Monday, December 9, 2013
The First Week:
I got to hold Henry for about 1 minute and 30 seconds right after he was born. I know this because we have it all on video. The nurse handing him to me and then her coming right back over and taking him from me. He had a good cry, but they noticed he was struggling to breath and they wanted to get him hooked up to oxygen. We were told they were just going to take him for a few hours and that we would get to have him back in our room at that point. That never happened that day and we ended up spending nearly a week in the NICU with our sweet first born boy as they worked to figure out why he was not breathing properly. We are so so so thankful that they never found anything and we were sent home with a healthy baby boy and a diagnosis of "transitional issues". It was hard and stressful but I truly don't think I really processed a lot of what happened that week until Jack was born.
Jack was born screaming at the top of his lungs and screamed and screamed. I cried tears of joy as the doctor said "It's a boy" and the nurse immediately put him on my chest. I held him close and looked into his sweet face. He looked totally different to me then Henry did. Henry had short fuzzy blonde hair. Jack has a head full of dark hair. The nurse took him for several minutes to finish cleaning him and checking him out. The doctors and nurses finished checking me out and making sure all was well. And within twenty minutes of Jack being born the room was empty and Jack's nurse was walking out the door saying, "We will come back in about an hour to get him and finish his tests in the nursery. You can try to breastfeed if you would like."
Doug and I looked at each other and at our sweet second born son. Still a bit shocked that he was finally here and overwhelmed and thankful for a healthy baby that we got to hold and love on so quickly after he was born. We had such a special evening together with just the three of us. Taking turns holding him. Talking to family members on the phone. Taking a million pictures of him. And getting rest.
Once we got home I found myself crying tears of joy very easily. Mostly during Doug's prayers of thanksgiving for our family and health. Or when I was talking to my Granny and hearing her tell me about how she was up the night before just praying and singing because she was so excited about the birth of her new great grandchild. I cry fairly easily so this did not surprise me. I cry especially easily when I think about God's faithfulness and goodness in my life.
I was surprised though to find myself grieving a bit for that first week at home with Henry that we never had. Our first week of Henry's life included lots of tests, tubes and cords, nurses, and sleeping in a hotel bed each night with Henry several miles away in his own plastic bed. Our first week with Jack at home was quite the opposite. Constant time together, meals around our table as a family, visits from loved ones, rest, and baby snuggles galore. I see now what we missed in Henry's life. Even though it was just one week, it is an extremely special and wonderful week.
Henry and Jack entered the world in very different ways. But through both births I can see the Lord's hand in it all. I see His goodness. His love. His faithfulness. His plan for our family. I am overwhelmed on a constant basis that the Lord has blessed me with the gift of Henry and Jack and that I get to be their mom. I knew I would change once I became a mom, but I was not prepared for my entire world to be flipped upside down.