I guess if I had to choose a day to leave the hospital then today would be not a bad choice, a day of Remembrance and a day to be thankful for what we have. (Also a day of birthday happiness to one of my life's greatest supporters, Lorna)
I am so thankful and relieved to be finally home and can see the relief in the boys eyes tonight as I tucked them into bed. They were so shocked and happy to see me when Mike drove up today that it brought tears to my eyes. They have been through so much as well in these past 16 days that I forget how much their lives will be shaped by this experience as well. I had been promising them a 'snuggle-fest' upon my return home (not knowing when it was going to be) and Torin took me at my word. Among all the hugs and kisses he immediately asked if he could move all of his 'loveys' (stuffed animals) into my bed and then promptly informed Michael that he would need to sleep on the couch tonight. How sweet can one little 6 yr old be?? Needless to say we did have a good snuggle but it is hard when Mommy is still so very sore and it's not so comfy to be laying with two small but active boys.
I am also so far past utter exhaustion at this point that I can't sleep. Yes, can't. I can lay down but as soon as I drift off I can't breathe because my body goes into panic. I know it is anxiety and oddly enough I remember the exact same reaction the day I came home from the hospital with Rylan 5 yrs ago. I am going to crash, I know it, I just need my brain to stop in order to do that. It is hard when you have an actual physical reaction, not just that my head won't turn off.
I'm not by nature an overly anxious person but I know that I am in for a test over the next few days. Leaving the hospital was a HUGE undertaking for me as everything in my Mom-being was screaming that it was wrong to leave the baby behind or not be staying with him. I know that other parents obviously have done this and survived but it is just so horrible not being a short walk (any hour of the day) to his bedside. I am also now under the strain of needing to be driven to the hospital, I can't just get up at 3am and go to him if I need to. I'm sure my over-worked and exhausted Mom would drive me at 3am if I so felt the need but it won't do any of us any good in the end.
I don't think that it helped at all that Baby had a rough day today. He had a hard time settling through most of the day and each time I went to him they were giving him more meds to settle him. The new addition today was the UV light for jaundice (which we were expecting at some point with being a preemie). It is hard to say if it was the extra heat (as everything is SO hyper sensitive on his body) or the fact that they had put on eye covers to block the light. Who knows, he just is very clear in the fact that he does NOT like to be touched and moved and unfortunately it has to be part of his process each day, the constant monitoring and checking vitals. The great news is that they have come down on one of the blood pressure meds and are working on the next one. They are hoping that his heart will pick up the job and carry on without the meds. I got to speak with his Neonatologist yesterday and he was commenting that he is happy with the progress, so that is certainly reassuring. As much as Baby doesn't want to be touched he is very attached to holding my pinkie finger and will give me quite the squeezes. Michael actually got a chance to 'hold his hand' yesterday as well and I think that was a special moment for them both.
So, now onto the next stage of being home and going back and forth to visit. This is going to take some adjusting, that is for sure. I'm going to have to plan around my need to be 'chaufered' and the needs of everyone else in the house. The question also arises on when to introduce T and Ry to their brother. Baby is stable but the thought of bringing in any germs to the NICU freaks me out. I am also under the battle of how much do we expose the boys to? Baby doesn't look like a 'regular' baby, he looks ill to say the least (although so very beautiful). Is it going to do the boys good to meet him and grasp an understanding of the fact that his brother is quite ill or do we wait until some of the swelling goes down when in fact it could take weeks? Ry was a bit distressed when he realized that we'd left his brother behind at the hospital but he does get it (as best as a 5 yr old can) that he needs the constant Dr care. Life has already changed so much in the past few weeks and then we added breast pumping 101 in my bedroom tonight...that is good for a few laughs knowing that Ry will be chatting about it to anyone who will listen I'm sure. Good thing that I'm not shy!
So the biggest positive of the day (actually last night but who's counting?) is that Baby was named. We'd like to introduce you all to Braeden. Wasn't that nice of me to make you wait till the end? I will try to upload a pic this weekend but the quality isn't the greatest and it's not like we can get right in the poor kids face! Michael chose the name and I feel like it is certainly a good fit. It felt 'right' when I tried it out on him. So Braeden it is, and he seemed to be okay with it as well.