This week started very low for me and then ended on the highest of highs. After the setback of Ezra's oxygen levels repeatedly dropping during each feeding at the end of last week, I started this week physically and emotionally drained. I realized that I was spreading myself too thin and that I really hadn't been taking any time to rest and recover between running back and forth to the hospital, caring for Maybrie and Thomas, and the constant worrying and waiting for Ezra's progress. As Ezra got stronger each day and the good days without any drops in his oxygen levels began adding up, I started to feel better. I also made sure to use some of the time friends watched Maybrie and Thomas for napping... it's amazing how much more sane you can feel when you are rested!
On Friday, after two full weeks in the Special Care Nursery at Community South Hospital, we got the much anticipated news from Dr. King that we could take Ezra home. When Brian got home from school at 3pm we took the kids over to Alex and Anna Kenney's across the street, and headed to the hospital. When we entered the hospital I told Brian that it was actually bittersweet because while I was so happy and relieved to bring Ezra home, I love the hospital because they took such good care of us. I truly love and appreciate the wonderful nurses and doctors that worked with him. They too were so happy we got to take him home, but said they were going to miss him because he is so cute and was the "good" baby in the nursery... there were some real screamers in there when he left. And of course Ezra waited till the day of our first big snowstorm to come home.
The kids were SO excited to see and hold Ezra. Thomas had to touch and point out every feature and Maybrie turned into a little mom. Maybrie looked down at Ezra when she first held him and said "I love him!" The kids first meeting with Ezra was simply priceless. They only stayed for a few minutes and then Brian took them to the church for the ward Christmas party. It was good to have a few hours alone with Ezra. When Brian and the kids came home later that night, Thomas saw Ezra's hands up in a fist by his face and proceeded to give him several fist bumps... it was hilarious! He's given him a few more since. I think Ezra will be a good sleeper, I had to wake him to eat at about 5am the first night. We are going to have to set an alarm to wake him to eat at night for a while. If we didn't have to make sure he eats regularly to gain weight I would so let him go ahead and sleep. I just hope we don't have to train him to sleep down the road because we got him used to waking. Some of the best things about having Ezra home are holding him without any cords, no more monitors beeping, no more good byes, and having all three kids together.
So far I think the hardest thing about having three kids is how obsessed the older two are with the new baby. Yesterday I found the most exhausting part was watching the kids around Ezra... they are totally smothering him! Maybrie wants to hold him all the time and Thomas's most popular phrase of the day was definitely "hold baby Evra!" Maybrie is actually very good at holding him and as long as I can see her I don't even mind if he stands or carries him somewhere. She wants to help with everything and never wants to leave him alone. She even had him lay next to her while she colored during quiet time. It is nice that she can help fetch things for me. Thomas loves to hold him too, and doesn't want any help doing it! He will actually push our hands away! We have found a good way for him to hold Ezra himself with a pillow across his lap. He is pretty good about being gentle with him and if he ever hears him cry he comes over and says "It's ok!" He likes to share his toys with him, and I have found the entire area surrounding Ezra in the swing loaded with toys. I just have to watch out for when Thomas wants to play peek-a-boo with him... Thomas will cover Ezra's face with his blanket and say "Where he go? Where Evra?" Sometimes he doesn't uncover him fast enough! So far Thomas doesn't seem jealous of him at all... just completely in love with his new "toy." We'll see if that changes, but maybe it won't. Thomas is a pretty easygoing kid.
Saturday night we over to Marcus and Andrea's for a Christmas party. It was our little group of first year dental student families... us, Kirkwood's, Pulham's and Thayn's. They put together a yummy dinner and tons of delicious treats. Andrea gave the kids adorable little personalized aprons and playdough. The kids had so much fun decorating sugar cookies while watching the Original Christmas Classics. Everyone was so excited to meet little Ezra. We had such a great night visiting while the kids ran around loaded up on sugar. Thank you Thayn's for a great night! We sure love our friends and are so glad we get to share our dental school experience with this group.
It's been a good week. I can't even begin to express my gratitude to the many people who have helped us while Ezra was in the hospital. So many kind words and prayers shared by friends and family... I love social media for the purpose of staying connected. It is so neat to feel love coming from all over the country. Our friends and ward here are truly amazing! It was such a relief to have babysitting, meals, rides, and moral support from people here while our family is so far away. But most of all I couldn't have made it through such a long two weeks without my husband. Brian is the best companion a girl could ask for. He was so good about cleaning the house and taking care of the kids when I couldn't. And he was always so good to allow me to rest and take care of myself. He did whatever he could to lighten my load. He is my rock and I will be forever grateful that he is my partner through this crazy life. There is no one I would rather parent THREE kids with! I love you Brian!
Looking festive in this cute little Christmas hat from the nurses.
I LOVE this picture!
First night in his crib... he'll grow into it! We got this great incline wedge to put on his crib right under the sheet, it's supposed to help babies with re-flux.
The first thing Thomas wanted to do when he woke up... hold baby "Evra!" I just love how Thomas says his name!
Thomas sharing toys
The kids finally got to go out and play in the snow! Too cute!
I have never been one to pump and store milk, but this experience has forced my fridge and freezer to now look like this! I feel like a cow... so much milk!