There's a moment in the "Lord of the Rings" movies when Frodo turns to Sam and says "I can't do this anymore, Sam."
I'm beginning to understand exactly how he felt. My heart and body can only take so much.
Hunter was almost released yesterday. She'd been prepped to be all ready to go — her discharge forms filled out, car seat and hearing tests done, Hepatitis B vaccine given, prescriptions written up, visiting nurse scheduled. Mark ran around yesterday morning getting a safer car to bring her home in and installing the car seat. I made her follow-up pediatric appointment. We were prepared. Again.
However, the doctor saw that she had an apneac sleep episode the previous night. The night nurse had to rub her to start up her breathing again. I'd noticed some moments like that while visiting her but they were incredibly brief and she always started right back up. Rightly concerned, the doc decided to keep Hunter for 48 more hours to observe her breathing. So, now her tentative coming home date is Wednesday.
Unless something else comes up.
I'm definitely happy that they decided to keep her to observe her, but the emotional rollercoaster and constantly leaving the hospital with an empty car seat are starting to get to me a little.
And, as if the apnea weren't already freaking me out, Hunter failed her hearing test in one ear. Now the doctor assured us that lots of preemies fail the test — it's done by inserting a probe in the baby's ear and bouncing sound waves off the ear drum — because they're simply too little and their anatomy can sometimes be too immature for the test to be done properly. Future tests tend to show that the baby hears fine but of course I've been sitting around wondering if my poor little girl is going to be deaf in one ear.
Oh and did I mention the worry of her dying from SIDS? And the fear of not being able to properly feed her once she gets home? (I needed the nurse's help twice yesterday. The second time Hunter was so asleep she absolutely would not eat for me. Somehow the nurse got the milk into her...)
Motherhood and my anxiety are going to get along really well I see...
On a positive note, I was surprised to find that they had dressed Aden yesterday. He looks so much more comfortable in clothes. I'm sure that this is just a "mental" parent's thing, but it really made me happy to see him dressed in his little blue, yellow-starred onesie.
(Nate and Traci, I've been meaning to call you again and say THANK YOU so so so much for the baby clothes! My babies are the fashionistas of the NICU thanks to you...)
As for how he's doing... Well, I'm getting more than a little bit annoyed with the pat, "He's doing well; he just needs time," response that I get every single time I ask after him. I KNOW he needs time, but surely must be something else they can say, something that gives us a more definitive idea of his progress.
I've been getting the feeling that the doctor is more concerned with getting Hunter ready to go home but I don't want Aden to be shortchanged. I keep feeling (irrationally, no doubt) like he's getting the shaft because, well, his problems aren't really that serious. He can breathe fine, he's nippling much better (Mark bottlefed him 27 ccs out of 33 at one feeding yesterday), he's putting on weight and he's relatively healthy. He's just small. I understand patience and time but sometimes I'd like a little bit more, something more reassuring. Things like weight updates make us happy but we tend to have to go fish for that information.
However, kvetching aside, I love this hospital and it's staff. I feel really safe and assured that my babies are getting the best possible care. There are so many babies there that are much worse off than my little ones and I see the enormous care and effort that the staff put in for them and can't help be moved.
We're definitely fortunate and blessed to be there, to have the family we have, to be able to do the running around. Its not easy on the body or soul, but it is what it is and it will be over before we know it.