Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Harper's Story...NICU Week 9...

Harper started week 9 just shy of the 6 pound mark but hit that just two days in - that was a great milestone to see him achieve, especially now that he was eating all on his own without his tube. Aside from continuing to grow, week 9 was all about preparing for discharge! Wooho! I'm a big fan of check-lists and boy did I love seeing us mark things off his discharge check-list all week with an eye on Thursday, November 5 as his expected discharge date - which also just happened to be his two month birthday. 

First on the list was his car seat challenge. Harper would have to sit in his car seat strapped in and everything for 90 minutes without having a spell or any desats. Turns out - Harper LOVES his car seat and the nurse even left him in it after the time was up as he was napping so comfortably. Challenge passed, completed, and checked off the list! 

After that it was three days of vaccinations (his 2 month shots) to tolerate - which he did so great with! Check those of the list! 

Some of the items on the list were for Andy and me to complete on the education side of things. So CPR training, safe sleep training, and infant massage training. I'll admit I kind of always thought the massage stuff was a bit "crunchy" - you know, like for the moms who vow to never let their kids have sugar, teach them to read by age 2, etc - however it turns out the massage techniques are really beneficial for babies - especially for preemies whose brains are still developing and who may be more prone to sensory issues as a result. Turns out the techniques can also be used on Adam to help with stress, which after some of our homework struggles, I can see trying to use these on him too. So, with that, education items checked off the list! 

Before we knew it the check-list was complete, his Discharge Train was all green and we'd snapped our last NICU selfie. All that was left was to finally unhook him from his monitors, go over his discharge papers, pack up his room, and say farewell to the doctors and nurses - which was the hardest part. As happy as I was to be bringing Harper home I was very sad to say goodbye to the staff- especially the nurses. Turns out I was just as much their patient as Harper was. Our daily conversations, medical in nature or mostly not, were exactly the distractions I needed from our NICU reality and I knew I'd miss them. 

Alas, it was time to rip off the bandaid, say our goodbyes and bust Harper out of there! After 60 days it was time to end this chapter of Harper's journey and we left there excited, scared, thrilled, terrified, and a little sad, but mostly we left there feeling whole - Harper was finally going to be where he belonged - home. 

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