Baby girls last 24 hours in the hospital...
Baby girls bmom came to the hospital on Saturday with her daughter and son as well as her mother. They spent about two hours with us trading who came and went. Bmom said she would walk her family out to the car and be right back. Half hour later- no bmom, an hour later no bmom, time kept ticking. I was getting worried because baby girl was getting farther and farther off her sleep schedule and I was "snacking her" to try to get her to go to sleep. Finally at 7PM I texted her to let her know that if she planned to come back for the 8PM feeding baby girl likely would be sleeping. It was a delicate dance that day of knowing that bmoms time w baby girl were dwindling as my desire to keep her on track for discharge meant that I had to work hard at keeping baby girl from a melt down (and thus them giving her medication). I got a text back saying that she had left with her family and had forgotten to text me back. I was sorry that she wasn't returning because I wouldn't be able to talk with her about the plans for discharge the next day. I wanted to have some sort of word from her about her expectations. I also wanted to make sure she knew our expectations which were as soon as the discharge was signed we were getting in the car and driving as long as baby girl tolerated which meant we wanted good-byes to be done by 2:30. I think one thing I have learned most from this process is verbalizing expectations. No I'm not a bad person for having an opinion of how I'd like the day to go. I was also open to hearing from the bmom what her expectations were. I've learned that expectations are not a bad thing when they are verbalized as it gives both parties and opportunity to know what to expect as well as help determine if they are reasonable. Had Bmom said I want to hold her one time out side the unit I'd have agreed had she said she wanted to wait until after dinner I would not have agreed. Unfortunately that conversation did not get to occur.
My DH finally arrived at 9PM Saturday night after a 12 hour train trip from our home to PA as his flight was canceled. He arrived just in time to kiss her good night, thank the night shift and leave. The two of us went down the street for fries and a beer as our "last date." The "date" was quick because visiting hours ended at 10 and our train back to my car left at 10:40. I think it was the best date in a long time.
I called the hospital twice that night once when we got home so that I could fall asleep and once at 3AM when I woke up with a start. All her crying during the day meant she had a perfect night while we were not by her side. The nurse she had that night was one of my favorites- Lori- very laid back and willing to work with the baby. Unfortunately that was not my experience with all the nurses.
The day she was discharged we spent about an hour figuring out the car seat. We had three nurses plus DH working on it. BMom texted me to tell me she would be there by noon so we took a break from discharge paper work so that baby girl would be ready for her visit. The clock kept ticking and there was no visit from BMom. The agency texted us to tell us she was on her way so we told her Bmom still had not come and asked for her to text the Bmom to encourage her to come if that was part of her plan. We finished up the little discharge paper work we were involved in like reviewing temperatures, bowls, and shaken baby. We reviewed the many doctors appointments Baby girl will have for follow up. Baby girl fell asleep and I began to pace. I felt like a caged animal the only thing left was for the agency to sign. I was worried Bmom would show up and prolong our stay as we had a long trip ahead of us. Bmom did finally come a half hour before the agency came to sign the d/c papers. We gave her and her mom time alone w baby girl until the agency came. The d/c seemed to take forever but was only 45 min. The doctor had completed the paper work but had forgotten to put in the discharge order.
It was an awkward fourty five minutes. Bmom held baby girl until DH suggested we get her into her going home outfit. Bmom and I worked together to get Baby girl dressed she wore a pink onesie that said "too cute," jeans, and a sweat jacket with a butterfly. The jacket and onesie were gifts from the bmom's mom. When baby girl was placed into the car seat she began to scream intensifying the stress. The nurse came over witha bottle when I was unsuccessful at calming her then helped me switch the bottle/nuk I felt so inept and helpless when she screamed. I had to repeat this a few times but it helped. The nurses all said goodbye to me which felt awkward again. I was there daily so they knew me best but bmom was left alone. We finally left the room with baby girl and in the lead, then we went through the double doors. DH grabbed my coat while there were more good byes outside the unit again to me. Finally DH and I said good bye to Bmom, her mom and the woman from the agency. I did not turn back but I'm assuming they watched us walk away. I'm floored by bmoms strength I could not have watched the baby I gave birth to walk away from me however it was what she wanted. The closes thing I can equate it to is I have to watch when my blood is drawn- it somehow lessens the pain for me.
I felt strange and free as we walked out the hospital and towards the car. We made a stop at Starbucks to get coffee and use the restroom before our journey home. Once in the car we headed towards NJ and within five minutes being in the car we had left PA. However we also realized we did not have my EZpass in the car nor did we have money. So the first exit off the interstate was Camden NJ- it looked like a war zone. Baby girl fusses with each stop and go and lets just say we didn't get out of the car. Instead we chose to drive thru the EZpass lane (without the EZpass) all through NJ. For NY we had gotten cash and paid as required. Fingers crossed they can match our license plate with the EZpass and we get charged otherwise I'll call with my sob story.
Baby girl slept the entire trip. We stopped once in NJ to get dinner on the go and while DH ran in to get dinner (and cash) I changed/fed her. She slept until 8PM and we again stopped for the bathroom/water/change/feed. We actually had to wake her up because we didn't want to stop again. Though we had a place to stop if we had needed it we went right through. We left the NICU at 3:15 and arrived home at 11:30. It was SO nice to be home!! The house looked so different after a month away and I promised DH i would not take any more personal vacations.
I took a few pictures of baby girl as it was her one month/one day birthday as well as her first night home. I rocked her to sleep in the rocking chair I had gotten ready for her and placed her in her crib. She granted me 5 hours of sleep then 3 hours of sleep. It was amazing to be home with our little girl.