Watching Harrison grow and thrive is quite an eye opener for me on how different things were for us with Elizabeth. All ready I see Harrison learning skills that Elizabeth was not able to master and I think how did I or others not notice these deficits earlier? The most notable is Harrison playing with his feet, at 6mths he could play for prolonged periods with his feet above his head and he chews on his toes all day. I love watching him do this but it saddens me as Elizabeth still cannot hold her feet up without falling over as her trunk is still so weak.
Something as simple as picking up Harrison is a delight as with Elizabeth every part of our day was regimented; how to pick her up, how to play with her, how to talk to her, eliminating background noise to ensure she could hear and the endless lists of homework from her therapists. I would ensure every waking minute she had was planned to meet all her goals.
The germaphobia that was instilled in the NICU is a distant memory, I don't methodically and routinely clean/disinfect his toys/stroller ect. and if someone happens to touch his chubby hand I will seldom wipe him down unlike Elizabeth who I would scrub if a stranger happened to get past the mommy block. The fear of my premature infant succumbing to RSV is gone a cold is now a cold and not a dreaded trip to the ER or worse.
Thank goodness traveling is easier I can plop Harrison's car seat in the car(mind you I am close to dragging him as he is so heavy) and we are off, no extra person needed to sit with him and watch his color and no flammable oxygen tank or heart monitor to accompany him.
Finally no barf. We cleaned buckets of barf up with Elizabeth for a multitude of reasons, we had aiming and clean up down to an art. When Harrison gags at a meal he just gags no upchucking of a days worth of feeds. I still have to remind myself I don't need to grab a bowl if he starts to gag.
We are really enjoying this new norm and how much weight has been lifted off our shoulders. We can take a walk, run errands, sit in the stroller/car seat too long, visit friends, have the radio on or watch tv with ease; the constant mommy guilt no longer plays in my head we are enjoying our chubby little man with ease.