On being home

Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home”.

So many times in the last 6 days I wished that I could click my heels together and come home. I wanted to be away from the alarms, the noise, and to allow Isabella to know that people don’t normally smell like hand sanitizer.  I wanted my bed, and to have her in her crib. I wanted to eat food that didn’t have mayonnaise as a main ingredient.

The idea that we would be going home soon was so exciting and really helped to get us through. At each feeding, I talked to Isabella about our adventure plans, and told her about all the things we had for her at home. It’s amazing how small things like that can help you block out the challenging things.

Sunday, it looked like we would be able to go home early in the week, provided she passed her hearing test, her CO2 test and her carseat test. We also needed to have all of her equipment ordered and we needed to learn nasalgastric tube feeding and placement (say that three times fast!).  Monday, first thing, we started banging out the tests. Blood was taken, equipment ordered, ng tube placement was done on the fly as my little beast pulled her tube out. Nick ran into our Specialist in the cafeteria, who let us know that she had passed her blood work-she looked good!  The feeding equipment came, and we were taught how to use it (we had been learning all week from the nursing staff, which sure helped). Audiology came out, and ran the needed tests-she aced 4 out of 4 of them. It was looking good!

It was time for the car seat challenge. 90 minutes in the car seat you brought with out any dips in oxygen saturation or vitals. She had to be able to breathe smoothly, and well…fit.  I’m pretty sure Nick and I held our breath for the first minute. Our eyes bounced between Izzy, the monitor and the clock.  Every time a stat dipped, so did our hope of getting out of there.  Finally, the 90 minutes were up. She had passed and we didn’t need one more piece of equipment.

Close to 6 pm, we realized that the last piece of equipment, the oxymeter, hadn’t been delivered. We couldn’t leave before it came. The nurse had already tried calling the care coordinators, but they had left at 4. I opted to call the company directly. They asked when were to be discharged, as they didn’t want to send before then and I kindly let them know it was a few hours prior, and could they please bring the equipment so we could just get home?  In my head, I wanted to reach through the phone and shake the holy hell out of the guy, but this wasn’t his fault. 🙂

The equipment was delivered shortly after, and we started to pack. At 11:30 pm, almost one week after heading to the hospital, we were given our walking papers and allowed to go home. Walking through the entry way into the cranial-facial section was the most exciting thing ever! As we got closer to the exit, I wanted to start running. I knew we were good to leave, I just didn’t want anyone changing their minds…Leaving felt so amazing. Things were going to be normal again!!! This is our holy crap, we’re tired, but getting the hell out of the hospital picture!

We woke my mom up when we got home (she had been watching the critters for us), and she was so excited. We all were. Next was the task of setting everything up, and plotting how to surprise Nick’s folks. We slept soundly on an air mattress in her nursery, so happy to be home.

The next day brought plotting to surprise Nick’s family, especially his Dad, whose birthday it was.  We had so many people to coordinate and getting the dog home, that we decided to let Nick’s mom organize it. She was great, making sure everyone knew just what to do!  We were able to surprise him, and Izzy got to meet her Great Grandma, too.

The week has gone by, some days longer than others.  This blog has taken me multiple days to write, mostly done when pumping, since I can’t go anywhere for 30 minutes, every two hours.

Izzy continues to amaze us-sometimes with how much she can cry-man does that kid have lungs!  But she also amazes us in how focused she is and snuggly.  She is already close to 9 lbs, and has grown an inch-all within her first week here.  She’s such a little trooper!

It feels good to be home and to know that for at least 11 weeks, all I have to is pump, rest, and do everything I can to make her happy.  There isn’t much more that I need in this life 🙂

Here’s to your happiness and always coming home.  Below the picture is a quote that fits us well 🙂

“Three is a magic number,
Yes it is, it’s a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity
You get three as a magic number.
The past and the present and the future.
Faith and Hope and Charity,
The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three as a magic number.  […]

A man and a woman had a little baby,
Yes, they did.
They had three in the family,
And that’s a magic number.”
~Schoolhouse Rock, ‘Three is a Magic Number’

Raina, Nick and Isabella