Baby Shepherd: 1 Week Update

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Stats:

At Birth

  • Weight: 5lb 5oz (was down to 5lb 2oz when we left the hospital)
  • Length: 18.1

At One-Week Appointment

  • Weight: 5lb 5oz (back up to birth weight!)
  • Length: 19

At the Hospital:

The first half of the week was spent recovering in the hospital. It was actually kind of nice. I had a ton of help from the nursing staff -- they showed me how to swaddle, breastfeed, pump, and how to put Shep in his car seat. Additionally, my hospital provided free (included in whatever my insurance covers) room service food. I could order as much food/beverages as I wanted throughout the day and it would be delivered to my bed. Amazing.

The second night we were in the hospital, the staff told me that they wanted us to sleep and recover after the first night (the night I delivered Shepherd). They kept him in the nursery for us overnight and let us sleep. 

As sad as I was to leave the free food and help, I was really excited to bring our baby home on Friday.

Introducing Shepherd to Morton:

We have a super high-maintenance dog, Morton. He has PTSD from being attacked by a huge dog at the dog park years ago, and has a lot of anxiety. We've been working closely with a dog trainer proactively in preparation for Shepherd's arrival. We've done one-on-one lessons and weekly Saturday group classes for the last 6mo or so. 

Matt came home to check in on Morton while I was at the hospital and brought one of Shep's swaddle blankets home with him for Mort to sniff. 

When we brought Shepherd home, Morton was very curious about the new sounds and smells. The first day/night was a nightmare with him. Every time Shepherd would make any sound, Morton would pace and whine like crazy. 

He's doing so much better now. He's more curious than anything, and the whining has stopped. 

We still will never leave the two of them alone together. Since all four of us sleep in the same room, we moved Morton's comfy bed into his crate and we lock him in there at night. I don't think he'd be aggressive with Shepherd, but I am totally not a risk taker with this precious baby and wouldn't want rambunctious energy to end up with Morton knocking Shepherd's bassinet over or something. 

How Shepherd's Doing:

Really well! When you have a tiny preemie, there are all sorts of things to be worried about -- their lung development, heart, kidneys, immune system, etc. You can worry that they aren't strong enough to eat enough to be able to gain weight. You can worry about them just forgetting to breathe. 

But Shep is a champ. He didn't have to spend any time in the NICU. He's back up to his birth weight (babies typically lose a bit after they are born and while they are learning how to eat). He doesn't have jaundice, and all of his check-ups have gone super well. Our doctor still is recommending us to be really cautious with him and germs because he's so little, so I will be at home for a while and probably won't make it back to church until he gets his vaccines. And even then, the flu is something to be concerned about, so I'll be that mom who doesn't let people touch him at church whenever I do go back. 

Our New Schedule:

The newborn sleep/feed schedule is no joke. Because Shepherd is little, his sucking muscles aren't quite strong enough to exclusively nurse. I'm having to pump after I nurse him every time and then feed him more of my milk from a bottle. This is super time-consuming and requires a lot of steps to nurse, bottle feed w/ last pump session's milk, pump, bottle/store, clean/sanitize pump equipment. 

Everything in my life requires a lot of steps right now. Even going to the bathroom requires a bunch of steps for comfort as I recover. 

Here's a rough outline of what my days look like right now.

  • 6AM - Nurse
  • 6:30AM - Matt feeds Shep a bottle of pumped milk while I pump for next feeding
  • 7AM - Get cleaned up and ready for the day
  • 7:30AM - Breakfast
  • 8AM - Catch up on emails/social media, read bible, & drink coffee
  • 9:00AM - Nurse
  • 9:30AM - Bottle/Pump
  • 11AM - Lunch
  • 12PM - Nurse
  • 12:30PM - Bottle/Pump
  • 1PM - Walk
  • 2PM - Free time/snuggles
  • 3PM - Nurse
  • 3:20PM - Bottle/Pump
  • 4PM - Free time/snuggles
  • 6PM - Nurse
  • 6:30PM - Bottle/Pump
  • 7PM - Dinner
  • 8PM - Get ready for bed
  • 9PM - Nurse
  • 9:30PM - Bottle/Pump
  • 10PM - Sleep
  • 12AM - Nurse
  • 12:30AM - Bottle/Pump
  • 1AM - Sleep
  • 3AM - Nurse
  • 3:30AM - Bottle/Pump
  • 4AM - Sleep

And then it starts all over

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Favorite Moments:

  • Shepherd crossing his arms under his chin while laying on my chest and falling asleep. Gosh, this is the cutest, sweetest thing. I can't get enough. I'd sacrifice sleep anytime for these sweet sweet snuggles. 
  • Going for our first family walk. The fall weather right now is so perfect and crisp. The leaves are turning. The sun is shining. 
  • The few minutes each day when Shepherd's eyes are open. He's a sleepy little guy. 
  • This is funny in hindsight, but was really overwhelming in the moment -- our first nighttime feed at home: I nursed him, then Matt took over to bottle feed while I pumped. While Matt was changing a dirty diaper, he put his foot in the poop and then put that poop on our bed. Then he spit up all over the bed. Then I got up to try to help and dumped my pumped milk all over the floor. Shepherd was screaming, Morton was crying, it was crazy.
  • Seeing the love for our son in Matt's eyes. I've loved watching him become a father. 
  • We've started a new nighttime routine of reading Shepherd a book, singing a song, and praying with him every night as a family. 
  • Feeling his surprisingly tight little grip on my finger.
  • The generosity of our friends here. People have been cooking dinner for us, dropping off goodies on our porch, and asking us if they can bring us things (like paper plates so we can be lazy with dishes). We so appreciate it, especially since our families are far away -- other than my brother-in-law who lives here in Boulder. I've been praising God for the community we have here of fellow believers. We've only been here for a year and a half, and yet we feel so loved and so at home.
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