Life with a Newborn: Derek & Spencer

Derek, a Registered Nurse in an adult intensive care unit, and Spencer, a Radiology Technologist have recently welcomed baby Jack into their homes. We caught up with the new dads to see how life is treating them!

GWK: What has life been like since Jack came into your lives?  How were those first couple of weeks?

Life as brand new dads came natural to both of us; we have wanted to be dads for as long as we can remember.  We got the call from our adoption lawyer that we were matched with an expectant mother about three weeks prior to her due date so we went into overdrive preparing the nursery and getting everything we needed.  Once Jack was here it was go time!  

When leaving from the hospital with Jack after he was discharged it was very surreal; we came as a family of two and our now leaving as a family of 3!  The first couple nights were rough; Jack would only sleep when being held, so we had to rotate shifts throughout the night.  The third night at home he was able to sleep in the basinet next to our bed and has been a great sleeper ever since.  Jack started sleeping through the night around 2 ½ months old which was fantastic!

We both took off the maximum 12 weeks of bonding leave; Spencer took his 12 weeks all together while Derek split his 12 weeks up.  One or two of us were able to be at home with Jack until he was almost 6 months old which was really important to us.  We both work 12 hour shifts so we are able to be home 4 days a week which has worked out perfect for our new family.  Now that we are both back to work, Spencer’s mom provides childcare for us in our home when we are both scheduled to work.  We are fortunate to have a family member to be able to care for Jack when we are at work.  

GWK: Jack is adorable! How do you plan to celebrate his adoption finalization? 

Jack’s adoption will be finalized sometime this summer and we cannot wait!  All of our family will be at his ceremony and we are planning a BBQ and pool party to celebrate the finalization.  

GWK: What has been the most challenging aspect to juggling life with Jack and your own schedules? 

As new dads in charge of this tiny human Jack, we have to plan out any trips to the store or running errands around town. Everything and we mean everything we do now revolves around Jack.  We plan trips to the grocery store and errands depending on his last nap and the last time he ate.  We do not want to be trucking a cranky, tired Jack through the grocery store! Our world revolves around Jack and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  

GWK: Is there anything that hasn't come as a surprise for you both? Or that has?

One thing that has not come as a surprise is how much love we have for Jack.  From the moment he was born we fell in love with our little man.  We were told by so many friends and family members to be ready for lack of sleep, not showering for days and so on.  Surprisingly, Jack has been an amazing little baby.  We were more than prepared for the tough first weeks and months of his life, but we were blessed with an amazing little boy.  He is rarely fussy, always smiling and most importantly he is a great sleeper and napper.  We truly hit the lottery with Jack; he is the best baby.

GWK: Fill in the blank: "As new dads, we could not live without _________ to help us throughout the day."

Baby Brezza! It's like a Kuerig but for baby bottles!  It can make a warm bottle in under 15 seconds with the press of a button.  It is amazing!  

GWK: Tell us a little about your relationship with Jack's birth parents. How do you plan to continue the relationship?

Being that we were matched so fast with Jack’s birth parents, we sure had to get to know them fast – it felt like we were speed dating with them!  We were asked to be at the hospital when Jack was born which was great.  We were given our own hospital room right next to birth mom and we were just steps outside of her room when Jack came into this world.  We text on a bimonthly basis (sharing pictures) and try to video chat every couple months.  We recently had a visit with both birth farther and birth mother at the central coast in California and the visit went perfect.  We were able to spend about 4 hours together and it was great for them to see Jack and get to know them better.  It is important for us to keep in contact with Jack’s birthparents for Jack’s sake.

GWK: Any advice for other new dads out there?

Enjoy every single moment; it goes by so fast!  It feels like Jack was just a baby and is now almost 7 months old!

For More on Life with a Newborn:

Life with a Newborn: Nick & Chris

Life with a Newborn: Wes & Michael

Life with a Newborn: Michael & Jordi


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