Sunday, May 17, 2009

It Feels Like Home to Me

Update from Thursday, May 14 - Saturday, May 16, 2009 - These past three days have been an absolute whirlwind but I am excited to say that we are officially home! Thursday was the longest day in the hospital - going over Elle's medicines with the nurse, making sure all of our follow up appointments were scheduled, finalizing the car seat test (Elle had to sit in her car seat for an hour and her stats had to remain stable), getting Elle's feeding pump and accessories, and of course - picking up all my milk from the milk bank...all 250+ bottles!! Talk about a serious supply of milk! Lee said that as he was wheeling the 2 coolers through the hospital people were asking him what it was. When he said milk - they didn't believe him until he opened up the lids. Pretty funny!! We thought we were going to leave at 9:00am - but we didn't leave the hospital until 5:15pm. It was an extremely long and boring day with the exception of one very special thing that happened - but I am going to save that for another post. Once we had everything taken care of and we were finally free to go - the reality of the whole situation hit me and I couldn't stop smiling. We were actually going home!! Lee went and got the car loaded with all the junk we accumulated in our room while I waited with Elle. When Lee called and said he was out front and the nurse and I walked down to the lobby - I can't even describe the rush of emotion. I saw our car pull up and Lee is beaming just as brightly as I was. I had Elle and we were headed home!! 52 days after our ordeal began - phase 1 came to an end!
Neither Lee nor I cared we were leaving during rush hour - we were just so thankful to finally be leaving! We made it home around 6:30pm and took our little princess straight to her room. She had fallen asleep during the car ride and remained fast asleep as we carried her through the house. It was so much fun! Since we got home about 30 minutes past her normal eating time, we tried to hurry unpacking her new feeding pump and all the accessories. We got it set up like they showed us how to do it in the hospital. We got the milk started and then suddenly an error message came across the screen - "please call technician." That's never a good sign! Elle was starting to get hungry and fussy and I was getting more and more frustrated by the minute when Lee finally rigged the pump to over ride the problem. It was just a temporary fix - but it got Elle fed about 1.5 hours late! I called our medical supply company and was told that a technician would call us back shortly. After we got Elle fed and dressed for bed we decided to intorduce her to the dogs. Reggie and Duchesse have been our babies for the past 4 years so Lee and I were both anxious to see how they would react to their new baby sister. We figured Reggie would be the obsessed one and Duchesse would be the indifferent one. Reggie is the lover of the two and Duchesse is more like a bull in a china shop. Elle was still asleep so Lee picked her up and carried her into the den. At first either dog wanted anything to do with Elle - but once Reggie realized it was a little person - his obsession began. All he wanted to do was love on her - but he gets a little too excited so Lee had to push him away a few times. Duchesse did exactly what we though she would do and took a few sniffs and then grabbed her bowl and walked away - completely indifferent to the whole situation. Elle stayed asleep the whole time - so we're still not sure what her reaction to them is going to be. They have both snuck in a few licks of her feet over the past few days and she doesn't seem to appreciate that at all!

After her introduction to the dogs, it was time for Elle to eat again and we still hadn't heard from the technician. Lee worked his magic again on the pump and was able to get it started while I was on the phone with the medical supply company. By this time, it was 10:30pm and I was tired and just a wee bit upset about the whole feeding pump situation. The company told me that a technician would be out to our house to exchange the pump. I fell asleep on the floor in Elle's room waiting for the tech to show up. Thankfully Lee stayed awake and the technician finally arrived around 11:45pm. I stayed asleep in her room while Lee and the tech worked on the new pump. They got it all set up in time for her next feeding. Lee said the tech was super nice - but the hassle of having to get a whole new pump on the first day was not a pleasant experience. I am so thankful Lee thinks the way he does and was able to figure out a way to get our baby fed while we waited for the new pump. After the feeding pump debacle - the rest of the night went pretty smooth. The next morning was a completely different story. Elle threw up at 6:30am - the first time she had thrown up since back in the NICU days. It scared Lee and me! I know it's normal for babies to spit up - but this came out of her nose and it wasn't pleasant - for any of us. Lee had to go to work so I basically huddled over her for the next few hours - not daring to leave her side in case she threw up again. We had our first pediatrician visit at 11:15am so from 6:00am until 10:45am - I was stretched thin trying to take care of Elle and get all of our hospital info together for the visit. Needless to say, there were a few tears shed from both Elle and myself. I had to stop a few times, take deep breaths and ask the Lord for peace and strength. The most trying time of the morning happened when I was trying to get all her medicines together for the first time. It was definitely not one of the brighter moments of the day. The visit with the pediatrician went ok - I guess I am just so accustomed to having our doctor know all of Elle's information because we were in the hospital for so long that when the doctor started asking about her history all I really wanted to say was - why didn't you look at all the info TCH sent you yesterday? I don't know about the office that we chose to be Elle's pediatrician. I just liked the way TCH operated a heck of a lot better than this office did. At least we were able to wait in a private room and not out in the open with all the other sick kids. My mom came to help me on Friday afternoon - thank goodness! We spent the afternoon organizing Elle's room and trying to clean up our house a bit while Elle slept. Her doctor's visit wore her out! I was so thankful when Lee got home on Friday evening. I was so ready for the weekend so we cold all be together and Lee and I could learn how to take care of our little baby! One of the therapist told me to expect Elle to be just like a newborn even though she is 8 weeks old. Developmentally, if a baby is in the hospital for an extended period of time after birth they start from square one when they get home...and so do the parents! Saturday it was so nice to be together with Elle and Lee. I had plans to go and get some things from Babies R Us and AWoman's Work (fabulous maternity/post maternity store in Houston) - but all those plans were put on the back burner so Lee and I could spend our first full day together with Elle as a family. It was such a glorious day - even when she was fussy! We took turns holding her and figuring out which of her various rockers and toys she prefers. She is such a little angel - although she really likes for everyone to hear her complain! We are still trying to learn her - everything we learned in the hospital has been thrown out - that was such a different environment. We don't have nurses to administer her meds or patient care assistants to come in and take her temperature and change her if we were sleeping. It's all us now!! Everyday is a learning experience, but we are so thankful to be home with our precious gift!!

4 comments:

Meredith said...

So glad you are home, finally! Enjoy all of the adjustments and know you're in our continued prayers and thoughts! We'll be in town June 12-20th...and I know Elle will still be quarantined, hopefully we can see you and Lee while we're there! Sending hugs!

Renee and Daniel said...

WELCOME HOME ELLE!!! YOU ALL ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS!!!

cheryl said...

I just got all caught up from the past few days...SOOO thrilled that sweet, sweet Elle is home where she belongs! She is simply gorgeous! I'm praying that she'll cooperate with you and work into a nice schedule sooner that later. What a miracle you've been blessed with!!!
Love, Cheryl

ellen charge said...

YAY for home isnt it the best thing hugs hope all the drs go well and they days to follow other charge parents could tell you that first year is the hardest as i charger i believe its all the hardest at dif times lol