A Half-Dozen Healys

The Adventures of Amy, Jason, Seth, Evan, Nora, and Maya

Blog Masthead: A Half-Dozen Healys

Our First Week At Home With Evan

by Jason

We have been home with Evan for just over a week, as we were released from the hospital last Saturday. Just like with Seth, the discharge time was much later than the advertised 10:00am, but this time we were prepared and spent most of the morning relaxing rather than hurrying to go nowhere. Eventually everything was set to go, and we drove back home to introduce Evan to our house. Evan braved the unusually cold weather and did well with his first time in the car seat.

Grams, Geema, and Seth were eagerly awaiting our arrival. Seth had been keyed up all day, running back and forth through the house for an hour and a half before we came back. All of them had drawn pictures and cards for us hanging on the walls, and Seth had a present for Evan that he wanted opened immediately.

Grams and Geema had done an awesome job taking care of Seth and the house while we were away, and it was incredibly helpful to be able to bond with Evan in the hospital while they took care of everything. They had food prepared for us when we walked in the door, and the house was in very good shape (no small feat with a two-year-old running around).

Seth has been incredible with Evan. Though he still claims he's "not yet" a big brother ("I'm just a little guy", he says), he's certainly been acting like a great older sibling. He calls Evan "baby Evan", and frequently includes him in his conversations and interacts with him. He always wants to kiss and hug him, and asks "What's wrong?" when he cries. He is eager to protect him and help him whenever he can. He's also very interested in all of the baby stuff around the house (swing, bouncer, play yard, toy mat), and is always asking us to put baby Evan in one of his gadgets or bring out toys for Evan to "play with". He thinks Evan should already know how to use them, and hands them to Evan while saying "grab it!" in the hopes that maybe all Evan needs is a little encouragement.

Some days Seth is a little crabbier or needier than usual, but he never takes this out on the baby. He sometimes asks someone else to hold baby Evan so he can get some mommy time, but in general is not too needy. It's not uncommon to see Seth snuggling up to mommy on one side, and her holding Evan on the other. He's done an excellent job adjusting to having a new family member in the house, and we're very glad with how he's done with it. He's even picked up some of our phrases; he says "I know, I know..." and "don't worry sweetheart" when Evan is crying.

We took Evan to his first doctor's appointment on Monday, and he did very well at his checkup. His biggest news was weighing in at 7lb 10oz, which was well over his birth weight. He's feeding so well that when we asked the doctor if we should visit with their lactation consultant, and he said "only if you want to give her some tips". Everything else checked out for Evan (reflexes and developmental milestones), and there were no shots to give him, so it was a happy visit.

We gave Evan his first bath that night, which he didn't enjoy too much because we can't immerse him in the water due to his umbilical stump still being attached. Hopefully he'll like it better when he can sit in the warm water. Seth watched and wanted to help any way he could, including putting soap on him, rinsing him with the water, and scrubbing Evan's back with the washcloth.

Tuesday was Evan's bris (circumcision). All of Evan and Seth's grandparents came, as well as Amy's aunt and uncle. The same rabbi and mohel from Seth's ceremony came again and it was a lovely ceremony. Evan was a real trooper and recovered quickly after it was all over. Once again, Amy's uncle Bill graciously agreed to hold the baby during the ceremony, though he did request that if we try for a third child we also try to have a girl next time...

Evan is a very easy-going and mellow baby. So long as he's fed and dry, he's usually very quiet and content. He loves to be held and sleep on us (just like his brother did), but can also be swaddled and coaxed to sleep on his own in the bassinet at night. He has the funny habit of crossing his hands together (and sometimes interlocking a few of his fingers), which often makes him appear to be deep in thought. He has a voracious appetite; some days Amy has fed him every hour for several hours in a row (cluster feeding) and he hasn't seemed to want to slow down. Much of the time, though, he eats every 2-4 hours so we have some time to relax between feedings.

Amy has been downstairs this whole week to recover from her c-section, and Jason and Evan have been sleeping downstairs with her. Grams and Geema have been on hand, usually sleeping upstairs, and helping with Seth or Evan. Again, we couldn't have done it without them, and it's been incredibly helpful to have them here these first two weeks. However, we're now trying to transition to our regular arrangement now that Amy is feeling better, so the grandmas will be here less frequently and we'll be moving upstairs to our regular bed (Evan will join us in our room and sleep in a bassinet). Jason is starting back to full-time work next week, and Seth will be in day care all day to give Amy a little more time to rest on her own with Evan.

It's been an incredible first two weeks, and we can't wait for everything that's in store for our family of four. We're especially looking forward to having Evan meet our other family and friends as he gets a little older and we're ready for visitors. We hope to talk to or see many of you soon, and we'll keep posting updates here!