Last Saturday, March 24th, was the 1 year anniversary of taking Bug home from the NICU! And we forgot to mark it. This weekend was a little crazy… Daddy Bug judged a color guard show Saturday night, and spent all his other waking hours (including today) at a leadership conference in Philly. Both my sisters came home for the weekend and Aunt Mandy brought her boyfriend with her too. Also, it’s Pappy’s last weekend home before he deploys, which is a very long story I don’t currently feel like writing about.
Anyhow, the anniversary inspired me to read the texts and emails Daddy Bug wrote while Bug was in the NICU. Perhaps some of you remember reading them and seeing the pictures he took too? When I wrote Bug’s NICU story I based it on my faulty memory, his discharge papers, and an email or two I had written about his birth last year. I had forgotten all about Daddy Bug’s texts and wanted to include them!
- “Overall statement: he is doing great and nothing out of the ordinary is occurring.” As in, all the issues he’s having with breathing and jaundice and the hole in his heart are normal for a baby like him at his gestational age. We were trying so hard to be positive. 😉
- “The doctor needed to check his brain for any bleeding [before giving him medicine to close the hole in heart].” We were on assured on day 2 he didn’t have a hematoma from the vacuum they used to help deliver him, so this was a nice confirmation that all was good with his head.
- “Cristina was asked as soon as we got there if she would like to change his diaper. She jumped right on it and did an awesome job.” First diaper change!
- “We got the most wonderful surprise tonight: open eyes :)” First time we saw his eyes open!
- “This whole thing is like a choose-your-own-adventure book… only the preemie is doing the choosing.” Yep, that’s Bug’s strong personality coming through 5 weeks before his due date.
- “We skipped the Morning Call [Daddy Bug’s title for morning updates] today because I had rehearsal and Cristina needed some extra rest.” In other words, Cristina’s exhausted from going back and forth to the hospital and pumping every 3 hours and turned into a blubbering mess when I gave her a kiss goodbye this morning. Ah well, this was the lowest point for me, other than the first night we had to leave Bug at the hospital. Turned out to be a good time to take a rest because of what Bug did later that morning!
- “We came over about 10am to find Patrick’s bed empty. He has been moved into his own isolate! … The vessel in his heart closed and they cannot detect the murmur anymore. They took out his central lines.”
- “We got to come back at noon and hold him [Jeff’s first time] and feed him with a bottle of mom’s milk and he drank it all down!” First time we got to feed him.
- “He had about 25 mL [of breast milk] for breakfast which is half way where he needs to be. They will slowly up the amount every day… They put a tube in his nose so they can check his stomach contents. The doctor was just about to give him a suppository to get his stool moving when she checked his diaper one last time. He pooped!” Bug had constipation issues from a much earlier age than we remembered, stinker!
- “He is now up over 30 mL per feeding which happens every 3 hours. Sometimes he gets a little sleepy working so hard to eat that some of his food goes in through a stomach tube.”
- “The most conservative of the three [neonatologists] actually talked with us today about the final things to do before [Bug’s] discharge. So, we are very close! If Patch takes his 9:30pm feeding, this will complete the first full 24 hour feeding cycle. This is very important and we hope that is the beginning of the transition to home.”
- “Patch’s billi[rubin] count came down below 10 so they have officially stopped tanning him. He is completely on his own body heat now and must be kept bundled up… He no longer has a feeding tube (fewer sneezes now) and he is allowed to ad lib feed on his own as long as he takes 60mL every 4 hours. The words ‘car seat’ were mentioned so I suppose we are really close now :)”
- “Tomorrow morning Mr. Johnson will be tamed and the hospital is kind enough to keep Patrick for two days after that so we don’t have to take the fresh wound home. So maybe Friday?” Circumcision, check.
- “Patch has been moved to a standard hospital bassinet. If he can maintain his body temp for 48 hours, he is home free!”
- “Master Patrick will be coming home tomorrow! Cristina and I will be rooming-in at the hospital tonight and coming home with our boy 🙂 We know that so many of you are eager to meet Patch but we need to ask you to be patient with us as we begin our life with baby at home. We promise not to make you wait too long :)” In other words, keep your germs at home. We’re exhausted and know it’s only going to get worse before it gets better, lol.
- “Patrick is HOME! No more needs to be said.”
Another thing I want to do to celebrate this anniversary is to send some updated pictures, including a few from Bug’s first birthday party, to the NICU. We’ve sent them a few pictures during Bug’s first year, including his birth announcement and our Christmas card, but it’s been awhile and I think they like seeing how well their former tiny babies are doing. 🙂