You know that movie, Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray relives the same day everyday until he gets it right? That's kind of how I felt this morning.
We were so excited yesterday, coming to the hospital with our overnight bags, pillow, carseat, and baby clothes again. We were finally going to take her home in the morning! After a very long, sleepless, vomit-filled night, we got the news that she could not go home today because she threw up pretty much all night.
Back to yesterday - we arrived to the hospital for our usual 4PM-ish visit and as soon as we walked towards Neely's room, one of the nurses excitedly said, "Neely's coming home tomorrow!" Poor thing - she didn't know that we didn't know. We knew she was coming home soon, but we figured we'd have a little more notice when the date was set. The shock quickly turned to excitement and FEAR! No time for that because the next thing they said was that we needed to "room in" that evening. The NICU lets parents room in so they can practice being with the baby, but with nurses available to help if needed.
Panic mode began to set in and I started making list after list of what we needed to do before we returned later that evening to room in. We rushed toward home, panicked but happy, texting furiously. We realized we hadn't eaten and decided to stop for what we thought would probably be our last dinner out in a long time. Then, BOOM, we did a blitz on the house ... cleaning, re-cleaning, more lists, packing, freaking out. We finally, exhausted, left for the hospital around 10PM. Josh had been awake since 3:45AM, so he was about 6 hours past functional.
We talked with her awesome nurse, Brandi, about the rooming in process for a bit and then ... Neely was ours for a whole night! I was scared, but ready to dive in. Checking temps, diapers, ostomy bags, IV sites, etc. I got to hold her against me, skin to skin. We made googly eyes at each other and for a little while everything felt pretty darn good. Around 1:45AM, she started dry heaving and then threw up. My mind starting going "no-no-no" and making up excuses for why it happened. Maybe I was moving her too much? Maybe I was going overboard with the binky? We called the nurse and she said it was probably okay. Then around 3 I started to wake Neely for her feeding and she threw up again. Then again later when she was in her crib alone. More and more gagging and vomiting. They did an x-ray at her bedside, but found nothing worrisome. Brandi took some blood and it turned out Neely's hemoglobin and hematocrit were low. She needed a blood transfusion, but the blood levels did not explain her vomiting.
Around 6:30AM, Neely was still vomiting so Brandi took her back to her room. I finally slept, until about 8:30AM when Caty came in. I was half-asleep, but I remember her saying that Neely would not be able to go home today.
Neely vomited intermittently throughout the morning and early afternoon. The doctor did not have any idea why she was vomiting, but said it would not prevent her from going home Friday. We are frustrated and sad and confused. We want her home, but not if she is not ready. Nothing is normal with Neely, but it's hard to grasp that her throwing up every few hours is just okay.
We are rooming in with her again tonight and pray she does not get sick. We want to bring her home tomorrow, but I admit I am less excited and more scared now. Will we always exist in this fearful state of mind? When we get home, we won't have Brandi and Jeri and Caty (and the other wonderful nurses) reassuring us and helping us through this.
Speaking of which, Caty surprised us today with a little book that a bunch of the nurses signed and wrote sweet little sentiments about Neely. These nurses are absolute angels, I tell you. What they do everyday is amazing. We could not have gotten through the rough times without them encouraging us and, more importantly, dedicating 100% of their talents and efforts towards our little girl. We prayed throughout this ordeal that Neely be surrounded by angels, and indeed she has been. I so hope that we can stay in touch with everyone.
Caty also gave us another gift for Neely, but we'll wait to open it until Neely comes home. I still can't believe we won't be seeing Caty again! Not in the same capacity anyway. Leaving Neely in the NICU everyday was hard, but knowing she was in great hands always made it a little easier.
Well, Neely should be back in here any minute now and I hope tonight goes better than last night. Please keep her in your prayers. I hope my next post includes pics of Miss Neely at home!