Well, today is the day. We finally get to be those parents…those parents that walk out of the hospital with our kiddo in her car seat carrier, big smiles on our face, excited to start a new chapter in our lives. However, when people observe us leaving, they will look at us just like all the others…no one will know our story…no one will know what we have been through over the past 73 days, and what a little fighter we’re carrying out in this car seat. She’s not just any little newborn.
Ian and I survived our nesting experience. I think we may have gotten a total of 2 1/2 hours of sleep. We set our alarms to wake up every 3 hours (which is the schedule she’s been on in the hospital) to feed and change Riley, and thats what we did. The feeding has become such a process…by the time I attempt breast feeding, then bottle feed, and then pump, I have an hour and a half until I have to start the process all over again. It’s exhausting…but it’s so worth it. We’re bringing our little girl home today.
Went to my final day of rounds today, and it was short and sweet…all about the discharge plans and the follow-up Riley will need over the next several months. It’s sort of a blur, and I have to back through my paperwork, but all I know is she has a few different clinics and disciplines she needs to follow up with. She already has her first pediatric appointment tomorrow. These hospitals and clinics will probably be the only places we’ll be taking her any time soon, so we’ll treat it as a fun field trip:)
So we were finally about to leave, and another nurse stopped by our nesting room to say goodbye, and became teary-eyed as she did. I held it together (sort of)…until we were walking through the waiting area…that same waiting area we ran through the night of Riley’s pulmonary hemorrhage in complete horror, not knowing what challenges lie ahead, and the same waiting room we’ve been walking in and out of day after day for the past 73 days, and the receptionist just immediately started clapping and yelling “Yay!” as we walked through the door. Well I was done for. It was emotional. Everything about this day is emotional. Happy tears were shed today. It’s all good.
Ian sat in the back of the car with Riley on our way home, and I was a bit of a nervous wreck driving. We now have precious cargo for goodness sake;) Anyway, we made it safely and got Riley in the house. It was beyond surreal. We were finally home, with our daughter, and it was official…we are a family. Riley immediately settled in, and occasionally glanced around as if she was wondering “Where in the heck am I now?” We showed her her new room and broke in many of her new toys already. She seems to love them all. Ian’s already had a few “tummy time” sessions and is trying to teach her to say “dada.”
I’m going to end today’s post here, because I’m pretty wiped and don’t have much else to say. However, I did want to write a final post as a part of this blog, and that will be coming soon. I know many have wondered if I’m going to continue my blog, and I’ve decided since this is a new chapter in our lives, in Riley’s life, I will be starting a new blog, separate from this current one, that will allow everyone to be included on Riley’s ongoing strides, weird quirks, and the ups and downs we may continue to experience as parents of a premature infant. So…to be continued…