Five months ago today Teddy and Gabe were born. 144 days ago days ago, at one week old, Teddy and his bear looked like this:
Today, in a very brief moment of sleep, Teddy and his bear had another companionable moment:
Teddy is obviously growing! Today at his bath he weighed 9 pounds and 9 ounces, eight pounds and 3 ounces up since birth.
We are loving having him at home, and life has certainly been interesting. I frequently find myself trying to parse our experience. Teddy doesn’t sleep much and is distraught over gas and pooping? Probably normal parenting. Teddy having a pediatrician, developmental care, opthamologist, and pulmonologist appointment in one week? That’s preemie parenting. Struggling with balancing cuddling him and letting him figure out how to fall asleep on his own in the crib? The number of books on this tell us this is a universal problem. Moms not sleeping through the night because his pulse oximeter sensor has fallen apart (we only get one a month), is no longer reading correctly and is alarming every half hour? Yay, preemie! No longer swaddling because he’s starting to be able to turn over on his own? Parenting. Wondering if he will get tangled in his cords overnight? Yeah.
Then there was the night that his pulse oximeter stopped working entirely. We don’t even know when it stopped working; we brought him, his very heavy oxygen compressor, his pediatric flowmeter, and pulse ox up to the nursery and set him up, and only then noticed that the alarm seemed to be permanently on mute and was no longer monitoring his oxygen saturation and heart rate (and hadn’t been for who knows how long). We called the medical supply company and were told the respiratory therapist on call would return our call. In the meantime we looked online for the operation manual for our pulse ox monitor. We started following the steps for resetting the monitor until we came to this:
At that point we stopped and waited for the tech to call. She called and started with the first step from the online manual, “Did you turn it off and back on again?”
Needless to say, two hours later the technician arrived at our house. It turns out that the one-a-month sensor was no longer working.. at all. Our three hours of watching Teddy breathe and doubling his oxygen in the lack of any feedback about his oxygen saturation ended with her replacing a sensor that resembles a bandaid. She covertly left us two extras, and I proceeded to do some judicious Amazon shopping (at $20 a pop).
Medically Teddy is very much the same, but bigger! He is still on .05 oxygen flow, and the same prescriptions. We get a little impatient I admit. I can’t wait to see his adorable face without a cannula tape for more than the occasional hurried bath and tape change.
He’s cooing and holding his head up for much longer amounts of time. He’s smiling and occasionally grinning. We’re getting to know him better and better and we are just as charmed and in love as we have been since day one. We also are frustrated and exasperated and tired and wondering what the hell we’re doing. This too has been happening since day one, but has an entirely different quality at home.
We actually have news that isn’t quite as directly related to Teddy, though it will certainly affect his life.
My brilliant and talented wife is changing jobs, to be be head coach at Trinity College. This wasn’t our original plan. We had thought we would stay in Florida for several years as she coached at Nova Southeastern. This, along with everything else in our life changed dramatically and instantly when our sons were born. Hartford brings us within an easy couple hours drive of both sets of grandparents, several of my cousins and aunts and uncles, and many close friends.
We’ve been so grateful and overwhelmed at the amount of support we’ve received in Florida. We found new friends and matured friendships in the past months. So many people came down and cooked and cleaned and walked Tucker and drove us to the hospital. But, we want to be closer to our larger network of friends and family as we navigate life with Teddy’s somewhat special needs. So Heather applied for the Trinity job. I’m so very very proud of her for being chosen for it.
We heard that she had gotten the job on Friday, June 17th. Heather’s last day at Nova was June 24th. The next Monday she flew up to Hartford to house hunt. I joined her at midnight Thursday night, leaving Teddy with my mom and a night nurse we met in her role as a NICU PCA. Friday we made an offer on the house of our dreams in West Hartford, and had it accepted.
The amount of life changes we’ve had this year is adding up to a kind of crazy amount: Babies, losing a child, hospitalization, new car, job change and move across the country. We’re about ready to be done with momentous moments for this year!
Thanks as always for following our adventures – we obviously have a bunch more to come in the next few months!