When Jack woke up at 4 am the other night I went in excited since I hadn’t heard any alarms only to find that the machine had stopped recording. Reality set in quickly that it was 4 am and I still had no idea if Jack had stopped breathing at all in those 4 hours. I said a small prayer for strength and I picked up my baby, tripped over the all familiar cord. As I nursed and changed and cuddled my baby boy I thought about how much unnecessary trouble this machine has caused and still has not given us the answers we so desperately need.
Many people have asked us why we delivered in Indianapolis. My short quirky answer is, “we followed the yellow brick road”… and so here is the road we took:
At the hospital where I delivered Lucy there were 10 midwives. I had met 5 of them and really liked 4. 1 of them I was not a fan of. I was leery then when I got pregnant so quickly after Lucy that I may draw the short stick at that hospital. So I chose a hospital recommended by a friend where there were only 2 midwives, both excellent. I liked those odds. This hospital was 45 minutes away from my house across the state line.
When we found out that Jack’s brain had excessive fluid buildup they referred us to a partner hospital in Indy (not Riley’s children hospital) where they had a maternal fetal specialist. I believe I told you a lot of that story in my first post so I won’t repeat myself here.
Fastforward to the end of our NICU stay. Jack is 8 days old and we arrived back from visiting with Lucy and making sure our house was still standing. It was and Lucy was doing ok with our families so we returned to bring Jack home. We got there at 3:00 for his feeding. The nurse informed us that they were planning on discharging him this day but since we weren’t there they would wait another day. I was so incredibly bummed. If they had mentioned that they would discharge him I would have been there in a SECOND! I swallowed my emotion and asked what needed to happen for us to go home. “Simple” they said “We just have to set up his follow up appointments”. Multiple phone calls and tears later we were told that with the amount of extensive surgeries and follow up care that Jack will need in the years to come, they recommended we go somewhere closer to home and that they would not help us since we were from Michigan. I was pretty confused but at the time all I could think of was the step right in front of me. This was a door shutting. I took it as a sign from the Lord that He had another direction to take us. I think it’s funny now to think that we are planning instead to travel to Texas for his surgeries and stay in Michigan for his follow up…. but thats another story.
Last thing to line up was the sleep apnea monitor. Since Jack failed his first carseat test (due to a lead malfunction I might add) the hospital deemed it a liability to send Jack home without a monitor. I was tired of jumping through hoops, but Seth and everyone assured me that it was better to be safe than sorry. I could not argue with that so we waited all of thursday as our coordinator contacted companies all around for us to rent a monitor. To our dismay no one was willing to rent to us because we lived in Michigan (we live off of exit 1 from the state line!) Friday morning we walked in to the hospital with a new hope that we would bring our son home that day. We were right! But had a long day ahead of us. We would be able to be discharged if we were willing to make the 3 hour drive back home to rent a monitor and then drive back to Indy to hook it up to Jack. We jumped in the car. It felt like we were finally seeing the finish line and this was the final sprint. Little did we know this was actually just the beginning of the race.
We arrived in Michigan City to be trained on how to use the monitor. We had to use a baby doll and we laughed a lot. The respiratory therapist had never instructed on a doll before. It went quickly and we were back on the road. Tired but excited, we got back to Indy at 8 pm. The night nurses were happy to walk us out at 9 pm for they don’t get to discharge patients that often. We couldn’t believe it was all really happening. But it was! We walked into our house at 1 am when Jack was 11 days old…