It was some of the longest days of my life, those long days and nights in the NICU.
There was uncertainty and sleepless nights. But we made it through and now we are home, praise God.
We spent 10 days in one hospital and then we transferred to another hospital an hour away where we did more tests and spent more sleepless nights. Two weeks total. It was exhausting.
My little lady had her first ride in the big world in the back of an ambulance. They packed her into this thing-a-muh-jig and wheeled her into the ambulance. I just about lost it! It was so so hard to see her being taken away. Even though she was accompanied by three amazing, very well trained, professionals whose only job it was to watch out for her safety during the ride. I followed close behind, of course, in my car and met them at the hospital. I scrubbed in to the NICU and went to see my baby. I heard her crying before I saw her. I knew her cry! A doctor was holding her, rocking her. I was surprised! One thing I learned during our stay in the hospital is that these doctors and nurses love these babies. Each and every one. This doctor in particular had already met my little Lisette and cared for her at the previous hospital and came to visit. We had many visitors-- some nurse practitioners who we'd met at the other hospital, and several nurses that I befriended in the dark hours of the night, and the nurses that accompanied her in the ambulance, as well as a couple of doctors. They all came to visit and wish us well before we left. Even amidst uncertainty, we had so many people around us who seemed to really care about our outcome. It was beautiful.
Lisette had an echo-cardiogram the day she arrived at the second hospital. It showed a VSD, a hole in the lower chambers of her heart. We met with a Genetic Counselor who explained in depth about her Trisomy 21. She finally passed the car-seat test so we could go home, though I was still paranoid about that and stopped about 10 times along the way home just to check on her. I couldn't help it! I needed to know she was ok. We arrived safe and sound to happy squeals from my other children.
I'm so glad to be home. It's wonderful to have all my children together under one roof. I still feel a little uncertainty about things, and concern about health issues. Those concerns will last a while, I'm sure. But there are ups, too! She's a happy baby, who loves snuggles and watches me as I move. It's wonderful getting to know her in the comfort of our own home. I'm still getting my bearings. There are things we struggle with, like feedings but I know that it will all come together with time and patience. I'm getting to know a brand new little person after all!
There is more to this story that I'd love to share. That will come next, after I've gathered my thoughts a bit. It's all about a mothers intuition, and how sometimes mother's just know when something is going on before anyone else.