It has now been 9 days since Evan was born and they could not have gone by any quicker. His first night in the hospital was a looooong one. Around 3am we were feeding him from a bottle for the first time and began to make some abnormal sounds while breathing. We called for our nurse who listened to our concerns and took him to the nursery for what felt like an eternity. When she returned about 45 minutes later she explained that the difference between consistency in breast milk and formula along with some slightly swollen nasal passages were causing the breathing difficulties but showed us how to sit him up a little more and hold the bottle differently to alleviate this problem.
The next day came and we had visitors trickling in and out and the photographer came in to take some of the most amazing pictures I have ever seen. They were taken in the style of Anne Geddes by a company called OUR 365 and the woman behind the camera could not have been any nicer or gentler with my son. By the time evening rolled around we decided to head to the cafeteria for a snack but first we had to convince ourselves it was ok to leave him in the nursery and leave the maternity ward for 20 minutes. Our date night consisted of a turkey sandwich and cheese fries and a conversation about how our lives had changed in an instant and how happy we were for it.
We returned to our room and had one more set of guests and after a lengthy discussion about the need for a good night sleep before going home the next day we decided again to ask the nursery if he could stay there over night and be brought to us for feedings which we did. Well sort of anyway, Shawna got up a few times and walked to the nursery to bring him back into our room for feedings and to stare at him, Momma Bear needed to see her cub.
We came home on Wednesday afternoon to an empty house and our latest chapter began. There was much to do as far as unpacking from the hospital and last minute items we realized we needed. Extra burp cloths, receiving blankets, breast pump and some formula were quickly added to our list of needs and off I went on a shopping trip alone. My sister came with her family and made us dinner and to visit with the newest addition to the family.
Our first couple of nights at home were spent listening to the sounds of little Evan kicking around in his crib and making those cute little new born baby sounds that are so hard to go to sleep to because they are so adorable. More guests came over which included my parents. My father had back surgery the day Evan was born and was unable to make it to the hospital to visit his newest grandchild and could not wait for us to bring him over the next day so he waddled his way to our house, cane and all. He sat down at the table and held his grandson for the first time and turned into a big ball of mush.
The remaining days of my vacation were spent holding him and staring into his gorgeous blue eyes which have seemingly lightened by the day to what may turn into almost a sky blue color. There is a lot of emphasis placed on the mother and the worry of depression once the normal schedule kicks in but no one seems look into what a father goes through. When I was born things were different, my father didn’t take a week of vacation and from what I know most men didn’t. Father’s these days take more of a role in raising their children and I personally hate the fact that I am missing and will continue to miss moments in his life.
The last two weeks have been very diverse for us as parents. On June 17th our girls graduated from 8th grade. At 14 our oldest children have walked out of middle school and are headed towards high school as freshmen. Four days later our newest baby came into the world and we are starting at the beginning all over again and we are both more excited than we could have ever imagined!