Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Number 2 – Homecoming

One of the hardest things that Jason and I have ever had to do was to leave our two precious children in the hospital. After being released from the hospital, Jason and I spent the next several days making many trips to the NICU. Everyday we were allowed to do something new. It started out with only being able to hold a baby and by the end of Joshua and Abby Kate’s stay we were able to change diapers, change clothes, take temperatures, feed, give baths and cuddle.

We were so excited to hear when Abby Kate had been moved to an opened air crib (last step in the NICU). Jason and I were out there visiting with Joshua and Abby Kate when the neonatologist made his rounds and told us that Abby Kate could go home! We were so happy to finally have our baby girl coming home with us. That night, we spent the night in the hospital with Abby Kate in our room! The next morning, Thursday, July 15, 2004, Abby Kate came home from the hospital after spending 9 days in the NICU! We were so glad to have our little girl home with us.

The day that we took Abby Kate home with us was bittersweet. We were taking one baby home, but we had to leave our other baby at the hospital.

Joshua continued to gain weight over the next few weeks. Jason continued to spend every night out in the NICU with Joshua. Joshua moved to an opened air crib within a couple of weeks. He was still too little to be released from the hospital. We had been told all week that they would let Joshua go home on Friday, August 6th. Joshua was going to be the smallest baby to be released from the hospital. He weighed in at 3#8oz. Jason and I were so excited to go and bring our little Joshua home on that day. When the neonatologist made her rounds that morning, she changed her mind. She felt that he needed to be at the recommended weight limit (3#12oz.). We were absolutely devastated! Most children are fortunate if they gain ½ oz. per day, at this time Joshua was gaining about 1 oz. a day. This meant that we would have at least another 4 days. I was so angry and hurt. Why could I not have my baby home with me? This day was incredibly hard on all of us.

My parents came in that night and kept Abby Kate for us while we went up to visit Joshua. This visit was especially difficult because I knew that the only thing keeping Joshua from coming home was just his weight. The next morning, I had to go out for some routine blood work. As I was waiting for my turn, my phone rang and to my surprise it was the hospital. The nurse was calling to tell me that the neonatologist had just finished her rounds and said that Joshua could go home, TODAY! What? I must not be hearing you correctly? How much does he weigh? Our little boy weighed in at 3#12oz! This was the most amount of weight that he had gained during his whole stay in the NICU. It was unbelievable! I quickly called Jason and we were all on our way to get Joshua. We arrived shortly before visiting hours were over and gathered all of our belongings and got our precious baby boy.

Joshua came home on Saturday, August 7, 2004, after spending 31 days in the NICU! Jason and I left the hospital with TWO healthy babies! We were so happy! Our family was finally together after a very long 31 days!

Anyone that has ever had to leave their child in the NICU will quickly tell you that it is the hardest thing that they have ever had to do. Our time in the NICU was very difficult. We count our blessings that our children were only small! Many babies spend months in the NICU because of complications associated with premature birth. Check out The March of Dimes website to find out more.


Jason said...

Both my parents passed away when I was younger, but even that pain wasn't as difficult for me as leaving those children in the hospital. But we grew a lot from that experience; as a control freak, it was good for me to learn that our little ones, even at such a young age, were completely in God's hands. Psalm 138:8 became our cry: "Forsake not the work of thine own hand." He was faithful to do just that.

alice said...

I didn't know all of the details about the time Joshua and Abbey Kate were in the hospital. Such a touching story. They look just like baby dolls in the pictures you posted today.

Tracy said...

You guys have me crying! It was from a distance that we waited and worried and hung on every little update about your family and this brings it so much closer. I can feel your pain through these words, Sunny. And just like I can feel your pain in this post, your love for your children is radiating through every word and every picture. You are an awesome lady.

Supabloggasuprememama said...

that is so sweet. I cannot imagine. They are so precious. They really look like little dolls!