Bringing Home Baby (#2) is a series of guest posts focusing on life after baby #2 comes home. If you want to contribute please contact me – I’m finding the stories fascinating plus it gives me a break while we adjust to life with our own baby #2 born August 18th.
my son, Lukasz, arrived 5 weeks early via emergency c-section due to my placenta previa (full story here). He was in the neonatal intensive care unit for the first two weeks of his life, and the pediatric unit for another week. I went home three days after he was born, and got sick. It was another six days before I was able to visit him in the hospital. I don’t think I held him until he was over a week old. He had so many tubes and needles in him that at first it was impossible, then when I did hold him, it was very awkward because he was still hooked up to so many machines and I didn’t want to accidentally yank anything.
This experience was about as far as it could be from my daughter’s birth 17 months prior, a vaginal delivery in the hospital without pain killers. Lily was home with us by the time she was 10 hours old.
Fast forward to the night Lukasz finally came home from the hospital… he was almost three weeks old. And was he ever used to a schedule. The nurses had him on a three-hour schedule around the clock. And he stuck to it. It makes me sad even now to think back to him in his little incubator in the hospital, having to fall asleep all on his own (although I know that the nurses did take the time to give him cuddles every day). But, his schedule made things ridiculously simple for us.
Since Lukasz was bottle fed (a difficult decision to make, but ultimately the one that was right for me given the problems I had nursing Lily), my husband was able to share in the nighttime feedings, and after being fed, all my son needed to fall back asleep was to be laid in his bed, given his soother, covered in a blanket and left alone. I couldn’t believe it. I still vividly remember all those 1 a.m. stroller walks trying to get Lily to fall asleep.
So in a nutshell, my baby #2 was easy to care for, easy to please, and easy-going. Given the delivery he had (even though he was only 5 pounds when he was born, he got stuck during the c-section and I’m guessing he was pretty forcibly removed due to my placenta previa), I was braced for a very sickly, fussy baby. But he was a dream.
Melanie said she likes honest. Here’s honest. I paid way more attention to Lily than I did to my newborn son in the first few months he was home. Now, she was thrilled to have a baby brother – when we brought her to the hospital to take him home, she saw him for the first time and immediately leaned almost out of my arms and tried to pick him up. Oh, how she howled when we wouldn’t let her hold him.
But once Lukasz was home, Lily clung to me like crazy. As a toddler she was pretty timid and shy, and after my son came home she made it clear that only mommy would do. I went through a rough time when she was first born; basically my entire world shrunk to being all about HER. It was and still is an awesome responsibility, and I was completely overwhelmed by it. It was hard, no, pretty much impossible, for me to leave her with anyone. Even now, it’s not easy. So when she was feeling clingy when my son first came home, I completely understood how she felt. And I didn’t want her for one second to feel she was being cast aside. I vividly remember the first half-day my husband went back to work. My daughter would not leave my lap. She would not even sit beside me. So one of my friends who lived nearby came over and she took care of changing, feeding, burping and cuddling Lukasz for that afternoon.
I haven’t thought back to those first few weeks in a while – it amazes me just how different two births and the surrounding time can be, and how much can change in 2 short years.
Today, my daughter is four and my son is two and a half. They are great playmates and co-conspirators and it’s so awesome watching my daughter’s imagination blossom as she thinks up games for the two of them to play. Some days it seems like every other minute they are having another fight, and others, they just want to be in their own little world, two fire fighters paddling in the laundry basket to bring me pancakes.
Krista a stay-at-home mom and occasional editor. She currently lives in a small two-bedroom apartment just outside of Vancouver, BC with her son, daughter, and husband. In her free time (ha ha what’s that?) she enjoys trying to keep the family blog: Lily & Lukasz somewhat up to date, reading mystery novels (she’s currently going through the local library’s Agatha Christie collection). She also daydreams about money-making creative endeavors.