Bringing Home Baby

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As first time parents, we were nervous. I was especially nervous. A month before Lucas was due we went on vacation to Cape May. I made my husband install the car seat in the car and I took my bag and baby’s bag with us to New Jersey. Just in case. We made it back to Pennsylvania with the baby still in my belly.

I had everything organized. All his clothes washed, folded, color coded and even the next size up in the bottom drawers of his dresser. Diaper changing stations were stocked, both in his room and the pack-n-play in the living room. I read every list for what you should pack for the hospital and what should be ready for when you come home.

The plan was that our parents would rotate nights at our house, since we would be in the hospital for three days, and take care of our dogs. I was adamant about when we brought the baby home. I didn’t want anyone else to be there. Just us, baby, and our two dogs. I had read in a few books that explained about bringing the baby home, introducing him to the dogs, letting them sniff him out and doing that with as little “other” people as possible.

I was given this book, prior to Lucas being born, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, and read chapters on what to do to prepare for coming home; how you should introduce your baby to their house when you first bring them home; how they should know their room and your room, how to talk to them, not over them, etc.

Call it what you will, but I followed the steps with Lucas. My husband thought I was crazy and my mom shook her head no in disagreement when I told them what the book said we should do.

We came home on September 7th. It was hot as ever. Took Lucas in, introduced him to Murray and Theo, walked him around the main level telling him every room he was in, walked upstairs into our room and ending in his room. He slept the entire time. I sat in the rocking chair in his room for about 45 minutes after the tour because I was exhausted. But guess what? Lucas, Murray, Theo, Mom & Dad all adjusted well.

Fast forward 20 months. We were about to welcome baby number two. I didn’t read one book or check one list. We closed on our first home 10 days before I was supposed to give birth. We packed the entire house in the final five weeks of my pregnancy, while I was still working every day. I kept about 10 onesies unpacked, diapers and changing supplies, feeding supplies and a few blankets/swaddles.

Lucas stayed with our parents while we were in the hospital and we again came home to just Murray and Theo – I think this was the only thing that was the same from our first homecoming. Dan’s third grade class made a huge sign to welcome Toby and they hung it on our front porch the morning before we arrived home. Lucas came about an hour later, said hello to Toby, looked at him for about a minute, and was back to playing in the yard.

We moved exactly 7 days after I delivered Toby. His room was not decorated, let alone ready for him to be in, thank goodness for the bassinet. He wore the same cycle of outfits week to week for the first month because it was summer and he didn’t need more than a onesie and a pair of socks, most days.

Talk about night and day scenarios for bringing both boys home. We thought adding a second would alter our entire family and routine and throw Lucas out of whack. But guess what? It didn’t. Toby fit perfectly into our family. Lucas loved being a big brother. All six of us (dogs included) adjusted well to our first home. From a mother’s perspective – trust your gut. Do what you feel you need to, as crazy as it sounds to others. Just like any other situation in life – people will have an opinion or advice. Do what is best for your family.

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Katie is a wife and mom of 3 boys, Lucas, Zeke and Toby. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Marketing & Communications. Katie has worked in the construction industry for the past 12 years, building and restructuring brands and marketing departments, for companies in the Baltimore and Washington DC market, before returning to Pittsburgh and starting a family. Their second son, Toby, was born May 27, 2016 and died suddenly in August from SIDS, at 12 weeks and 5 days old. Katie and her husband, Dan, made a promise to Toby that they would work to do good in his name and never let the story of his life be forgotten. Through this loss, they have founded The Little Fox | Toby’s Foundation with the hopes of bringing joy, laughter, and lots of smiles to families within the Pittsburgh community, while working to spread awareness about child-loss and the lives of grieving parents. This is not the path they would have chosen for their lives, but it is the journey they are now on and will strive to be the best parents they can be, to one child on earth and one in Heaven. Katie is currently the Director of Marketing for A. Martini & Co., and General Contracting and Construction Management Firm. She has been heavily involved with juvenile diabetes research, because she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2. Currently, Katie sits on the Executive Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association, Pittsburgh Chapter and is part of the planning committee for Step Out: Pittsburgh each year. Their family moved to Monroeville, one week after Toby was born, and have enjoyed getting to know that area of Pittsburgh and what it has to offer. While in the throes of motherhood, Katie is also active throughout the week with exercise routines, Paw Patrol and PJ Masks episodes, blogging at Our Happy Place & Co., a lifestyle blog she started in 2013, and working with her husband on the mission of The Little Fox.