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Joshua’s First Week

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I wanted to post this Monday to replace my weekly pregnancy updates, but…yeah.  First time Mom who got four hours sleep the first week after her son was born…I think you understand.  And thank you to those whose blogs I’ve neglected and who continue to visit mine – I will return as soon as I get a routine established that allows a bit of time for blog reading.

Joshua’s first week was such an emotional roller coaster.  My water broke two weeks , two days early and after the initial shock wore off, it’s been huge highs and huge lows.

As I was falling deeper and deeper in love with this new little man in my life, he was getting sicker and sicker without me realizing it.  Joshua was not doing well with breast feeding and was losing weight so I went into the lactation clinic across from Wesley, which was free for me since I delivered there.  The  nurses were alarmed at his glow worm coloring (we knew he had jaundice but couldn’t tell how bad until we were outside our home with different lighting).  When they weighed him he had lost a pound and an ounce in the four days since his birth, which was another red flag that our little boy was not doing well at all.

We went immediately to our doctor to get his bilirubin tested and it came back at 33, which is critically high.  We had to return to the hospital and admit our precious newborn to the NICU, and they told us he may have to have his blood replaced several times if they couldn’t lower his level quickly.  I was devastated and assumed responsibility since he might not have gotten to this point if I had been willing to supplement with formula.  I thought I had been doing what was best for him, and almost killed him instead.

The NICU isn’t set up for parents to stay there, unless you want to sit in a chair all night, and it was so awful to leave our son after only having him for four days.  He received the best of care, but that didn’t help the longing in my heart to have him home.

After two days under UV lights, we finally got to hold him again when his bilirubin was low enough and the lights were removed.  Saturday night we got to move into a family room with him and it was pure bliss having our baby with us again, even if it wasn’t at home.  And Sunday we got to take home a much fatter and healthier baby!  I took this video at the hospital while Dennis was gone to take Jessie for a walk.

I wasn’t the typical weepy pregnant woman, but I’ve made up for it in spades this week.  Even though my tears have been mostly justified, I cry at anything that makes me happy or upset in any way.  Now I know how my Dad feels – after his stroke, everything makes him cry.

But now that we have our little one home, what makes me cry the most is how wonderful my husband has been.  He has changed so much since Joshua was born.  I didn’t think he could improve, because he was as close to perfect in my book than anyone has a right to be, but he’s become even more perfect than I could have imagined.  He has been my rock, always leading us to prayer during the hard times last week, holding and comforting me when I had to cry sob, and loving our son so much it hurts me in a good way.  I didn’t know how he would be after having a kid he took 45 years to feel ready for, and I have to say he’s surprised me in the best way.

He was beside me during the delivery, pushing one of my legs back (knee towards my head) while a nurse did the other with every contraction, giving me leverage to push against.  He said it was amazing to watch another human come out of me and it just makes me weep to think about how he talks about our son with pride, describing how cute he is when he did something, etc.  Dennis never thought any other kid was cute, so this is a huge deal.  He actually loves to hold him!  I know that seems like it would be a given, but this seems very profound for a guy who has only held babies a couple times in his life (his nephews, and probably because Joan made him – lol).  He even thanked me for Joshua, because if it weren’t for me, he never would have had children, and now he’s so glad I changed his mind over the years.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

Yesterday was a big day for me, because it was my first day alone with Joshua.  Dennis, the baby-whisperer who I have totally relied on as a partner in figuring out parenthood, had to return to work because he’s already a week behind for his supervisor training.  I was so nervous.  I have been feeling really inadequate and inept as a mother, and this also left me in tears, but I prayed to God through them Sunday night as I fed Joshua, asking for help as I faced motherhood alone.

Well, I only had to be alone at home, because God sent me Mom to go to Joshua’s doctor appointment with me and to mail a package, and Dennis took part of his lunch to meet me at the lactation clinic (and no, I didn’t ask him to.  He has been so supportive of me trying to breast feed, and supportive of our family in general, I just have to cry!).  Everything went so smoothly, it helped boost my confidence immensely, especially how well it went at home without my rock.  (Although of course I was leaning on God, an even bigger rock than my husband.)  Joshua ate and slept well, and I managed to get the dishes and several loads of laundry done.  I’m gaining ground! :)

Maybe I won’t be so terrible at this motherhood thing after all.

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

30 responses »

  1. Of course you aren’t a terrible mother! You’re a great one!

    I totally understand that you must have felt awful when you had to take your babbit to the hospital, it must have been a horrible feeling. But *all that matters* is that you did, he is better, and gaining weight now :) and every time you learn something new about how to care for him, you will just get better and better at it!

    And gosh, he is so cute, I love that little bear-ears hat!

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  2. Don’t let the jaundice and beginning of breastfeeding make you feel inadequate! The same thing happened to me with my first child and I was told it happens to many new mothers. My second child ended up jaundiced as well, but not nearly as bad as the first one did; he only had to spend one night under the lights. Hang in there, your hormones will shift back in a couple of weeks and you’ll feel much better emotionally. You’re going through a LOT right now! Best to all of you! xo

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  3. We all fell totally inadequate, never having a baby before and then you have this bundle that is totally dependent is a nightmare. We have all done things were thought were wrong, but in fact were the right things. My daughter had jaundice, cried for hours with colic, and now she is 33 years old and we have only just realised she is allergic to yeast, slightly lactose and a few other things. If only I had known then she would not have been such a colic baby. Everybody seems to do so much better than you are doing and coping, believe you me they are not, but they will not tell you. You are such a caring, loving mum and you will be fine, instinct will set in when something is not quite right. Congratulation to you and your family, just remember there is always someone on the end of your blog, day or night from where ever in the world who has been through the same problem and help is there. Sue xx

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  4. What a beautiful baby.

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  5. so sorry you had to go through all of this. You shouldn’t blame yourself one bit…honestly, if he was jaundiced at the hospital, they should have told you what to look for at home…but it seemed to all work out fine. Breastfeeding is a funny thing. I was awful with it with my first two kids..but by the third, IDK if it was me or the kid, it went super smoothly. Best advice I can give you as a mom…just be flexible. :) Your son is absolutely beautiful!!! Enjoy him every day!

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  6. thanks so much for sharing……….motherhood is fraught with adventures……….there are highs and lows……….but it is also a time to see the faithfulness and love of G-d working in your life…………..He is always there to carry you……..I am so glad that your son is now home and that you and he can grow together………..prayers and blessings to you all………….savor the seconds………it goes by quickly………….my “baby” will be 19 next month…………my prayers for you and your family will continue

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  7. Joshua is a cute baby, and I’m not one to think all babies are cute (they aren’t!). I’m so glad that he’s home and I know you feel worried, but I am confident that you are a great mommy :) Be kind to yourself!

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  8. I’m glad things are unwinding after a bit of a scare this past week. You have lots of prayers from so many people coming to you and your family. You are a gem of a person and I know that can only mean that you will be a fantastic mother. Sending hugs!!

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  9. Oh Veronica! Sounds like you’ve been through the wringer! Take care and I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

    I know you are a fantastic mother to your little one! Please remember that none of us really ever knows what to do with our babies when we bring home our first. You will be surprised how fast you pick up on the rhythms of your baby once your own body heals some and your hormones calm down. I remember our hospital having a 24 hour nurse line and I called it often – to ask every little thing LOL!

    Sounds like Dennis is a great hubby to you and dad to Joshua. Needing his help is a great thing. It gives him a chance to bond with his son because we all need to feel needed. He’s probably more apt to jump in and help when he’s needed. Babies can strengthen a marriage like nothing else!

    Take care, Veronica. Sending much love and prayers your way…

    Gina

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  10. I will be keeping you and your family in my Prayers.
    Im glad that Joshua is doing so much better!

    I agree with a earlier comment made, as time goes on, and your hormones re-adjust, everything will get better.
    Every day you will learn something new! =)

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  11. You are so far from a terrible mother—he’s so handsome and you’re amazing, V!! I’m glad Joshua is better, you guys are all in my thoughts!!

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  12. A woman, wife, sister, daughter, friend and now mother as yourself is already a step ahead of the game..Joshua is one lucky little boy. You will teach him about God, family and values. You will teach him all about the differences in people and respect. Most likely even how to make a blue ribbon cake!! Don’t feel bad…I have all the confidence you will, ARE a good mommy….Love you V……….

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  13. He is so darling in the photos!!! You will be a great mom to your new bundle of joy :)

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  14. Thank God, Joshua is doing good. He is so adorable. I can totally empathize with how you feel. I felt that way when i left Pam in the hospital. I thought everything was going to be fine when i brought her home only to realize she was a colic baby but look at her now. So take it easy, enjoy God’s gift. I’m sure you’ll be a great momma and Dennis a great dad. Hugs to you <3

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  15. Oh my goodness, I am so behind on my reading and I almost spit up on myself when I say ” Joshua’s first week.” Where have I been??? So many congrats and I am so glad everything is ok now. You will be a rockin’ mom. So happy you have him home where he belongs!

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  16. Oh my gosh, I knew Joshua was back in the hospital for jaundice, but didn’t realize how serious it was. That being said, DO NOT blame yourself! You are an amazing mother already and all three of you continue to be in my prayers.

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  17. What a cute boy and great photos! I pray that he will continue to do well and I KNOW you will. So happy for you! You know, I must tell you, I had to speak at my church before Thanksgiving about gratitude and I spoke briefly about you. I have been so impressed and you have been such an example to me of someone who truly shows their gratitude for their blessings. You have been through so much, as we all do with our own trials and your praise to the Lord in all things has always been a blessing and example to me. Thank you.

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  18. Ok crying over here! First of all, I’m so sorry all of this happened to you and baby Joshua! I’m so glad to hear he is doing better and gaining weight and getting healthier!!! And I’d say you’re doing amazingly at this new motherhood thing. You knew something wasn’t right and went off of your instincts and thank goodness you did. I am obsessed with the video! I am so mesmerized by him! Those eyes! Staring into the camera :) I couldn’t help but smile and tear up just watching him… your little miracle! I love his little monkey outfit too. Baby’s got style! :) I’m so truly happy for you that you have Dennis too… sounds like he’s been the true definition of a husband, father, and man. The part that got me – “He even thanked me for Joshua, because if it weren’t for me, he never would have had children, and now he’s so glad I changed his mind over the years.” I can’t even! Your family is beautiful… all that love!!! And you are going to rock this motherhood thing!! No doubt.

    SO happy for you! You deserve all of this!!

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  19. Joshua is adorable! I am so sorry you got off to a rocky start but it sounds like you have turned a corner. God bless that hubby of yours – he is doing everything right! Hang in there as it just gets easier and easier.

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  20. praying for you! you’re a great mama :) so glad to hear that things are going up now!!

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  21. Veronica, what a tale you have to tell. God has truly blessed you. Being a mother-baby nurse, I understand how sick your little man was with a bili of 33. So glad to hear he’s home and healthy now. He’s precious, absolutely precious! You are going to be a wonderful mother. Be patient with yourself as you “learn the ropes”. :)

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  22. Get sleep at every chance you get! I promise, you will feel more confident in your mothering abilities & judgement. Seriously, sleep. Sleep = sanity. Oh, and your baby is adorable!

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  23. He is adorable congrats

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  24. He is too freaking cute! Glad he is doing better for you and sleep is terribly over rated! 😊

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  25. He’s absolutely beautiful! Sorry I haven’t stopped by this week – just started a second job and I am trying to keep it all together – blogging/exercising/working day and night. THANK YOU for letting Spark People use your picture on their facebook page for my winning buffalo chicken chili recipe!! Hugs!

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  26. Hi Veronica it me Marlyne your baby is soooo beautiful! He looks so much like his dad its amazing congratulations I’m so happy for you.You are so blessed…

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  27. What darling photos of your heavenly bundle!! Sounds like maybe you’re getting the worst ‘over with’ so you can just head uphill now. ;-} I’m sure you are doing fine. Being a new mom is definitely a long learning process…but you are doing great and are already an amazing mom. Thanks for sharing. XO

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  28. Veronica, your post made me want to hug you and say, “You’re doing wonderfully — even when you don’t feel like it or believe it.” Hormones are an unreliable indicator of how things really are… they’ll even out soon. Your sweet baby boy is in the best of hands — God’s, yours, and your hubby’s!

    P.S. My son (my first baby) went through that bilirubin thing… grew up to be 6’3 and 175 lbs.

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  29. Gosh…your baby boy looks so adorable! He was smiling while sleeping…wow must be a happy boy.
    Have a very wonderful holiday season, Veronica.
    Angie

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  30. Pingback: Baybay videos | Veronica's Cornucopia

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