After Tad was born, the fun began: telling our families of Tad’s unexpectedly early and very fast arrival! Kenny had a good time informing his fam that we were “at the hospital” like we had been told to do once labor started. Little did we all know that Tad would already be here once we got a chance to tell them!
My parents were also very excited, but I think we called them so the text chain is not quite as entertaining. :) I apologized for interrupting their vacation (remember the campground? and me swimming in the lake?) and my mom told me to shut up.
The next days that followed were much harder. Tad had a very difficult time learning how to eat. He would not open his mouth to latch, and if we did manage to get anything into his mouth, he would not suck at all. He had an upper GI test thing and a head ultrasound performed to see if everything was as it should be (it was; he was just being a stinker). We were kept an extra day on the recovery floor and then I was discharged and Tad was transferred into the NICU.
Leaving the hospital without my baby was perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t know how other mamas of really really sick babies do it.
Tad was given a feeding tube in the NICU, so Kenny and I began a ’round the clock vigil attempting bottle feeds to try to get him out of there as quickly as possible.
Amidst all this, Kenny was wrapping up his last days of work at his old job. He would go to work for a few hours, come to the hospital to spell me for a little bit, and go home to snatch some sleep and do it all over again. Have I mentioned that he’s a rockstar? His employer was very understanding, but the timing was less than ideal.
Daddy in a dress shirt with Tad in the NICU.
After two rough days of sleeping in hospital chairs and convincing Tad that eating was fun, we managed to make satisfactory progress and they let us go home.
But then! Kenny got his start date at his new job pushed back by 2 glorious weeks. So after finishing up his old job, he was home with us for 14 whole days! It was a beautiful time to learn how to be a family of three. We all felt so glad to be out of the hospital that we went on a quick 2-night vacation to Chicago on the spur-of-the moment.
I think Tad really enjoyed seeing the sights. *eyeroll*
We had one not-fun moment at 3am in a hotel room (Tad’s first bout of uncontrollable screaming), but otherwise, the kiddo was a champ. We can’t wait to do more traveling with him in the future.
We now continue to recover at home, learning each other’s needs. My recovery has been as easy as pregnancy and delivery was. I felt 90% about 3 days after Tad was born and 95% a week later. Apparently pregnancy/delivery/recovery is my spiritual gift.
We are so thankful for the family and friends who have surrounded us with love and prayers during Tad’s extended hospital stay and afterwards, bringing meals and sending texts and understanding when we cancel things at the very last minute. Our support system has been invaluable.
And that’s the story of how Tad made his entrance into this world.
Epilogue to the epilogue: Tad’s doing great. He breastfeeds like a champ and at 4 months his head size was in the 84th percentile. His weight is still catching up (13th percentile at 13lbs 8oz) but we have no doubt he’ll get there. His double chin is a testament to that. But stats aside: we think he’s perfect.