The process of taking Carrington home was an eventful one! I’ll never forget the day we got a call from Carrington’s nurse asking if we could room in at the hospital with her. I knew the day of discharge was close!
Rooming in is a process where NICU parents are invited to stay the night at the hospital with their baby in the room to help them become comfortable with their baby before they are discharged.
So it started on a Monday evening. I met the nurses at the hospital and we began the process of gathering Carrington’s items and being checked into our room. Everything felt so surreal! I was having an outer body experience. I’ll never forget sitting on the bed and being able to look at Carrington in her crib, just she and I. We were alone for the first time. I smiled and was so thankful to be able to have this experience with her.
After the snuggles and smiles I began her regular routine of diaper change, temperature check, and prepping her bottle.
We were off to a great start. She took her bottle. Settled in nicely to her bed. I felt good and confident that the night would be a great success.
I began to put my things away and get myself settled in. With her being on a 3 hour feeding schedule I new I had a short window to eat and just take a break.
Carrington was good. Lights went off. I layed my head on the pillow and that’s when the show started! Carrington wanted to really make sure that Leonard and I were really ready to take her home!
Carrington must have sensed that I had just laid down. She decided to fuss and on top of that her alarms on her monitors were ringing what seemed like every 5 minutes. It’s safe to say the first night was tough! #teamnosleep is a real thing!
The doctors determined that it would be best for Carrington to go home on oxygen. Her going home on oxygen also meant that she would also go home with an apnea machine to monitor her breath and heart rate. That evening Leonard joined me at the hospital and we received training on the oxygen machine and apnea machine Carrington would go home on. At this point I was feeling overwhelmed!
Before bed we began to strap Carrington into the apnea machine to test it out just to make sure we were comfortable with them at home and that her stats were correlating with the hospitals machines. That went well. But again, as soon as the lights went off it seemed as though every alarm and bell that could sound did so on both machines! The apnea machine sounded with a loud fog horn alarm because her leads became loose around her. The sound of the oxygen machine is equivalent to that of a wall unit air conditioner. Let’s just say Leonard and I both looked at one another with shock and worry.
On top of the machines Carrington was fussy and really refused to sleep! So the nights were very LONG!
Wednesday came and we were met with the same challenges. A fussy baby, loud ringing machines, and sweat beads on both our foreheads! We were somewhat surprised at Carrington’s fussy behavior given she’s always been somewhat of a chill baby. We thought we were going to be have to gear up for long nights at home.
Thursday morning came. This was discharge day! Despite the long evenings we experienced we still were excited to be leaving the hospital!
We knew that no matter what Carrington would be fine and we would have to adjust!
Nurses, doctors, and staff would begin to peek in and say goodbye and wish us well on this next journey. Our good friend Wendy came and took pictures of the entire discharge process and we couldn’t have been more excited!
Discharge was bitter sweet. It was great to finally leave but hard to say goodbye to the very people that had become like family to us over the past few months.
As we took the final step out of the double doors and made our way to the car Leonard looked at me and I looked at him and we both smiled! Leonard forgets he has to get the car. He reaches for his keys and they weren’t there. So after the long train of goodbyes Leonard had to make his way back upstairs to look for his missing keys. That was a delay. So our discharge nurse bought lots of chocolate while we waited!
Keys were found and we made our way to the car. Finally clicking Carrington into the car seat base that we purchased so long ago felt amazing!
The drive home was one we had been waiting to take for a long time!