Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bye Bye NICU

After 31 days, on December 20, we said good-bye to TMC's NICU. 
We started the day like all other 31 days. Brian & I planned who was going to visit Reese when and where Jaxon would go. On this day, we had to pick up Brian's car from the dealership so we decided to leave Jaxon with my mom, get Brian's car, leave my car for an oil change, visit Reese together then go our separate ways. Brian had a work meeting & I had to do a bit of Christmas shopping. 
Now, the past few days we had been readyng ourselves for the fact that Reese would not be home for Christmas. If you remember, she had to be episode free for 3-5 days. For the past few days she'd been having 1-2 episodes a day. It was pretty heartbreaking. Especially since they seemed pretty insignificant. Her heart rate has to be between 80 and 200. Well, she would drop down to 70, 76, 78 and it would count against her. So frustrating! Needless to say, we didn't think she'd be meeting our Christmas deadline.
Tuesday morning, Brian & I walk into the NICU and run into one of the neonatologists, Dr. Riddix. When he sees us he says, "I have your baby today and I was on my way to see her. What do you think about taking her home today?" WHAT! Are you serious?" "Like a heart attack." he said. I cried. I didn't in a million years think I would hear those words ever, much less that day. We were both wondering about the episodes and Dr. Riddix explained that Reese was such a healthy baby there was no reason for her to be in the NICU anymore. He said that if you were to put a monitor on every baby in the regular nursery, they too would register episodes. Apparently it is fairly normal in newborn babies.
We were reeling. All she had to do was pass the car seat test. Thank goodness things happened the way they did that day, because the car seat was in Brian's car and guess whose car we were in? Finally, things were working out for us. I think Brian sprinted to the parking lot for the car seat!
We fed her before the test so that she'd have a nice full belly, which the nurse said would help her cause. 

Last pictures in the family room

She is clearly bursting with excitement
She may be blase, but I sure am happy!

Now time for the test... Would she pass?

In order to pass the test, she must be strapped into her seat for an hour without having any episodes. Apparently, riding in a car seat in one of the most stressful things a baby can do.

All hooked up ready to ace this thing!

We left to to do her thing and made arrangements for coming back to get her. I had to get my car, go home to get a cute outfit for her to come home in, have my mom take Jaxon to Ami's house and drop me off at the hospital where I would meet Brian.
Our backstage pass to the NICU. Soon to be cut off. Well, I've kept mine.
Back at the hospital the nurse, Cynthia, gave us a "teaching" on what to do with her when he got her home... bathing, sleeping, and the all important DO NOT TAKE HER OUT OF THE HOUSE! Yeah. It's RSV season and she's a preemie which means she can't go anywhere for awhile and visitors are very limited. One of the nurses even said I should consider not going back to work until RSV season is over! That's not until April! 
After all this it was time for another feeding. Off to the family room for the very last time we went!

In her go home outfit There were quite a few options, but all were too big for her.
Add caption

Strapping her in. Can't believe this is happening!
As we walk out, all of the nurses came to say good bye. And yes. I cried. Funny how much I wanted to go home, but I knew I would miss these ladies that took such good care of my baby for 31 days. I would also miss the other babies and cheering them on. I was supposed to take pictures of her nurses, but I forgot. Plus, there was a mom whose baby was born the same day as Reesey and her baby wasn't going home soon and I just didn't want to make a big fuss in front of her. I know how heart breaking it is to see a baby go home while you have no idea when you will be. Rosanna, Margie, Leslie, Donna... we will miss you! Thank you so much for loving our girl and helping her grow enough to go home.

FINALLY going home!

He's sooo happy to see his baby sister in the car!
My attempt at getting a picture of my kids (can't get over that. Kids. Plural)

That blob in the middle is Lucy trying to figure what what all the fuss is about.
Attempt #2

Snug as a bug in her own house. Doesn't she look happy?
We accumulated a lot of stuff in a month

As I'm trying to make dinner on our first night home, Jaxon decides he wants to make Reindeer food for Santa's reindeer. I could sense he was starting to feel a little displaced so I gave in. It wasn't as "special" as I wanted it to be, but he was happy.

I have to say that Jaxon has been an amazing brother to Reese! He checks on her constantly, sings to her if she starts to fuss, shows her toys, tells her stories. He's been great with her. He always wants to include her in everything he does.
Jaxon wanted Reese to listen to a bedtime story too.
While the 3 of us were cuddling on his bed he says to me, "Mama, let's give her back to the people she really belongs to. They miss her and it's sad to miss your baby."  So much for brotherly love.
He has also told me he is "NOT impressed with Reese & her crying."
But my absolute favorite Jaxon quote about Reese to date? He likes to watch me change her diaper and one day he says, "Mom. Where's her vagina? Why does she have one long butt?" OH.My.Goodness. Can he be any funnier?

Daddy catches up on emails and cuddling
Loving me some Reesey Peesey.

All is finally right in the Pearson world. It's been a rough 2011 for many reasons, but having Reese home and healthy made it all worthwhile.


Sarah said...

yay! so happy that reese is home and healthy :) yeah, 2011 can be over now, bring on 2012!!! :)

Charlotte Hoffner said...

yay, yay, yay!! I am so happy Reese got to come home....i know it's been awhile now but still, Yahoooooo!

thechillydog said...

Yay!! The best Christmas present ever. I'm sure you are thrilled to have your whole family under one roof!

Adam and Samantha said...

oh my gosh she is such a doll, could she be any more precious?? So glad she got home before Christmas!! By the way, I totally stole the Santa pancakes idea from pinterest...they were super easy and the kids LOVED them =)