The week she was discharged we got the most awesome nurse 3 times! Her name is Lindsey and we owe everything to her for getting us the help we needed to get out of that place! On Monday was the first time we had her. She walked in and was a tiny little thing with long blonde hair. She had a big smile on her face and said "Hi, I'm Lindsey, I'm your nurse today!". She was so upbeat, I knew I liked her already. She checked on us often and always made sure I had everything I needed. She was so gently with Evie and made sure we knew everything we needed to know. She answered all of our questions without being annoyed, it was quite refreshing.
On Tuesday, we got Lindsey again! I was so excited when I walked in and saw her in Evie's room!!! By the afternoon on Tuesday Lindsey asked me what the plan was. I was confused, afterall, she was the nurse, you tell me the plan! She said, well, when are you getting discharged? With a heavy heart I told her in 2 more weeks. She was stunned and confused. [Monday evening the plastic surgeon resident stopped by and said that Evie needed to be on her tummy for 2 more weeks. I was completely heartbroken. 2 more weeks trying to keep my family together in 2 different places. Feeling helpless because I can't care for my newborn and heartbroken that I wasn't there for my little man at home. I was going through the motions of life, completely exhausted in every sense of the word.] Lindsey said there was no need for Evie to be there that much longer and that our neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon needed to talk to figure out a plan. Communication between those 2 departments had been impossible from the beginning. Neurosurgery would say she could be on her side the same day plastic surgery said 2 more weeks on her tummy. Nuerosurgery would say we could go home, plastic surgery would say 2 more weeks. We were so confused, had no clue what was going on and didn't know what to do. Didn't know if that was normal, we just didn't know. Lindsey assured us she would take care of it. Within hours she had neurosurgery and plastic surgery nurses coordinating their visits to our room. It was decided (after speaking to the actual doctors not the residents or nurses) that Evie could maintain her care by us at home and continue to be on her tummy at home! ALAS! An answer.
Lindsey didn't work on Wednesday or Thursday but she would be back Friday. Wednesday we got a nurse that I absolutely disliked and Thursday we got our second favorite nurse, Holly. Holly is a totally calm spirit that is on top of everything. She knows her stuff, is stern when she needs to be and overall just aweomse! She told the attending pediatrician that there was no reason we couldn't maintain the same level of care at home because we did everything every single day in NICU. She told them we were perfect to go home as long as we could get a heart monitor for Evie since she would have to be on her tummy (SIDS is obviously a huge risk with a baby on their tummy).
So Thursday morning we got the go ahead to start the discharge process. Holly said that we would most likely not get discharged until Friday between noon and 3. Holly coordinated so much for us on Thursday. Evie got her hearing test, Joe and I watched 4 videos, got trained in infant CPR, filled out paperwork for First Steps (such an awesome program!), got Evie her immunizations, called the medical supply place to get them over so we could get Evie fitted for her heart monitor and Joe and I trained on the monitor. She did all of this while discharging another patient across the hall and caring for (who we dubbed) "the crabby baby" -- you could hear him crying all the way down the hall! We were so thankful. If we didn't have her on Thursday (and got the same lazy nurse we had on Wednesday) we would have never gotten out of there!
We left early on Thursday evening (I trusted Holly to lay down the law with Evie's care to the night nurse - I usually stayed until the night nurse came in and I could meet her and decide whether or not I needed to stay the night) and took Gavin to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate his sister coming home and to have one last fun night out before his life was really turned upside down. He had a blast and so did we. We got an ok amount of sleep and got up early Friday morning, dressed all cute and went up to the hospital to get our girl.
[Thursday before we left we asked Holly if she could request somewhere that we got Lindsey on Friday because we knew she was working]
Joe and I walked in Friday morning and saw Lindsey in Evie's room. We were elated. I walked in and exclaimed how excited I was to see her. Lindsey said on her way in to work she called in to request room 1845 - Evie's room - to find out we had already requested her. She loved us as much as we loved her :)
We didn't do much on Friday, just waited to get all the final paperwork from everyone and get us our discharge instructions. When it came time for discharge I suddenly became overwhelmed with emotions. Was I going to be able to provide the same care at home? What if something happened? I was sad to leave Lindsey, she was so wonderful. But nonetheless, we were discharged! Lindsey helped us get Evie safe and sound in her carseat and walked us out. She waited with me while Joe pulled the truck around (we took my dad's truck because it is the biggest vehicle we could get out hands on which would provide the most safety in case of any stupid people). We talked a little, I could barely look at her because I was seriously so sad to leave her. She loaded us up, said good-bye to Evie, I hugged her and cried, she cried, Joe hugged her, and we were off. The ice cream truck was there and Lindsey headed over to get a treat and waved as we drove by. This was it, we were on our own.
Our third chapter was starting - our journey at home!
Lindsey filling out the last of Evie's paperwork and getting us our discharge instructions. Me feeding Evie a bottle to tide her over until we got home!
Lindsey and Joe getting Evie all situated in her car bed. The NICU had them for us - it allows Evie to travel on her tummy and still be buckled in.
Ready to go home!