The days that Sweet Baby L spent in the hospital were the most bittersweet days of our lives. We knew he was our SON. We were so happy to go visit him and cover him in kisses but at the same time we were so eager to bring him home. Every time we went to the hospital we went with the hopes that he would be coming home... and each time we were disappointed.
Baby L was in the hospital from the day he was born (obviously 05-25-2012) until Monday June 11th, 2012. Our little man was born a preemie, just a few weeks earlier than what is considered full-term so in order to be cautious the doctors at NorthShore Hospital decided that it was best for him to put on weight and regulate his temperature before he would be allowed to come home.
As you read on my previous post we met baby L on June 6, so those 5 days were totally stressful for us. Not only were we new parents but we were not able to fully enjoy our new bundle of joy because he was being kept at the NICU. I must clarify for when Baby L reads this in the future that there was absolutely no danger to his life. The doctors just wanted to make sure he put on the appropriate weight necessary to maintain his temperature above 98 degrees.
At first the doctors told us that we would be able to take our sweet angel home on friday june 8th and we were so excited and prepared everything for his arrival at home. Baby L drank his milk like a champion and even worked hard and staying warm enough by not breaking out of his swaddle (he hated being swaddled!). But unfortunately when friday came along, a nurse reported that L's temperature had dipped to under 98 so they decided he was not allowed to come home.
At that point we got really sad. We are both in the medical field and we know how Hospitals work. We know that they are staffed differently on the weekend and we knew that the doctors that were going to be there were not familiar with L's story. We lost hope that he could come home. To our surprise the weekend staff was phenomenal. We were so blessed. They decided they were not going to let little L out just yet... but they allowed us to SPEND THE NIGHT as a family!!! So, on Saturday June 9th, 2012 we checked in to the maternity floor and we got a room. They wheeled baby L into our room and we got to spend the night together. We fed him, bathed him, cuddled him. We sang as a family. We took pictures and videos. We could have stayed there forever. In fact, we would have moved in had they allowed us too!
During our overnight stay we heard a rumor that after caring for L an entire night they would let us go home. We had taken our baby CPR classes, we had taken care of our son all night. Once again we got our hopes up... and once again we were shot down. Let me explain how things went down. After spending the night they came in at 6 am and took baby L for routine nurse shift changes. At that point they asked us to leave to get some rest while they got caught up with paperwork and doctor rounds. We didn't want to leave but figured we could shower and get ready for coming home. At about 8 am we went back to the hospital to make sure we did not miss the DR rounds. We wanted answers as to when baby L was coming home. Sure enough we made it on time to speak with the doctor in charge. She stated that she had given orders for baby L to stay one more night because he had a significant drop in temperature over night. At this point we wanted to just grab baby L and run home with him.
But we didn't. Instead, we calmly explained to the doctor (who had not treated L before) what the situation was. We told her (even though it was part of his medical records, which she SHOULD have read!) that baby L was maintaining steady between 97.5 and 98.5. We told her that his treating doctor was happy with that. We told her that we had done the night trial as our last step before getting discharged. At that point she stated that she had no idea we had spent the night. She admitted the temp drop was environmental (the room we were in was COLD!). And then she told us... "sorry but I already wrote out the orders... he has to stay." And then I cried. And cried. And cried.
We stayed with baby L the rest of the day, only leaving to buy the necessary things like food. Monday morning I had absolutely no hope. I figured it would be another week of the "same stuff". S on the other hand was hopeful. He kept telling me that God had a plan. Little did we know that God's plan was to send that baby home. THAT MONDAY! On the day we least expected. On the day where we didn't push the doctors. On the day we had accepted our resignation that we had to go with God's plan... That's the day we got to bring home our son.
It's amazing how things happen. It's amazing how you have to trust God's timing. We kept wanting for things to happen our way... we kept trying to convince doctors that we were ready to become a family. We kept trying to manipulate the situation to achieve the results WE wanted... all while forgetting that these life-changing decisions are not in our humble human hands. The day we let go and let God was the day we got to bring our gorgeous son home.
Today, August 6, 2012, exactly two months after we met our son, I sit here as he naps, listening to his breathing and Thanking God for his health and the happiness this child has brought into our lives. He came to us at a tiny 4 pounds 4 ounces. We brought him home at a whopping 4 pounds 13 ounces, and here next to me lies a big 9 pound 3 ounce baby boy who has mastered the art of smiling and tummy time. A baby boy who brings a smile to our face multiple times a day every single day of our lives.
So that's the recount of our hospital stay. It's not witty. It's not funny. It's just filled with details because I never ever want to forget our hospital days. Those hospital days made us a family and for that I am thankful.
L's proud momma.