“The nursery is really coming along. I still feel like there’s a lot to do, but we’re a lot farther now than we were when I was in the hospital.”
I’d always imagined I would be big and pregnant and unpacking my new baby things from my baby showers/setting up our nursery with great anticipation of the baby to come. For the one baby shower I had while still pregnant, I was at least pregnant – not big, and not unpacking baby things. After Oaklee was born, I had three showers to go. She wasn’t home so I wouldn’t be using the things I’d be getting anyway, but it felt so good to finally feel at least a little bit prepared.
Babies require a lot of stuff. My husband and I tried to take a more minimalist approach, registering for things we needed over things we wanted. We put a high priority on things like a carseat to get her home, a place for her to sleep, a way for her to eat and diapers. We skipped things like a bumbo, an exersaucer, a swing and toys. For the most part, we didn’t want to deal with the clutter long term, but we also didn’t want to deal with the clutter in our current state. We’d been in survival mode for too long. The idea of opening, setting up, cleaning and storing baby items we may or may not use in the near future was not enticing.
What are the basic things we need? That is all we hoped to get.
On the 22nd, I had my work baby shower and was pleasantly surprised with a great spread of well thought out gifts, each one practical/purposeful or special. I got things like our high chair and our umbrella stroller, and then things like Oaklee’s soft, flamingo printed lovie and a wooden “O” for her nursery. I felt so blessed and so much more ready for when Oaklee would come home some day.
On the 23rd, I had a little friends/family shower. Most of the gifts at this one were either incredibly practical or incredibly special. I got a tote full of diapers and burp cloths. And then I got what would one day become Oaklee’s very first baby doll. Again, I felt so blessed.
We had one shower to go, on the 25th, thrown by our small group, where we’d receive our carseat and books – a necessity and something special.
In the baby shower process, I learned this:
There are a lot of things you need. There are a lot of things you don’t need. When you’re in our situation – one that’s abnormal, stressful and unideal – you need the thoughtful, special gifts just as much as the practical ones. Love is never superfluous, and when a thoughtful, special gift embodies love, that’s a pretty important thing.
I hope this experience has even made me a better gift-giver.
Oscillator –> Ventilator –> CPAP –> Feeder Grower –> CPAP
In the stats:
Birth weight: 2lb, 12oz
Last known weight: 3lb 5oz (7/22/17)
Gestational Age: 31 weeks, 1 day
Days in the hospital: 25
Sets of visitors to see Oaklee: 25
Days on High Frequency Oscillator: 2
Days on Ventilator: 1
Days on CPAP: 18