The last couple of days have been very exciting but also very terrifying.
Tuesday morning Nathan and I got to the hospital to discover Lola was not in her room. At first, we both thought that she had been taken for her MRI, but were told they moved room assigments. There were twins coming to the NICU and they needed her big room. She was moved to room 2. I feel bad to say we were disappointed because we had been spoiled by the large room. It started our day off on the wrong foot. When I got to Lola's room, I was in shock to see her feeding tube was gone. I was so excited. Could his be a turn in the right direction? I yelled to Nathan that the tube was gone! The nurse said Lola had pulled it out and a new one would be put in before her next feeding. I was devastated. The day was quickly turning bad. That day went pretty much as the days before had. Lola did not take all of her feeds by mouth. The nurse told us it could be her adjusting to the open crib and maintaining her temperature was wearing her out. I asked the nurse for some tips on feeding her and the nurse, Laurie, gave Lola her 3 pm feed. Lola took it all! The nurse said it was just coincidence and she didn't do anything better than why we were doing. It was nice to be reassured when we felt like we were failing Lola. Laurie showed me how to hold her cheeks to strengthen her suction and how to hold her more upright to keep her awake. Lola seemed to respond better to being sat upright rather than on the boppy.
On Tuesday night, I called the hospital about 8:30pm to see how Lola did on her eating. When I was told she ate her 3pm and 6 pm feeds, I felt like I needed to stay with her for the night. Nathan helped me get my stuff for the night together quickly so I could race to the hospital. I got there just in time for her 9pm feed and she chugged it. I was so happy. I proceeded to give her all of her feeds for the night shift, and remember the nurse Jade asking Lola if she was going to do 4 for 4 on her nightshift feeds at 6 am. Lola did it!! I texted Nathan to let him know Lola had done her last 6 feeds by mouth! I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, though it was far away! However during the night, Lola's temperature was low on the night shift. It was 36.5 Celsius, which was borderline to be in the open crib. At one time in the night her temp was 36.4. Jade took her temp under both arms and rectally to be sure. All read 36.4. I had to keep her swaddled and feed her. My heart was breaking. Had we come so far just to be sent back to the warming box?!? The NP told Jade to wrap her in warm blankets and check her on her next feed. When Jade checked her at the next feed, her temp was 36.5. I could breathe a sigh of release, at least for that feed.
When Laurie came back on for the day shift, I excitedly told her about how Lola was doing. She was excited as well. Wednesday went great. She did mention we would have to watch her temp or she would be sent back to the box. Lola's. temp went up on the day shift. Lola also hit he 24 hour mark of taking her feeds by mouth. At her 3pm feed, the NP Kristin came in and told us that IF Lola kept on the same path, she would be coming home on Friday. Nathan and I were ecstatic. Then, Kristin told us not to get too exited because something could still change. Lola started slowing down on her bottle as Kristin was having the conversation. I pleaded with Lola to not give up and she finished her bottle.
Nathan decided he wanted to stay the night to help me out. Leslie kept Tait and Nathan and I got ready for a long night. Lola did great that night. I did notice her temp was much lower at night in the 36.5 range. However, she never dropped below that and was allowed to stay in her open crib. At the 48 hour mark, I started to allow myself to imagine Lola coming home on Friday. Nathan wanted to get some stuff done in preparation (organize cabinets for bottles, sterilize bottles, finish stuff for her room, etc). I told Nathan to stay home Thursday night and get prepared in the chance that he would come home at some point that weekend. I still couldn't admit to myself that Friday could be the day.
On Thursday they decided to take Lola to ad lib feedings. This meant they would offer Lola as much as she wanted and see if they could push her to 4 hr feeds. Lola started drinking so much. She drank 70ml (before she was doing 42ml) at one point! I started calling Lola my hungry, hungry hippo because she was doing so well. Thursday night went well, though the nurse Casey and I held our breath every time we took her temp. Friday morning Casey told me that she had told the NP Scott that Lola was ready to come home. I thanked her for her help and support. I was ready for my girl to head home.
Friday morning the nurse told me that Lola was going to be discharged. The occupational therapist wanted to evaluate her and then we would start the discharge. At 10:30 the OT came in to evaluate Lola. She did several tests and proclaimed that Lola was above the mean for her gestational age! Then, the speech therapist came in to evaluate Lola on the level one nipple she had given us. I thought Lola did well on it, but she seemed to lose a lot of milk while eating. Janna evaluated her and thought the preemie nipple would wok better. I had ordered some off Amazon but was still waiting since thy didn't ship Prime. I got online to see when they would be delivered to decide what we would use when Lola was home (stores don't sell preemie nipples, they have to be special ordered). When I looked, I noticed that the nipples had been delivered 20 minutes before! God was telling me everything was going to work out! I did not want to leave Lola's side just in case something happened. . Nathan made me go eat lunch, because he knew it could take time to be discharged. It was good that we did, because the NP was admitting several babies and that needed to take priority over a discharge.
Finally, at about 1pm we got discharged. Nathan ran out to take bags to the car and bring it to the front. When I was walking out with the nurse, the fire alarm went off. The doors locked (safety reason to keep babies from being stolen) and we had to go back to the room. When we got to the room, the siren stopped. We turned to walk out again and there was a Code Pink (baby too close to exit with safety tag) which locked the doors again!! The hospital was not wanting to let me leave with our girl!! Finally, when the alarm went off the nurse and I made a run for the door. Lola was not phased at all and was conked out in her seat. I didn't realize through all of the excitement that I forgot all of her discharge papers at the hospital. I will need to call them later to get them sent or faxed to me.
When Nathan and I got Lola in the car and driving away, we finally called our family to give them the good news. We were so scared to get our hopes up or our family's that we had told no one about Lola coming home. On the way home we were giddy. Our baby was headed home. I was about to have my entire family under one roof.
When we got home, I got settled and Nathan went to pick up Tait. We set up the camera to videotape their first meeting. Unfortunately, the camera did not record when I hit the on button on the remote. However, their first meeting was so sweet. Tait touched her and hd the biggest smile on his face. H whispered around her and said how cute she was. His baby was home. He is doing well with her, I just have to ask him to stop touching her when she is asleep because he tends to wake her up. He is also a touch rougher with her than I would like, but he is getting so much better. He jut wants to touch and hold her so much! I think he loves her already; as do the rest of us!!