Saturday, June 11, 2011

Remembering the First Week

remembering one year ago...

The first week home with a new baby is exciting and terrifying all at once. Your sisters adored you from the very first moment, and I was amazed at how well you ate and slept! Yay for a happy easy baby boy! I remember thinking you were getting more and more sleepy; you did sleep a lot. I remember wondering why you didn't lift your head off my shoulder or smile little baby smiles. But oh we loved having your there! Little fingers used "gentle touch" and many loving arms held and rocked you. The crocheted blanket from your great-grandma wrapped loosely around you, the millions of requests from your sisters to hold you, your precious face smushed against my shoulder.

But I also remember the nightmares. I would nurse you, lay you in the cradle beside our bed, and try desperately to shake off the fears. I would jump out of bed in the middle of the night just to watch you breathe. My heart would pound in my chest as I whispered terrified prayers. Daddy would ask me what was wrong, and I'd convince myself that it was all new-baby jitters. With our third baby? Yes, just a little hormonal and paranoid. We're fine. I'd sheepishly climb back into bed, embarrassed at my overreacting.

I remember sitting on the swing on our back deck on a gloriously beautiful day while you slept beside me and I read (all about our new camera). Daddy and Gram had taken the girls out for the day, so you and I were snuggling and resting. I was breathing in the scent of your beautiful little head as often as humanly possible. You had been sleeping for a while, so I unswaddled you to help you wake up to nurse. Your toes were so dark - so purple?! Touching them gently with my fingers, they were chilly, even though they had been wrapped up in a blanket. My sweet little baby boy, with your arms relaxed at your side and no attempts to wake up. I love watching babies breathe their sweet gentle way, but as I watched your chest my heart became heavy, my throat tight. Your chest went up and down so so fast, your belly retracting under your ribs with each forced exhale. The sides of your nose moved with each breath. Was I overreacting? I was just emotional. right? I just needed more sleep. right? You just needed to eat! That would definitely make me feel better. right? I scooped you up and nuzzled your soft neck like always. What is it about baby necks that drive me wild? Yours was no exception; oh I loved that smell and that soft skin! "Wake up silly Boy and eat! please?" You couldn't nurse without taking breaks to breathe.

"Please let there be nothing wrong?" I prayed that a million times the rest of that day. I was really looking forward to your check-up the next morning. For the first time in my memory I wanted nothing more than to look foolish as Dr. Lee (our pediatrician) assured me there was nothing wrong. Surely he would just give me a friendly pat on the back and tell me that some babies breathe fast and sleep more. My heart knew, though...

1 comment:

  1. Wow isn't it amazing that "you knew." I knew the first time Tess throw up "wrong" at 24 hours old and the nurse who saw the whole thing told me "that's normal for babies born by c-section" and I thought "okay, but wait... NONE of my older three did that..." When I first came back from Children's Hospital, I was amazed that I could sleep when everything bad had happened to my baby the past 12 hours. But it was the relief that FINALLY someone believed me that something was wrong with Baby Tess. She was finally safe, and I could stop being scared and worried for her.