We have had this little guy home for just under a week, and we couldn't be more happy with life as a family of four. It certainly helps that my parents are still here helping and that Ed isn't working, but we have been so pleasantly surprised and how great this transition has gone.
(Celebrating Noah's "birth day" with cupcakes made by Evan and Grandma)
The biggest reason for that, of course, is the fact that Noah is, so far, a dream baby. He is so easygoing - he only ever cries when his diaper is being changed. Even when he is hungry, he will just start making funny faces and opening his mouth, or maybe even a silent crying face. But, it's easy to start nursing before he ever makes a real cry. He mostly just sleeps, and is fine going up to 4 hours between a feed if he's really tired.
(our sleepy boy)
Plus, if he's hungry but I'm not ready/able to nurse him, he's pretty content just sucking on a finger for a while. The first week of nursing was very painful, but now he seems to have the hang of it and it's so much better. I think he's much better at eating than Evan, which is partly why he doesn't get crazy hungry like his brother. Ed and I are starting to realize what a big affect the torticollis likely had on Evan - it just wasn't comfortable for him to nurse, especially on the right side, so he just ate slowly and much less, meaning he had to nurse at least every 2 hours that first year and a half.
(sleeping on daddy)
Sleep has been equally miraculous! In the hospital, Noah actually was pretty content to hang out and sleep in the bassinet, which was so odd to us. We felt sort of guilty not holding him all the time, but he was happy and it allowed us to get some rest. We even let him go to the nursery for 1.5 hours since they needed to redo the hearing test and we needed some sleep. When we brought him home, he would only sleep on us the first two nights. But, the third night I tried him in the bassinet part of the pack in play on whim and he slept 2 hours! So we put that next to the bed and he's been consistently sleeping wonderfully there in 2-3 hour stretches. Then, last night we added a blanket under his velcro swaddler, and he slept for 6 hours straight! And then another 3! I haven't gotten that much sleep with only one interruption in many years! We'll see if it lasts, but for now it's amazing and I am enjoying it. As an added bonus, Evan has been sleeping better too, either one wake up or sleeping through the night.
Like his brother, Noah isn't wild about devices so far. The only one we've been able to use a little is the swing, but without turning it on, funnily enough. He slept great laying in it, but didn't like when we turned on the swing or the vibrations. He spends all his time sleeping or laying on some adult, which is lovely for everyone. He even likes tummy time and isn't fussy at all laying on his stomach on the ground. He has amazing neck strength and even in the hospital was lifting and turning his head in both directions.
(fun with grandma)
Yesterday, he was the most awake of his life, for over an hour! Of course, this was when we were trying to take newborn pictures and needed him sleepy :). Thankfully, he crashed hard eventually and I'm hoping the photographer got some great shots - Noah certainly looked cute in all those poses. When he's awake, he has such a curious inquisitive expression with a little knitted brow. He has deep blue eyes and loves looking towards the light.
(One of his rare awake moments right before we headed home from the hospital)
Evan has handled this transition amazingly. He loves "Baby Noah" and is a great helper with diaper changes and patting him to help burp him after eating. He's continued his good sleeping and great success with potty training, which has been fantastic. He went back to daycare this week, which was great. Last night at dinner he told us, "I loved seeing my friends!" I am so glad we kept him in part time - he is continuing to thrive there and definitely starts going a bit stir crazy after 4 days at home. I'm trying to build in Mommy/Evan solo time at least every few days (and hopefully more like every day now that I'm feeling better) so that he still feels like an important part of this family.
(our very proud almost 3 year old)
Like everyone said, he seems so much bigger and older now that we have a little baby at home. The biggest difference is how huge he feels when I give him hugs or sit with him. I can't believe how much he as grown (and am tearing up a little bit as I write this). He is going to be 3 in less than 3 months and is an amazing little person to have in our family. I am so proud of him and can't wait to be 100% recovered to get back to going out on family adventures.
(soaking in my favorite type of cuddles)
For now, I'm really soaking in all the newborn cuddles and counting my many blessings.