Now let me explain how paranoid I was when we first brought Emma home…I swear I knew I would be hibernating with her till her first birthday…no joke! I really didn’t want ANYONE around her. The thought of someone coming to visit and spreading ANY kind of germ to her haunted my every thought. Ryan and I did what we thought was normal for preemie parents…we bought hand sanitizer for EVERY room of the house…and boy do we use them! If the NICU taught us anything, it was the importance of keeping everything clean…not just normal people clean…hospital clean. When I would sanitize using antibacterial wipes (these are my favorite) I cleaned every surface, object, switch, knob, remote, phone, handle…you name it…I wiped it. Thank goodness for Emma being born in the summer, I would have to open up a window to let the “clean” smell out! People joke about being a crazy cat lady, well I’m the crazy anti-germ lady!
I can tell you everyone in our family was so excited for us to be home, but even more excited to meet Emma in person (without the crazy hospital cords). I of course wanted to show off my adorable bundle of joy, BUT I wanted NO ONE around her. I seriously had severe anxiety over the thought of letting anyone near her…let alone hold her. The stress of thinking about a visitor drove me bonkers! I had spent too long in a hospital to let someone get Emma sick and end up right back there. I HATE HOSPITALS. There is a very personal reason correlating with my Diabetes diagnosis, but that’s for another day!
So to say the least, Ryan and I had a long discussion about not letting anyone come by for the first few weeks home. First, I wanted to nest, I didn’t get to do any of that before Emma came. I still just wanted to enjoy everything in a calmly manner. I wanted to enjoy our new family of three privately. Believe it or not, I am a very private person with somethings!
September rolled around and our families were getting anxious to come visit Emma. So slowly, one by one we started letting visitors over…by slowly I mean with a week apart because if Emma got sick I could know who it was. Yes, I know it sounds crazy but after all we had been through I had every right to act this way. Not only were we caring for a sweet preemie we were taking care of a sweetie that had just been recently diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis AND she already had a positive screen for a STAPH infection. She caught this while still in the NICU. Looking back now September thru December I was living on the edge…and trying to hold on for dear life! I hope my honesty helps some moms feel a bit better, some of the behaviors after bringing home your baby are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. I wish I would have found something or someone that made me feel like these emotions were normal. I honestly just kept telling myself that I didn’t care what others thought, I was the mom and this was MY normal.
September 4th, Emma was privileged to have her first visitor- her nana. I wanted to allow my mom the first visitors pass, It was really hard for her and I when she was unable to be with me when Emma was born so I wanted to ensure she felt special in many other ways! I’ve learned so much from my mom, and I owe a lot of my wisdom to her thoughtful parenting. Nana was VERY excited to see Emma! It was a magical day!
Soon after, we slowly started letting others come by.
My dad, Katy and baby Alen came by! Alen was very curious about his new playmate. He was so sweet and gentle with Emma.
We decided to go on a ADVENTURE that day, we took both babies, and two fur babies on a walk! This was a big deal…it was a lot to coordinate. As you can see above…Mufasa did not make it the whole walk, as he got too tired., Meanwhile Alen didn’t want to sit in his stroller because the outside world was too interesting and… well, baby Emma just slept through the whole thing!
Next in line were my mother-in-law Elaine (aka nina), and Ryan’s aunt Tina. Aunt Tina came all the way from Charleston, South Carolina to meet princess Emma as she calls her!
I must give a shout out to my brother Felipe! He came over several times, and he was so very helpful during the first couple months! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures with him…but he is the world’s BEST uncle!!!