Last Friday started off just as every other weekday has for the last two weeks. I woke up, pumped, got the girls ready and off to school and then headed up to the hospital to see my baby boy.
I arrived a little anxious. Our hospital has a policy requiring NICU infants to have no bradycardia events for 72 hours before discharge; and we were on our third round of ‘will he get to come home this time?’ Our latest watch was for baby E to hit the 72-hour mark late Friday night. That would mean he would be discharged on Saturday morning.
As I walked in and scrubbed up, I talked with the nurses on staff. I asked E’s primary nurse for the day about what the plan would be once he hit the 72-hour mark, and all the other daily chit chat that we normally make. But something seemed off. All the nurse would say was “The doctor will come talk to you about the plan”.
Not long after I arrived, the neonatologist came by and the conversation went something like this:
Neonatologist: “So today’s the day!”
Me: “As long as we make it until tonight…”
Neonatologist: “Well, I’ve been out for the last few days, and I reviewed the last bradycardia event. It doesn’t really count so…you can take him home right now if you want to.”
Me: “Wait, what?” [bewildered pause] “Of course!”
It turns out that practically the whole NICU staff knew this was going to happen and kept it from me as I was walking in.
Ironically, the husband was on his first out of town business trip since E’s birth, so I frantically texted him while waiting for the discharge paperwork. It was a great way to start his day, even if we couldn’t be together for that moment. As we left the hospital I contacted the rest of the family and let them know that he was finally free!
I wasn’t the only one who was giddy with excitement that day, either. I brought E with me to pickup both girls, and they both were jumping up and down with joy to meet their little brother. T couldn’t contain herself at pick-up and was telling everyone she saw “My baby brother’s home from the hospital!” And, of course, L came running over and wanted to touch him immediately.
They then spent the rest of the day arguing over who would get to hold him and marveling over his tiny little bits (toes, fingers, ears, nose, etc.)
The rest of the weekend was full of family visiting, and taking the opportunity enjoy having our family all together. I also want to thank each and every one of you for your patience and your good wishes over the last few weeks. Having a NICU baby is frustrating and stressful. It really consumed all of my time since E was born. I’m ridiculously behind in everything that I want to get done around the house and here on the blog, so please bare with me some more over the next few weeks. I’ve got big plans…now it’s time to actually get working!