Wednesday, September 10, 2008

1 month flies by when you have 4 new babies

Well I guess I have some updating to do.

The last pictures were from the first weekend that we were in the hospital.

Over the last month I was released from the hospital on August 12th. That day was particularly hard since I wanted to go home to see Chris, Jason & Kyle, but at the same time I finally was able to start getting to touch and hold let alone meet Molly, Kurt, Meghan & Cole.

As I moved back home, I seemed to miss what had been normal to me - breakfast in bed, familiar nurses and techs I had come to know well, wheelchair rides with transporters and family, particular Md's & their residents, and of course TV, The Shower Chair, and my next door neighbor Saadia.

It didn't take long and I was back to St. John's again this time visiting the NICU. At first we spent most of our time trying to make it before their schedules started or the limited time they could be held was gone. The staff accommodated us nicely especially with the extended family I had visiting in shifts each day. I would look forward to seeing them and meeting new nurses and talking about this miracle that seemed so unreal. They spent the first weekend working towards reducing their oxygen demands and breathing on their own. Molly and Cole both needed to be intubated briefly, given surfactant to help their lungs mature and recover prior to breathing on their own. By my departure all babies except Cole were breathing on their own - that was 8 weeks prior to their due date. What a miracle that was in itself.

Everyday I expected some setbacks or information that a baby or babies would struggle, need some type of support or have something major to be evaluated, but each day brought out more good news - all O2 demand negated, all bilirubin levels decreasing from photo therapy, no anemia problems requiring intervention, all ultrasounds to detect brain bleeds negative, hearing/vision screens normal, and all heart murmurs benign. All of the babies were moved to the South in 1 week a fast but much needed change from the critical north NICU. Thank god for miracles and a few good angels protecting these babies.

As each neonatologist would visit and discuss each child they would get an enormous grin on their face and say, "they are all doing so well, so well Jill, no worries get some rest." As the end of August approached, ( just shy of 2 weeks from my actual release) Dr. Chao thought 1 to 3 babies might be released from the NICU. Chris and I were shocked let alone suprised by the thought of three babies coming home in 2 1/2 weeks from birth. We prepared for them to be in over a month possibly more - not home in 2 weeks. As I discussed this home coming I started to tear up thinking I can't leave Molly here by herself - I just thought I'd never be able to get back. Now thinking about it I wouldn't be able to not with the demands of feedings around the clock and the exhaustion that follows you like a little cloud over your head, but you just seem to keep going. As I realized I was probably only talking about a week or a few days more I just couldn't bear it. I apologized to Dr. Chao because I realized there are much worse things I could be crying about right now ......... but he said every child is special and not every child is your own so that helped me realize I wasn't being selfish just wanting to not leave anyone behind.

So as the end of the day passed and the new day came I braced for this new change. I was glad they were coming but was still hoping they would stay longer to help me recover & get them home safely together. Again, someone was watching over us as the babies all slowed down together, I believe to wait for their sister Molly and to help me recover, but scientifically because the circumcisions fatigued the boys eating patterns and the now known "cold corner" of NICU south helped put Meghan into temperature fluctuations requiring a isolette.

Over the next week Molly caught up with intake of feedings, the boys started to eat well again, and Meghan regained her steady temperatures. ( For the NICU nurses that moved them I thank you - especially since it was your busiest time of a long 12 hour day.) As they kept improving it dawned on me they were all getting close to going home, but not until the nurse informed me to sit down that it was actually going to happen. It paid off and all of my babies arrived in pairs over the Labor Day weekend.

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