As of my last post, baby J should have been going home the next day. . .
However, he still had random times when he would dip below the oxygen level the doctors wanted to see him at. It happened once when the doctor was in the room with him that evening (25th), so they ended up putting him back on low levels of oxygen. This also meant that he would have to stay for another 24 hour observation period after they took him back off again. They took him off again on Thursday morning when he kept pulling the thing out of his nose and was continuing to do fine, pushing us to Friday discharge. In addition to the o2 levels, they were continuing to monitor his billiruben levels. Those also didn’t come down until Friday morning. So, I guess we were supposed to stay that long.
I had been discharged on Thursday and decided to spend the night in the NICU family lounge. That way the nurse could call me when Joel needed to be fed. He ate very regularly about every three hours and the nurses were impressed with how much he was getting. I wasn’t actually able to hold him for very long periods of time because they always wanted to get him back under the lights as soon as possible after he was done eating. The kids were able to visit and see him through the window again.
I had always imagined that being in the NICU would be difficult, but now I know how frustrating and helpless it feels. There was many parents coming in and out who had been there for months. Even though I know he was in good care, this week was quite long enough.
Pictures from Thursday are here.
<--- First outfit
Finally, Friday morning, things seemed to indicate we would be taking him home. His billiruben levels were acceptable, he had been off the oxygen with no more dips during resting, and his blood work came back indicating no viruses or anything else they were checking for. Now they began all the ‘normal’ baby discharge stuff. He had a California heart test and a hearing test and got his Hep B shot. I missed it, but Nate said the hearing test was pretty cool. They hooked up probes to him and measured his brain response to sound. 🙂 Birth certificate was filled out and discharge instructions read. At 5:12, we were in the car headed home. . .
The kids had made a welcome wall when they thought he was coming home on Wed, and it seems like they added to it because we have little posters all over the house. They were really excited to finally be able to hold and touch him. Benjamin is my physical touch guy and he just couldn’t stop giving kisses and holding his hand and touching his feet. Even though they were so excited they let Gram and PawPaw have a turn holding baby Joel. Not too long later, it was time for bed. I was pretty excited to be home with my baby!
Pictures from Friday are here.