Never has the saying “the days are long but the years short” been more true than when I look back over the last 3 months. What a crazy ride we’ve been on! My fingers have been itching to write, the words forming in my head, but finding time to sit, uninterrupted, at a computer has been impossible.
When you’re in the thick of things you just get on with it. Later you look back and think, “how did we do it?” That’s where I’m at now. The recent past seems a blur, someone else’s life. But here we are – a family of four, all under one roof.
If you missed it, our second baby boy was born almost 8 weeks early due to placental abruption. I wrote about the birth experience a while ago – you can read it here.
After being allowed to bring the newest Mac home at 5 weeks old, I was told not to take him out and about for at least a month. A forced month at home with a new baby – no guilt for not leaving the house, or pressure to get dressed. Perfect. We settled in to a bit of a routine and enjoyed being all together as a family. We had nurses visit, along with our midwife. Nurses even came to immunise him at home. But just one week later his temperature crept up and I knew, simply how a mother knows, something wasn’t right. His big brother had a cold and when you’re a little preemie, with a very compromised immune system, and you catch your brothers cold, it’s back to hospital you go. Three nights in hospital with a lumbar puncture to check for bacterial infection and IV antibiotics every 2 hours – it was a heart wrenching few days. I swear my heart broke when the doctors asked me to leave the room during his lumbar puncture and I could hear his screams from the other side of the door. I had the same procedure when I was around 11 so I knew exactly what was happening 🙁
Eventually we were allowed to go home. Back to our new normal for almost 2 weeks. We were just getting into the groove of things again when one night I noticed his breathing wasn’t quite right. As a parent there are so many times you second guess yourself – whether or not to take your child to the emergency room at 11pm on a freezing cold night is definitely one of those. I chose to go, “what-ifs” racing through my mind. Turns out he was having apnoeas and three days later we were discharged. Doctors attempted (and failed) another lumbar puncture and then tried multiple times in hands and feet to insert an IV. They settled on a massive shot of antibiotics in the thigh.
When I look back on all that our boy has been through, I do wonder if it was all necessary. When your baby is hurting you put all your faith in the medical professionals. They explain the risks and ask if you want to proceed but when it comes down to it you simply want them to fix your little one, to stop the hurting. It’s so hard to look objectively at the situation and make thoughtful, informed decisions – emotion takes over and you have to trust that those around you will make the right call. Hindsight isn’t always a wonderful thing. I do think that some of the procedures were unnecessary and it hurts my heart to think I could have saved him some pain. But I can’t dwell on that.
Through it all my biggest boy has been amazing. He loves his little brother – their bond is almost tangible. He speaks to his “favourite brother” (he only has one) with a sweet, sing-song voice and kisses him gently. Gentle is not a word I would have ever thought to use to describe my first born but that’s exactly how he is with Jamie – gentle, sweet, caring. His sleep has suffered. He needs one of us to stay with him to fall asleep and he creeps in to our bed every single night. I’ve read up on separation anxiety and for now we’re just going with the flow. It’s our “one on one” time, when he snuggles into me, his sweet smelling head tucked in under my chin. It’s impossible to tell if it’s normal two and half year old stuff or a result of having mum disappear repeatedly for days on end with no warning.
Looking back there is just one thing that I can’t move past. Of course there have been so many heartbreaking moments but we’ve come through as a family and things are looking really good. But I can’t shake this feeling, a feeling something like grief, when I think about the big “gender reveal”. The decision to wait and see was such a very conscious decision. Whenever I placed my hand on my pregnant belly and daydreamed about my baby’s birth day, the moment I found out if it was a boy or a girl was the one moment I really pictured. I had built it up in my mind to be this wonderful reveal, the culmination of so much anticipation and speculation. In reality I have no idea how I found out we had another beautiful boy. Even though my hubby had requested he be the one to tell me, I already knew when he saw me post c-section. Obviously someone told me in recovery – I truly can’t remember. I can’t remember the first time I saw my little man, a tiny baby in a beeping incubator. I feel like I need to mourn that moment I had so built up in my mind. I’m sure time will heal.
So there we are – three (nearly four) months on and finally (fingers crossed) on track. The boys are growing like mushrooms, we’re all moving and flexing to find our new groove and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Macs ❤️