First One Home

Harper getting ready to venture outside the NICU!

Mason telling Harper goodbye.

Can you tell we just stayed up all night in the NICU and haven’t had a shower yet? Welcome to the perils of parenthood!

Harper is the first to get a ride in the van.

It’s official, George and I survived rooming in at the NICU and our first night at home with Harper. Just like with delivery, it is surreal to finally have a baby in our home. We have waited for this moment so long, it is almost hard to believe it finally arrived. Harper did not mind riding in his car seat one bit and pretty much slept through the ride. I have to wonder what it is like to be out in the big world outside NICU walls for the first time. Was it hot? strange smelling? overwhelming? Who knows because Harper was pretty quiet about it. He only grumbled a little during the ride.

Once home, Harper got to meet his furry sisters, Sasha and Lily. While he was unphased, Lily was particularly curious about her new brother. She could not stop smelling him and wanted to be close by all the time. When we fed Harper in our rocking chair, Lily sprawled on the back of it so she got a bird’s eye view. When he slept in his pack ‘n’ play, Lily kept a watchful eye. I have a feeling they will be good friends one day. While Sasha was not nearly as curious, she investigated the pack ‘n’ play quite often especially when she heard baby gurgles and fusses.

George and I have been working on figuring out our “system” for feeds and it will absolutely be a work in progress as babies come home. (I have to admit I am a bit anxious about what having all four at home will be like). It looked like a chemistry lab in our kitchen as we tried to calculate the best way to mix formula and milk. You see, preemies are fed in mililiters and formula recipes as well as bottles are geared towards ounces. Needless to say, math is not my forte and it was a bit overwhelming. I’ve really taken the NICU milk bank for granted. We will get it down to a science and then someone else will come home only to force adjustments to the calculations. We’ve also discovered we need more bottle drying racks to capicitate the 32 bottles we will use per day (eight feeds x four babies). Our plan is to make all of the feeds for a 24 hour period at once and then wash bottles as they are used, storing them on the drying racks. Our kitchen will never be the same! Farewell Kitchen Aid and Calphalon, hello Avent and Similac!

Feeds aside, Harper had a great night. He wasn’t a huge fan of the pack ‘n’ play, but managed to sleep relatively well once I put him in a swaddle sack. He also proved to be a good night time feeder and finished pretty quickly. Praying that continues and siblings follow suit.

Today we will be taking Harper for his first return visit to the NICU so we can spend time with the rest of the crew. Wish us luck.

hugs!

Amber

11 thoughts on “First One Home

  1. Really good news! Also great that Harper can go back to visit. I thought they weren’t allowed to do that once they went home. So happy for all of you!

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  2. Congrats on bringing your first baby home! If you have any questions about the feeding system I would be more than happy to share what we did. For the first month or two we were blessed to each have our mothers come spend the night twice a week and help out with some feeds so everyone could get a decent 4-5 hours of sleep in a row. Even if you aren’t in a position to have family help like that there are still ways you can go about it to get longer sleep intervals! And making a day’s worth of bottles ahead of time is really the only way to go! You guys will do a great job. 🙂

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    • Oh Cristina, I would LOVE tips on how to snag sleep, ect. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel! I will shoot you an email so you can give me the scoop 😉

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  3. To make the formula with out having to worry about the amount you might want to see if the NICU will give you some of those tiny bottles they use. They can be used to measure the made up formula in ML then you can pour it into the Avent bottles. I would make up four ounces at a time and see how far it goes. When my son was fresh home from the NICU we measured his with one of those little beaker looking NICU bottles to measure milk for him. I hope this helps.

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  4. So happy about the news!! Lily sounds like Rosie was with Atticus! She would guard him and make sure the cats kept their distance! LOL Poor Lily won’t know what to do when they are all home!

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  5. First off, you guys DO look great – even if you don’t feel like it! All of those late nights at the NICU plus having four babies is such a HUGE amount of work, people don’t even realize until they’ve been there. And y’all are doing awesome. I know it’s overwhelming to get things figured out. When we brought out first one home, we wondered if we’d make it because we were in completely new territory. But all those things you learned in the NICU, the way you came to know your babies while they were there… it all comes into play and you just do it. We added our second baby a night later and we figured that out too. Then the third and then the fourth and with each one we adjusted and had a very sleepless night and then we just started figuring it out. It will come to you. There will be Plan A, then Plan B then Plan C until something sticks. You’ll start realizing what system works best, what can be better organized, what’s slowing you down. It’s all trial and error! Y’all have already endured some of the hardest parts (pregnancy, NICU) and this is where the rewards begin. Seeing these sweet babies in your home, in your arms whenever you want them to be, not attached to monitors and cords, free to be loved on by you both every moment of the day. Through the tears, the screaming cries, the sleepless nights and the never-ending exhaustion, you both WILL figure this out and you WILL make it. Keep the faith and just make every day a new one!

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    • I have to echo all of what the previous commenter said! The pregnancy and NICU are the hardest parts. Once all four of your babies are home it will feel so right, you just keep going each day even if you don’t get a ton of sleep, somehow you’re able to keep going and enjoy being a family (I think God may have something to do with it ;)).

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