Hailey is Home

I’ve been up since 5:30 a.m. Brianna couldn’t sleep and that meant I
also had to wake up early. We went to the NICU for the 7:30
a.m. feeding. We had hoped that this would be the day but we didn’t
know for sure. In fact everything depended solely on Hailey.

We had a scare when we first went into Bay 3, Hailey’s home. Hailey’s
nurse was changing Hailey’s diaper while wearing latex gloves and
there was a new incubator oddly positioned next to Hailey’s current
isolette. The gloves are normally only used on the quarantined
babies. Our fears were unfounded. The incubator was the new home of
the little baby to our right, not Hailey, and Hailey’s nurse just
liked wearing gloves as she attended to all the babies in the bay.

During the night Hailey put on 27 grams, more than three times the
dismal 7 grams she put on the night before. At the 7:30 feeding we had
no new information. The nurses that we normally had suspected that we
would not get to take Hailey home before Friday.

Thursday is a discharge round day so the NICU is closed between 9:00
and 11:00 a.m. We couldn’t meet Hailey for the 10:30 a.m. feeding so
we finished our preparations at home and returned for the 1:30
p.m. feeding still not knowing if today would be the day.

At 1:30 Elan asked Brianna if she slept well last night. Brianna of
course said yes even though she awoke way too early in anticipation of
the big day. We thought this meant that we wouldn’t sleep well tonight
either because the decided to keep Hailey for an extra night. However
that wouldn’t be the case, we wouldn’t sleep well tonight because we
are attending to Hailey’s needs, not because we are worried about
taking her home.

There was much information to be conveyed before we went home. They
went over care, feeding, and medical requirements of the baby. While
the NICU is very strict about their care patterns, we are assured that
Hailey is a normal baby and can be cared for as any newborn infant. We
are luckily, unlike a lot of the babies that were at the NICU ours had
uncomplicated stay. She was early and required time to feed and
grow. She did not have the complications that affected some of the
other infants.

The ride home was nervously exciting. I drove quite slowly trying to
avoid all the potholes. It is amazing just how rough the roads in
Austin really are. You don’t seem to notice until it is time to be
smooth in your journey. The Ford Focus is a car ideally suited only
for front seat passengers. Once the care seat is placed in the rear
seat the passenger seat becomes positioned in an uncomfortably upright
position. A new vehicle will be on the shopping list once Brianna gets
back to work.

Hailey made little noise on the ride home. Brianna assures me that she
did not like my driving. I think Hailey will soon have the opportunity
to dislike Brianna’s driving as well. We pulled into the driveway and
rushed Hailey up to her crib. Placing Hailey in her crib has been long
overdue. We spent the next few hours running up the stairs each time
we heard a noise over the baby monitor. We finally got smart and moved
Hailey to her bassinet which we moved downstairs. Now we can check on
her immediately without running up the stairs.

The dog freaks out every time Hailey makes a sound. I can’t tell if
she is jealous or worried. As long as Hailey is still and sleeping she
is OK. As soon as Hailey grunts or makes a faint cry she paces. It is
so good to be home. Yesterday the NICU gave us a new monthly parking
pass. I am glad that we will not have to use it. I have been to Seton
every day since December 23rd. I hope not to see it again soon. We
will miss our friends Sue, Elan, April, Christina, Shandra, Nicole,
Christine, Rhonda, and Sandra.