Yesterday morning I was at the hospital at 9:15 am, as usual. When I came in, a nurse asked me if I was ready to take my baby home that day, and I said I certainly was!
About an hour and a half later, I asked the nurse to check that the paperwork would be ready when I needed to leave, sometime around noon. She told me she didn’t think so, that it would take a long time. I spoke to the head doctor and he told me they wouldn’t get back the latest bloodwork until 12:30, and only at that time would they know if they would release him. And then they’d start preparing the paperwork at that point.
I was in a bit of a dilemma. There are only two buses each day from my city to the city where the hospital was. One left at 12:45 pm, and the other left six hours later. If I waited around to find out if they were releasing the baby or not, I would have to take the later bus and would be away from my other children all day long, from 8 am – 8 pm. It wasn’t certain that I’d be able to bring the baby home even if I did stay, and if I didn’t, I’d be back the next morning as usual.
So after going back and forth in my mind about what to do, I told them I’d leave as usual and come back the next morning to get him. I know too well that when someone tells you something will be done by 12:30, it can be another two hours until it happens, and then they’ll tell you the office where something else needs to happen closed in the meantime, and you can waste hours and a lot of emotional energy waiting for something to happen.
And that’s what I did. I knew the baby was in good hands and even though I really didn’t want to go back home without him after being geared up to take him home (especially knowing how disappointed the kids would be if I came home myself), I took my regular bus home. It was 2 pm when I got home, and five minutes after that dh got home from another appointment for another child in another city (:)), and told me a friend had called and offered to drive me to pick up the baby. I was exhausted by then and the thought of going back to this city and getting the baby really felt beyond my physical capacity. And I wasn’t even sure the paperwork would be ready if I did.
So dh called the hospital and they said the head doctor had authorized everything already (before I left I spoke to him and requested that as soon as the results come in, that he prepare the release paperwork so I wouldn’t be in the same situation the next morning when I came in). Dh has missed tons of work time between needing to be available for our child who was hospitalized for two weeks (two weeks before I gave birth), and then this baby being in the NICU for ten days. So he really couldn’t go to the hospital to pick up the baby, though usually he would do this knowing how wiped out I was.
I decided even though I was so tired it would be really nice to bring the baby home that day, and easier to do it with a friend driving me than by bus the next day. I’m really glad we did it this way, because even driving directly there, it was a 3.5 hour process! Another good thing was that she had a car seat she brought along for me to borrow, and the NICU staff said they couldn’t release him until they saw the car seat! I had a baby wrap and was planning to wear him until we got to the parking lot where we were parked, because it’s so much easier than carrying a baby around in a heavy car seat. But they said that wasn’t allowed, which left me wondering if they would have released the baby if I had only had the baby wrap and no car seat (like that morning), since I was planning to take a bus?
They gave me an extensive list of medical follow up care that will keep me busy the next two or three weeks – a visit to our pediatrician, a nephrologist, a hematologist, a pediatric cardiologist, need to get an ultrasound done, more bloodwork, a visit with the child development center – I know I’m forgetting stuff but I have it written down. Some of these can be taken care of in our city but two of them will need to be at the hospital next week. I was busy on the phone this morning trying to get the first of these appointments made, which was challenging since as a newborn he’s not yet registered at the clinic and they told me I wasn’t able to make appointments other than for the pediatrician. Tomorrow after that visit I should be able to get the rest of the appointments scheduled.
The kids were so excited to see the baby! Most of the kids were waiting outside for me when I got home, and from the point we got into our home until late that evening, the baby wasn’t put down for even a second. He just was passed from person to person. Even when he’s sleeping, someone is holding him.
“Oh my gosh, he’s SOOO cute!” – this is what I heard for hours, and then it started again as soon as he woke up again in the morning. It’s really nice how excited everyone is about the baby. And it’s so nice to be home!