Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The End and the Beginning

My legs are shaved, my toenails are polished, my laundry is done, my floors are swept...and our lawn is mowed. It is SO great to be home. After two great nights rooming in with Alyssa over Labour day long weekend, we were finally able to go home August 31st after 110 days in the NICU.

From being critically ill and close to death's door, intubated, extubated, reintubated, oscillator and nitric oxide, pneumonia, good days, bad days, more then half of dozen blood transfusions, RDS to BPD, mild ROP, another infection, many apneas, many IV's, poor feeding, many restless nights... and losing a twin sister...were just some of the obstacles Alyssa went through to get her to her discharge day. We waited for the day to take her home for so long, but when it came...it was a very bittersweet moment.

Charlotte and Shelley were both working and able to see us off, and Courtney came all the way in to see us, but missed us by minutes as we were discharged much earlier then we thought. Jessica's picture was sitting with Alyssa in her car seat as Keith and I headed out those swinging NICU doors thinking... this is the moment we've been waiting for since the day we arrived in the NICU in May...so bittersweet...Keith should be carrying one car seat and me the other. Instead we have a pillow with a picture. We've come along way. Although there is still a lot of pain, and guilt, the anger is gone. I'm starting to feel less depressed. And I never realized how depressed I was until I started to feel better, happier.

Our first week home has been great. She's eating, she has long alert periods, and the first couple of nights was sleeping 5-6 hours. That changed quickly, and I'm back to the normal waking up in the middle of the night and staying up for a couple of hours...but really, who cares?? I may be cranky with the lack of sleep sometimes, but I'm home and cranky... and I can wear my comfy pants all day, I can make meals again, I have time to sit and drink my coffee in the morning, I can visit with healthy family and friends, I can talk to people on the phone, I can start my thank you cards once again, I can be me, and laugh and cry whenever I want, without feeling like I am spinning. The spinning has stopped ;)

Yesturday was our first follow-up appointment, and Alyssa gained 180 grams since discharge, which they were happy about. But we will have to continue to monitor her weight closely as she is gaining in the lower end of the "normal". Her eyes were checked again, and her ROP is improving, so hopefully at her next appointment in 3 weeks, her eyes will completly be back to normal. We were so pleasantly surprized to see Charlotte arrive at our appointment. She stayed with us for the entire appointment, we were so happy to have her there. That morning was so great, because then as we were heading up to the NICU, we ran into Sharla who we missed saying goodbye to before we left. Then we ran into one of Alyssa's dietician's, Tara (Jessica's primary), Paula from transitional, and another mom friend of ours who was in follow up with her 2 boys at the same time. It was so nice to see everyone again, and to feel like some of them may have missed us as much as we missed them.

So this is it. This is all I have to say right now. I won't be updating the blog as frequently anymore, maybe once a month, depending on what is happening. I think this blog has definetly served it's purpose to keep all of you updated these past 6 months or so. There has been many more viewers then I ever imagined. Thank you to everyone for thinking of us, for praying for us, and for taking the time to read my blog to understand what we've been through. Thank you to all of our friends, family, and even strangers who continued to call and write me on facebook or personal messages even though I never had the time to talk or write back....You're support helped us to get where we are today.
Visitors are welcome to the house as long as your healthy!!