It’s ironic that I wrote the post I did on Monday, because I hit publish and headed to the hospital where I was greeted by one of Little Bear’s doctors saying, “He’s eating like a champ! We think maybe tomorrow or Wednesday.”
You can imagine how I teared up and wanted very much to throw my arms around that doctor, right? Because I did. And had there not been a counter between us, I might have actually done so.
When I got back to Little Bear’s bed, I was shocked to see his feeding tube was out. I knew this was one of the steps he had to go through in order to actually come home, but I was shocked to see it out so soon. The nurse told me that he ate fantastically all night and all morning. I took a picture to send to M and shared the news with him, then I texted our parents to let them know what the doctor had said.
The social worker came to visit, all excited that she’d gotten home care orders for him and scheduled a meeting with me for Tuesday morning at 10. I decided to send M because I wanted to take Butter to his swim lesson. We got out of the lesson in time for me to actually meet M at the hospital.
I think it finally sunk in that this was really happening when the nurse said, “Here’s what’s going to happen today,” and started to talk about the procedures he would have done in order to be released. M originally had to work yesterday, but called and rearranged his schedule to take the day off.
We headed home to take care of cleaning a few things and doing stuff like getting the cradle out of the basement. My father in law took Butter for the afternoon and we went back to the hospital around 3:00.
When I got back to Little Bear’s bed, he was in his car seat, doing the 90 minute required test. M had gone to park the car and get coffee and a hot chocolate for me, which we couldn’t have at the bedside, so we hung out for about half an hour in the Ronald McDonald House Family Room. When we got back to his bed, we watched a video about Shaken Baby Syndrome. [And no, it didn’t teach the proper technique, as M said. Thankfully the nurses understood he was joking.] Little Bear finished his car seat test and it was time to try to feed him.
Because of a procedure he’d had done, he was really sleepy and wouldn’t nurse. He took most of a 2 ounce bottle of formula [which he hates] and went back to sleep. We put him in the car seat, M went to get the car, the nurse on duty called escort, and several of Little Bear’s nurses came to say goodbye to him. I got hugs from two of them, and an invite to the party they hold every May. We’ll definitely attend, and I think I found a shirt for Little Bear to wear already.
I can’t even remember what time we got home, but that doesn’t matter. What matters to me, to us, is that our boy is HOME where he belongs.
We’re so grateful for all the thoughts and prayers and every single one of the NICU nurses and doctors who took care of our boy.
Now to go nurse him again. He’s been eating pretty constantly since last night.