Intrauterine Growth Restriction: My Sister’s Experience Part IV

Hi and welcome to the fourth part of the IUGR series my sister and I have collaborated on. Part I was an intro to my sister and discussed her third baby’s diagnosis with intrauterine growth restriction, Part II was all about the intense end of Hannah’s pregnancy and Titus’ birth, and Part III explained what the hospital stay was like with a small baby and how it impacted Hannah’s family life.

Today, in Part IV, we’re going to talk about Hannah’s experience bringing Titus home from the hospital!

Toddler brother and sister standing by new baby in carseat

How old was Titus when you brought him home?

He was one week old! We brought him home Monday August 29th, 2022.

How did you feel emotionally having your family under one roof after such an intense time?

I specifically remembering standing in the shower on Monday night and realizing once again that I didn’t have to leave to go back to the hospital for the evening. I felt so relieved when Caroline asked me if I was leaving again before bed and I could finally say, “Nope! I will be here when you wake up!!” I felt like I finally had a baby! It was so strange being at home without him, it wasn’t until I brought him home that I actually feel like his birth took place and he was real… if that makes sense. And I realized that we were a family of five at some point Monday or Tuesday. It was truly blissful. 

Mom holding four pound baby

What is a day in your life like since bringing Titus home?

A day in my life right now is… chaos. I will walk you through a day where I am actually home all day! I nurse him every 3 hours in the night. This tends to fall around 9:30pm, 12:30am, 3:30am. But obviously this changes every night. During the day I pump every 2-3 hours (using a hands-free breast pump–best invention on the planet by the way–and he eats 2-3 ounces now; go mighty Titus!!) every 2-3 hours. I figured I would just put this here because that also differs every day, but amongst all of the chaos I’m about to talk about, this is taking place.

We haven’t really established an exact routine yet, but this is a general description of our day. Around 5am I rouse myself out of bed and get dressed. I like to do a 15-25 minute time of exercise for my own mind and to wake myself up. Then I spend time in God’s Word and talking with Him. Josh always puts the dishes away for me before he sits down to study as well. I also chug down 2 cups of coffee and usually some overnight oats (thank you Allie for getting me addicted to these–she made me a whole bunch right after we had Titus). After my morning devotion time, I put the laundry away. At some point Caroline and Lawson get up and I get them their milk (Lawson) and chocolate milk (Caroline) as well as breakfast.

After this, I love to take the kids and our dog, Indy, on a walk through the neighborhood. Usually Caroline is strapped to my back in a baby carrier (she’s still under the weight limit, so that’s a win!) and then Lawson and Titus go in the double stroller. Thankfully we have what I think to be the best dog on this planet, who happily walks alongside us on his leash. Once we get back (and I am drenched in sweat lol), I get the kids dressed and at some point we start our “school day,” depending on when Titus is eating and whatnot. Caroline has been LOVING preschool and I have just been overwhelmingly amazed at how special it is to watch your child learn. We are doing a couple of simple curriculums this year for Caroline’s preschool for 3’s and for me to get my feet wet in the homeschooling world.

Toddler boy and girl doing Abeka homeschool work

Since Lawson is also awake at this time, we do our “morning devotions” from a little devotion book a friend got for Caroline when she was born and also our Bible lesson. Lawson likes to listen to these lessons and I have some coloring sheets for him to scribble on and that’s usually as far as we make it in the morning! Depending on the time, I sometimes take them outside to play for a little. Then I get their lunch ready and also my own! Usually another cup of coffee has made it though my system by this time as well! After lunch, I lay Lawson down for his nap.

At this point, when I walk downstairs, it literally looks like a tornado has ripped through our living room, dining room, and kitchen. If Caroline is playing, I usually clean up at this point. If not, then I will do the rest of her school day with her (letter tracing, math, science, and sign language) and then clean. Since it is summer time, we will often go outside once school is done and the house is not a total wreck. Around 3:30pm my husband gets home and all feels right with the world and we both usually enjoy a cup of coffee and catch up on our days.

Then I start dinner at some point and we usually have somewhere to go/be. If not, we take the kids out to play some more or just hangout inside. Around 8pm (or sooner depending on when Caroline and Lawson woke up that morning/how well Lawson napped) we give them a bath. Titus also gets a bath at this time or just before he eats when we’re ready for bed. Josh usually reads to Lawson and I’ll read to Caroline and then we lay them down. Then we get our showers and either just go to bed/read or if it’s early we’ll watch a little bit of TV. So that is a crazy, chaotic day that is slowly becoming routine for us. 

Four pound newborn baby yawning

What were the biggest challenges and blessings once you were all home?

The biggest challenge has been seeing Lawson (our middle child) adjust. He’s been a little extra clingy, but each day he’s gotten better. He just constantly wants a snack – well more than he already did before we had Titus. 🤪 The biggest blessing is that both Caroline and Lawson have started doing something new since he was born. Caroline now has taken it upon herself to go to the bathroom and I have stopped keeping track of when she goes, which has been a huge weight off of my shoulders. Lawson also has started to talk a lot more and also copy what other people are doing. These have both been new since Titus was born! 

What advice do you have for other moms of IUGR babies or moms who have a complicated pregnancy?

Do. Not. Google. Anything. Allow yourself time to break down, but never remain in those moments and stay present with what is going on in your life. Take it week by week or day by day… even hour by hour if necessary.

Give it all to God. Yes, listen to the doctors and their advice, but don’t for a second doubt what God can do. Here is an example for you… at Titus’ first checkup with the pediatrician, his doctor was reading over the notes from his hospital stay and said, “so he really had a true knot in the cord?” After I nodded, she stopped for a moment and just said, “I can’t believe there is nothing medically wrong with him.” We had SO MANY people praying for us and I KNOW God heard it. Titus is living proof. 

This will all be over before you know it. From July 8th (when they gave the IUGR diagnosis) to today (September 15th) I have felt like all I did was blink. Each day, each appointment, and even each week seemed to drag, but then all of a sudden, you’re on the other side of it all. God will give you the strength you need to endure. Just trust Him and pray… A LOT.

Siblings with new baby

What got you through such an intense time?

The fact that this world is not my home and that Christ died for us, giving me hope in heaven. Also my family, my church family, and an overwhelmingly strong sense of peace that only God can provide.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 

A look back:
Intrauterine Growth Restriction: My Sister’s Experience Part I
Intrauterine Growth Restriction: My Sister’s Experience Part II
Intrauterine Growth Restriction: My Sister’s Experience Part III

Thank you so much to Hannah for sharing the good, the hard parts, and everything in between! I am so amazed at the grace she has displayed throughout her journey and I’m still in (happy!) shock that my little sister is a mom of three. She is rockin’ it!

There will be a Part V in this series where I interview Hannah a few months down the road to share how her family is doing and what life looks like at that point. Thank you for reading! If you have any questions about IUGR or Hannah’s experience, feel free to leave a comment and we will get in touch 😊



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