"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

February 10, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

Wow, I have SO MUCH to blog about.....but finding the time or energy has been the struggle!  My baby girl got the ok from the optimologist to be discharged from the hospital on Monday.  Her eyes are not completely mature, but he felt good with letting her go home (since she was already on 100% oxygen for the last couple days), plus he said they're so close that they would probably be mature in the next couple days, and I have to take her up to Primary's Moran Eye Center in 2 weeks to follow-up.  That means 4 1/2 months, 134 days in the hospital since she's been born....and she was finally healthy enough to come home!  That day was a very emotional day.....I woke up in the morning in anticipation of the results for the eye-exam....the optimologist was supposed to be there at 9am, but 9, 10, 11 o'clock passed and still nothing.....my nerves were on edge, I was sitting in baby Katea's room talking to Stacey and everytime someone would walk into the pod, we'd both stop talking and jump to look at who it was, seeing if it was the optimologist......both our hearts were racing.  He finally showed up at noon and they sent him straight back to our room to do baby Katea's test first.  I didn't want to be there for the exam, so I went out to the hall.  After a few minutes, Stacey came out the door with two big thumbs up in the air.....and she was crying.  I immediately got teary eyed, but I didn't cry like I thought I would.....I think it just didn't really hit me.....in the back of my mind, I was talking myself into accepting that her eyes were close, but still not mature, and we would probably be spending another week at the hospital.  The thumbs up meant she was cleared.....we were leaving the NICU!



Everything went pretty quickly after that, we went back to her room and started packing up all her things.  She had definitely accumulated a lot of things in the 4 1/2 months she was there....lots of pictures, stuffed animals, supplies, etc.......Ova and I were putting things in bags getting ready to take everything to the vehicle while Stacey fed and cuddled with baby Katea one last time at the NICU.  I was packing up all her belongings and putting things away, and I wasn't crying.  I don't think it really hit me that we were actually leaving the NICU, with our baby girl, and I realized that I didn't have to go there every single day anymore.  The NNP came in and went over the discharge papers, I signed everything I needed to, they wanted to make sure I was comfortable with having to possible revive or stimulate her if she happened to have an episode at home...as scary as that sounds, yes, I am comfortable with it....we set up her home monitor and oxygen tanks, and we headed out.  That was it....in an instant we went from long-term NICU residents, to going home.  As we walked out the doors of pod C, it hit me like a ton of bricks....and I lost it.  I cried big huge tears.  Those tears were happy tears because my baby was going home, and sad tears because I was leaving.  I know that sounds crazy, but this had been my home for such a long time.  The nurses who took such good care of me and my baby were my family....everything was about to change.  Stacey carried baby out and I stopped and hugged a few people that I saw on our way out the door.  Can't believe this chapter was finally over, it took forever, yet went by so fast.  I sincerely will miss all the friends I made at the NICU.

I'm going to miss wearing my bright lanyard with my yellow NICU PARENT badge, I'm going to miss being able to enter my own personal code that gets me past the L&D doors, when everyone else has to wait for a nurse to get entry to.  I'm going to miss pushing the button to buzz myself into the NICU and having the recptionist look through the window, and without needing to ask any questions, just buzz me in and immediately tell me how my baby was doing, or how cute she is.  I'm going to miss having little conversations with whoever I see in the lobby as I wait for my turn to scrub in.  I'm going to miss scrubbing in, up to my elbows for 3 minutes every single time I enter the NICU, I'm going to miss scrapbooking on Tuesdays, and parent support meetings on Wednesday nights.  I'm going to miss sitting in the hall during the NICU break, on the bench that I push behind the tree.....blogging and having conversations with the nurses that are just getting to work for the night shift.  I'm going to miss sitting in my baby girl's room watching her sleep, having long old conversations with the nurses, whoever was assigned to take care of her.  I'm going to miss the other NICU moms that I've made friends with.  Getting updates on each other's babies anytime we run into each other, celebrating the good news and progress made, and crying with them at the set-backs.  I'm going to miss the excellent care and love both my baby girl and I got while we were there.

Now we've been home almost a week, and I'm totally and completely sleep deprived.  Lol.  Part of it is that that's just how it goes when you bring a new baby home....part of it is that I'm trying to get used to all the monitors that are constantly beeping....part of it is that me and my older kid's schedules are so jacked up, and have been for a while.  The nurses have Katea on an awesome schedule where she's awake most of the day and sleeps for long stretches throughout the night....which would be awesome if I could get my other kids on that schedule too!  Lol.  She's doing so well at home.  She still de-sats quite a bit, but I think I'm finally used to handling it.  She was on 1/32 of a liter of oxygen per minute at the hospital, needing to be turned up to 1/16 of a liter during feedings or sometimes when she sleeps.  She's actually needed a little more since coming home.  She's needed 1/8 liter of flow all the time....which is ok, it's probably just the change and everything that's so new to her....and hopefully we'll slowly be able to wein her down until she's completely off of it.  It'll be nice to be able to see her little face without any cords or tape all over it.

She is amazing though, and I'm so happy to have her home!  I have kept in really good contact with my primary nurses....I text pictures, and messages to them.  Anjanette texts me every single day asking how chubs is doing.  She is very loved, and just because we're not there in the NICU anymore, doesn't change that love.  I'm so grateful!

Still have A LOT of updates in the week we've been home, but all 4 of my kids are finally asleep at the same time....so I'm gonna take advantage of this time to sleep too!  :)  More updates coming soon!

9 comments:

Heather and Kevin said...

That is so awesome that she was able to come home! Yay :)

ANNA BANANA said...

Awww I'm so happy she's home, but I can see how bitter sweet the transition was for u. I absolutely love ur nurses too, just by reading ur blog, I've gained a whole new perspective & appreciation for NICU nurses. If u need a helping hand, plz call me :)

Jenna said...

So happy for you, Monica! Hope to keep hearing awesome updates for you and your cute family.

Tina Tuakoi said...

Big milestone for Katea! I can't say it enough.. she is amazing, and you are too Monica! So happy she's home :)

shaunita said...

Wow, what a journey! I've gained so much by reading about your experience with your miracle baby. Thank you for posting, and I look forward to reading more about your adventures at home.

Sheena Tuakoi said...

What a huge Blessing!! :) So happy for your beautiful little family, to all be under one roof now! That is awesome news!! :) She is such a little cutie!!

sarah said...

CONGRATULATIONS on finally being able to bring home your beautiful girl! I found your blog a while back and have followed Katea's progress with each post. I'm so excited for her and for your cute family :) On a side note-I had a son in the NICU as well, not anywhere near as long as Katea, but reading your posts and seeing how you would cope with it helped ME cope. You're such a strong woman, and I agree, NICU nurses are amazing and have the biggest hearts. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I wish nothing but the best for your beautiful family!

Melissa said...

I am so happy for you! So happy for Katea that she is finally home. What a huge change for you guys. She is just so adorable. Can't wait to meet her. One day I will make it down there. Best of luck to you and your little ones. We are the same way too. But all my kids go to bed at 7:30 because we play musical beds all night long it seems and Ellie is still up quite abit. You would think that by 6 almost 7 months she would be sleeping through the night by now. No such luck here!
So incredibly happy for you! Now get some sleep!!!!

IONGI FAMILY said...

YAY Congrats BABY KATEA on coming HOME!!! best wishes to ur family