Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Snuggles and Cuddles

When I had Nicky via unplanned c-section (which sounds much more relaxed than emergency c-section doesn't it) I was initially holding it all together pretty well. It was a Friday night and Nicky was in the Special Baby Unit (which sounds much better than the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit right) but I was doped up on all sorts of stuff and barely able to move my head anyway. I was absolutely sure he was just fine and this was just a normal thing they did with c-section babies to make sure they were ok.

Well it was about Saturday evening when I lost my shit. I'd been trying to stay focused on pumping and being positive and happy, but finally I realized I'd gone from having 24/7 contact with my baby to not even being able to hold him for a full day. I just felt like my heart had been ripped from my body and was being held hostage.

I remember that my mom was actually relieved to finally see me cry. She had been worried that I was so calm about him being away from me for so long. I remember my nurse coming in and we talked about maybe I'd be allowed to hold him the next day if they could get him to the point where he could use a cannula instead of the tent. Other than that though, I remember very little now other than crying while trying desperately to pump enough colostrum for him to make up for not being there holding him every single second. It was during this time, and the week that followed, that I pledged to never, ever take holding my son for granted.

He's only 2 now, but I can honestly say I've kept that promise. Just the other night, Nicky was sleeping in the car when Tom picked me up from work. He woke up when we got home, but was still tired. I carried him in, and sat in his room rocking him for as long as he'd let me.

Later, Tom had already gone to bed and I'd stayed up far past my normal bedtime. I was in the bathroom finally getting ready to go to sleep when I heard Nicky's door open. I called softly to him to come out to me, but no answer. I peeked out of the door and could just see his little head lying on the floor in his doorway. I'm not sure if he slept walked or just was too tired and laid down, but he was sleeping on his legs in his doorway. I went and picked him up and rocked him again for a while until he asked to "go bed." And I tell you, I just can't get enough of holding him like that.

For a long time when Nicky was first home there was nowhere he'd really sleep for long other than right on Tom or I. It took us 3 weeks of getting sleep in 10-15 minute snatches to realize what we needed to do. From 3 weeks to 5 months, Nicky slept every night on my chest as I slept in my oversize recliner. (I'm actually sitting in it now as it's become my laptop chair.) Tom would get up with Nicky for the 2am feeding, change him and then lay him back down with me to sleep. Tom got to sleep in the bed right next to us, but I got to sleep most of every night which worked out beautifully for us both.

When Nicky was 4 months old we were told it was time to move him to the crib and cut out the 2am feeding. We tried it for maybe 2-3 days. It was just too much for him at one time though and so we went back to having him sleep on me, but still cut out the feeding. That worked really well. During the next month, Tom worked on having Nicky take some of his naps in his crib, and then at 5 months old Nicky started sleeping in his crib at night.

Oh we had a lot of rough nights of having to get up and put the binky back in for him. But finally we gave up and put him on his tummy. That helped keep the binky in place and he slept so much better. (I know, I know, back to sleep. But he had a binky, breathable bumpers, a fan, non-smoking house and parents, and no pillows, blankets or toys in his crib. And we were TIRED.)

Anyway, after learning to sleep in his crib, Nicky never, ever fell asleep anywhere else (except carseat and swing of course). That's held true to this day. I recall my Godson Collin falling asleep once IN his toybox, on top of toys even in the midst of playing. Not Nicky. And once he gave up the bottle, there was really no cuddling anymore either. He was just too busy to sit that still. Places to climb and things to do.

It's only been the last few months probably, maybe even only the last few weeks, that Nicky's gotten more cuddly. Tom found an old glider for us, cleaned it up and we have it in Nicky's room. And he'll actually let me rock him in it. It's heavenly.


Anonymous said...

To this day, Colin is still a cudler and I am so happy for that. I hope he never outgrows it, but I know the days are numbered! Thanks for the fun reminder of Colin falling asleep in the toybox! Just one of MANY strange places he used to fall asleep.

Have a beautiful Thanksgving and hug the whole family for me!


Anonymous said...

Miss you all so much!!! Feeling a little bit better today.
We will certainly be with you sweet people tomorrow in spirit and love.
Thanksgiving Day is a day to be Thankful and I am so thankful for you,Tom and Nicky--so thankful!!!
Love you all bunches and bunches!!!
Love, Hugs and Always Cuddles!!!
xxxoooMom/Grammie :)
P.S. I am so thankful this year for JM and Charles too and send them much love and appreciation for all the wonderful things they do always.