The first few days at home with Reuben and Joshua

Two babies lying on the sofa.
Spot the sleeping babies.

Well, as you may have gathered from the last 24 seconds post, we’ve been home since Sunday evening and the last few days have been all about getting into a new rhythm of life, with new responsibilities, new concerns and new cues. Four days later and we’re really beginning to get there.

Expectations

I don’t really know what I expected, if I’m truly honest, once we brought our babies home. All of our focus the last few years had just been getting to the point of the possibility of bringing home a baby: our journey towards and through the IVF treatment, then our journey through the pregnancy.

Of course, we had equipped the house, we had made space in our home and in our hearts, in expectation. But beyond that I had no real appreciation for what it would mean on an hour-to-hour, day-to-day basis to have two newborn babies in our home, in their new home.

The good news is that’s amazing; they are amazing!

Privilege

What a privilege to look after these two beautiful creatures, to be there to bathe, feed, dress and keep them warm and safe; their lives in our hands. What a tiny glimpse I’ve been given into the love that God has for us, whom He has made. It’s truly humbling.

Last night after feeding Joshua as I held him in my arms, his head over my shoulder, rubbing and patting his back, his tiny hands clutched the top of my t-shirt, grasping a few chest hairs with it — really holding onto me — and he held on and held on. Father and son. It was amazing, gazing into the dark eyes of this tiny, vulnerable child knowing that I would do anything to protect him; protect them both.

So many things about parenthood suddenly make sense now that they are born, the things that folks joke about: getting up in the middle of the night to feed them, the sleep deprivation, changing their nappies, having to wear three different t-shirts in a day because your other two have sick or wee on them. But none of that really matters because these things are down out of love.

How I used to struggle to get up at 05:45 because I wanted to work on a website before heading out to work. I can be out of bed in seconds at 03:00 to attend to Reuben or Joshua’s cries for food.

Each day with them is a blessing, an opportunity to learn more about them and more about myself. What an incredible gift.

New skills

And boy! have I learned some new skills in the last nine days.

I can change nappies now, feed and wind a baby. And I no longer look as though I’m awkwardly carrying the world’s most expensive jelly when I pick them up. Today I bathed Reuben for the first time and I’m even getting the hang of putting over-the-head, long-sleeved vests on them — wow! those are hard vestments for such an energetic, wriggling mass of baby!

Shhh!

One tip that we picked up from a Gina Ford book was that the first two weeks at home should be paradigms of peace, calm and quiet and that’s what we’ve tried to promote and it seems to have done wonders for our tiny bundles of joy.

The first night home from hospital was another matter all together, but let’s not go there. From the second day at home we got them into a pretty good routine, as much for us as them, and just kept everything calm and peaceful — even if inside we were somewhat nervous and uncertain.

We’ve had various visitors, mostly close family. Jane’s Mum was amazing the first few days — everyone needs a “Jane’s Mum” when they bring a baby home from hospital! Today my Mum came up from the Scottish Borders, which has been lovely, and my brother and his family visited too.

So … all is well, thanks be to God! Long may it continue.

8 thoughts on “The first few days at home with Reuben and Joshua”

  1. Enjoyed my visit especially seeing you both coping so well at 3am.Go with your gut feelings. Enjoy the moments. They pass so quickly. Next thing the baby is 6ft 4″with legs like tree trunks! love you all, Mum

  2. In fairness I didn’t follow it myself but having known others who have I would say its far too regimented – although if you are a Tank Commander, maybe it’ll be up your street! For me, I would say go with your Mum’s advice – no-one knows your babies better than you, so if you don’t think they are ready for bed at 6pm (not 5.59 or 6.01) then you know best and not Ms Ford.

    Peace, quiet, chaos and confusion – it will all be good.

  3. Gina Ford books should be ritually burned…….I slip breastfeeding or parenting support group cards in all the ones I come across. Works a treat.

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