Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mom Goes Back To Work

Joy returned to work yesterday following being off a couple of months for maternity leave. It was hard for her to leave him but she made it through. Even though I had been talking with some people about going back to work myself, we had dedcided that I would stay home with him while I am finishing my school work. Knowing that John is at home with me made it a little easier for her to return to work.

The first day went pretty well for us. John had slept his 7 hrs the night before which we are enjoying, but those 7 hrs are not always in line with our 7 hours. He is slowing training us to get on his schedule though. That morning he woke up and fed once at 5:00a.m. and another time at 7:30 before she left and I left to take the kids to school. After that, the test began - how would he do with taking the bottle?

I am in between classes, so our morning was nice and relaxing. He was awake and we spent a lot of time on the floor just playing and providing a lot of stimulation for him and different sounds, etc. This is a lot of fun as he is becoming more and more interactive with us - making sounds, facial expressions, grasping our hands and following us with his eyes. We still use the little floor gym that Joy's partner gave us for a shower gift. That toy has been very useful and practical for him.

Once while he was on his belly, he began to cry and complain. So when I picked him up, he immediately acted like he wanted to eat and this was only about 9:30. Well, I knew that it was too soon for him to eat and felt like he just wanted to be comforted because the mean ole Daddy had made him work. He settled down to sleep without the bottle and was fine.

When it finally did come to feeding time, he didn't take right to the bottle but got used to it after about 5-10 minutes of trying. We use the low flow Platex nurser for him which after trying several has worked the best for him. I do have to hold his head still as he gets very excited and is just all over the place with that nipple which doesn't work and he then gets frustrated.

We have noticed that even when John sleeps, he doesn't turn into a wet noodle as before. We can tell that his muscle tone is not like a typical child but it is not as low as it once was either and we feel that this is partly due to the fact that John gets almost coninuous stimulation from either his siblings, Joy or myself. We still try to provide him with good skin to skin contact as he still seems to enjoy that the most. For instance, if he is sleeping on my chest and I have a shirt on, he will find the opening of my shirt and rest his hand upon my bare chest and grab my chest hair as if he is clinging to it for safety.

His head control continues to improve. He can hold it in midline with much wobble. We work with him on this either on the floor or on my chest. Being on my chest gives him someone to look at when he lifts his head. If he is on the floor, I will get in front of him while either stroking his back or stabilizing his hips in order for him to get full extension of his cervical/thoracic spine.

For right now, this is working for us as I hope that you too will be able to find a way to spend more hands-on time with your child as they really benefit from touch and interaction.


Becca said...

You are very lucky, indeed, to get to stay home with him. My husband is a stay-at-home dad (and has been since Samantha's heart surgery at 4 months), and it is a truly special guy that gets to learn what a challenging and rewarding job it is. Our kids really benefit from having a dad as the primary caregiver, as men tend to push a bit harder to get them to do things--my husband, Steve, was always so much better at pushing Sammi with her physical and occupational therapies to get her to reach goals and find new limits. I'm too soft--one whimper of discontentment, and I'll stop! John is very lucky to have you there! Just make sure you get out a bit when your Joy gets home, though--you'll need that adult interaction on your own sometimes, outside of the house.

Jeanette said...

It is hard to return to work after maternity leave. I know I cried for a few days. I think it is great that you can continue to stay home with John for a while. He will absolutely benefit from all of the interaction. Isn't is amazing how these little angel end up teaching us all about child development? Each milestone is a celebration.