The final in a six-part series chronicling the birth of Michelle and Dennis Teravainen’s second child, August, who was born with Down’s syndrome.
After meetings with who knows how many doctors and cringing at the sight of countless tubes, wires, and probes pinching, poking, and annoying Gus, we finally got the green light to take our baby home around 9 p.m. last Tuesday night. I may have jogged slightly while lugging the G-man towards our car. Hospitals are terrible places to visit and wonderful places to leave.
Today we’re basically in typical “parent of a newborn” mode—feed baby, burp baby, change baby’s diaper, swaddle baby tight for snoozing, hold/squish/hug/kiss/love baby, then repeat.
Oh and one more thing: sleep deprivation. One minute, I feel fine. The next minute, I’m nodding off thinking “Did I just finish a Thanksgiving turkey dinner and an entire bottle wine, or am I just really sleepy?” Then I realize it’s 11 a.m. And it’s still summertime. And I’m watching my fifth episode of Yo Gabba Gabba in a row with Greta.
The only real difference compared to our initial few days home with Greta when she was a newborn is that we have to hook oxygen up to Gus’ nose when he sleeps. His face crinkles and his tiny fingers swipe at my hand when I slip the cannula into his nose (I imagine it tickles his nostrils a bit), but we’re following the doctor’s orders. Otherwise, everything is status quo. G-man is packing on some pounds—well, a few ounces at least. He’s looking great.
Meanwhile, the wife and I have been watching Greta closely to determine if there’s any change in her behavior that may be attributed to Gus’ sudden arrival in her territory. As an older sibling myself, I understand that she merely expressed curiosity and affection for her little brother when she attempted to gouge out one of his eyes and hucked a ball in his face. That doesn’t concern me.
The only unusual change in conduct I noticed is that G is suddenly very interested in showing off her “boo-boos.” She points at the supposed injury, furrows her brow in a grave face towards you, and says boo-boo repeatedly until you nod in sympathy and/or kiss the subject area. Honestly, I think she’s fishing for band-aids because Gus has circular ones on each of his cheeks to attach the oxygen tubes. All things considered, we are doing great.
Thanks one more time to all of the family and friends who reached out in their own way from messages to cards to car rides to watching Greta to working at our house to gifts and more. We appreciate it very much and thank you all again!
[You can read Dennis Teravainen’s blog, Daddio De Novo here.]