Its probably not the best idea for me to write this update after our second all nighter with all 3 babies but if I wait any longer, the latest won't be the latest anymore. Jolynne came home on Thursday, January 19th. She has gone through so much including two major surgeries. On the 3rd day of her life, we were told that she would likely pass away within a few hours without surgery, but that she may not even make it through that. Now I can look over and see her precious face anytime I want. I feel so grateful she was given this chance at life and even though it took some time, she is with us now and that is all that matters. I have learned over the past couple months, it doesnt always turn out that way, and realistically some parents dont get to take their babies home at all, and my heart breaks for them.
Originally estimated to come home by Valentines day, she came home almost a month sooner. She has done nothing but prove us all wrong from day 1. She really is a fighter. Mickey followed days behind her joining us on Sunday, the 22nd. They told me it was possible but honestly I didn't believe them, until the day before, Saturday when I talked to one of our primary nurses, she said we could take him home the next day if we wanted. After I hung up the phone with her, I sat at the kitchen table and cried for about 5 minutes. Mickey coming home meant so much, it meant our entire family would be together again, that all my babies had survived being born 10 weeks early at 2 and 1/2 pounds and overcome lung disease and abdominal surgery and so much more. It meant I didn't have to wake up the next day and get in the car and head to the hospital and eat lunch by myself in the hospital cafeteria. It meant I didn't have to say goodbye to any of my children at the end of the day and stare at their pictures at night because I couldn't see them next to me, and I didn't have to call up there to the hospital to get my nightly update (weights, poopy diapers, apnea spells, etc.) before going to bed. I didnt have to watch someone else go home with their baby, while I stayed next to the hospital bed with mine, listening to the monitors and wondering.....when. It was my turn. Those of you that have been keeping up with the blog know there where days when I wondered if this day would ever come, I referred to the NICU as a roller coaster, and a merry go round, I questioned my sanity at times, but somehow my babies found their way out, with a little help of course. That last day when one of doctors came to thank me for beng so understanding and patient and for being so "level headed", I almost laughed. I did not see myself that way. Maybe he was just saying it, or maybe he didnt realize how unlevel I felt at times, or maybe he did.
Sunday, with Mickey coming home marked the end of a a very long, challenging three months, and the beginning of the rest of our lives together. I felt more than a little emotional that day driving to the hospital and leaving the hospital and I will definitely miss a few people there who took the time to really be there for the babies and for me and Tommy. I realize this is their job as nurses and doctors and therapists: to heal the sick babies, but support the families, but what a difficult job! Working with parents on a daily basis who are tired and scared and think they know more than you sometimes cannot be easy. The hard work they do every day did not go unnoticed and I so hope that other parents see that as much as we did.
Now Mickey, Joynne and Georgia are all home and the first couple hours they all slept quietly in their bouncers and then the fun began! It was a night with little sleep and lots of spit up and baby tears, but we all made it through. We survived! And so did the babies! All joking aside, Mickey does has some significant medical needs that we have to watch closely still, how we feed him so he doesnt choke, when we feed him so he has the energy, what we feed him and with what so he doesnt aspirate is so important. Same with Jolynne, what she eats, how much and how often play a huge role in her weight gain. They all have several medications they receive twice a day and they all are eating different formula recipes with different nipple sizes and its a lot to keep up with honesly, especially when you are sleep deprived, but luckily spending three months in the NICU taught me a lot and I feel very prepared for this. The next step is finding a routine and getting organized so that it gets easier.
I have to say as we close this chapter and move onto the next I feel I have really grown as person, becoming a parent for the first time, watching them struggle and then watching them heal and I have been so humbled by the support we have recieved from so many people, some that know us well, and some that we have not seen in many years. It has really opened my eyes to so much and I hope I can pay it forward throughout my life. Some may think I am crazy but yesterday when Tommy ran out to the store, I was looking down at all three of them and making sure they were all ok when I suddenly had the strangest, most comforting feeling that my dad was in the room. Since he passed, I usually feel an emptiness or something lacking when I think of him, I miss him so, but yesterday for a few minutes, I swear he was standing next to me. I could not see him or hear him, but I defintely felt him in a way I have not since he has been gone. I do believe in angels, and I believe in miracles. I have both in my life.