Day 118- the most exciting news yet!
Can you guess what happened?
No? Well let me show you a picture to see if you can guess.
Perhaps a video will better explain.
That's right! After 118 LONG days in the NICU at Levine Children's Hospital, Pierce came home!!! In fact, he's sleeping right beside me as I type.
It happened exactly like they said it would. One moment we were thinking we'd never leave that place, the next we were walking out, baby in tow. Literally, here's what happened: we roomed in on Friday night (8/5)- things did not go well. Pierce did not eat very well and Nik and I's confidence was shattered. We felt for sure he wouldn't be going home anytime soon. Then, on Sunday night (8/7), we gave rooming in a second go. This time, they put us in a different room (we had suspicions that something was wrong with the oxygen meter in the first room). Things went SO much better. Pierce took his bottles like a champ, and Nik and I began to regain the level of confidence that we had developed throughout our 4 month NICU stay. So, on Monday morning, Dr.Engstrom came in and asked us if we wanted to take him home with us! We were thrilled. Then we immediately realized that NOTHING was ready for him at home. (Over the past 4 months, our time has been consumed with the back and forth trips to the hospital). SO, being the good parents we are, we took advantage of the free babysitting and asked if we could leave P with the nurses while we ran to the store to get a few things. The staff laughingly agreed.
And oh what a funny sight we were at the store. Bassinet- check. Stroller- check. Sheets-check. When I said we had nothing ready, I really meant it! My baby shower was on Sunday and everything was (and is) still sitting in the garage.
BUT nothing was going to stop us from bringing P home yesterday.
And so, we returned back to the hospital to pick our boy up. We had lots of tearful goodbyes. I underestimated how close I've become to the staff and fellow parents at Levine Children's Hospital. They've been our life for 4 months. We are forever grateful for all they've done to help our son (many stepped in and literally saved his life) throughout these past few months.
As we stepped out of that hospital with our almost 4 month old baby, I don't think I've ever been more scared in my life. Walking out the door, knowing that P was now our responsibility. Of course, it probably doesn't help that he comes with a load of gear- oxygen tank, apnea monitor, pulse ox monitor, car seat, diaper bag...
But nonetheless, God granted us peace. And once again, I was reminded that He is the one who is in control. He is the one who graciously allowed us this opportunity. And we are so grateful. We know all too well how quickly we could've lost this experience.
Last night and today was a lot calmer than I expected. Pierce has done remarkable. One benefit of having a chronic NICU baby is that they are used to a routine and they're used to waiting their turn. How does this play out at home? It means that P sleeps peacefully and entertains himself until we step in to feed him. It's marvelous! And even though he comes with an assortment of medical gear, I can honestly say I've never met a more low-maintenance newborn. It's nice!
How you can pray: First, please join us in rejoicing that God has brought us to this point. It still seems surreal to have our little boy at home with us! Secondly, remember to pray for Pierce's ventricles. We will go to P's neurosurgeon next week for an outpatient ultrasound and to discuss what our course of action will be. Please pray that the next ultrasound will be stable or smaller and continue praying with us that P can avoid a permanent shunt. Before P left the NICU, he had a hearing screen. Unfortunately, he did not pass. While it's a little to early to tell (many preemies fail the first test and go on to have perfect hearing), it's something we're definitely praying about. Please pray that when we go for our follow-up appt next month, that P will pass this test. Finally, pray for wisdom and guidance as Nik and I begin caring round-the-clock for P. His medical needs are far from over- we have 7 different dr's appts in the next 2 weeks- and we still have a LONG road as we deal with the effects of his extreme prematurity. Pray for continued endurance as walk this journey.
Off to bed for now. Have to treasure every moment of sleep these days :) I'll try to post some pictures from home tomorrow! And we will continue posting things as we find time. So stay tuned for exciting updates.
Thanks for sharing in our journey.
Christ is All,
Lindsay, Nik and Pierce