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.

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