A few disclaimers:
Sorry for all the blogs in one day. I'm not trying to hog the blogosphere or anything, or bore you with every tiny detail probably common to all new babies. I'm just trying to write this all down while its fresh, because apparently I'm going to be sleep deprived soon.
Also, thank you for all the encouragement and thinking we are awesome for being foster parents. Please know that if you are a parent taking care of your child, I stand in awe of you. You are a guardian of life, a true super hero. I want to be like you someday soon!
Ok, now on with the Baby F story. (Preface, Chapter One)
Last night (Thursday) was our first night with her. We followed a pretty simple schedule of feeding her 2oz of formula every four hours (as instructed by the CPS worker), changing her when the little stripe on her diapers turned green and holding her to our and her heart's content.
Other than that, it was a surprisingly normal night. We made an oven pizza, John fell asleep on the couch while I watched TV. Then we went to bed. With a little baby in tow. So that wasn't very normal.
She fussed a little bit, and there was a time when she and Mocha were doing a duet. Mocha, by the way, is far more interested in the baby bottles and diapers than she is in the baby. Which I guess is a good thing, as long as we keep all of them out of reach! But, for the most part, she slept like a champ.
The big event today was her first doctor's appointment and our first meeting with E, her mommy. Our entourage probably made a strange sight in the pediatrician's office. 4 adults; 3 women, 1 man. One tiny baby.
I was so happy to see how excited E was to see and hold Baby F. The whole time (about 2 1/2 hours), she held her and kissed her and cooed to her as much as she could. She was visibly exhausted, emotionally and physically, and as much as I wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything was going to be ok, I just let her enjoy the time with her baby. There will probably be time for that later.
As the 5 of us sat in the exam room waiting for the doc, we discussed the visitation schedule for next week. We'll start meeting twice a week at a government services center nearby, with us, either or both of the birth parents and a CPS worker. I guess based on how those go and how well they're doing with the plan, we can meet more frequently, then even have them over to our house.
Baby F is doing great. She is a little yellow, but nothing the doc was concerned about. She was 6lbs at birth, then down to 5lb8oz at discharge, then 5lb10oz at the appointment. I was so proud of us for helping her gain those 2oz. I'm really passionate about helping turn her into a little chunk. I hope to see some rolls on those scrawny legs before she goes home. (I'm sure I'm gonna get all sorts of comments from moms saying how babies don't turn chunky in a month, but a girl's gotta dream, ok!)
Overall, it was a very encouraging visit. We're treating our little lady guest just as we should, the only recommendation from the doc was to go three hours between feedings. Most of all, seeing E's resolve to get better and have Baby F go home with her did our hearts well. We took some pictures of them together, which I'm gonna frame for her and give at our visit next week.
The rest of today has been quiet and routine, watching the snow fall and washing the baby clothes, talking to friends, and gathering a true plethora of advice.
Thanks again for your prayers and well-wishes. I am blessed to have family and friends near and on-line to walk through this with us!
(my camera battery is dead. I'll post more pics tomorrow)