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My husband and I were caught like deer in headlights. We knew that bringing home a newborn wouldn’t be easy. But we had no clue just how much it would turn our worlds upside down. When we first arrived home from the hospital, Jake slept peacefully in his car seat. We left him there while he slept, mostly because we didn’t know what else to do with him. It was so odd to have another person now living with us. The dog, who had been part of the family for 10 years by that point, seemed to fit in more than this tiny 6-pound being nestled comfortably in his Graco.
Having just had a C-section and three sleepless nights in the hospital, I could barely stand. My feet and ankles were swollen beyond recognition. My husband hadn’t gotten much sleep either, and neither of us was in any position to make lunch. So we ordered Thai food. It felt a little guilty. We never ordered food during daylight hours. But it was all we could muster. So we ate at our dining room table, glancing constantly at our new baby, wondering when he would wake.
That night, our first night home, Jake threw us for a loop. No one slept. At all. All night. He basically screamed for five hours straight. Adam and I shot worried looks at each other, neither verbalizing what we were thinking, which was “What have we done?? Is this our life now??” It turns out that yes, this was our new life. At least for a good while. While Jake gave us the occasional good nap during the day, he was a colicky baby and screamed and refused to sleep for more than an hour at a time at night for nearly five months. We were spent.
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