A full month has already passed since we became a family of three. It’s been a month of big adjustments for us and for baby. We have learned to function on far less sleep than we’ve ever attempted, and we’ve run more loads of laundry per week than we thought possible. We’ve also enjoyed countless snuggles that make it all worth it.
Upon arriving home from the hospital, we only had one day to settle in before Jacob’s blood test showed high bilirubin levels. Our doctor recommended we spend the day exposing him to as much natural light as possible to try to naturally lower it. The sunlight wasn’t enough, and the jaundice worsened by the next day. We took a stressful trip over to the NICU for a thorough blood test, which showed that he needed phototherapy. Fortunately, we were able to get home phototherapy set up with a bilibed in his crib. After three not-so-fun days on the lights, Jacob’s levels were low enough that we could cuddle our baby again.
Jesse enjoyed two and a half weeks at home before having to go back to work. We established night shifts to help both of us get a little more sleep. Jesse handled the first half of the night and gave Jacob his nightly bottle before going to bed between midnight and 1 a.m. I then took over and handled the second half of the night, waking up to nurse baby whenever he was ready to eat again. While we stayed tired (and still are!), the shifts helped us to avoid total exhaustion.
When Jesse headed back to work the week before Christmas, my parents came to visit and help out during the day. I wasn’t ready yet to be home alone with a newborn, so I really appreciated having the extra help around the house. They helped out with cleaning and cooking and gave me a chance to get out of the house. By the time they left, I was only facing three days alone with Jacob before Jesse was off for the Christmas holiday. The next week, he turned one month old and I had four days with him. I really appreciated how the holiday timing eased me into being on my own to care for him all day while Jesse was at work.
The most exciting development to see so far is how Jacob’s vision has improved. The unfocused, glazed over look that he had when he was first born has been replaced by bright, clear eyes. He can focus on our faces and engage with us through his amazingly diverse expressions. There’s someone really looking back at us now when we gaze at his face.
Our newborn has become a one-month-old in what feels like the blink of an eye. I’m looking forward to seeing how he grows in the next month!