Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Coming Home Day, Cohen!!

It has been a YEAR (Oct 13) since Cohen came home from the hospital! Can you believe it!? As with many other of our "dates" it seems like it's been longer than a year and like it was just yesterday at the same time.

We are incredibly thankful for how "healthy" Cohen has been since we brought him home. We were desperate to get him home after his due date came and went and there still didn't seem to be an end in sight. After reassuring the doctors that we could handle him at home with a feeding tube and oxygen, the ball began rolling to get him home. Within a matter of days he had taken his carseat test, we had watched videos, set up home oxygen and feeding tube supplies and we were as ready (and terrified) as we could be. And then...he had an eye exam and he was inches away from needing surgery for his ROP. It was strongly suggested that we stay until the next eye exam in case he needed surgery in which case he would have to be readmitted and blah blah. So, we heaved a deep sigh, and trudged along for almost another week.

I remember sitting in the recliner chair holding him, waiting for the doctor to come in for his eye check. I just sat staring at his little face, begging and pleading and praying that he wouldn't need surgery. I was terrified he would need the surgery which would require reintubation and add more days to his NICU stay. Of course we would have done anything he needed, but it was something we were hoping to avoid. My mom and Danny were both there and as we saw the doctor approaching we left to wait in the hallway (eye exams are no fun). The nurse popped her head back out into the hall and said "okay you can come back". I was trying to read her face but she wasn't giving us any hints. My heart dropped and I knew he was going to need the surgery. But he DIDN'T!!! I cried tears of joy knowing that we were finally, after 130 days and then some, going to get to bring Cohen home. IF you are a parent of a preemie, you know how incredibly hard it is to leave your child every night and to be away from them. Most parents worry about the first time they leave their child overnight and we had never spent a night with our baby.

Those last weeks in the NICU were pretty awful for me. I was desperate to get out and get home and be family. There were twins in the same room as Cohen and it was just draining all of my energy and emotion to get to see a mom that got to keep both of her babies. It's not right or fair, but it's just where I was. Drained and constantly reminded that while we were excited to bring Cohen home, we weren't bringing our twins home. I owed many nurses apologies for my behavior those last days but I just couldn't take any more. We really didn't sleep much the night before we left, we were just too excited and nervous and overjoyed and terrified.

And this was it, the moment had arrived. We were going HOME. We packed Cohen up in the car and said all our last goodbyes. It was bittersweet for sure, saying goodbye to the nurses who had we had grown to love and who had taken care of not only Cohen, but us as well. It felt so weird walking out the door with him. I was sure I was going to set off alarms or someone was going to think we were stealing him. For that one brief moment, we were mostly normal (besides the oxygen tank), but people might have thought we were just a normal couple taking our baby home.

{One final exam before leaving}

 When we finally got home, we dumped 5 months worth of stuff on the floor and it didn't move for probably a week. We showed Cohen around the house and then we just enjoyed being home. In our own space. The weeks taht followed were filled with numerous doctors visits, most in Seattle, oxygen drop offs, late night tube feedings, but we didn't care. We were home. And it was the best feeling in the world.

 {No more living out of bags!!!}

 {We have this picture framed, the day we walked into our house with Cohen for the very first time}

{"I think I like this home place..."

No comments:

Post a Comment