Monday, April 29, 2013

Writing Prompt: Coming Home

Coming home from hospital with my babies was both exciting and terrifying.

Even though she was big and healthy bringing Emma home
still terrified me!

With Ashlea and Audrey that fear and excitement was multiplied many times over.

Early on in our NICU experience I had hoped that the girls would be able to come home at the same time.  We quickly had to let go of that dream.  As our time in the nursery wore on - and the intense ups and downs continued - I became convinced that Ashlea wasn't going to make it home at all.  I refused to buy anything for her until I was certain she was coming home.

Audrey came home on her due date after 87 days in hospital weighing just over 2kg.  At that time Ashlea had only just recovered from her last and greatest collapse and weighed a whisker over 1kg.

Audrey's home coming

Ashlea came home exactly 8 weeks later - after 143 event-filled days in hospital.  Not many families get a crash course in CPR just in case when they take their baby home.  We did.

Ashlea - first sleep in her brand new bed - bought the day before she came home
8 weeks corrected - 2.3kg

Audrey at 8 weeks corrected
Too cute not to post :)

Of course in typical Ashlea style the excitement of the home coming was short lived.  She lasted 2 days before we had to take her back to hospital because she was nearly impossible to feed.

We don't have any pictures of us leaving the hospital the second time.  Ashlea had been back in special care for around 4 or 5 days when a very wise doctor advised that we take her home with an NG tube rather than stay in hospital and risk exposing her to infection.  I think he had seen us through so many tumultuous moments that he realised neither Ashlea nor I could take another catastrophe.  So we don't have any pictures of her final home coming - we just hot footed it out of there - and thankfully managed to stay out of hospital for at least another 6 months!

Finally at home together - 15th Sept 2006
We still have Ashlea's outfit - it fits her baby doll perfectly

Thanks for the writing prompt Ellen and the chance to self-indulgently reminisce!!


Sylvia said...

Boy, You can really see how tiny Ashlea was compared to her sister. I remember how scared I was to bring Beth home after 2 months in the hospital for brain cancer. I can't imagine what it must have felt like for you- times two! Somehow we both managed though!

The Trousdell Five said...

I realize from reading this post (and know from many others) how unique it was that I got to bring my boys home on the same day, after such a long stay. I have always maintained Nolan waited to be "well" until Asher could prove he was! It was such a scary time to be bringing those babies home, no matter how/when they came home, wasn't it?! We are so blessed that we have our miracle babies :)

Ellen Stumbo said...

I can only imagine what the wait was like for you, and es, how exciting and terrifying it must have been!