I’ve been having a lot of conversations recently with Mr. Andi about how different the experience of Nathan As A Baby is from the experience of Sarah Kate As A Baby. Nathan dodged the bullets of heart and gastrointestinal problems at birth, so life is pretty much like it would be with a typical baby. Sarah Kate, on the other hand, was anything but typical.
- Nathan came home with us from the hospital. We had the typical mom-in-stroller-baby-in-car-seat photo taken. We have his tiny footprints immortalized in black ink. We could hold him 24 hours a day if we wished.
- Sarah Kate did not come home from the hospital with us. There was nothing but sadness and fear when we left. We don’t have her tiny footprints. We were only allowed to hold her once a day for no more than 30 minutes (that’s 30 minutes total for both of us).
- We welcomed anyone who wanted to see or hold Nathan – including neighbor children! He went to church for the first time at eight days old, I took him to Target when he was barely two weeks, and he went to a neighborhood crawfish boil at three weeks. He picked up a cold (from me), but it was no big deal.
- Only family was allowed to see Sarah Kate before she left the hospital, and only Mr. Andi and I could hold her for the first several weeks. When she finally came home, visitors were restricted and the ones that were allowed had to wash and sanitize their hands before ever entering the room where she was. We lived in fear of RSV.
- Nathan has hit every developmental milestone thus far. He’s a healthy size. He rarely spits up (and when he does, it’s usually my fault for not burping him well enough or jostling him too much). We put him down at night and that’s it – no worries.
- There were no developmental charts for Sarah Kate – everything had to be “adjusted” for her prematurity. She was too thin. She projectile vomited all the time (which made us worry even more about her not gaining weight). I worried at night that she would stop breathing (it had happened in the NICU on many occasions).