Monday, May 7, 2012

Chloe's First Days Home!

What an adventure to say the least! Having a new baby to take care of has definitely been an adjustment, and as much as I would love to say I have it figured out, I know I’m not even close. It is a nonstop job – though it is exhausting and has it’s frustrating moments, I can’t help but remember how important and sacred it is to be trusted to care for, love, and nurture another human being, especially one who is so helpless and relies on me for everything at this point. What a great opportunity and what a sweet blessing to be participating in the Lord’s eternal plan. 
            Well, we got home Wednesday afternoon. And though there are still times when it all seems surreal, it finally started to settle in that we are parents. We spent the rest of that day loving on our little girl. We just didn’t want to put her down or stop staring at our beauty. She is such a sweetheart. The next day, we went to the pediatrician for her first visit. That morning before the appointment, Scott and I both noticed she wasn’t quite herself. She wasn’t focusing on us as we talked to her; in fact, she seemed to have a hard time focusing on anything at all. She also was struggling to nurse as well and seemed more tired than normal. It was nearly impossible to wake her up to nurse when she was supposed to. It would take us 20 minutes to get her to wake up for even just a 5-minute span. At the pediatrician’s office, we found out Chloe’s Jaundice was getting worse because she was also dehydrated. My milk still hadn’t come in, so we had to supplement her feedings with formula until she got better and it came in. It broke my heart knowing she wasn’t doing the best she could be. I didn’t know what more I could do to help, and I just wanted her to be feeling better.
            After a couple days of supplementing with formula and doing everything we could to get this girl better, my milk came in, Chloe’s Jaundice went away, and she was able to get rehydrated. Thank goodness! I could finally calm down a bit and know she was going to be okay. Everyone had told me that she would be fine, but when she depends solely on me and I feel like I can’t do anything to help, it is hard to stay positive and know she will get better. So you can imagine my relief once she was finally doing better.

            That first week was spent with many visit from family, all wanting to love on Chloe and being so kind as to help Scott and I get some rest. We got a few naps in throughout the week and let me just say, naps make all the difference with a newborn. The constant lack of sleep makes it hard to function the way I would like. It has been hard changing my schedule to match her needs, the biggest challenge with all of that is sleep. And then on top of that, we have had a really hard second week.
            Sunday night, we had dinner with Scott’s parents. It was nice to get out of the house and have Grammy and Papa there to hold her and enjoy their new granddaughter. After dinner, Scott started to feel sick. He was getting really nauseous, his stomach was bothering him, and he was getting light headed. I took Chloe home and Allison helped get Scott home and up the stairs into our condo. He was getting worse by the minute. I can’t remember ever personally seeing Scott so out of it. Maybe part of that is because my hormones are all out of whack and it can be hard for me to see things clearly right now, but I was so worried about him. He constantly needed to go to the restroom to throw up and his dizziness was getting worse. He was having trouble walking on his own. Thank goodness Allison was still here and was able to help him move. His legs started to give out on him and it took both Allison and me to get him to the couch, and we still almost didn’t make it. If it were just he and I, he would have been lying on the floor helpless. He was having sharp pains behind his eyes, and also in his lower abdomen, specifically his right side. This led us to the conclusion that he could be having an appendicitis attack. It was so hard to see him like that. Finally, just after midnight, because it was only getting worse, his parents took him to the ER, and I stayed home to care for Chloe. My mom came over to help me and keep me calm while I impatiently waited for a call to hear how he was doing and know what was wrong. Around 3am, Scott called to let me know that he was dehydrated and had been hooked up to an IV to rehydrate, and that they told him it was possible that these were all signs of appendicitis in the making, or a stomach virus.
            The next two nights we stayed at his parents so that he could have extra help. Scott was slowly doing a little better, but not good enough. He went to the doctors on Wednesday and was able to get anti-nausea medicine as well as getting rehydrated through an IV again. Because we were nervous about Chloe or me getting sick, Scott continued to stay at his parents house the next few days while I stayed with mine just a few minutes away.
            While I was at my parent’s house, we were able to finally introduce their dog, Riley (who by the way is the most wonderful dog in the world) to Chloe. He is the sweetest and friendliest dog, but had never been around babies before. He had no idea what to think of Chloe. He would just stare at her or constantly walk by her to “check on her” or she what she was doing. What I think is absolutely hysterical though is that anytime she would fuss or start to cry, Riley would whimper and yip along with her. If she let out a big cry with all her lungpower though, Riley could bark at her. It sure made bath time interesting with Chloe screaming and Riley barking, while my mom and I tried to calm them both.
            Thursday night, I brought Chloe over for a quick visit with Scott while we figured out our game plan. Scott was starting to do better. We decided that after an eye doctor appointment the next day, we would both finally go home again. One more night apart – we could make it. It was breaking my heart to keep Chloe and Scott away from each other, not to mention I wanted to be with him for his comfort and support as well. It is so hard being separated from your husband with a new baby, especially when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing because everything is new. And with my emotions on high, it didn’t make things any easier.
            Friday afternoon, my dad and I took Chloe for her first walk. She slept through the entire thing, but it was nice to get fresh air and a little bit of exercise. Once we got back from the walk, I got our things together, picked up Scott, and we went home. Finally! We were home again and ready to get into a schedule.
Chloe has been getting her days and nights mixed up, therefore leaving me with almost NO SLEEP. That night, Scott became SUPER DAD! Whenever Chloe got up to nurse, he would get up too and take her once she was done and spend the time in-between her feedings getting her back to sleep while I caught up on some much needed sleep. Isn’t he just the best? I appreciated it so much.
            I am so grateful we had both our families to help us out. Scott was able to get the help and care he needed to recover and I was able to get the reassurance I needed. I was getting so down on myself and was having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Though Scott still isn’t feeling 100%, he is working on it and slowly getting there. He was doing so much better over the weekend, but then Sunday night and all day today, his nausea has come back. It will be so nice once he is feeling like himself again and we start to figure everything out. We have been doing everything we can to get him healthy again, but it is so frustrating not knowing exactly what is causing him to feel the way he is or knowing what more we can do to stop it from getting worse.

            Let me say really quickly that there are some things worth mentioning about these past two weeks that are a little more positive and amusing. I have loved feeling like I am a mom. The realization of this comes and goes, but it becomes more recognizable everyday. Visit from friends and spending time with family has definitely lightened the burden of these hectic days and even allowed me to relax a bit. Also, we realized that one pretty hilarious sign of being a new parent is dreaming of falling asleep with the baby in your arms or lying next to you, only to wake up when hearing her fuss and making noises and comforting your pillow. At first I made fun of Scott when I saw him rocking and shushing his pillow. Now I can’t talk though since I have caught myself several times doing exactly the same thing. It must be part of that whole lack of sleep thing I have become so familiar with.
By far, one of my favorite things though from this week was hearing Scott comfort Chloe and get her back to sleep by humming primary songs to her. Although he hummed many, the one that caught my attention was hearing him hum “I Feel my Savior’s Love”!

            As he hummed it, I had the words running through my mind.

I feel my Savior’s love
 in all the world around me. His Spirit warms my soul
 through everything I see. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me. I feel my Savior’s love; 
Its gentleness enfolds me, 
and when I kneel to pray, my heart is filled with peace. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me. I feel my Savior’s love
 and know that he will bless me. 
I offer him my heart; 
my shepherd he will be. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me. I’ll share my Savior’s love
 by serving others freely. 
In serving I am blessed. In giving I receive. He knows I will follow him; give all my life to him. I feel my Savior’s love, 
the love he freely gives me.
            Not only did it help Chloe fall asleep, but it also helped me relax and remember that no matter how challenging it gets, or how frustrated I feel because I’m not getting enough sleep, the Savior knows how I feel and is here for me. It also reminded me of the great purpose of our Heavenly Fathers plan. I was able to remember the importance of the choice Scott and I made when we were sealed in the Denver LDS Temple last year, and how blessed we are to have the knowledge that families can be eternal. This is not supposed to be easy. Haven’t we all heard that those things that are worthwhile take hard work and don’t come easily? It takes hard work because we need to appreciate it. Raising Chloe and being the best mom I can be will be difficult, but it will be worth it. Our family will be the greatest blessing and I am already able to see how it is changing our lives for the better. I just need to keep this perspective and know that it will get easier.
Soon enough Chloe will have her nights and days figured out, Scott will be feeling better, and we will be getting a little more sleep at night! 

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