Total Basset Case: Homecoming

Nov 11, 2016

Homecoming

These posts may be a little out of order but I needed a little more time to process (and take a million photos) before I was ready to talk about Little Mister coming home.

About a week before Little Mister actually came home they started talking about the process with us.  At that point it was really up to him on when we would be bringing him home.
On top of being healthy, keeping his body temperature up and gaining weight, the main goal for him to come home was to conquer eating which included successfully suck, swallowing and breathing while eating.  The part of the brain that masters this develops between 34-36 weeks gestation so a lot of it was based on his maturity and simply growing.
They wanted (and needed) him to be taking all of his feeds via bottle and/or nursing.  
Starting a few weeks prior, I was nursing him for at least one meal a day and then he was started on bottles as well.  
Little by little the number of bottles a day he took increased.  Eventually he went from taking a few bottles a day and the rest through a feeding tube to us asking him to do 100% of the work.  He would have good days and not so good days were he would tucker out for a few feeds.  The doctors explained it to us that it was like running a marathon one day and then being exhausted the next.  That really helped us understand the whole process.
They then gave him a 'shift minimum' of millimeters they wanted him to take on his own per 12 hour shift.  No matter if it was a little less one feed and a little more the next, as long as he hit that number for 24-48 hours we could be on the path home.

Thankfully I was prepared for this process because of the friendship I had struck up with Preeti
(A longer story for another day but Preeti is also a local blogger, whose water broke early and had her sweet little man on the exact same day we did...at the same hospital...SMALL world.)  They were able to go home a few days before us so it was nice to know what milestones Little Mister had to hit once they started talking about discharge.

As anxious as we were to have him home, at the same time, we didn't want him home before he was ready and we had to keep reminding ourselves of that.  
Step by step we (and him) were getting closer.
On Wednesday of the big week, Mister arrived for his visit and they took out his feeding tube.
He sent me this photo:
and I immediately cried because it was the first time I had seen my baby without a tube coming out of his face.  I mean just LOOK at those sweet cheeks.  I kiss them approximately 97 times a day.  
When I was there that same Wednesday they had told me that if Little Mister did well with his next few days of his feeds we could look at going home Friday afternoon.  We were internally jumping out of our skin with excitement but also being cautiously optimistic.  Because it was up to him and his stamina we knew things could change.   

A few days before discharge the hospital does this awesome program called 'rooming in'.  They offer to have the parents stay the night with your baby all on your own.  (The nurses are just a call away and bring the baby's feeds in.)  The experience is to be just as if you are at home, alone, with your baby.  We kept saying if we would have had him in a more normal manner we would have had a night or two alone at the hospital with him and this was an amazing opportunity.
From the moment we had heard about rooming in we knew we wanted to do it so when the time actually came we were SO excited.  We kept talking about having a slumber party with him ;)

So room in we did and it was SO fun.  

We slept about 0% of the night but that was okay.  We were just happy to be with him.  Thankfully that night he did well eating and continued his awesome streak the next day.

That Friday I called to check on him after his morning feed and the doctors had been by and the nurse told me he could GO HOME!  Cue all the happy (for once) tears.  I immediately called Mister and we just could NOT believe it.  Thankfully by time I had talked to the nurse it was time for me to go home from my half day of work because there was no chance of me concentrating after that.

As soon as we could Mister and I headed (with a car seat!! finally!!) to the hospital to collect our little man!!  That time the drive there seemed to take about 4 hours but finally we were there and practically ran into the NICU.  We arrived at his bedside and started packing up his things and cleaning off his board.  I (clearly) had an outfit picked out for him and changed him. 
 (onesie from here)
Then the nurse started taking off his wires and leads, it was such a dream to seem him not connected to any thing.  We were in an overjoyed daze of happiness.
(I think his face says 'are you guys really sending me home with them?!')

We got him all packed up and then LEFT.  
After 42 (very, very long) days we LEFT the NICU with our baby.
It was nothing short of a miracle.
I think I will remember the walk down the hallway and that elevator ride for the rest of my life.

We dreamed and dreamed of the day when we would walk down that hallway carrying a car seat with him in it and it was finally here.  
We then drove home on pins and needles and took Little Mister to meet his puppy dog we had told him so much about.
 I came in the house and grabbed Floyd and we then all walked in the house as a family :)   
We let Floyd sniff on him, he gave him a welcome lick across the face and we settled in.  
And then we had the best Friday night just being at home, all together, as a family.
(this picture melts my heart in 100 pieces)
 
There will NEVER be enough thank yous to express our gratitude to our friends, family, the doctors and nurses that helped us through this journey (and the one we continue to be on).  As hard as it was to leave every single day we knew that Little Mister was in THE best hands.  Every nurse we had was nothing short of amazing and he received the best care that helped him to be on the road to coming home. 

13 comments:

Jill @ Bluegrass Belle said...

Reading this post made me tear up and fight the falling waterworks. I am SO happy for you to have your little man home and SO glad he is doing well. You look great Sarah! :)

Lauren said...

OH! all the love, so happy for you guys!

Anne said...

So so exciting!!!!!

Denise Wertenberger said...

Loved seeing the pics! Keep 'me coming!

Kathie Anderson said...

Tears, tears of joy and happiness for you ! Jeff and I send hugs and kisses to you, Sarah, Mister and little mister. ❤️ And..KC, Gryffy, Harry and little MAC want to tell Floyd .." Floydie... you is a such lucky dog to have "a lickle bruvver!" Give him lots of doggie kisses Puppy love is the BEST! "

Kayla MKOY said...

Goodness he's so CUTE! You guys are amazing. I bet seeing him w/out those tubes for the first time was just overwhelming, wow. I'm so happy you're all home!!! :)

The Pink Growl said...

This is such a wonderful story! I have loved seeing your strength as you dealt with a very scary situation and I'm so happy that your sweet boy is home!!!! Love his going home shirt too, and that name! Grant was one of the names we were debating on before we chose Cameron officially. It's very presidential and I love it! Fits him too! Hope you guys are getting settled in!

According to Jax said...

This is so sweet and I loved reading this amazing story! But the one part that I have a question about is - working???!!! Haha. You went back to work??? I'm sure you did it so you could take your maternity leave when you were actually home with the baby - but lord - big props to you for being able to go back to work during this stressful time!! But now, hopefully, you have more time at home with that sweet baby!! Happy Homecoming Grant!!

Kait said...

Reading this brings tears to my eyes. It's been such an honor to read your story, be your friend and love on you all through this process ❤️ Welcome home Grant!

The Lady Okie said...

I'm just so excited and happy for you guys. I'm tearing up reading this! I hate leaving R at daycare every day, so I can only imagine how hard it was to have to leave him in a hospital every day for over a month, even at night. I'm so glad he's home :)

Anne said...

Oh Sarah this made me cry. You are an amazing example with your positivity and grace through all of this, and I am SO happy to hear about your happiness in bringing your sweet little mister home. What an experience. And what a CUTIE. His going home outfit is just perfect :)

Anne said...

Oh and I already thought how crazy it was that you and Preeti delivered about the same time at the same number of weeks gestation, but I didn't realize it was same day, same hospital! That's nuts.

Erin LFF said...

Oh, I'm just crying tears of joy over here for you and your little family. Seeing him without the tubes for the first time?! Getting to have a sleepover?! Putting him in his little going home outfit?! SO SO happy for you all and that you're home now. He's the cutest!!