On February 1, 2015, we said our first hellos to Theodore Owen Cassidy.
Born at 12:23AM, he measured 20.5 inches and weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and was overall a perfect little baby. A perfect little baby that definitely has his mother’s expressive brows.
In total, this kid put me through almost three full days of labor. Light contractions started last Thursday night after we came home from dinner with some friends and went throughout the night. On Friday afternoon, we went into the hospital, but they ended up sending us home because the contractions weren’t coming fast enough. I was able to get a little bit of sleep that night and by Saturday afternoon, it was definitely time, but it still took 10 hours of active labor before he was delivered.
As mentally and physically difficult as this all was, it’s amazing how reflecting on it even five days later, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Because look at this face.
We spent two and a half more days in the hospital, rooming in with little Theo (Meriter does not have a full on nursery, they have the baby stay in the room with the parents). The first night was really rough – obviously, neither Jason nor I had any clue on what the hell we were doing and we considered every cry a reflection of our failure. The nurses, however, were amazing at helping us get him calm, fed, swaddled, and generally happy.
Because it snowed between 10-19 inches in the midwest the night he was born, our parents weren’t able to visit until day two. Both grandmas came up on Monday and man, did Jason and I learn a lot.
Lesson one: do not have a panic attack at the sound of your baby crying. I learned that we are, in fact, the adults in the situation (hah!) and he picks up on our cues. Calming him down means being calm ourselves. I hope any parents reading this are having a good laugh by now.
This one change in our behavior made the second and third night at the hospital a success, and we felt completely ready to take Theodore home with us on Tuesday afternoon.
My mom stuck around and helped us get situated, which was crucial, because despite having a nursery full of beautiful baby accessories we realized quickly that we were missing some really basic things. You know, like simple clothes that we could get him in and out of quickly and swaddle blankets that he couldn’t break out of (this kid is ridiculously strong).
After five days together, we’re all doing great. My motherhood victory came on night two at home when I was able to feed, burp, change, swaddle, and bring Theo downstairs to where Jason was hanging out all by myself (I asked him not to help because I wanted to see if I could do it, not because he just hangs out downstairs while I do all the work).
In fact, Jason’s been pretty amazing with Theo, making up songs and reading books and bouncing him around so he smiles. And when all else fails and we can’t get him down in the crib, Jason sits and uses him as a reading table. We hope Theo’s picking up on all current events discussed in the New York Times Magazine and the Economist.
Without a doubt, Theodore is the best thing I’ve made to date (I’ve been waiting to write that line for 9 months).