The wireless age

Overnight, James outdid himself with a 50 cc feed and a 43 cc feed, among his usual 30-something feeds. After a few days with very little poop, James has finally passed all his meconium and produced at least two diapersful of seedy, mustard-hued poop today. This morning after breakfast, the pediatrician released our little man to combined care, which means that his monitors are off now and he will be rooming in with me and having his vitals checked every few hours. If he does well, there is a possibility we will be bringing him home tomorrow.

Even though it would be a relatively short hospital stay, it already seems we’ve been here forever. Only one of James’ original nurserymates is still here, and he was a micropreemie who had just recently been transferred back to Kelowna from a larger hospital on the coast when James was born. All the other newborns — even the C-sections and jaundice babies — have been born, treated and sent home. As of yesterday, James was the only baby in an incubator or hooked up to an IV and monitors. After three nights of waking every three hours to walk down the hall and dig through meters of wire and tubing to feed him, it’s pure joy having my little son in my room like a normal newborn. I spent the better part of the afternoon holding him and staring into his sweet little face as he napped contentedly next to my heart.

Of course, now there’s the issue of knowing when to feed him. I’m terrified that I won’t hear him in the night and will sleep right through his quiet squeaks and snuffles.James hardly ever gets worked up, which would be great if he was a term baby — but his laid-back temperament doesn’t work so well for a preemie. When we get home, I’ll be setting an alarm clock to go off throughout the night and wake me for his feeds, but I didn’t think of an alarm clock for my labor bag, and in my four-person hospital room, there are so many noises that I’m afraid my placid little James will get lost in the shuffle.

Even if I wasn’t worried about missing his hunger cues, I wouldn’t be resting easy tonight. I’m far to excited about the prospect of bringing our little boy home and being a family again. I miss Chris and Maddi and while I’m enjoying this rare chance to devote every ounce of my attention to James, I’m eager to spend more than a half-hour a day with my other baby. Tonight, Chris and Maddi stopped by and my little girl’s face lit up when she spied her new brother in my hospital room. I can’t wait to bring my bundle home and enjoy being together as a family.

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