Where do I begin?
Maybe I'll start at the end.
Today, Eli came home.
Today our family is complete - all together under one roof.
When we arrived at the NICU this morning. Eli was in the middle of his car seat tolerance test. This is a 90 minute process where his vitals must remain stable. He did so well the first hour but his oxygen saturation level took a dip at the end of the test. So we had to wait for the doctor to approve his results.
In the meantime, Eli had to try to nurse again. Today, he only nursed for 5 minutes but they weighed him before and after eating and he had eaten 25mls in those few minutes. The lactation consultant was very pleased.
Next Eli had to have his PT assessment. He passed some areas but is having trouble with some reflexes. Not sure what is going on but the PT said there may be some developmental issues or nervous system issues. We will have to start weekly therapy and begin his PT work. Not sure what lies ahead for Eli, but we are ready to start therapy and get this boy caught up.
The doctor approved Eli's car seat test and suddenly I had to call Eric at work because we were about to be discharged.
I will be honest. I was so happy to take our boy home but I was terrified.
How can the NICU send home my baby? How will I be able to care for this baby that has been so very sick? How can I live without the monitors constantly telling me what his vitals are? If he cries, will his heartbeat go back to over 210 like it did before? What if he chokes? What if he stops breathing in his sleep? How can I ever sleep?
On the car ride home, he did have a little choke/stop breathing moment but I was riding in the backseat and gave him a little talking to. Eric chauffeured us and for me it was an excruciating 15 minutes. I kept watching for respiratory distress and realized that I would never be able to tell if he was turning blue because his entire outfit was blue. So did his skin just look blue? Was it normal? Or is that a little blue around his mouth?
Welcome to my mind.
Welcome to my whole new kind of crazy.
I wish your baby could come home with a free NICU nurse.
We were so lucky to have had such amazing care from the St. John's NICU nurses. They are truly angels in scrubs. I have so many stories to tell about how they helped us, held our hands, held up our hope and held our baby. Eric and I are forever grateful for them.
They saved our baby.
That and all the love, hope, energy and prayers surrounding him. Thank you so much for lifting up your hearts, your voices, your love and your energy for our boy and for our family.
Not sure if I will get much sleep tonight as I will be staring at Eli.
Staring because I will need to check for his tiny breaths every few minutes - staring at a baby I thought might never come home.
Staring with pure joy in my heart.