While we were in the NICU, we made friends with Luke's "roommate" HG. And they're the kind of friends where you just know you were supposed to be friends. There's just too many similarities. Both having babies 9 weeks early. Both babes weighed right at 3 pounds, in beds right next to each other. HG's daddy and I both work at the same place. We all live within a mile of each other. We even had the same wedding colors... just a ton of weird similarities. But beyond that "on paper" type of similarities, just sharing the experience of NICU created a friendship and an incredible level of understanding. The fear of what if's. The joy of celebrating the small steps forward. The journey home. Navigating the ropes with the doctors and the meds and schedules and all that. There's no one that quite understands like another NICU mama. And since we are within weeks of each other's schedules, that helps out tremendously too.
Any hoooo... So HG's mama and I were talking yesterday and decided that someone needs to let other mom's (or hopeful mom's or future mom's...) know the truth. Too many times I've heard new moms bragging about their five week old baby that sleeps through the night. Or heard the stories of what a happy little baby so-and-so is. Or what an easy baby. But this folks, is me keeping it real. Not all babies are happy, easy, sleeping through the night babies.
Luke isn't a happy baby. He's on the cusp of it now, but a couple of weeks ago, there was more crying until he couldn't catch his breath than there was anything else. Don't get me wrong. There are moments. He smiles and all is right with the world. Like, you just know he really wants to laugh but hasn't quite mastered that trick yet. But for the majority of the time, he's either asleep or crying. Well, and as of Saturday, maybe swinging. (Yay! Our son loves his swing now. Finally. Someplace to set him down where he's content for a few minutes!!!! YESSSSSS)
And sleeping through the night? HA! Those babies must get a little bourbon in their bottle. At our house, now 17 weeks into this whole trying to raise a baby thing....well, we are going four to five hours at a time. And we are THRILLED with that.
That's what a baby will do to you. It's hard. Everyone tells you it's hard. But I seriously could not possibly prepare for how hard this journey would be. Is it worth it? Hands down, one million percent. Unequivocally I love my little man something fierce. But that doesn't mean it's all roses and a walk in the park. We work hard on raising this baby. Oh, and the worry? Woah, the worry is insane and apparently never goes away from what I'm told. It's not just a neurotic, over the top worry. You worry about everything from major things to the totally mundane. Am I being a good mom, doing the best that I can for my child to make sure he develops to his full, healthy potential? Is he eating/sleeping/acting/playing/whatever right? Do I _______ too much/ not enough/etc. Is his diaper too tight? If we go to _____ and he looses it are we going to be able to ignore the staring? Why did he just spit his pacifier out? Is he looking to the left too much? Should his hand do that? Geez, does he have a fever? That was his third cough in sixteen days - is he getting sick? Ok, that's a little extreme (sorta, but not really out of the question). Regardless, you get the point.
We ain't playing house here, kids. This is the real deal. It's hard, absolutely. But holy moly is it ever worth it! And as much as I wish someone had prepared me for all this, I'm not sure it's possible until you are thrown into it, sink or swim.
Here's hoping we swim.