Sleep is a privilege these days. Between typical newborn behavior and juggling a toddler adjusting to a new little man on her turf, things have been rather chaotic. But with that being said they are "typically" chaotic. Of course, we forgot what it was like to bring home a newborn and the adjustment that we all had to go through that very first night. Compile that with monitoring a baby straight out of intensive care, and you have added a whole new level of stressfulness!
We had everything ready and set-up for our little man to come home. The pack-n-play was in our room, diapers and wipes readily available, formula on the kitchen counter, swing set-up and batteries installed, and his feeding pump prepared. We eased into the night with him being very mellow and calm. His breathing was fairly regular and he was easily soothed by his pacifier. We set up the pump and started his first feeding. If I'm being honest, it definitely felt like something foreign, that was very awkward and unnatural. Attaching my baby to a pump with a long, clear tube felt like I was feeding an alien. It made a loud beeping sound that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. We had received training on the pump while in the hospital twice; however, everything said in there seemed to go in one ear and out the other. Cohen was supposed to come home with continuous feedings on the feeding pump until the day after Christmas. After that we could slowly increase his feedings to a typical bottle schedule of every 2 hours for a few days and then every 3 hours, as long as his body tolerated the feedings.
As he was taking his first feeding, he seemed to become very irritable, almost like he was gassy. After about an hour the pump made the loud beeping sound again. We frantically searched the monitor of it trying to figure out why it was beeping. It read "Dose Done." Why was the dose done? He was supposed to eat continually day in and out. Would we have to jump up every hour to silence the loud beep? We tried calling customer support which was supposed to be 24 hours but apparently was not. So all night long, we were awoken to either a screaming baby, or the beep once we put the screaming baby to bed. It was a rotating cycle until about 12 am we came to our senses and decided we should take shifts so we could at least get some sleep. I took the first shift from 12-3 and Ryan was going to take the second shift. So much for sleeping in the same bed for another night :( My shift was terrible and while Ryan slept poor Cohen and I battled who would be able to stay awake longer. He was unable to be comforted. We tried sitting in the rocking chair, him sitting in his swing, him being swaddled and put to sleep in the pack-n-play but nothing worked. Mind you, while trying to soothe my newborn, he was still attached to this pump getting his nutrients around the clock. Everything that had worked for Isla was not something that could work for him. He couldn't sleep on our chest for another 2 weeks (due to his surgery), as could he not move easily about the room with the continuous worry of tripping on his feeding tube. I finally was able to put him down around 3:00 and went to wake up Ryan to relieve me. I went downstairs and passed out until 7:30 a.m. When I came upstairs, I expected to see Ryan sweating bullets over this kid, and to my amazement, they were both passed out in their beds!
Besides our first night, we have been starting to get into a routine around here..if you can call it a routine. Remembering to feed him around the clock, administering medicine twice/day through his tube, managing the ups and downs of this transition with our two year old , and trying to take care of our basic hygiene has been all we can handle at this point. We will continue to stay positive and stay focused on our goal of helping Cohen grow and mature the best way we know how!