This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
We left the hospital yesterday afternoon. I still can’t believe how quickly everything happened. In the hospital at 7 p.m. on Thursday and out by 3 p.m. on Saturday. Less than 48 hours and now we’re home with our new son. Gone are the helpful nurses, the call button when we have a question, the free diapers and all the free cranberry juice and popsicles down at the end of the hall.
The second night in the hospital was extremely frustrating. Will could not be consoled and he kept us up for hours and hours on end. He just wanted to eat and eat and eat, which left MJ very sore and very tired. Mercifully he fell asleep around 3 a.m. and we were able to grab about 2 hours of sleep before he was taken in for his circumcision. We got one more hour during the “snipping time” as I called it. I quickly realized this was not going to be quite as easy as I anticipated.
First of all, I want to thank our family and friends for all their help. From MJ’s parents who brought us ice cream cake to my parents who brought us Wendy’s when we were starving and ready to collapse. Especially my Mom, who came all the way down to the Cape despite having major surgery less than a week ago. That meant a lot to us. And my friends Craig and Alex who volunteered to give up portions of their weekend to stay at the house and take care of the dogs…you guys were all life savers. We are truly lucky to have so many people who care about us. I can’t wait until I can return the favor someday because you guys will never know how much your support means to us.
So when we got home it was time to introduce Will to our two other children; Haley the golden retriever and Fenway the dalmatian. We were worried about this part but the dogs have been no problem at all. They were a little curious at first, but in the end they are indifferent. The only thing we need to watch is when they jump up on the couch or bed without realizing Will is there. They would never intentionally hurt the baby but they’re clumsy and might do it by accident. The cats also don’t care about Will, but that’s no surprise since cats are conceited and don’t care about anything except themselves.
The first night home got off to a rocky start but ended well. It took a few hours to calm Will down and MJ was at her wit’s end. So I took the baby for about 45 minutes and just held him and sang him Irish drinking songs which seems to have a calming effect. Soon he was slumbering away and by 2:30 a.m. he was sound asleep in his bassinet. MJ was able to get close to an hour of extra sleep and soon I joined her. Will did wake up a little later with a poopy diaper but MJ let me sleep while she changed him, since I’ve changed about 75% of the diapers so far. And can I just say THANK GOD the meconium is through his system. That black, tarry crap is awful. I mean, actual poop isn’t much better but I do prefer it over that other stuff.
And I’m talking about baby poop. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those people. Oh well.
I told all relatives and friends who wanted to visit today to come after noon. I’m glad I did because right now I’m watching my beautiful wife and my new son fast asleep together on the couch, with the two dogs laying on either side. This is exactly what I pictured when I thought of having a family. The crying, the diaper changes, the lack of sleep…none of it bothers me because I love being a Dad. I’m sure that sentiment may change in a few days or weeks, but for right now I couldn’t be happier.
I have the next two weeks off from work and it will go by so quickly, I know. But I’m going to enjoy every second of it.