dreams, sleepy head

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