On November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.
Week 41 – The Greatest Black Friday Deal Of All Time
Two weeks after Alex was born he is still not out of the hospital. It sucks. This entire time I’ve just been hoping that we can have him home for Thanksgiving, three days away. To try and celebrate a holiday with him in the hospital is just not something I want to think about. We constantly go to see him and get updates from doctors, all telling us how good he is doing and how close he is to being let go. They won’t give any actual date though. I understand that they don’t want to give us a timetable only to have us freak out if he misses it, but not having any real idea when he could come home is maddening. Everything seems to revolve around a headscan. They want to scan his head to check for brain damage (I didn’t even consider brain damage until they brought it up!), but can’t do it until they can remove all of the IV’s and plugs from him that supply him with sugar and whatever else he needs.
On Tuesday, I go to see him after work, like I normally do, and he has no IV connected to him! He isn’t even in the enclosed chamber. Instead he’s just laying there with no cover in what looks like a plastic container from Target. He looks great. So the next question is, when is he getting the goddamn headscan? I’m told it could be as early as Wednesday. That means Thanksgiving is still in play!
Alexander would have the scan on Wednesday but they would need an extra day to make sure everything was alright. So no, Alex would not come home for Thanksgiving. It was much easier to handle though because we were told we could pick him up Friday. That’s a firm date of exit. You can’t imagine how happy Jess and I were to know that he was leaving the hospital. It was one of the least traditional Thanksgiving’s I’ve ever had. We prepared our apartment for his arrival, we went to my brother’s for some leftovers, and of course we spend a good part of the day in the hospital with out little turkey before ending the day with some much needed relaxation before the lifelong adventure set to start the next day. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Black Friday finally came and for once, shopping is not the first thing on my mind (I still got some good online deals though). We go to the hospital and after what seemed like hours of paper signing and instructions and just waiting around, I’m told to get the car. Jess brings him down, we put him in the car and away we go.
I’ve never driven more carefully. When we finally get home I pull him out of the car seat and bring him in the house. I put him on the floor to put some things away. When I turn around, I stare down and there he is. Sitting in a car seat, eyes open, staring at me. HO-LEE-SHIT. That was the moment I always heard about and saw in movies. That moment when everything changes. The moment where you feel completely overwhelmed, but also completely in control. There is a baby in my living room. No one is coming to take him away. He’s home, and now we have to take care of him.
For the most part, things go pretty smooth. If there is a good thing about him being in the NICU for all those weeks, it’s that we got a crash course in baby care. We’ve been getting assistance in changing, feeding, burping and holding him, and we learned something new everyday. He’s also had a lot of different people holding him, which means he isn’t specifically glued to either (or none) of us. The only issue, as is the case with seemingly every baby, is sleeping. He needs someone holding, or in some cases just touching him, or else he doesn’t calm down. Let me tell you, this kid can scream your ears off. Eventually he’ll tucker himself out, but if he gets more than three hours of sleep in the middle of the night we start counting our blessings.
The funny thing is that no matter how much he cries or doesn’t sleep or ruins his clothes by peeing in them, we’re never angry. Frustrated a little, sure, but whenever we see his face it all just melts away. Our son is home. He can do no wrong. Having a baby truly is a miracle. Whether we try to have a second miracle or not is totally up for debate.