Jack Edward Turner was born at 5:32 PM, on October 27th 2014. He was a few weeks early, but came out screaming at nearly 21 inches long and weighing 7lbs on the dot! Had he gone to full term, he would have been right up there with his brother in birth size. But never fear, what Jack initially lacked in weight or overall stature, has been eclipsed by so much more.
Here’s the thing. Jack was born SEVEN weeks ago. Over a month has gone by with out even a mention on this blog. Nothing has been written or posted or anything in regards to the actual birth or the weeks proceeding. With Lane, it was like a daily habit to post something. Certainly there have been Facebook and Instagram posts, but this is the place where we’re supposed to document our family’s growth. Yet, with Jack, that hasn’t happened.
With Jack, things feel different to me. In my world he has not been an easy baby. We did everything we could to make sure things went well with the birth and even after. Yet despite our best efforts there were still complications from the beginning. For starters Jess had some pretty substantial blood loss in the hospital after Jack was born. So much so that we had to have the doctors come back in and get that stopped. It was one of the few times that I can recall nearly passing out at the sight of blood. Jack on the other hand was put in the NICU to get his breathing/oxygen under control. Oh, and his jaundice too. Cause you know… jaundice. He was over there for like 3 full days. That is crucial bonding time that both Jess and I missed. Certainly we could, well I could, walk over there and see him, but that was only for a few hours a day at most and we weren’t allowed to hold him.
After we got him out of the NICU and his breathing under control, we were faced with getting the jaundice sorted out. At the hospital they gave us a bilirubin bed to get his levels under control, but really all that did was keep him out of our hands even longer. Jess and Jack got to come home on Halloween, just in time to take the other boys out trick-or-treating. On Saturday we went to his pediatrician and were told that the jaundice had not gone down enough. So again, bili-bed! On Sunday back to the doctor and were told that his levels were to a point were we actually needed to go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Ugh… can we just catch a break. So we went and let me tell you… that place was so very uninviting. It was just cold, and hectic. I don’t feel like anyone there knew what they were doing and it was just very depressing to say the least. They wanted Jack and Jess to stay over night. And yet again, Jack would need to stay under the blue lights to get the levels under control.
Eventually we were able to get Jack’s numbers down and were given a clean bill of health. Back home and we could finally start bonding and the journey of life with a new born. Chase and Lane were SUPER awesome older brothers. Those two boys are just amazing with occupying each other when needed and also helping out or doing what we need. I mean, not every day, but still.
So that’s like the first two weeks. Fast forward to today and I feel like I still haven’t made the deep connection like I did was Lane and honestly Chase, who isn’t even my biological son! What’s up with that? Jack, my second born son only wants to be comfortable, full, and interacted with. And here I am, struggling that on a daily basis. We’ve determined that Jack has colic and let me tell you… that is NOT fun. Lane had night terrors and I thought that was bad, but I’ll take them over colic any day. At least with a night terror its occasionally and is usually over in a relatively short amount of time. With colic it never seems to end. Jack is awake, alert, and literally inconsolable. It is every day, and several times a day. It sucks. The worst is at night. Mainly because I don’t want his crying to wake the other kids. It’s hard to get Lane back in bed these days and I don’t need my 7 week old waking my 3 year old.
I find myself getting angry at Jack, simply because he won’t eat, or he just spit up everything he DID eat, or he won’t stop moving for 10 seconds so I can change or burp him. I get mad cause he’s clean, fed, dry, warm, and I’m holding him and he’s just pitching a fit. There’s nothing I can do at that moment to make him better. He can’t tell me what’s wrong, but I know something is. I can’t fix it, so I get mad. Jack is hurting or ill or something and no matter what I do, it doesn’t get better. I hate that I take that out on him. He didn’t ask for it. The more he fusses and cries the more distant I get and want less and less to deal with it. That’s so unfair and not a healthy thing to do. In my last post, I talked about resenting him for taking my wife away from me, now that he’s here, I feel like he’s taking everything else away.
Its my job as his father to provide and love him. I’m not doing a very good job at that. But… I recognize that. I would say that I’m getting better and am gaining more patience. Its not easy, fun, or something I really want to be doing, but it is necessary. I love Jack. He’s my son and always will be. I know Jess is dealing with things in her way, and for me, I feel like I just need to keep trying and going back to the well so I can help my son through these next few months. It could be SO much worse. Yeah, it could be better, but it can always be better. That’s how life is, right?
So, that’s where things are. I won’t say that they are easy, but at the same time it could be worse. I bet someone reading this could say “you have no idea how good you have it” or “at least you are able to have children.” And that may be true, but each person deals with and handles things differently. For me, right now, this is a struggle. I am grateful for Jess and her reminders. We are each other’s rock at this point. The thing is, neither she nor I are very patient people. But with Jack, that’s what we have to be. In the end he will teach us how to be better and we will continue to love and grow with him. We are in the middle of an unpleasant season, but like anything else it’ll pass. And things will get easier and before I know it all three boys will be running around and playing. They will be eating every possible thing in our pantry and I’ll miss the days when I could just hold them.
This post has been a long time coming. I’ve started and closed it countless times, but feel the time is right to get my thoughts and feelings out there. I love all my boys and Jack is no exception.