Sunday, February 8, 2015

Our First Night Home as Parents

I decided I wanted to write about the first night we brought Nixon home so that I don't forget it (which I don't think I ever could) and so that other new parents don't feel like they are the only ones struggling. You can laugh at our crazy first night with us.

Our hospital stay after Nixon was born was glamorous...well as glamorous as a hospital stay can be. Nixon slept ALL day and night long. Literally we had to tickle his feet and neck to keep him awake long enough to feed.

We left the hospital on Thursday the 18th of December in the afternoon. We drove straight to the pharmacy to fill some prescriptions for me. The wait there was something like an hour so we stalled by visiting Matson's parents. After visiting them, we picked up my prescriptions and went home. This whole time our little newborn was in deep sleep.

My dad and little sister came over to our house to hold Nixon and hang out with us. My mom came later too but was held up doing something (I think she was at a wedding reception or something). We all ate ice cream (Thanks sis!) and talked about the big event that just happened two days before. Towards the end of the night my sister left. Then, my dad and mom stayed to help us give Nixon his first bath at home. We pretty much sponge bathed him in our kitchen sink since his umbilical cord/belly button couldn't get wet yet. Nixon screamed the whole time. He especially hated getting his head wet (this has now changed...Nixon at almost two months loves bath time and relaxes so much in the nice warm water that he pees about 2-3 times a bath!).

After bath time my dad headed home. My mom stayed to help us with Nixon. I hurried and took a bath, fed him, and then got into bed. Nixon was crying a lot I guess after I fed him. My mom and Matson watched TV while trying to soothe him. After about an hour and a half or so he calmed down and my mom got him to sleep after lots of rocking. So at midnight he finally slept and my mom headed home.

As soon as my mom left Nixon woke up and was crying like crazy again. I heard him and woke up too. I walked out of our room and into our family room to see a very distraught and frustrated Matson. He was so bugged that Nixon had woken up again and was wailing RIGHT after my mom had worked so hard to get him to sleep. He was not happy. I took Nixon and started going through the Mommy checklist.

Dirty diaper? Nope.

Burp stuck in his belly? Burped him for a while. Nope.

Hungry? I fed him for a little bit but after he was just crying again.

Rock him? Nope, he wasn't having it.

Bounce him? Nope, didn't like it.

Walk around the room/house? Nope.

Nothing was working. We kept saying how we literally felt like we had no idea what the heck we were doing. Matson and I started out kind of laughing about it and how we couldn't believe the hospital let ANYONE just go without hours and hours of instruction of how to take care of a newborn.

We went into our bedroom to try skin to skin and to calm him. Didn't work. With our upset newborn and the combination of us not having a clue of what to do, we were getting pretty frustrated. Matson kept saying how he thought he was colic. I kept reassuring him that he wasn't and that he just was tired or something else was wrong. We just tried our best to keep rocking him and trying to soothe him. It is amazing that when I was frustrated Matson would try to calm me. Then when Matson was frustrated I would try to calm him. There was never a time when we both were frustrated. It has continued to be that way. When one is frustrated, the other can take him and calm the other spouse.

Two hours past. It was 2 am. I wasn't frustrated but more worried and tired. Who wants to be up at 2 am? NO ONE. Plus, Matson had to be at work the next morning for some meeting. So I felt bad that he was awake still. I was crying at this point and praying over and over again in my mind.

Against Matson's will, I called my mom. Matson didn't want me to call her because that would suck for her to be woken up and he knew that she would come over. I just needed to call her because I knew she would be able to help or at least help me to not feel so bugged and mad. I called her. She answered.

I apologized over and over again for calling and that I just needed her advice. She went through the same checklist with me. She could hear Nixon wailing in the background. Through my tears I told her how I had tried everything, was worried about Nixon since he really hadn't slept in over 5 hours, and that I was incredibly frustrated. She reassured me and told me she would head over. I asked her not to but she still came.

Matson and I were just happy that someone who ACTUALLY knew what they were doing was coming over. She came over to the rescue. I fed Nixon again and then my mom told me to go to bed and that she would hold him.

For the next two hours he was off and on crying, but she said the whole time he was awake. She said the lights from the Christmas tree were interesting to him and was the only thing that would distract him. My mother is a saint. I slept those two hours then came out to feed him again. While I fed him my mom slept on my couch as best as she could. She was exhausted now too. I felt so bad but was so grateful. At this point, I was saying the biggest prayer of gratitude.

After feeding him, I went back to bed and my mom stayed another couple hours with him while he was in and out of sleep. I woke up at about 7 in the morning to feed him again. I fed him and then told my mom that I could handle it since I had gotten some sleep. I just needed some. As soon as my mom left and Matson went to his work meeting, Nixon fell asleep. He HAD to be exhausted. For a newborn to be awake from 10pm to 2am is a really long time. Plus to not really have a long stretch of sleep at night had to be hard for him. After that night, Nixon slept so good. He would go every four hours at night and as he gets older he adds more and more time to sleeping.

I will forever be grateful for Matson and my mom that night. Matson helped to keep me sane. And my mom literally saved me from hours and hours of tears. Moral of the story: newborns are going to cry, you are going to get frustrated, and my mom is heaven sent.

Our good little sleeper!
Photo by: Teagan Alex

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