With Luke coming home from the hospital, Steve found that we had more things to learn about babies… after 4 babies we felt somewhat confident, but Luke presented us with an opportunity to learn.
We had to do things like side feeding – as he is still struggling with not choking when we feed him like in our arm at a slight angle. We have to keep him laying on his side. We found that we had to avoid holding him all the time, as we were tempted to do, because it influenced how well he ate. When we hold him less, he eats better. It was an interesting, and truthfully a tough concept to accept. After several bad feedings, and a few chats with my sweet NICU nurse friend, we put him in his bed and let him sleep. After a feeding, we get our snuggle time in, but then he goes back to bed.
I always thought all my newborn babies were very sleepy. I remember trying to keep them awake for feedings, and laughing how they could sleep through anything. But Luke is a whole new level of sleepy! He has very brief moments of being awake. And that is usually just the few moments between a diaper change and when he eats. He sleeps all day and all night!
While I will always wake babies to eat during the day, I have never woken a sleeping baby at night. There was never a need, until Luke! Now I have to set my alarm to wake him up to feed him. Until he gets a little bigger, and can start waking himself to eat, we will need to help him with this!
When we first got home, the house was very quiet. My parents had taken the girls to Houston for the weekend, before we knew that Luke was going to be coming home. So when Luke first got home, it was just Nate and Hope here. And with Hope napping twice a day, Nate got extra time with Luke.
He spent time talking with him, looking at him, and teaching him very important things.
“Luke, I am Nate, your BROTHER”
“Luke, this is Lightning McQueen”
“Luke, meet Buzz Lightyear”
But things changed on Monday night when Elizabeth and Anna got home. Now if Luke was getting held, he had 3 older siblings who all needed a turn. When he made a noise in the monitor, he had 3 older siblings rushing in to peek. Now he had 3 older siblings running in to watch him get a diaper change and to see if he would ‘leak’. (Luke loves to pee as soon as his diaper is moved… I can’t change him fast enough! It is really funny).
One of the best things for me is that I can just be home. After 39 days in the hospital, and then another week of going back up to the hospital daily to see Luke, I have loved just being home. Not going anywhere. I can wake up and see all of my kids. That is an amazing feeling. It is amazing to have them all here together.
For now we are just taking it one day at a time. We are enjoying being together and are learning as we go about what Luke needs.
We are daily giving thanks that God has brought us to this point. It truly seems surreal.