Keep in mind that the Neonatologist told us that typically "these babies" will be in the NICU from 3-4 weeks. Yeah, isn't that great. Didn't really like that guy from the get go.
It was friday, Zac had went in to work, mom had went home and I got to spend an un-interrupted day with my little girl. Friday and the weekend was filled with lots of visitors and trying to read as much info I could on DS. In between feedings and changing diapers I enjoyed lots of skin to skin, and attempted to get some rest. Each day Addie got better and better. I still think that when she really started to get better was on Thursday when she had a full 24 hours of straight breast milk, no formula. From this point forward she didn't take formula and my milk was plenty... I was quickly filling the NICU's refrigerator. The nurses starting having me bring in storage bags so we could start freezing some....it was pretty funny...
Each day the neonatologist would stop in as well as the pediatric cardiologist. By Saturday Addie was off of her IV and oxygen and the Dr. let us know that once we got her to take 24 hours of feedings from the breast or bottle we could go home! And he said she'd be here 3-4 weeks! Praise GOD!
Yyou know that once I heard that I quickly kept pushing those feedings. I did everything in my right mind to keep that girl awake so she would feed. On Sunday she was doing so good. I thought for sure we'd be going home monday. But then, it was time to feed her and she only took about an ounce and then went to sleep and I couldn't get her to wake up. I tried everything, the nurse tried, and she just didn't want to wake up. The nurse gave her an hour to see if she would take the bottle and she just wouldn't wake up enough to eat...I think I bawled for the last 15 minutes until the nurse came back in and said it was time to start the tube feeding. While I was holding Addie for her tube feeding, I was crying and she must have known I was hurting because she let out this little whimper, as if I was hurting her feelings by crying. I sniffled it right then and quit crying. I'll never forget that little sound she made. Later that night, Zac had to console me because I had felt like I had failed at getting her to eat. But I know her heart was just making her burn extra calories and wearing her out. She needed her sleep.
That night the nurse and I were getting ready to give Addie her bath and her feeding tube came out. I asked the nurse if we could wait and put a tube back in only if and when we needed it and she agreed. It was the first time I got to hold my baby with NO CORDS connected! It was so great. We were still having to hook her up to the oxygen monitors when we left the room, but other than that, she was cord free! The 24 hours started at her feeding at 4am on monday morning. She successfully took feedings from either the breast or the bottle throughout the day on monday.
Tuesday morning at 4 am we had successfully completed 24 hours. I had it in my head that the dr. would probably be sending us home wednesday but Tuesday morning around 8am he came in and asked me if I was ready to go home. I started to explain that yes, I was going to try to get some rest today so I would be ready to go home tomorrow and he said.....oh, ok, well if you want to wait till tomorrow....and I realized he was sending us home today! He confirmed that yes, he had completed all the paperwork to send us home today! WOO HOO!
I quickly called Zac and let him know he needed to come to the hospital to get us (he was at work).. we decided I would take the day to get some rest at the hospital and we'd leave the hospital around 4ish. (and that meant one more time in the hot tub for me...the NICU had a hot tub for the parents to use while they were there...it was great!) I called my mom and let her know we were coming home and she said she'd be coming to town to stay with us. (she's a teacher so had the summer off) My grandma and grandpa Larson were also coming up for the day to surprise me so when they got there they took me over to the hospital cafeteria and stayed in the room with Addie while I enjoyed a nice long hot shower. It was nice not feeling like I needed to rush through the shower to get back to the room....I know, the nurses were there, but I just didn't like leaving her side.
Finally the time came, the papers were signed, the nurses had gone over all the info we needed to know and we were ready!!! Zac loaded the car up while I finished making sure we didn't leave anything behind. On our way out a friend of ours was getting induced so we quick stopped in and said good luck to her and her hubby and off we went!
When we got to our house my mom was already there and so she helped take care of Addie while Zac and I got things unpacked. We were home! Finally! Only 8 days in the NICU.....and "they" said it woud be 3-4 weeks! Obviously "they" underestimated our "little girl"!