I always write down my babies’ birth stories in detail for my own record, but I’ll spare you all of that and give you a “for the blog” version.
My bonding experiences have been different with each of my three babies. This little girl stole our hearts from the get-go.
This beautiful (and after some rough deliveries, not all my newborns are for a bit haha) baby girl came into our lives on a unique day. I posted on Instagram that a little snow fell out when Heaven opened for our girl, and the whole city was excited the day she was born. Watching snow fall outside our hospital window (with a nice view of the roof) was never anything I’d imagined a Las Vegas birth to be like! It was kind of magical, and looked serene and quiet outside in the uncharacteristic weather.
My three kids all have very different demeanors right from birth, and hers is by far the most mellow. We, of course, don’t feel like we can say that out loud yet…but I’ll type it! I loved seeing Brian with her. Being an all-boy dad so far, I can already tell that the unwavering disciplinarian role Brian’s had with our boys is going to be adjusted, if existent. Shayne recognizes and responds to his voice more than anyone else’s, so dramatically that even in her sixth day of life, it’s very apparent. She knows her daddy.
I’d bet she’s getting a cool car.
A few hours after labor, we had my boys meet her with our friend Davis to record the whole thing. I was still in my L&D room and hadn’t yet moved to postpartum, and literally had a baby about four hours before, so I’m sure this will be a flattering documentation of after birth, but hey. I kind of love looking back on the real-life moments and can’t wait to watch it.
When my boys came to the hospital, Gus brought some presents: his old, worn blankie and not-so-gently-used baby hat. Gus was so proud. He’d forgotten the items, but my mom turned back around for him to grab “the presents.” Gus seemed to like Shayne, but even after a month of pretending to hold her and read her stories, wasn’t quite sure if his attention was best spent on the baby or hospital equipment. (He knew he wasn’t supposed to touch, but couldn’t help but limbo under a stethoscope so it was still touching him without him touch IT.)
Roscoe met her with a “BOOOOP!” pressing his finger on his nose. I’m sure there will be a lot of booping in Shayne’s future. I couldn’t believe how interested and sweet-talking Roscoe was! He was all about his baby “Dory.”
Even though I felt guilty, I stuck to my guns of going home well rested so I’d be a better, more fun mom…at least for the first few days. I sent her to the nursery for the night.
I felt awful about it for days, because that was the last time for another few days that I cuddled her without all her bionic baby wires attached.
(Ironically, I had pre-gamed this whole labor with a “do not neglect yourself” mindset. Some of the challenges in past deliveries stemmed from me not slowing down, which is just stupid, but, hello. Take it easy? That’s borderline laughable when you have other children at home.)
While in the nursery that night, she started vomiting substantially. She was sent to the NICU, and from experience with Gus, I was disappointed knowing, in the back of my mind, we’d be in there for at least an extra day for testing and bloodwork.
Shayne was X-rayed and tested for intestinal blockages and other things that may have contributed to vomiting.
She also had an infection, which the nurses told me probably came from hanging out low in the birth canal for a while after my water broke.
And, jaundice. Always jaundice. That always looks like a warm beach vacation, so that doesn’t stress me as much as feeding tubes and IVs with multiple ports and continual red flags the require more testing.
Our time in the NICU wasn’t too long, just about five days, and I knew she’d be fine. I told myself that repeatedly. Here’s where the struggle is for me, and it’s the same list as the first time we were there:
A. Leaving my baby. I was SO proud of myself for being very level-headed the first day or two. After that, I could feel this…wave. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. Do all new moms experience that? It’s exhaustion and emotion, all in one. I tried really hard to be logical.
B. Being logical. The NICU is a mind game for me, and postpartum women aren’t especially prime candidates for mind game domination. It’s fine. This is fine. I’m fine. The baby won’t remember this. It’s fine.
C. Not looking around. I struggled with the neighbor babies. I remembered this from being in there with Gus. It breaks a new mom heart to see the tiniest preemies, sad babies without many visitors, Pampers the size of your pinkie, babies in isolation rooms, or a Christmas stocking still left up on a crib.
D. Leaving my other kids. I have a physical pull in both directions. I am aching to be at the hospital with my new baby, but I’m also aching to be home with my other kids, doing normal things again, like reading them bedtime stories and “Dragons Love Tacos” for the three thousandth time. It’s an inevitable lose-lose, always feeling anxious about what I’m missing somewhere else.
E. Exhaustion. Remembering to eat. Sleeping when possible. Not walking all over. Remembering I had a baby 24 hours ago and the physical feat that my body just accomplished. Calm down, lady. (Because of the vomiting situation, we used exclusively breastmilk for the first bit. I had already been discharged, so I stayed at my parent’s house closer to the hospital. The first night was awful. I went in to feed her about every 3 hours, and my angel mom stayed with me past midnight, and even took milk in at 3:30AM so I could make one less trip.)
Like I said, our time in there felt plenty long, even though it was nothing terrible, and I cannot believe the nerves of steel that these long-term NICU moms have. When I say I actually cannot believe it, I mean that literally. That’s amazing. They are incredible. Thinking of that makes me want to cry.
Sweet baby Shayne is home now and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
Roscoe has surprised me with his baby obsession and high pitched “CUUUUTE!” while Gus has surprised me with being more quiet than usual and watching her from a distance. When she’s left alone, he’ll sit next to her and hold her hand or give her a “massage,” but he’s more of the whisperer and quiet little guy.
We’ve been beyond thankful for sweet friends and neighbors that have helped here and there with our kids, sending nice messages, and dropping off little treats or meals. In fact, I came home from the hospital late the other night and teared up to see a loaf of bread at my door. I didn’t realize how hungry i was and ate an entire half loaf! Ha I’ve made a mental note to be more like these friends. Instead of asking what I can do, I need to just do it. I felt a little embarrassed by how kind people were, and I would never ask for help, but when it came down to it…it REALLY saved my sanity.
We’re so thankful for all the love we’ve felt, and are so happy to have our little Shaynie right where I’ve dreamed of her being for months.