Saturday, December 29, 2012

Coming Home

It wasn't easy. It never is. But she is finally home!

Over the weekend before Christmas I enjoyed my time with Vivek, knowing things would be changing a lot soon. We had a lot of fun and he gave his jumper and musical playmat a test run and seemed to enjoy himself, even if he is a little small for it. He is all about moving around and standing up and now jumping up and down and making noises. 
Don't let the blank face fool you. I'm having fun.








We also had a Christmas photo shoot, and I'm including the best selections.
 




Then we joined my husband's family for a wonderful Christmas celebration in Arlington. Dadoo and Dadima were over the moon to have him at their home for the first time, and the babies got a fantastic pile of presents!
 



Thanks to Dadoo and Dadima staying with our son we were able to room in on Christmas Eve, and all through Christmas day and most of the next day. Princess created some drama that delayed her discharge a day. Typical. She wanted to remind everyone who was in charge.

For some reason in my head I expected Vinnie and I to have a magical night bonding with our baby girl again. I think the only thing that was magical was waking up to white Christmas. The rest of it was incredibly stressful. I have been at the hospital a lot. But it wasn't until my husband and I were tasked with all the rigorous schedule of feeding bag formula changeouts, bag replacements, wound care, medication administration, breathing treatments/CPT, and 2-3 bottle feeds crammed in between that it hit me how hard it was going to be. It wasn't so much all the things required for her care that are daunting, but how in the hell I'm going to fit another baby and any sleep into that mix at all and eventually come back to work. I promised myself I would give it a few days to settle in and see how we can make it work.

Princess did well most of the time, but had a few of her epic meltdowns thanks to her temper and a few poopy diapers. This sets off her reactive airway disease and causes her to wheeze, but usually a slightly early breathing treatment and a little time and her lungs settle back down. 30 minutes before the doctor returned to give her final clearance to take her home she had a meltdown and this time her breathing sounded like rice crispies. I already knew before the doctor walked in that she would not be going home that day. But I wasn't upset. I knew we needed a better plan to bring her home, and had been wanting oxygen at home for just such circumstances for over a month. This time the doctor agreed, as it was the first event like this she had seen. She put her on a diuretic and sodium chloride as well as upping her calories to 24 so she will take in less fluid. Hopefully this will keep her lungs from getting all wet from an RAD episode.  She didn't think insurance would approve oxygen initially, but I argued that we were treating it like an all or nothing proposition when her needs are episodic. My father saved the day and had an oxygen concentrator that he had never used from his aortic aneurysm two years ago, so I drove the next morning after working Christmas night through lots of icy roads and brought it to the hospital. The insurance company fight can be postponed.

 


















I finally brought her home the day after Christmas around 3pm. I got to ride in a wheelchair with her in my arms just like all the other Moms when they leave the hospital! Thanks to a gift card from my wonderful friend Madira, she wore her very special pink bunny sweater dress I had purchased months ago on the third day of her hospitalization when I finally started to believe wholeheartedly that she would survive. It was a big turning point, and I've kept that outfit and looked at it often over these months as a promise of the wonderful day that would surely come eventually. It did!  I added to the ensemble a pair of ruffled pink tights that used to cover up my tiny bottom in 1977, and I have a pile of my old baby clothes my Mom saved for her to wear now.
 


















I had barely slept in two days, but was so happy. And I don't think it is just my imagination, but she seems so much happier here too. Just seeing the look of amazement and smiles on her face when she looked at the toy arch above her sleeper bed melted my heart. This is where she belongs.

There has been no time for all the photo sessions I dreamed of, but hopefully soon I can get some post-Christmas photos that make it look like Christmas and some family reunited shots. Right now I'm just lucky to get a shower every few days and a meal every 8 hours.  It is hard. It's really, really hard. I hate when they both cry so hard and I have to pick one, especially when her's is so heart wrenching and causes a wheezing episode. But when he needs a bottle and she just wants to be held, what choice do you have? I'm hoping the Podee bottle I ordered from Amazon arrives any day now and might help with that situation.

My calendar is full of doctor appointments. She has at least one a week, and will follow up with about 5 different specialists. There are tons of calls from medical supply companies shipping us equipment. My living room has an IV pole, oxygen machine, and nebulizer machine in it. I can now disconnect a G-tube and pause a feeding pump while half asleep to go get her diaper changed. Home health nurses came by for one of the twice weekly visits, and within 5 minutes of talking to me they were so impressed with my knowledge, skill, and setup in caring for her that they said "You don't need education and monitoring, you need help!" I told the nurse our entire story over the next two hours and brought her to tears. She promised to do battle with the insurance company to get us a different kind of nursing care during the day to help me sleep, though the nurse can't care for Vivek so I'll still sleep when he sleeps. We'll see what happens. I'm trying to exist day to day...no...hour to hour. It is very hard. But as always, after a few hours sleep (Thanks Vinnie and Subhash and Savita) and a few baby smiles it all feels so very worth it. I know it will get easier as they both age and her medical needs resolve, and I do my best to enjoy every moment until then.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful babies. Wondrous miracles.
    Wishes and hopes for sleep for all. Hang on to your knowledge that the future will come faster than you can imagine...the minutes may be LONG but the weeks will be fast and it WILL get better.
    MUCH Joy in the new year!
    THANK YOU for posting and sharing your world, our net world is celebrating for you all.

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  2. Hi Emily, i have been meaning to post for ages, thanks for stopping by my blog, your little ones are beautiful! wishing you and your lovely family the very best in 2013, Tara is true to her name, she shines like a star in her pictures! so pleased you guys are all home together x

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  3. Happy belated holidays. Great pictures. Wishing you all the best.

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