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Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
Bryce's 31st birthday. I was in Virginia for my Gram's funeral--at my grandparents' house, in their bedroom, going through Gram's clothes with my mom and sister. A missed phone call. It was a DCS (Department of Children Services) caseworker and she tried Bryce next. He texted me: they have a 2.5-month-old girl, in the hospital, will possibly need picked up tomorrow. This is what we were waiting for--he told her we'll do it. We quickly found out that it was actually a baby boy (of course it was) and we would find out in the morning if/when he was being released.
Thursday, July 2, 2015.
I arrived home from Virginia at 4pm.
Less than two hours later we headed to Riley Children's Hospital downtown.
We didn't think they were ready to release him, but we didn't want him to be alone all evening with no visitors. As soon as we walked into the room, the nurse came by to say that she would notify the doctor we were there and get his discharge papers ready. Well, okay then. I guess we're taking a baby home tonight. Good thing we stuck the car seat in the van just in case.
He was sitting in a little swing in the doorway of his hospital room. Finally asleep--the nurses said he wanted attention and company all day. Just in a diaper and wrapped in a blanket. Swinging. Chubby cheeks and curly hair. The boys wanted to say hi but we kept them away so he would sleep longer. Eventually Bryce and I both got a turn to hold him and I fed him a bottle. So tiny!
It took a couple of hours for the doctor to come and all of the paperwork to be finalized. But then we were on our way home! Home with a tiny baby boy. Who came with nothing but big brown (almost black) eyes and chubby thighs.
He settled so well into life with us. We kept him in our room for a few nights but he was so noisy that he soon moved to the extra crib in our guest room. The first few days involved lots of snuggling and cuddles--he was very alert, seemed well cared for, and pretty strong for a little guy (always liked to hold his head up). Pretty quickly we started to move toward a schedule rhythm, and within three weeks he slept through the night with no feedings!
Our boy is getting big, fast!
July 1 - 13.62 lbs
July 29 - 14 lbs 15 oz (50th percentile)
Sept 1 - 16 lbs 10 oz (70th percentile)
We started out at 4-5oz per feeding. It took a while to find a formula that agreed with his digestive system--we didn't know what D had been eating previously, so I tried 4-5 kinds of formula to find what worked best for him. He was a pretty good little eater. But his favorite part of the day was watching Justus and Silas, especially Justus. His eyes would follow and engage with them--he loved it. We found out he has two sisters almost their exact ages, so it makes sense that he immediately connected with them. He also seemed very comfortable with me right from the beginning, but it took a little longer to warm up to Bryce (not many men present in his short life, if any at all).
D-man is handsome and oh-so-sweet most of the time, but it hasn't all been easy. Long nights at the beginning. Constipation issues. Visits with bio mom that mess him up emotionally. "Screaming sessions" in the late afternoon (seems to happen most often at dinner time when Bryce is working, of course)--these involve lots of prayer, snuggles, singing songs of Jesus over him, tears (from baby & foster mom) and giving even more face-to-face interaction time.
At exactly 4 months old, D started a big growth spurt--drinking 8 oz at every feeding, sleeping more at night, extra cranky. He started out on a 4 naps per day schedule, but because of the screaming sessions and also working around the schedules of two older children, we've settled into a 2 nap + maybe a short one pattern and it seems to be working well. He loves to jump and started using the exersaucer before 4 months. Loves to have very intentional interaction and attention--kisses, snuggles, singing, and tickles. Likes to be carried in the Baby Bejorn, facing out so he can see everything. Enjoys sitting in the bumbo wherever we are. Started rolling over on August 24. Likes to suck his right thumb when he gets sleepy.
We're very much in danger of falling quite deeply in love with our precious little D-man.