I don't think there is a "real" Saint Otis. But the last few days have had me praying to my boy, asking him to please "pull some strings" and watch over us, and take care of his baby brother.
We are sort of back at square one, in terms of Owen's reflux, the oversupply/undersupply, the fussiness, the lack of sleep. It feels impossible and disheartening and I have moments where I am not sure it will ever be different, and yet I also feel that if it isn't different soon I will lose my mind and end up in an institution.
Last night we were up until 2 with a boy that refused to sleep anywhere but our arms. I finally fell asleep with him in a chair, only to be awakened at 3:30 to a very hungry little guy; nursed until 4 and then dealt with a screaming burp session (the reflux makes the burps very painful), then a huge blowout (likely/hopefully the reason he was so uncomfortable prior to that), then finally, finally he settled into his bassinet around 4:30. We all slept until 8, which feels miraculous and like a huge gift and then I wonder when did I start to feel that 3 1/2 hours of sleep is a miracle?
E said to me last night, "This is so much harder than we ever imagined it would be..."
Understatement of all time.
The phrase keeps running through my head, "We have a very sick little baby..."
But see, we don't, really. Because those were the words that Otis's neurologist told us that fateful day we realized he'd be coming off life support. And this is nowhere near that. Owen is a feisty, spirited, healthy baby - except his digestive system is totally immature and he is incredibly sensitive to pretty much everything it seems. He grunts in his sleep and wakes himself up from about 2 am on, on the nights when he actually has gone to sleep. He spits up copious amounts of milk every day. He has days where the spit up causes him to writhe and scream. But he is not "a very sick baby." He is not Otis. And I think I'm wrapping my head around that. I am really starting to believe he's here to stay...but that doesn't make these days any easier, and I have trouble understanding that. All I wanted was a healthy, live, baby. And now I've got that, and I'm still having moments of crawling on the floor sobbing my eyes out and thinking that I can't possibly go another day like this.
I miss Otis. I miss him more and more every day it seems. I hold Owen and realize that Owen has now outgrown his big brother, in weight, in age, in breaths taken...I hold Owen and wonder what life with Otis would have been. My heart hurts to be away from Owen even for an hour, and then I realize I'm spending a lifetime without Otis - and it's almost too much to bear.