Hopefully this post is a little more uplifting and happy, as it’s filled with all kinds of beautiful memories. 🙂
We were discharged on Wednesday, August 26th, just 4 days after he was born (5 days spent in the NICU) at 9pm. Long story short, we had to wait for him to be off the jaundice lights for 24 hours before discharge so we got discharged at a weird time but we couldn’t have been more ready or happy. We loaded our little miracle bundle into the car and headed home, both Lindsay and I were , emotional and grateful for our opportunity to go home and start our family in our own house. We got home at about 10-10:15pm and fed the little man and then collapsed into bed to try to catch up on sleep. Bentley did awesome that first night, sleeping between his feedings and allowing us to catch up on sleep.
I want to talk about a few things that they don’t tell you or you don’t hear about much for new parents that I found are kind of funny or a little quirky that would have better prepared me.
- Be prepared to do this super weird thing after you lay your baby down where you lay there, focused super intensely on their breathing, whimpers and sounds and then getting up about 3,324,532 times to make sure that the little peep you heard wasn’t a sign of distress. This continues to this day, so I don’t know when that stops.
- Prepare to become a damn diaper changing machine. You’ll be able to change diapers like a champ within a few days.
- Along the same lines, be prepared to never be shocked by the amount of poop/pee generated by such a small being. You’d swear they’re somehow smuggling the intestines of an elephant inside them.
- You will be peed on.
- You will be pooped on.
- Try not to puke…
- If you circumcise your child, you will initially immediately regret your decision when you see the “damage” done, so to speak. Just remember VASELINE IS YOUR FRIEND and the more the merrier!
- You’re going to catch yourself staring at your spouse who has your child and feel more in love with them than you’ve ever felt.
- You will be annoyed by your child at 3am and they won’t sleep but when you turn on the light to feed/rock/change them, that little innocent face and smile will melt your heart and you’ll think “what the hell was I annoyed about?”
- You’re going to do things to your child that even you think are weird, like give them high fives when they hold up an outstreched hand and laugh to yourself and then feel the shame in your actions afterwards. Or maybe you’ll hold them up and talk as though you were them speaking to your spouse…saying all kinds of weird baby things…again the shame will set in later. 🙂
- You’ll think everything your kid does is the most adorable thing ever and post Facebook pictures or statuses constantly (despite distinctly remembering how much it annoyed you to see these very statuses before you had a baby…but you give no shits because your baby is adorable and it’s totally ok now)
- You will do weird things when sleep deprived. Come up with a way to make sure your spouse knows you’re awake because you’ll say/do things you don’t remember at night frequently.
- You’ll experience this awkward aura feeling where you know you’re awake and what you’re doing but your body doesn’t want to move because for some reason you thinks that’s helping you rest. I know…it’s weird.
All this said, I wouldn’t change a single thing about becoming a parent. It’s been the second best thing to happen to me in my life (finding Linds is the first 😀 ) and I am reminded daily of just how strong my love is for my little family.
Anyway, I had taken off two weeks from work, one of those being Labor Day week so I only needed 9 working days off but due to a mix up (on my part, admittedly) I miscalculated the time I had off and was only able to take 1 week off. 😦 The bad part was we spent the first 3 days of my week in the NICU and then when we got home it was Grand Central Station here with visitors coming what seemed like hourly to see Bentley. I mean, I don’t blame them, have you seen how cute he is?! Haha Due to all of this and the time-off snafu on my part, I was only able to have Friday the 28th and Labor Day off and home alone with Lindsay and Bennie-booster (as we call him sometimes, that or Bennie-Boo) which was disheartening. I didn’t anticipate just how hard it was going to be for me to leave Lindsay and Bentley at home when I went back to work but it sucked, big time.
During the first week or so we were able to go visit our obstetrician’s office here in town, the Illinois Cancer Care center that Lindsay gets treatment at and were able to see some of the most selfless, caring healthcare professionals we’ve met and share the joy of our baby boy with them. As we went in to the OB office I told Bentley he better be prepared to be assaulted with “awww’s” and kisses from all the women at the office. They didn’t disappoint! 🙂 Again, I can’t express how grateful we are for having the care of Dr. Svientek and all of Women for Women during the entire process and are super lucky to have them i our lives going forward and we were happy to be able to share him with them. At the Cancer Center we were not only able to share the bundle of joy with the nurses who cared for us, we were also able to put Bentley on display in the waiting room for some other patients. Perhaps the neatest thing we got to share that day was Bentley with the grandmother of one of my best friends growing up who is getting treatment at the Cancer center. She was so happy to see him and be able to remember how small and precious babies are, it put a smile on her face during a very difficult time for her and her beautiful family. I’m glad we gave her a bright spot in her day to hopefully make treatment a little bit easier for her that day.
Then came the family and friend visits. Our friends and families mean the world to us and we couldn’t be more blessed, I truly believe that! For my parents, this is their first grand baby and they are smitten by him! They’ve already spoiled him rotten and each and every time they see him, they are both so overjoyed to just hold him and it’s heartwarming to watch. My Dad is totally in love with him and he texts Lindsay all the time for pictures of him, even saying “You know the other day how you sent 3 or 4 pictures?” to which I said “Yeah…” and he says “Well you can do that every day, it doesn’t get old!” Haha. My Mom keeps asking me if we want to “go out on a date night” but I think she’s just trying to get some Grandma and grandson time. 🙂 Funny story, my Mom is trying to come up with what Bentley is to call her when he gets older because she doesn’t want to be called certain names due to them having significance with other members of our family. Therefore Memaw is off the table. She comes up with “Mimi” but I immediately thought of the Drew Carey show and put the kibosh on that one! 😀 Any suggestions for her are welcome! Lindsay’s mom is totally in love with our little man despite this being grandSON number four for her! She is in love with his little chubby cheeks and how small he is. She visits as often as we will let her and is always offering to watch him for us as well! Haha Anyone that knows Lindsay’s dad, Ron (RB), will admit that RB isn’t the most emotional or overly expressive guy but after you get to know him well you realize he’s just a big teddy bear when it comes down to it. RB, like most guys, is and always has been very hesitant to hold young babies. Whether it be nerves or whatever, he just doesn’t feel comfortable holding little ones until they get a little bigger. Understandable, and I anticipated that same approach with Bentley. However, after he came to visit us when we got home he stopped in and wanted to hold him right away! He even made the comment to Deb that Linds and I didn’t take his picture holding Bentley when he first held him! Haha So of course we gave him crap and were sure to take his picture the next time he stopped in. Then all of our siblings came to visit and they are just as in love as our parents are. They also continue to spoil him rotten and exemplify just how blessed Bentley is to come into a world filled with such great family for him!
After the initial excitement started to wear off from his birth and the visits started to slow down/space out more we were able to start to have more and more family time and that’s where I really felt Lindsay and I started to grow back into our old selves. We were back to joking more, loving more, focusing on Bentley and not ourselves or the little silly nitpicky things that we had done during pregnancy. Life was finally back to “normal” and we were back to normal and it felt amazing. We had made the commitment before the birth that as soon as baby was here we were going to put cancer, all the thoughts and discussions, all the emotions and looming concerns on the back-burner, so to speak, and just focus on our relationship, our family and living in the moment without any of that BS involved. So that’s what we’ve been doing for the past 3.5 weeks! It’s insane to think it’s been that long already but we’ve had a great little break from treatments and have forged a lot of hilarious, long-lasting memories and of course the tender-hearted and sweet memories that come with being a new parent. I’ll share a few with you now because it will help me look back on this story when this is all said and done and be able to relive them. 🙂
I’ve already mentioned it before but some of my favorite moments since we’ve been home have just been watching Lindsay and Bentley interact with one another. It swells my heart to see the love between the two and realizing just how blessed I am to have them both. He is definitely a mama’s boy and I’m OK with that, I want her to experience that and I know it will help her through these last few cycles of treatment. I also mentioned it before but there is nothing that will prepare you for the amount of diaper changes and poop/pee stories that will ensue. I think it was about 3 days after we got home that I was changing his diaper on his changing table and dropped a diaper on the floor (rookie mistake). I reached down with one hand while holding both his feet in the air only to grab the diaper and stand up to a fountain of pee shooting straight up in the air! I quickly shoved the clean diaper over it and started to crack up because 1. it was hilarious and 2. I couldn’t believe how much pee was inside him! Just in the last week or so we’ve had quite a few hilarious stories happen. First off, as many of you know from my Facebook post, Bentley thought it’d be funny to poop on his Dad. I was changing him and wrapped up a diaper that was already full of poop and threw it into the diaper genie, grabbed a new diaper and started to slide it under his little bottom when all of a sudden I hear a loud “phhht” and see a big ol’ line of poop shooting up my hand and wrist and all I could think was “DEAR LORD, DON’T THROW UP…OH MAN IT SMELLS AWFUL…FINISH STRAPPING UP THE DIAPER SO HE DOESN’T POOP ON YOU MORE, DUMMY…DON’T THROW UP, DON’T THROW UP!” all while finishing securing the diaper before sprinting to the bathroom and wiping the poop off and scrubbing my hand/wrist raw with soap! Haha I wasn’t prepared for that, I can tell you that and I’m sure they’ll be more! Now for my personal favorite story. Remember how I said you’d do things that you don’t recall while sleep deprived? Well over the past weekend I was dead asleep after not having much sleep the past few nights so I was attempting to catch up and was in a deep slumber. Lindsay hit me to wake me up and take care of the little guy because it was my turn (she claims she hit me like 10 times…I call BS) so I naturally stood up to go take care of Bentley. However, after I stood up and turned to Lindsay and said “I don’t know how to do it…”, she replied with “What?!”. “Under the covers” I said, to which she replied “What are you talking about?”. I said “Under the covers with the sheets” and proceeded to walk around the bed to the bassinet to take care of Bentley. “What are you talking about?! That doesn’t make sense!” she said laughing at me. It was at this point that I remember coming to, leading me to believe I was in that weird, semi-awake, aura state before I was able to respond while being confused “I don’t know…whatever” Haha. Oh well, I was able to take care of the baby so it’s all good! I have witnessed 2 pee fountains while Lindsay was changing the little guy, one of them narrowly missing my head because I was bent down, removing the bag from the diaper genie as Lindsay was changing him on the changing table right above my head. I actually watched pee fly past my head…traumatizing…haha!
The past 3.5 weeks have been nothing short of amazing. We’ve gotten so many amazing baby gifts, cards, prayers, visitors and more and we couldn’t be more blessed. Everyone wants to come see what a miracle looks like in person and I’m grateful for each and every day I have here with him! We truly cannot thank you all enough for your prayers, love and support during all of this insanity. We WOULD NOT be here and in the position we are today without our amazing support system, especially our family and friends. We continue to ask for your prayers for Lindsay and her scans and for good news next week regarding the scans so we can establish a plan going forward and hopefully put all this behind us sooner, rather than later! I promise I won’t have any more 3 week hiatuses, it will be much more regular now that we have had some time to just feel like a normal family and enjoy our time together!
Until next time, I’m Ron Burgundy?