Thursday, August 9, 2012

One year at home...

Today is the day, a year ago, that Zadie finally got to come home from the hospital! Leaving her there when I was discharged was one of the hardest things I'd ever done! I always heard about babies having to stay in the NICU, and I always said I couldn't imagine how hard that would be. Unfortunately, I found out. What made it a million times worse was that almost every day when I went to the hospital to see Zadie, I'd see a beaming mom sitting in a wheelchair, holding her tiny bundle of joy, waiting for dad or whoever to bring the car around.  It really was like a knife to the heart to see that, every time.  It never got easier.  I often wished that there was some secret NICU parent entrance so we didn't have to pass by that scene every day.  I also realized how lucky I was that I got to experience that once.  I was that beaming mom holding my little Jonathan just three years earlier.  It was a long ten weeks, and I couldn't believe the day had finally come where they would release Zadie!

Zadie with one of her favorite NICU nurses, Patty

Zadie's neonatologist, Dr. Ruben, sending her off

Proud big brother with his baby sister home for the first time!

It was torrentially raining that day, and when we got home, the director of nursing of the home care agency and four nurses were waiting to be oriented on Zadie's case.  From that day on, we've had nurses in the house 16 hours a day almost every day.

So much has changed in the last year!  Zadie has grown, of course, and is happy and healthy and on the go.  She's been back in the hospital a few times.  She no longer has a cleft palate.  She's eating and drinking by mouth, although still uses her tube overnight (mostly because we haven't gotten the orders changed).  We are old pros at changing trach ties, changing the trach itself, getting it back in if it gets pulled out, changing her Mic-key button (feeding tube), putting that back in if it gets pulled out.

Maybe, just maybe, in a year from now, Zadie will have put a lot of this behind her!

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