Though this is the end of just our second day with Elvie in the hospital, I feel like we are already falling into a rhythm, figuring things out so that the rest of her stay, no matter how long it is, will find us with enough energy to tend to the needs of our family as a whole as well as our own personal needs. It can be stressful and scary to have a baby in the hospital, and even more so since we didn’t realize that we would be checking her in a mere three days after arriving home, but there are still basic life tasks that must be accomplished. Still, we can’t do everything, so we have to prioritize and ask for help. During this time, many things can fall by the wayside, but there are a few things that we absolutely must keep up with.
The care of our little family comes first. Someone must be with Elvie at the hospital at all times, and someone must care for Zinashi. Zinashi has become quite a confident little person, so we can have friends and family look after her and know she will be fine. Elvie, however, is new to our family, so it needs to be either Jarod or me at her side. Jarod took two sick days, but he must return to work, so I am settling into being at the hospital for much of the day. Because we live close, I go home to shower and change every day. This has probably been the biggest challenge, but we have had friends step forward to help with Zinashi, and that has made all the difference.
Next, we need to keep doing necessary chores, like buying cat food and doing the laundry, not to mention getting our suitcases unpacked. Every day when I go home to shower, I do a little bit more unpacking, and I am attempting to delegate errands. Sometimes Jarod can do the errand, and sometimes I need to ask someone for help. For me, the hardest task to delegate is laundry, as I’m fairly particular about it. But if the shirt I don’t want to fade goes in the dryer once, it probably won’t hurt.
Finally, we are trying to ensure that both Jarod and I get adequate rest. To be honest, I’m not quite sure we’re there yet on this one. It’s hard to figure out how to get enough rest when I need to be up every two hours to feed the baby, and adding jet lag to that mix doesn’t help. We’ll have to continue to work on that to get it right. We can do some sleep deprivation, but it’s hard to be an effective advocate for your child when you can’t keep from nodding off.
These two days we have had a huge outpouring of support from friends, family, and people we do not know who care about Elvie all the same. The truth is that I could plan this experience as much as possible, but it would never work if we did not have such wonderful help from so many people. Not only have people reached out and helped in tangible ways, the love of so many directed at our family surely keeps us afloat during this time. We are so grateful to be given so much, to know so much love exists for our sweet baby.